Rivington is a pretty little hamlet situated between Bolton and Chorley. It is in an area of Outstanding Natural Beauty known as the West Pennine Moors. Here there are many great walking trails in acres of glorious Countryside. The remains of the Terraced Gardens are perched up on the hillside above Rivington. It is a great hike up to see them although it's quite strenuous in parts! For all your hard work and effort you are rewarded with some fantastic views over the Pennines and beyond.
Hall I'th' Wood is a fantastic Grade 1 listed hall. The attractive half timbered building dates from the 16th Century and is a rare example of a tudor wooden framed house. It is set a stonesthrow away from a modern housing estate. The stark contrast begins at the cobbled driveway leading up to the hall. This wonderful abode was owned by wealthy businessmen and traders. After 1697 it was rented out to various tenants. It was during this period that a young Samuel Crompton lived there with his parents. This young man in 1779 invented the spinning mule which transformed the cotton industry.
The Museum within the Hall is open for public events and school visits/certain days throughout the summer holidays. They also open for group tours on request. The museum was closed during our visit but we managed to get some great views from the outside.
Smithills Hall is a fantastic historic house situated near Bolton on the edge of the West Pennine moors. It is one of the best preserved manor houses in the area. The earliest part of the house dates from the 14th Century when a family would have lived, ate and slept in the one room. Numerous rooms and extensions have been added over the years, providing a great residence for all who lived there.
Many of the rooms have been lovingly restored and maintained by Bolton Council who acquired the hall in 1938 for the sum of £70,600. Years of extensive conservation work on the older sections allowed part of the grade I structure to be opened as a museum in1963. In the 1990's further investment went into improving the hall grounds and woodlands and the museumwas extended into some of the Victorian parts of the house.
The rooms are decorated with furnishing and fixtures as they would have been years ago and you can walk through the servants corridors, see the medieval kitchen and great hall. The withdrawing room was a favourite of mine, it has some of the finest surviving intricately carved panelling in the South West. The carvings convey important messages about the social values of that time.
It took about an hour to have a good look at the rooms but don't forget to allow time to visit the wonderful gardens which surround the hall.
The 2400 Acres of woodland surrounding Smithills Hall provides a haven for nature and nature lovers alike. Here you will find great walking trails which wind their way through woodland and over picturesque stone bridges. There are Countryside wardens on hand at Smithills Hall to give further information of the walks available.
The Bolton Aquarium is located on the bottom floor of the Museum and Art gallery building,open since 1941,the aquarium is the only one of its kind in Greater Manchester,with a stunning display of fish from all over the world.
Admission is free
Opening times:Mon to Sat-9am till 5pm
Located on the second floor of the museum/art gallery building,find out all about Boltons history and local life and also a collection of artifacts and items from around the world.
The first floor contains information and items from Boltons past while the second floor is arranged in collections from the worlds continents,there is also an Egyptian room across the hall.
Admission is free
Opening times:Mon till Sat-9am till 5pm
Also located on the second floor of the museum building is the Art Gallery,set in two rooms,one with an historic collection of victorian and antiquitan paintings the other room
for local art and current exibitions,there are some fine peices here and one or two odd peices as well but well worth a look.
Admission is free
opening times:Mon till Sat:9am till 5pm
A short drive from Bolton is the neighbouring to of Bury. Here you’ll find a railway station steeped in history and nostalgia-, “The East Lancashire Railway”
Located on Bolton road the station doesn’t look like much however once inside you are transported back to the 1950’s and the golden age of steam.
From old chocolate and player cigarette vending machines through to the first class and second class waiting rooms you will feel like you’re in a black and white movie.
The station staff are friendly and wear various uniforms from the across the periods.
There two services that run daily through out the summer and these are ……
Bury – Heywood Shuttle which takes just 20 minutes and the Bury to Rotten stall which is twice long. Both services are operated by period trains.
During the year there are a number of special events such as “The teddy bears picnic” and the Santa Train or on my last visit there was the famous steam engine of all visiting “Thomas the Tank engine “ Along with some of friends and of coarse the Fat controller.
It’s quite good value for money at £11.50 for an adult and just £6.00 for child aged 2 through to 15 years of age and you should allow around 4 hours to enjoy everything fully.
The Heritage tours conducted by James Cockerel have English Tourist Board Quality approvel as a National Tourist Attraction. This is a tour of the 12th Century Tavern situated in Bolton town centre.Groups of 10 to 30 people may book a tour at any reasonable time. The charge for the tour is £3 and buffets may be ordered.
Special events include Medieval Fair in July and Execution on Oct15th each year.
The Civic Centre in Bolton is just a stonesthrow away from the shopping streets behind the City Hall. The main buildings curve alongside the road to form a Crescent hence the name Le Mans Crescent. It is well worth a wander down this street just to admire the architecture of these grand buildings.
The Ancient Egypt museum is situated within the multifunctional building containing the Aquarium, Library and Tourist information.
There are some cracking artefacts to be found in this exhibition, it is not a very big room but it is crammed full of some wonderful exhibits from Ancient Egypt.
As with all of the exhibitions here, entrance is free.
Alongside the Civic Centre you will find a fabulous building which houses the Aquarium, Art Gallery, Museum and Tourist Information Centre.
The Aquarium is not the largest you'll ever see but it contained many different species of fish from all around the world. As you walk by each tank there are interesting interpretation boards giving information about the conservation of aquatic life.
The main attraction for me was the Giant Green Knifefish, it was brought to Bolton in May 2000 and has grown considerably since then. It is now said to be the largest known specimen of its type.
I would recommend a visit here, especially if you have young children to occupy. Admission is free and it can be combined with a visit to the Museum and Art Gallery.
Situated in the heart of the town centre the town square is very big.The town hall dominates with its majestic stone lions on the steps to the entrance.Various statues are dotted around the town hall and a lovely looking memorial monument lies on the other side of the square.
There are sometimes various artists strutting there stuff here like musicians and poets,we happen to be here when a group of Peruvian Indians were playing there pan pipes.
It can get quite windy here and cold in the winter months due to its large open space so be sure to come here dressed warm.
Situated on the 1st floor of the same building that houses the Library and the Aquarium, the Museum has a great Ancient Egypt Room as well as a room with items of both local interest and things from all over the world.
It is well worth a visit
Entrance is free
Bolton has the only public Aquarium in Greater Manchester, It is situated in the basement of the building that also houses the Library and the Museum. there is a good selection of fresh water fish from around the world the most impressive and largest is a Sternopygus macrurus or Giant Green Knife Fish and the smallest Danionella cf. translucida or Pygmy Glass Fish.
Although small it seems to me that they are doing a lot for conservation and for the breeding of rare fish.
Entrance is free but donations are appreciated.