Smithills Estate Visitor Information

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Landscape at Smithills

Smithills estate (Photo: WTML)

The iconic Smithills Estate is the largest site ever acquired in England by the Woodland Trust. Steeped in history and shadowed by the famous Winter Hill TV mast, it’s a rich mosaic of grassland, moorland and bog habitats.

Many features of the Smithills Estate are in need of restoration but this is still a wonderful place to visit, and over the next few years the Trust will preserve and enhance the iconic landscape for the benefit of people and wildlife.

Find out  more about Smithills Estate.

Events at Smithills Estate

Join us for a walk, see the beauty of the wood through a lens or wrap up warm and blow away the cobwebs with friends and family.

How to get here

The site is iconic in the landscape and can be seen and easily pinpointed from miles around due to the well known 310m high Winter Hill broadcasting transmitter perched at the top of the hill, just outside the Woodland Trust boundary.

By Train

Check times at Traveline website or telephone 0871 200 2233.

By Bus

Check times at Traveline website or telephone 0871 200 2233.

By car

Smithills Estate is just three miles from Bolton town centre.

Follow the brown signs for Smithills Country Park via the A666 or from the M61, junction 5.

To get to Barrow Bridge car park, continue onto Smithills Dean Road, turn left onto Colliers Row Road and then take the first left onto Longshaw Ford Road (there is a sign here that points to Barrow Bridge car park). Longshaw Road becomes Barrow Bridge Road and the car park will be on your right (BL1 7ND).

Facilities and access

Access

Routes within the Smithills area are quite diverse. Footpaths mingle with restricted byways, providing a mix of both surfaced and un-surfaced paths and wider more formal looking tracks.

Restricted byways in particular tend to be well surfaced and free from obstructions. The Trust will improve existing paths, which are loved by local walkers, and add new routes as finance becomes available to encourage visitors to explore off the beaten track. However, many of the paths would be challenging for people with reduced physical ability.

Car parking

The best place for car parking is Barrow Bridge, though there is a small area for parking at the Walkers fold entrance. 

To get to Barrow Bridge car park go to Smithills Dean Road, turn left onto Colliers Row Road and then take the first left onto Longshaw Ford Road (there is a sign here that points to Barrow Bridge car park). Longshaw Road becomes Barrow Bridge Road and the car park will be on your right (BL1 7ND).

Toilets

The nearest public toilets are at Smithills Hall, home of the Bolton Library and Museum Services on Smithills Dean Road, BL1 7NP. Tel. 01204 332 377 for details.

Discover more about Smithills Estate

Looking for events in our woods?

Join us for a woodland walk, have fun at a festival or get stuck in at a workshop.

See all our events