Peel Tower is a prominent monument located on Harcles Hill, a hill that is affectionately known to the locals as Holcombe Hill. Although Peel Tower can be easily seen from all the surrounding towns and villages in Bury, a walk to the well-known landmark is the best way to appreciate it. In this guide, we’re going to tell you everything you need to know about doing the Peel Tower and Holcombe Hill Walk.
We hope you find this guide helpful. For information about other great nearby walking routes, read our guides about Pendle Hill, Entwistle Reservoir and Rivington Pike. Otherwise, please read our guide about the best walks in Lancashire.
Table of Contents
Peel Tower and Holcombe Hill: Overview
Peel Tower (AKA Peel Monument) was built in 1852 to honour one of Bury’s most famous residents – Sir Robert Peel. He founded the metropolitan police force and also served twice as British Prime Minister between 1834 and 1835 as well as between 1841 and 1846. The monument is well-known to locals and is effortlessly recognisable.
As mentioned, Peel Tower is located on Harcles Hill. But, to locals, Harcles Hill is referred to as Holcombe Hill. This is because Harcles Hill is the hill that overlooks the small village of Holcombe, a sub-district of Bury. So, ipso facto, the hill has become known as Holcombe Hill. To keep things simple, I’ll use the local’s lingo (Holcombe Hill) in this guide as opposed to the official name (Harcles Hill).
Where Is Peel Tower?
Peel Tower is located in the Borough of Bury, by the small village of Holcombe, next to Ramsbottom, in Greater Manchester. The monument also falls in the West Pennine Moors, a beautiful area that Beck and I have enjoyed exploring. To help get your bearings, please click on the image below to access an interactive map on Google Maps.
Now you know the location, let’s talk about the brilliant Peel Tower and Holcombe Hill Walk.
Peel Tower and Holbome Hill Walk: Route Details and Map
- Type: Loop
- Distance: 3.2km (2 miles)
- Time: 1–1.5 hours
- Accumulated elevation gain: 135m
- Difficulty: Easy
- Trailhead: Lumb Carr Road Car Park
- Map: AllTrails
FYI – Beck and I have completed the Peel Tower and Holcombe Hill many times. It’s our local walk. So, it’s usually the walk we go on when friends and family visit. So, you’ll see a mix of photos, from different times we’ve completed the walk, in the trail description below.
Peel Tower and Holbome Hill Walk Description
Starting from Lumb Carr Road Car Park, you’ll cross the road and pass through a gate. With mostly cobblestone underfoot, you’ll begin to weave and wind your way up Holcombe Hill.
There are many side trails and shortcuts going off in different directions, but there’s a clearly defined path that’s straightforward to follow. Nearing the end of the cobblestone trail, you’ll follow an almost 90-degree bend in the trail, which transitions into an unsealed track leading you towards Peel Tower.
Standing tall on Holcombe Hill, Peel Tower dominates the landscape. Some days of the year, you can actually explore Peel Tower, even climbing to the top of the monument (more details here). But, even if the monument is closed, the views from atop Holcombe Hill are simply breathtaking.
By doing the Peel Tower and Holcombe Hill Walk, you’ll have superb sweeping countryside views of Lancashire. To the northwest, you’ll see the vast and open moorland of Holcombe Moor, whilst to the east, you’ll see villages and towns. In the distance, you’ll even have views over Manchester. On a clear day, you should be able to make out the high-rise buildings of the city skyline.
After reaching Peel Tower, you’ll continue to walk north along Holcombe Hill. Soon, you’ll loop back, passing a bench, overlooking Holcombe and Ramsbottom.
Eventually, you’ll join Moor Road and then briefly venture through the small picturesque town of Holcombe. After passing the Shoulder of Mutton, continue on Lumb Carr Road and you’ll soon arrive back at the car park. Or, stop in at the Shoulder of Mutton for a drink or a meal as part of your adventure!
How to Get There (Directions)
The quickest and easiest way to get to Peel Tower is to drive to Holcombe. In terms of direction, simply plug Lumb Carr Road Car Park into your GPS system. You’ll likely drive through the small village of Holcombe to arrive at this moderately sized free car park.
If you don’t have your own set of wheels, we recommend hiring a car using Rentalcars.com. You’ll find a wide variety of cars on Rental Cars for reasonable prices. The website is user-friendly and booking online is very straightforward.
It’s possible to get to Ramsbottom using public transport. You can get the X41 Red Express bus from Manchester to Ramsbottom. From Ramsbottom, you’re looking at an approx. 1.6km (1 mile) walk to get to Holcombe to begin the Peel Tower and Holcombe Hill Walk. We recommend using Transport for Greater Manchester and/or Google Maps to help plan your journey.
Other Nearby Walks
There are plenty of other fantastic walks in the area. Nearby, in Rivington, near Bolton, you’ve got the well-known Rivington Pike (AKA Rivington Country Park) Walk. Whilst you’re in Rivington, you should also check out Tiger’s Clough, which is a charming waterfall.
Otherwise, for information about other great nearby walks, read our West Pennine Moors Walks Guide.
Holcombe and Ramsbottom are both gorgeous villages worth exploring and spending time in. If you don’t live in the area, we highly recommend spending the weekend there. Considering Holcombe is a tiny village, you’ll find more accommodation options in the larger village of Ramsbottom. Below, you’ll find the best budget, mid-range and luxury options in Ramsbottom and the surrounding areas.
- Budget – Bury Ramsbottom Old Mill Hotel and Leisure Club: located in Ramsbottom, Bury Ramsbottom Old Mill Hotel and Leisure Club is a great budget option. Sure, the place is a little dated and rough around the edges; but, it’s a decent place to stay if you’re looking for cheaper accommodation in the area.
- Mid-range – Eagle and Child: located on Manchester Road, at the top of the hill that descends into Ramsbottom, you’ll enjoy stellar views of Peel Tower and Holcombe Hill from the Eagle and Child. The pub features quaint and cosy rooms, plus an excellent restaurant on-site.
- Mid-range – Red Hall Hotel: also located on Manchester Road, a little further south than the Eagle and Child, you’ll find Red Hall Hotel. It’s one of the most popular accommodation options in the area, which is just a short walk from the town of Ramsbottom. You’ll also enjoy splendid views of Peel Tower and the surrounding countryside from the Red Hall Hotel.
- Luxury – Brook Bottom Farm: located in Edenfield, just a stone’s throw away from Ramsbottom, you’ll find the secluded Brook Bottom Farm. This rural farmhouse escape offers luxurious apartments in a beautiful location. Having personally visited and stayed at Brook Bottom Farm, we highly recommend it.
Events and Other Things to Do in the Area
Other than doing the Peel Tower and Holcombe Hill Walk, there are other fun things to do in the area. You’ll want to ride on the famous East Lancashire Railway and visit the lovely Burrs Country Park. Whilst you could time your visit during the World Black Pudding Throwing Competition or when the Bury Hospice organises the Peel Tower abseil.
FAQs About Peel Tower
Below, you’ll find the most frequently asked questions about Peel Tower.
When Is Peel Tower Open (Opening Times)?
Of course, you can do the Peel Tower and Holcombe Hill Walk any time of year. But, Peel Tower is only open sometimes on Sunday. You’ll find a list of opening days here.
How High Is Peel Tower?
Peel Tower’s height is 39 metres (128 feet).
When Was Peel Tower Built?
It was built in 1852.
Why Was Peel Tower Built?
To honour Sir Robert Peel.
What Was Peel Tower Used For?
The tower never served any particular purpose other than to honour Sir Robert Peel. Although, the tower is now used for traditional local events. A local Easter tradition involves locals walking to the monument on Good Friday.
Where to Park For Peel Tower?
You should park at the Lumb Carr Road Car Park in Holcombe.
These are our five gear essentials for doing the Peel Tower and Holcombe Hill Walk.
- Merrell Moab Mid Gore-Tex Hiking Boots: these hiking boots are super comfortable and lightweight.
- The North Face Venture Jacket: a fantastic windproof/waterproof jacket.
- Osprey Skarab 30L Day Backpack: an excellent backpack for walking, which has plenty of space to store your gear.
- The North Face TKA Glacier Fleece Jacket: an excellent warmth:weight ratio fleece jacket that’ll help keep you warm.
- Columbia Convertible Trousers: a value for money pair of water-resistant convertible trousers.
Additional Information and Bonus Tips
- An extended walk: if you’d like to do a longer walk involving Peel Tower, then consider the Holcombe Hill and Bull Hill Loop Walk.
- Explore Ramsbottom: this charming village has quaint churches, houses, stores, cafes, pubs and restaurants. It’s certainly worth visiting and exploring.
- Other nearby towers: Rivington Pike and Darwen Tower are two nearby towers that require an excellent walk to reach.
- Explore national parks in the north of England: make sure to also check out Northumberland, the Lake District (coming soon), the Peak District, the North York Moors and Yorkshire Dales.
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