Bolton CHA Rambling Club

The Friendly Ramblers


Bolton CHA Rambling Club was founded in 1905 and celebrated it’s centenary year in 2005. The CHA itself was founded in 1891.

The birth of  the Countrywide Holidays Association (CHA) was in the small mill town of Colne in Lancashire. In 1891 a prominent figure in the town, T. A. Leonard took a party of 30 young men on holiday to Ambleside in the lake district, and to Caernarfon the following year. The holidays were intended to improve the lives of working people and were an alternative to the excesses of the local wakes weeks.

In January 1897 the draft constitution of the association was drawn up at the Manchester YMCA and a small company was founded to make the association a legal entity, with the title the cooperative holiday association. A head office was established in Manchester in 1908 and by 1936 30,837 guest weeks were enjoyed at 37 centres at home and abroad.

In 1964 the name was changed to the Countrywide Holiday Association thereby keeping the same initials. In the 1990’s the original company ceased trading but many of the associated clubs across the country continued to function and many also retained their original cha name. Bolton CHA Rambling Club remains very active and we welcome and encourage new members to join us and enjoy the simple pleasure of walking in the beautiful Lancashire countryside and beyond.