WITH a third national lockdown currently in place, people are going back to nature for their daily exercise outing.

But in recent days, there have been issues with people travelling several miles to well known sites— Rivington for example ­— which is said to go against the spirit of lockdown.

Now one couple believe they have happened on the perfect walk, which takes in the most scenic parts of Bolton ­— the seemingly forgotten Rotary Way.

This Is Lancashire: Russell Brookes and Louise Mort

(Russell Brookes and Louise Mort)

Russell Brookes, who lives in Westhoughton, came across a sign for Bolton Rotary Way while out walking in Dunscar before coming across another sign in Atherton, before the third national lockdown. 

Russell said: "I was out with the children and grandchildren and didn't want to go to where everyone goes to, like Rivington, Moss Bank Park, so decided to walk through Dunscar.

"When I saw the second sign I decided to look it into further.

Louise Mort, his partner said: "We saw a couple of signs for the Rotary Way, discovering this was an old route circulating the boundaries off Bolton on mostly trails we decided to run the route.

"On running the route we discovered some wonderful unknown paths and trails taking you all around the outskirts of Bolton."

Russell, who runs RnL Fitness with Louise, added: "It is a 50-mile loop around Bolton and I want to highlight it to give others a chance to go and explore and walk this route.

"It was very eye opening for me and my partner are both ultra runners.

"The you can jump on the Rotary Way from wherever you live in Bolton, though it is harder the closer to the town centre you live and you can make it as easy or as a challenging as you like.

"My favourite part of the walk is through Westhoughton and Adlington and towards Horwich.

"The walk takes you through woods, forests by the canal."

The Bolton Rotary Way was created as part of the 2005 Rotary centenary project, which was promoted by all seven Bolton Rotary Clubs ­— and said Russell is the perfect way of exploring the borough by foot.

The long-distance circular footpath closely follows the boundary of Bolton and is just over 50 miles long. The route includes industrial heritage sites, reservoirs, historic estates, memorials and country parks.

The official start of the route is at Affetside. Following the route clockwise, it visits Bottom o’ the Moor, Bradley Fold, Little Lever, River Irwell, Nob End, Prestolee Road, Ringley, Clifton Country Park, Kearsley, Blackleach Country Park, Farnworth, New Park Wood (Hag Fold), Westhoughton, Daisy Hill, Borsdane Wood, Scot Lane End, Little Scotland, Arley Lane, Arley Wood, Adlington, Bolton West Services (M61), Lower Rivington Reservoir, Rivington Moor (Winter Hill), Smithills Moor, Horrocks Moor, Delph Reservoir, Dimple and Jumbles Country Park before returning to Affetside.

This Is Lancashire: Rotary Way discovered by Louise Mort and Russell Brookes

(Rotary Way)

But said Russell, the walk can be started at any point.

Louise said: "At RnL fitness we promote outdoor activity for mental wellbeing and in current times this is so important. We did the 49 mile route in 2 runs ­—we ended up doing 56 miles ­—,but there are a variety of sections can be broken down into some picturesque adventures.

"It’s a shame some of the route has been left to over grow and a few footpaths closed off , but theres always a way through and the signs still remain to guide you along the way."

Russell said: "I will be running it in the summer."

For more information on Bolton Rotary Way click here.