Sometimes we just need a short but energetic walk to blow away the excesses of the previous night. Yesterday was one such day so after a grapefruit and a bowl of crunch nut cornflakes (for me, not the dog) we headed off to Belmont for a short but steep ascent of Winter Hill.
We began at the car park next to Ward's Reservoir, on the Belmont to Rivington road. This small reservoir supplies water to Bolton and is known locally as the Blue Lagoon. A short but pleasant footpath runs from the car park alongside the shore although our route took us directly up the steep hillside, following the obvious path towards a stile. Happily, the stile has a "dog gate" so no lifting was needed before we continued upwards for 3/4 of a mile or so of open moorland. There were one or two sheep in sight and many birds nest round here so it was on the lead for most of the way.
The many radio masts dotted around the summit were soon close by and we followed the line of a fence to the right before entering through a kissing gate and spending a while playing fetch by the summit trig point. Whilst not exactly remote and unspoilt, it's a peaceful place to sit and as we looked out towards Great Hill, Chorley, Preston and beyond we were oblivious to the scene behind us.
If we'd have had time we'd have descended using the footpath via Grange Brow but we descended the same way. I can't think of a shorter walk which gives such amazing views on the right day.
After lunch we went visiting some friends and their new puppy so I couldn't resist posting this picture. I suspect there may be more pictures of the little chap once he's old enough to join us on some of our walks.
Doggy rating 6/10 (not much in the way of off lead walking but fine for a game of fetch on top)
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