Pleasant walks with camera and three dogs
The weather looked like it would be kind to me today (ie: not rain) so I decided to take a stroll through the Terraced Gardens at Rivington then return via a descent through Tigers Clough.
I parked the car just off Rivington Lane (grid ref: SD632 134) and just under half a mile from Rivington Great Barn Tea Rooms and the Information Centre . After putting on my boots I got Brett and Sam out of their cage and we set off up the hill in front of the car.
At the top of the rise we turned right near the old tree trunk and followed the dirt path through the ferns.
This quickly brought us to a gravel path where we turned left in the direction of Rivington Hall Barn.
After only a few hundred yards walking along the path we turned off right at a way marker.
We followed the dirt path though the long grass, passing by another way marker, though Brett and Sam seemed more intent on checking out something in the grass. 😉
We soon arrived at another gravel path, where we turned left to continue towards Rivington Hall Barn.
At this point the path to the left continues to Rivington Hall Barn, but we took the one off to the right.
A few yards later we passed through the gate (grid ref: SD634 143) and followed the path uphill towards the Terraced Gardens, built for the late Lord Leverhulme in the early part of the 20th century. Although there were sheep in the field I didn’t put Brett and Sam on their leads but instead had them walk close by me (I brought the sticks they had been carrying with us so that I could reward them later).
At the top of the field we passed over a stile onto a path where there were no sheep, so I let Brett and Sam have their sticks back and allowed them to run free.
Here we kept to the left and continued uphill. There are many paths that intersect and that will take you to the various parts of the Terraced Gardens, but today my intention was to head up towards the Japanese Gardens.
Here, at a junctiuon with another couple of paths we continued uphill alongside the low stone wall.
A little higher up we came to another junction, this time by an alcove that probably at one time contained a bench for people to rest on during their strolls around the gardens. We continued to follow the path uphill.
A short while later we came to a junction with the path outside the Japanese Gardens (grid ref: SD638 138), where we went straight across and up the steps.
This brought us to the path in the Japanese Gardens, where we turned right to walk around to the other side of the Ornamental Lake. The Japanese Garden was designed and built by Thomas Mawson in 1922 on the direction of Lord Leverhulme who had seen similar gardens on his visits to Japan. The garden had an artificial lake that was fed by two waterfalls that then passed through the garden and fed the tiered waterfall in The Ravine. Sited around the lake were three pagoda style “tea houses” and lanterns, which were themselves surrounded by many exotic plants and shrubs, that in turn provided nesting places for birds.
On the far side of the lake we took a dirt path off to the right (there are three paths off to the right at this point but they all end up in the same place).
This path took us past the remains of some old buildings (I don’t know what these were but you can get leaflets about the gardens from the Rivington Information Centre which is next to Rivington Great Barn Tea Rooms).
At the top of the steps past the old buildings we came to a junction where we carried straight on.
A little farther on, rather than go straight on and up the steps we took the path to the left.
This path soon brought us to where Lord Leverhulme’s house had once been. There is an excellent book available at the Information Centre called “Leverhulme’s Rivington” by M D Smith that contains lots of pictures of the house and the gardens.
Nothing of substance now remains of the house and the nearby big lawn. The only thing you are likely to find are a few floor tiles in what may have been the kitchen area of the house.
Carrying on along the path from where the house had been we eventually came to the junction with the path leading to the Pigeon Tower (grid ref: SD639 143), where we turned right to begin our return journey.
As we passed by what was once the stables for Lord Leverhulme’s carriage horses (but are now toilets that appear to be permanently closed) we could see Rivington Pike Tower up the hill to the left.
Continuing on along the path from the Pigeon Tower we eventually came to the junction with a path leading back down towards the Japanese Gardens, but we carried straight on.
A few hundred yards farther on we came to the gate leading into the field above Higher Knoll Farm, and again we carried straight on.
A few more yards further and we came to another gate (grid ref: SD644 133) and this time we turned right and descended some rickety steps (care needed).
At the bottom of the steps we passed through another gate and continued straight on downhill, now following a dirt path through the reeds.
In the field on the right of the path there were the remains of several buildings that was once known as Prospect Farm.
The dirt path through the reeds is quite easy to follow, and today it was dry, though I can imagine it would be rather boggy in places after a lot of rain (where there’s reeds there’s water).
We quickly left the reedy area behind as the path passed alongside a wire fence, and we could see the beginnings of Tigers Clough to the left.
Shortly we came to a stile in the wire fence (that I climbed over whilst Brett and Sam slid under the fence) where we headed off diagonally to the left. This took us downhill to meet the young River Douglas on its way down from Winter Hill to its rendesvous with Lower Rivington Reservoir.
For a short while we were able to walk alongside the River Douglas, though at the moment there is very little water in it.
After a few hundred yards we veered off to the right towards the woods.
Here we passed through a gate and into the woods surrounding Tigers Clough.
Although there is a dirt path heading downhill alongside a wire fence, with a bit of care it is possible to get down towards the river bank and stroll alongside that.
Although there are a few places where you need to tread carefully it is a very pleasant stroll on the river bank, but here it was necessary to leave it and head back up to the right.
That brought us back to the dirt path near the fence where we turned left and continued downhill.
A couple of yards later we turned sharp right to pass between the two trees shown in the picture. However, if you have a little time to spare there is a nice view looking upstream just a few yards straight on, but don’t stray too far. 😉
Continuing down the path we quickly descended a very short flight of steps to take us into a small clearing and we’re back at the rivers edge, at least for a short way. With a bit of care you can get some excellent pictures of the waterfall at this point (grid ref: SD643 128).
Unfortunately it soon became time to leave the River Douglas to its meanderings downstream and head off back to the right and up the banking.
Here we crossed another small clearing and started to leave the river behind as we headed toward the exit out of the clough.
At this point we crossed a small stream before climbing up the short rise towards the wooden fence.
We soon came to the junction with a set of wooden steps coming up from the left, and here we carried straight on.
Here we followed the path to the left, following the wooden fence.
And here we left the company of the fence and took the main path to the right.
The dirt path quickly brought us to the road from Higher Knoll Farm, where we turned left and downhill.
This brought us to the junction with the path above Rivington and Blackrod High School, where we turned right.
Here we ignored the path on the right leading up to the Japanese Gardens and carried straight on.
A little over half a mile later we turned left.
This took us down our last path of the day and back to the car.