The Peel Tower is one of the most impressive sights in North West England. It stands 128 feet high on Holcombe Hill, overlooking the village of Holcombe and the town of Ramsbottom.
The tower, also known as the Peel Monument, was one of two monuments opened in the Bury area in 1852 to commemorate the life of Sir Robert Peel (1788 – 1850). The other is the statue in the Market Place, Bury.
Peel was born in Ramsbottom in 1788. The Conservative politician served twice as Prime Minister (1834 – 1835, 1841 – 1846) and also has Chancellor of the Exchequer and Home Secretary. His major accomplishments included reforming criminal law, establishing the Metropolitan Police Service, and abolishing the Corn Laws.
The views from the top of the Peel Tower are amazing. Climb the 148 steps and you will be rewarded not only with great views of Ramsbottom and Holcombe Moor, but also Manchester, Cheshire, and North Wales.
Unfortunately, the tower is not open most days of the year. Volunteers occasionally open in on Sundays, in which case there will be a white flag flying from the top of the tower. If you wish to confirm opening times in advance of your visit call the Bury Tourist Information Centre on 0161 253 5111.
Even if the tower isn’t open when you visit, the views from Holcombe Hill and the base of the tower are still well worth a trip.
A good starting place for a fairly easy walk up Holcombe Hill to the tower is the Shoulder of Mutton pub on Moor Road in Holcombe village. From here walk to Cross Lane, then Moorbottom Road, and then take the track to Peel Tower. The route is well signposted and there will usually be plenty of other walkers that you can follow.
If you don’t fancy giving the pub your custom, you can park your vehicle at the car park on Lumb Carr Road, roughly one third of a mile from the Shoulder of Mutton. Street parking is also available on Cross Lane, Lumb Carr Road, and Chapel Lane.
You could also begin the walk in Ramsbottom. Our six mile circular walk from Ramsbottom begins at the East Lancashire Railway’s Ramsbottom Train Station and takes in the Peel Tower, Holcombe Moor, and Stubbins. Complete the whole walk or just the section from Ramsbottom to the tower.
Note: The postcode given in the information box below is for the Shoulder of Mutton. The Peel Tower is an unoccupied monument and does not have its own postcode.
The Peel Tower is one of several great viewpoints on the West Pennine Moors. Others include Darwen Tower and Rivington Pike.
Reviews and Additional Information
Went up there this afternoon with a friend as I have lived in Middleton for ten years. Seen it every day and wondered what it was like. Awesome views!
How long is the walk to the top from the Shoulder of Mutton? How does the walk compare with Rivington Pike? Really enjoyed Rivington but thought the route to the summit could be better signed. There were colour coded posts, only wish I knew what the colours meant.
They don’t build them like this today. Fantastic views from the hill top and even better if you find the tower open. Holcombe Village a little gem. Nice food and a good pint in the Shoulder of Mutton makes the walk even better.
good walk up the hillside,i have driven past it many times,but glad i have actually been to the summit,great views of manchester and the north west
just moved to the local area and one of my favourite places to run to and escape
Overcast day but still didn’t spoil a good walk up to the tower. Views great once the overcast conditions eventually lifted.
Truly a fantastic view from up there, so peaceful. I myself (Gavin) could have sat there for ever! Would love to go inside the tower and to the top some day.
Hi The tower is open if we get volunteers on some Sundays to the Public – if the flag is flying then it is open. Small fee applies. Tower is opened by volunteer groups who also provide refreshments, proceeds on ticket sales goes to their selected charity. If you are interested in opening the tower for your charity please contact Bury Tourist information and ask to be put through to Lesley. We welcome school groups during the week as well as fundraising abseil events.
Special open Sunday today so ventured up with my 3 sons and ex partner. Once my sons overcame the sheer drop from within the stairway they loved the amazing views from the top, helped on by the strong wind. Well worth the hike.
Lovely summit and views, but couldn’t anybody think of putting a few benches outside the tower for people to sit and enjoy the scenery. All the more so after the climb from the road down below.
Hi as a council we have put numerous benches outside the tower. Unfortunately they get destroyed within a very short time frame. Sorry.
Peel Tower was Built in 1851 and officially opened in 1852. Built by public subscription by the people of Ramsbottom.
I will be visiting Peel Tower this weekend to celebrate my late father’s birthday. He would have been 80. I will be taking a cake and balloons. His initials are still etched there 66 years later.
I worked at Peel tower from 1987-1990, when it was open on Sat & Sun every week. Went from boiling a kettle on a dusty floor when it first opened, to dishing out tea, coffee & ice cream once the counter was put in and the windows were more than just iron railings! Used to put the flag up every weekend and take it down again (171 steps to the top). It was some weekend job, but loved every minute of it!
I used to live nearby in the 70s. I remember walking up to the tower with school friends in the summer holidays. I left to live in Portsmouth in 1976.
One of the best places to visit in Lancashire.
It was a bit more of a walk than going to the Waterfoot chippy on Saturday night, but the view at the top was better than the cod & chips. By eck these bobbies knew how to build watch towers. Not much crime for miles around though as the tower is in middle of nowhere on top of a hill. Not many pub louts going to be bothered to go up there at night!
I enjoyed the walk to Peel Tower with my husband Garry and two kids last week. It was a hike to get to the top but the children had fun and it was well worth it for the views from the top. They were breathtaking.
Well Peel tower was built in 1851 and opened to the public in 1852. Built by public subscription from the people of Ramsbottom.
Fantastic views from the summit.
I know what John means about the foreign restaurant. Totally out of keeping with the area. I can’t imagine how they got planning permission. It should be a tea & ice cream cum gift shop in a place like that. It’s a lovely place, and well worth a visit. There’s a 6 mile circular walk that includes the tower. We met some ladies who were en route and we intend to try it next time we’re there.
This is an amazing walk. It’s tough at first but well worth it for the spectacular views.
We walked up there today. Great views but what ever you do…DO NOT GO UP THE PATH BEHIND THE HARE AND HOUNDS!!!!!!
It sent us on some kind of Lord Of The Rings quest to get to the top.
And you may end up walking through a mine field.
Locally it’s called ‘Holcombe Hill’ and at Easter, people walk up there; some fit people run up there. Those who mentioned driving up probably broke some bye law. I think cars are prohibited. It’s a bit of a hike but little kids and old biddies manage it quite well. There’s now some kind of madrassa at the approach to the hill which I must say disturbs me. I don’t remember voting for an alien invasion.
What is it that disturbs you? Their skin colour or cloaks perhaps. Get over it mate, it is 2015 not sixties
I agree with Mick. Rivington Pike seems to be better but Peel Tower is also an excellent place. I was doing abseiling on this tower few days ago. Loved it!
Not quite as good as Rivington Pike, but still a decent view.
Is a bumpy drive but, when your up there nice and warm with a brew in the car, with complete panoramic view, its breathtaking.
I walked up there this afternoon, tiring – but brilliant views from the top!!!
Tough cycle ride up there, but worth the sweat and aching legs. On a clear day you can see landmarks such as Blackpool Tower and Jodrell Bank.
Glorious views. A lovely family friendly walk with a 3 wheeled buggy. Excellent food at the (child friendly) pub close by. A super day out.
Fantastic views across my beloved home town. I could sit up there all day.
Tough walk to the top for an old man like me, but fantastic views once you get there.