A new trail will link the most picturesque parts of Bolton under plans to create a new long distance path in Greater Manchester.

CPRE, The Countryside Charity, and walking charity The Ramblers have been awarded a £250,000 grant to create a new path connecting the 10 different boroughs.

It is funded by The National Lottery Heritage Fund and called the ‘GM Ringway’.

Stages 13, 14 and 15 of the trail will be in Bolton, linking the town to nearby Bury and Wigan through Bromley Cross and Blackrod.

The route takes in a wide variety of landscapes and includes Winter Hill, the final ‘big hill’ of the whole route and a location visible from many parts of the trail.

The Bolton News: Andrew Read, who designed the routeAndrew Read, who designed the route (Image: GM Ringway)

It will include a riverside walk along Eagley Brook, the ‘Miners’ Steps’ of Barrow Bridge, the ascent of Winter Hill through Smithills Estate and the semi-ancient woodland of Wilderswood.

The 186 mile trail will guid walkers through 57 conservation areas, nine sites of special scientific interest, 18 local nature reserves and parts of the Peak District National Park.

The Heritage Fund grant will fund signposting and an improved app and website to be established so that a wide range of people, including less experienced walkers, can enjoy the trail.

A network of at least 200 volunteer ‘footpath guardians’ will be recruited across the region and trained to help signpost the route, get involved in community events, and manage the trail long-term.

The Bolton News: The trail will run 186 miles through all 10 boroughs of Greater ManchesterThe trail will run 186 miles through all 10 boroughs of Greater Manchester (Image: GM Ringway)

Debbie McConnell, Chair of CPRE Lancashire, Liverpool City Region and Greater Manchester said:

“The GM Ringway project is truly innovative and could act as a blueprint for other city-regions. Here in the North West, we’re fortunate to have a wealth of heritage and natural beauty on our doorstep and we want more people to get out and discover it.

“We’ve already had an enthusiastic response from residents, community groups and official bodies. This inspiring initiative will get a wider range of people involved in heritage, give the local economy a boost, and promote personal wellbeing.

“And with its intrinsic focus on active travel and public transport, the route should be easy for local residents to access, as well as being positive for the environment.

The Bolton News: It will run from Bromley Cross to Blackrod in BoltonIt will run from Bromley Cross to Blackrod in Bolton (Image: GM Ringway)

“Thanks to players of the National Lottery, the GM Ringway walking trail will make Greater Manchester an even better place to live.”

Margaret Manning, Chair of Greater Manchester and High Peak Area Ramblers said: “The grant from the National Lottery Heritage Fund is just fantastic as it will enable us to make the GM Ringway project a reality, which is so exciting.

“The GM Ringway will open up opportunities to collaborate with local community groups, charities and partners in the health, heritage and environmental sectors on trail-related events and activities. 

“We also hope heritage sites and hospitality businesses will benefit as visitors discover them on foot. The grant will allow us to establish this wonderful trail as a long-term asset for the region.”