SOME went for faith, some went for fitness, and others went for a family day out in the glorious sunshine, but the annual Good Friday hike up Rivington Pike was one of the most enjoyable in recent years.

The beautiful Bank Holiday weather attracted hundreds to the traditional Easter walk.

Whereas previous years meant cagoules and umbrellas, this year saw sunglasses and baseball caps as couples, families, children and pensioners all made the climb.

For Carole Aughton, 73, who was hiking with her husband, Tom, 75, and daughter, Michelle Penfold-Ivany, 53, it was a family tradition.

“I used to live down the lane and have been doing it since I was a baby, when I was pushed up in a pram,” she said.

“As a little girl, I thought we owned the Pike so I was always very confused when lots of people went up ‘our’ Pike every Good Friday.”

Apart from a few years when she was living in Leeds, Mrs Aughton has taken part in the walk her entire life.

“Afterwards, I’m looking forwards to going to The Jolly Crofters and then tucking into a fish pie I’ve made for the family,” she laughed.

Her daughter, who also lives in Horwich said: “We come up regardless, in sunshine, hail and snow - it’s a family tradition.

“You also tend to bump into people you don’t see from one year to the next so it’s nice to catch up”

First-timer Laura Turner, 29, had come from her home in Warrington with daughters Courtney, 10, and Holly, 9.

“We try to keep active and do a lot of walking so we decided to give this a try, and it’s lovely,” she said.

Leanne and Chris Lane of Lostock were among the early birds.

“We began at 10am and it’s been especially busy this year,” said Mrs Lane, 28.

“It’s a tradition for us, as is going to the rugby in the afternoon.”

Plucky Lacey Wilson was making her first climb at the tender age of two.

“We’re thinking of making it a family tradition and Lacey’s doing well but she has been on daddy’s shoulders for some of the way,” said her mum, Claire.

Despite suffering from brittle bone disease and having permanent back fractures, nine-year-old Libby Self was insistent that she made the ascent.

“I’m so proud of her,” said her mum, Kelly Sinclair, 32.

“She knows everyone goes up and she was determined to do it herself. She puts me to shame. She wanted to do it so you’ve got to let them have a go.”

Offering sustenance to those making the hike were a number of food stalls at the half-way stage. The tired and hungry could treat themselves from a variety of cuisines, including Yorkshire puddings, Bavarian sausages , puddings, waffles and a carvery and grill.

A slush drinks stall was also doing a roaring trade with many keen to quench their thirst in the blazing sunshine.

Among those cooling off were Abby Richardson, 18, who was making her first climb with her new boyfriend Jack Berry, 19.

“It’s a brilliant day out,” she said.

The fairground rides and games added to the carnival atmosphere of the day.

In the past, people have tended to make the journey down after a only a brief stop at the top but because of the amazing weather hundreds decided to sunbathe, snooze in the sunshine, have big family picnics and enjoy the spectacular views.

Police had a presence on the Pike from 10am but the good-natured atmosphere meant there were no incidents.

“We’re here just to reassure people really, “said one officer. “The nature of the event means people are here to enjoy a nice walk.”

Bolton Mountain Rescue reported only a couple of casualties.

One elderly lady slipped on some steps at the bottom of the pike and was taken to hospital with head injuries and another person was treated after scalding themselves with boiling water from a flask they were using to make a cup of coffee.