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5 Free Things to Do In Bolton

5 Free Things to Do In Bolton


As a family owned and ran business from Bolton, Swansway Motor Group have taken a look at 5 Free Things to do in Bolton for the whole family to enjoy.

A former mill town known for its wool and cotton weaving traditions, Bolton is a town close to our hearts at Swansway Motor Group.

Not only do we have our Swansway Honda Bolton dealership located in the centre, but our very own group Directors Peter, John and David Smyth, along with Chairman Mr Smyth, are all born and bred Boltonians!

So, we’ve taken a walk through our common streets and come up with our top 5 Things to do in Bolton – all completely free. Take a browse; we hope you spot something that catches your fancy.

Free things to do in Bolton:

  • Rivington Pike Walk
  • Jumbles Reservoir
  • Middlebrook Valley Trail
  • Bolton Steam Museum
  • Smithills Hall


1. Walk up Rivington Pike

This area has one of the best viewpoints in North West England.

There are numerous ways to reach Rivington Pike but the route through the Terraced Gardens on the western side is the most popular. There are many paths through here that lead directly to the Pike; all whilst taking in interesting sights such as a stunning gardens and Lever Bridge.

View from Rivington Pike

If you take the path that runs along the southern edge of the Japanese garden, you’ll see the area where the kitchen gardens once were. Whichever path you take, we guarantee you will enjoy a leisurely stroll through the beauty of Bolton!

2. Jumbles Reservoir

Jumbles Country Park first opened in 1971 and is a stunning icon of the town’s history.

The walk around the reservoir takes just over an hour and is set within the beautiful West Pennine Moors with a lovely waterside footpath around the reservoir.

The reservoir at Jumbles Country Park

The country park is located just a couple of miles north east of Bolton town centre, near to the Lancashire village of Chapeltown. You could also carry on your walk along the Witton Weavers Way to the nearby Wayoh Reservoir and Nature Reserve if you fancy taking in some more sights.

3. Middlebrook Valley Trail

Whether your little ones love being riding around in a bike seat or trailer, or if they’re learning to ride a bike themselves; getting out for a family cycle is a great way to spend some quality time together and is sure to warm you up in this chilly winter weather!

Middlebrook Valley Trail in Autumn

The Middlebrook Valley Trail is a 4.5 mile footpath and cycleway which ends at the Reebok stadium and links Bolton and Horwich. The path is relatively smooth too making it perfect for all ages.

4. Bolton Steam Museum

Bolton Steam Museum is home to the largest collection of working steam engines in the UK.

One of the exhibits inside Bolton Steam Museum

The Museum has been developed over the last 25 years on the site of the old Atlas Mills in Bolton. It was opened to the public on a regular basis in 2006 and displays a collection of 29 steam engines that used to provide power for the machinery in the textile mills throughout the north of England during the Industrial Revolution.

Certainly one for all budding historians!

Smithills Hall

Smithills Hall is one of Bolton’s original family homes set in charming gardens next to the West Pennine Moors.

The hall is a dignified grade 1 listed building that is full of history and drama dating back 800 years.

Front view of Smithills Hall

There are fine examples of historic architecture from Medieval and Tudor eras right through to Victorian times. With old photographs of ancestral members of the Ainsworth family to add to the atmosphere, there is plenty to get the curious types going.

There’s also a series of rooms to explore including; the Medieval Great Hall, Solar rooms, Withdrawing room, Library and Chapel too, so you’re sure to get a real feel for what life was like so many years ago.

And there we have it, a short guide on 5 Free Things to Do in Bolton. We hope you spot something which catches your fancy and let us know how your trip went by commenting in the section below!

If you know of a hidden gem in your local area, we’d love to hear from you. Add your suggestions below for the chance to have your say in our next 5 Free Things Blog.

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