Greater Manchester Walks
Please use the links below to view full route information including descriptions, elevation profiles, interactive maps and GPS downloads.
You can also view an overview map of all the routes in the using the Greater Manchester Walk Map
|Blackleach Country Park||1 miles (2 km)||This country park in Walkden has nice footpaths to follow around the lake and through woodland. It's a nice peaceful place to visit with lots of birdlife to look out for on the lake. These include Herons, Tufted Ducks, Goosander, Water Rail, Coots and Moorhen. There's a car park and visitor centre where you can pick up the lakeside trail. You can also come by public transport as Walkden train station is only about a mile away.|
This route is designed for walkers but a cycle route runs through the northern end of the park. National Cycle Network Route 55 also runs close to the park. You could follow it from the centre of Manchester, through Salford and Roe Green to Walkden.
If you feel like extending your walking in the area then you could head to the nearby Moses Gate Country Park. It's only a couple of miles to the north and covers 750 acres with a number of nice cycling and walking trails. The site is located on the outskirts of Bolton and includes three lakes while the Rivers Croal and Irwell also run through the park.
Also nearby is Clifton Country Park. Located alongside the River Irwell the park contains walking and cycling trails with features including a pretty lake, woodland, meadows and an arboretum.
|Bollin Valley Way||25 miles (40 km)||Follow the River Bollin from Macclesfield to Partington on this delightful waterside walk through Greater Manchester and Cheshire.|
The walk starts at the Macclesfield Riverside Park and follows the river through Prestbury, Wilmslow, Hale and Bowdon to Partington on the Manchester Ship Canal.
On the route you will pass the 18th century Grade II listed Mottram Hall and National Trust owned Dunham Massey Hall. This Georgian House is set in a magnificent 121-hectare (300-acre) deer park and boasts Britain's largest winter garden.
As well as the River Bollin there are also views of the Bridgwater Canal and a short final section along the Manchester Ship Canal into Partington.
|Bolton Rotary Way Footpath||50 miles (80 km)||Enjoy industrial heritage, reservoirs, historic estates, memorials and country parks on this circular walk around Bolton. The walk visits Adlington, West Houghton, Blackrod and Farnworth. Walk highlights include Jumbles and Rivington Reservoirs, Blackleath Country Park and a waterside stretch along the Leeds & Liverpool canal.|
|Bridgewater Way||38 miles (61 km)||A walk along the Bridgewater canal, through Cheshire, Greater Manchester and on into Lancashire. The route passes Salford, Trafford, Manchester, Warrington and Halton. |
When complete the Bridgewater Way will also be open to cyclists.
|Burrs Country Park||2 miles (3 km)||This walk takes you around the pretty Burrs Country Park, situated on the River Irwell just north of Bury. Habitats include woodland, open space, wetland, ponds and waterway. Facilites include a visitor centre and a cafe. The Irwell Sculpture Trail runs through the park so you could continue your walk along the River Irwell.|
|Chadkirk Country Estate||2 miles (3 km)||This pretty country park is located on the River Goyt near Marple. The estate includes a 60 acre farm, an old orchard, woodland and a 16th century chapel with an audio visual presentation on the history of the site. The Etherow Goyt Valley Way runs through the park so you can continue your walk through the beautiful Goyt Valley on this trail.|
|Cheshire Ring Canal Walk||98 miles (158 km)||This nice easy walk follows six historic canals through Cheshire, Greater Manchester and Staffordshire. |
The canal towpaths you will follow include:
The videos below show the sections along the Rochdale canal in Manchester and along the Peak Forest Canal at Marple.
|Clifton Country Park||3 miles (5.5 km)||This country park and nature reserve is located between Bolton and Manchester in Salford. Situated on the River Irwell it contains a pretty lake, woodland, meadows and an arboretum. The Irwell Sculpture Trail walking route runs through the park where you will find two of the sculptures from the trail. A cycle trail also runs through the park so you can bring your bike.|
If you would like to continue your walking in the area then you could to Blackleach Country Park. Here you'll find a nice walking trail along a pretty lake with lots of birdlife to look out for.
Also nearby is Moses Gate Country Park. The park covers 750 acres with a number of nice cycling and walking trails to try. The site is located on the outskirts of Bolton and includes three lakes while the Rivers Croal and Irwell also run through the park.
|Cown Edge Way||17 miles (28 km)||Visit the striking Cown Edge rocks on this walk through Greater Manchester and Derbyshire.|
The path starts at Hazel Grove and heads east towards Marple where you can enjoy waterside stretches along the Macclesfield and Peak Forest Canals and views of the River Goyt. You then begin the ascent to Cown Edge, passing Hollywood End on the way. The path then takes you along Cown Edge Rocks and Coombe Edge Rocks where there are splendid views of the Peak District.
At Coombe Edge the route turns west towards Charlesworth before taking you over the River Etherow to Werneth Low and then onto the finish point at Gee Cross.
|Crompton Circuit||11 miles (18 km)||This circular walk takes you around Shaw near Oldham. |
The path starts at the car park at Crompton Fold and takes you to Crompton Moor, Moss Hey and High Crompton.
|Daisy Nook Country Park||1 miles (2 km)||Enjoy waterways, a lake, a canal, woodlands and wildflower meadows in this lovely country park in the Medlock Valley.|
|Debdale Park||3 miles (4.5 km)||This 130 acre park includes waterside cycling and walking trails around Lower Gorton Reservoir. The park is the start point for the traffic free Fallowfield Loop cycle route which runs along the National Cycle Network to Chorlton.|
|Dunham Massey||3 miles (5 km)||This is a splendid circular walk around the impressive grounds of Dunham Massey Hall, in Altrincham, Greater Manchester. You will pass through the magnificent deer park with its 17th century mill and the tranquil Island and Smithy pools. There is also the spectacular new Rose Garden and the Georgian Dunham Massey Hall to explore.|
|Etherow Country Park||4 miles (6 km)||Enjoy a stroll along the River Etherow and around the large reservoir in this pretty country park near Marple and Stockport. The park also includes a mill pond, woodland and the 32 acre Compstall Nature Reserve. |
The Etherow Goyt Valley Way and the Goyt Way walking routes run through the park so there is scope for continuing your walk on these trails.
|Etherow Goyt Valley Way||14 miles (22 km)||This walk runs from Stockport to Hadfield along the Rivers Goyt and Etherow.|
The path starts in Vernon Park on the River Goyt in Stockport and follows the river toEtherow Country Park near Marple. This is a lovely section with a reservoir, woodland and a variety of wildlife to enjoy. The walk then joins the River Etherow following it to Broadbottom and then onto Bottoms Reservoir in Hadfield.
There is a challenging climb near Broadbottom on this route but with fantastic views over the surrounding area.
|Fletcher Moss Park||1 miles (1 km)||Fletcher Moss is a beautiful botanical garden located in Didsbury, Manchester. The gardens contain a wide range of ornamental trees and shrubs, including Chusan palms, tulip trees, mulberry, dawn redwood and various dwarf conifers. There are also pretty rock gardens, little waterfalls and ponds. The gardens attract a wide variety of birdlife so you can sit enjoy the birdsong for a while. A short walk from Fletcher Moss takes you to the adjacent Parsonage gardens where you will find several large yew trees and pretty flower beds. |
The Trans Pennine Trail runs past the park so you could pick this up and enjoy a walk along the River Mersey. Stenner Woods nature reserve is also right next to the park so this is another good option if you'd like to extend your walk.
|Glazebrook Trail||10 miles (16 km)||This easy trail follows Glaze Brook from Pennington to Cadishead.|
The trail starts in the lovely Pennington Flash Country Park in Leigh. This nature reserve has a 173 acre lake and is home to a variety of birdlife. You then follow Glaze Brook and Pennington Brook south to Glazebury and then onto Cadishead on the Manchester Ship Canal.
|Goyt Way||10 miles (16 km)||Follow the Goyt Way along the Peak Forest Canal and the River Goyt on this lovely waterside walk through Greater Manchester and Derbyshire.|
The walk starts by Etherow Country Park Lake in Compstall and heads south through Marple and New Mills to Whaley Bridge. The first section through Marple follows the towpath of the Peak Forest Canal, passing pretty locks on the way. You then join the River Goyt to New Mills before picking up the Canal again near Whaley Bridge where the route finishes. The final section through New Mills passes the wonderful Torrs Riverside Park and Millennium Way, a beautiful river gorge with a fabulous 160 metre long walkway elevated over the water.
|Haigh Hall Country Park||2 miles (3.5 km)||Enjoy a walk around this large country park near Wigan. The walk includes a stretch along the Leeds - Liverpool canal and through peaceful woodland.|
There's 250 acres to explore with magnificent views across the Douglas Valley to the Welsh Hills. There is also a miniature steam railway track around the grounds.
|Hartside Pike||2 miles (3.5 km)||Climb this hill in Greater Manchester for great views over Ashton-under-Lyne, Mossley and Oldham. At the summit you will find the 19th century Hartshead Pike Tower, a Grade II Listed building. From the 267 m (876 ft) summit you can enjoy views over the Pennines. |
The walk starts near Mossley train station and climbs past Luzley Brows and Luzley Hall to Mossley Cross. You continue to Hartside Pike before descending back to the town via Broad Carr.
If you would like to continue your walking in the area then you could pick up the Oldham Way which runs past Hartside Pike. You could also pick up the Tame Valley Way and enjoy a walk along the River Tame through Mossley.
|Heaton Park||3 miles (5 km)||Enjoying cycling and walking in this huge park in Prestwich, Manchester. It is the largest park in Manchester and the largest municipal park in Europe, covering an area of over 600 acres. Attractions in the park include the 18th century Heaton Hall, an 18-hole golf course with driving range, a boating lake, an animal farm, woodlands, ornamental gardens, an observatory and a tram system.|
|Highfield Country Park||2 miles (3 km)||This 70 acre park is also a local nature reserve with a number of country walks and a cycle track. It is located in Levenshulme in Manchester - a short walk from the train station. |
The park has peaceful woodland paths and a variety of plantlife and birdlife.
|Hollingworth Lake||2 miles (3 km)||Enjoy a lovely walk around this 130 acre reservoir in Littleborough. There is some beautiful scenery surrounding the lake and a nature reserve with a bird hide. You can also try kayaking and windsurfing on the lake with equipment available for hire. |
The Rochdale Way walking route passes through the park so there is scope for continuing your walk. The Rochdale Canal also passes near the lake so you could continue your waterside exercise along the towpath.
|Irwell Sculpture Trail||30 miles (48 km)||Follow the River Irwell on this splendid waterside walk through Greater Manchester and enjoy over 70 artworks by renowned artists. |
The walk starts at Salford Quays and follows the trail north through Bury and Ramsbottom towards Bacup. The walk visits riverside parks including Clifton Country Park and Burrs Country Park, and also includes a stretch along the Bury Canal.
The trail also visits a series of art galleries and museums including the Lowry and the East Lancashire Railway.
|Jumbles Country Park||2 miles (3 km)||Enjoy a short stroll around Jumbles Reservoir in this pretty country park in Bolton. The park is set within the beautiful West Pennine Moors with a lovely waterside footpath around the reservoir. There are also good facilities with a visitor centre and cafe.|
The park is located just a couple of miles north east of Bolton city centre, near to the Lancashire village of Chapeltown. If you have time you could continue your walk along the Witton Weavers Way to the nearby Wayoh Reservoir and Nature Reserve.
|Ladybrook Valley Interest Trail||10 miles (16 km)||This walk follows various brooks from Cheadle to Disley via Hazel Grove.|
You start off at Abney Hall Park in Cheadle. The park has lovely grounds and the interesting Abney Hall built in 1847 and makes for a fine start point. From here you follow the Micker Brook to the grand Brammall Hall. Bramall Hall is one of Cheshire's grandest black and white timber-framed Tudor manor houses and also has 70 acres of beautiful parkland. The trail then joins the Lady Brook, following it to Poynton Park in Hazel Grove where you will walk alongside the attractive Poynton Lake. The final section takes you along Norbury Brook to Middlewood, before crossing the Macclesfield Canal and finishing at Disley.
|Leeds and Liverpool Canal||126 miles (203 km)||Enjoy waterside cycling and walking along Britain's longest single canal. It runs for 126 miles across the Pennines, passing many villages, towns and cities with a fascinating heritage and industrial history. There are also umpteen pretty locks, viaducts and some wonderful countryside to enjoy. |
Walkers can enjoy the whole route from Leeds to Liverpool, while there are several sections for cyclists too. If you are on a bike then you can follow Sustrans National Cycle Route 66 from the start at Leeds to just outside Silsden. There's another Sustrans section around Barnoldswick and from Nelson to Burnley in Lancashire. The section from Chorley to Adlington is also open to cyclists.
Highlights on the route include the impressive 5 rise locks at Bingley, Wigan Pier and the lovely Foulridge Reservoir in Colne. Near Burscough you'll pass the wonderful Martin Mere Nature Reserve where you can look out for otters, flamingos, beavers and thousands of water loving birds. You can also link up with the Rufford Branch of the canal and head to Rufford Hall.
|Macclesfield to Marple - Middlewood Way||11 miles (18 km)||Follow the Middlewood Way - a lovely off road cycle and walking path running from Macclesfield to Marple and passing by the Macclesfield Canal.|
|Medlock Valley Way||12 miles (20 km)||Follow the Medlock Valley Way from Manchester City Centre to Bishop Park near Oldham on foot or take your bike for the first section to Clayton Vale.|
You start off near Piccadilly station and head east along the River Medlock, passing Manchester City Football Stadium and Phillips Park before entering a lovely section of parkland and woodland through Clayton Vale. You continue past Droylsden and the pretty Daisy Nook Country Park with the final section taking you through Strines Dale to Bishop Park.
This is a lovely, fairly easy waterside walk that takes you through some attractive parkland and woodland. There are also some splendid views of the surrounding countryside during the final ascents at Strines Dale and Bishop park.
NB.The first part of the trail to Clayton Vale is open to cyclists forming part of regional route 86. Please click here for a pdf description and map.
|Moses Gate Country Park||3 miles (5 km)||This large country park in Bolton covers 750 acres and includes a number of splendid cycling and walking trails. The River Croal and River Irwell run through the park and there are 3 pretty lakes, so there is some lovely waterside walking and cycling to enjoy. The park is excellent for bird watching with a bird hide next to one of the lakes. |
Facilities in the park include a visitor centre and some excellent play areas for children. The park is located just a few miles south of Bolton next to Moses Gate train station.
If you would like to continue your walking in the area then you could head a couple of miles south and visit Blackleach Country Park. Here you'll find a nice walking trail along a pretty lake with lots of birdlife to look out for.
Also nearby is Clifton Country Park. Located alongside the River Irwell the park contains walking and cycling trails with features including a pretty lake, woodland, meadows and an arboretum.
|North Cheshire Way||70 miles (113 km)||Starting at Hooton Station, near Ellesmere Port, follow the North Cheshire Way through Frodsham, Northwich, Knutsford and Wilmslow to the finish point at Disley.
Highlights on the walk include:
|Pennington Flash Country Park||4 miles (6 km)||This 490 acre park is located in Leigh, Greater Manchester. The main feature is the 170 acre lake which is now a nature reserve with a number of bird hides. Over 200 bird species have been spotted at the park such as Black-faced Bunting, Nightingale, Marsh Harrier, Spoonbill and Leach's Storm-petre.
The park has a number of well maintained paths suitable for cyclists or walkers.|
Facilities include an information centre, mobile cafe and nine hole golf course. The Bridgwater Canal also passes through the park so you can continue your walk/cycle along the towpath if you have time.
|Prestwich Forest Park||3 miles (5 km)||Enjoy a peaceful walk or cycle in this pretty country park in Bury. The park covers an area of approximately 500 acres and includes some lovely woodland trails and a waterside path along the River Irwell. |
Prestwich Forest is located on the Irwell Sculpture Trail and right next to Clifton Country Park so there is scope for continuing your outing if you have time. Philips Park is located at the western end of Prestwich Forest and contains an excellent mountain bike track - see video below for details.
|Reddish Vale Country Park||2 miles (3 km)||This 400 acre park lies just a couple of miles north of Stockport in the Tame Valley. The park contains a Visitor Centre, Community Orchard and Garden, Butterfly Conservation Field and a Dipping Pond. There are also peaceful woodland walks, a waterside path along the River Tame and two reservoirs which attract plenty of wildlife.|
Both the Trans Pennine Trail and the Midshires Way run through the park. You can follow both these trails on towards Stockport either on a bike or on foot. The park is conveniently located a short distance from Reddish South and Brinnington railway stations.
|Rochdale Canal||33 miles (53 km)||Follow the Rochdale canal from Manchester to Sowerby Bridge on this waterside route through Greater Manchester and Yorkshire. It starts in the city centre of Manchester and runs for about 33 miles through the Pennine Hills. The canal is an excellent way to see the Pennines without too much effort as the towpath is largely flat.|
You start off in Manchester just to the north of Piccadilly train station at the Castlefield Basin. The canal then heads to Rochdale passing through Failsworth and Chadderton on the way. Near Rochdale you will pass the lovely Hollingworth Lake which is worth a small detour.
The route continues through Littleborough to Todmorden where there is the opportunity to visit Stoodley Pike. The challenging climb to the monument gives gives great views over the surrounding area.
The next section runs from Todmorden to Hebden Bridge giving wonderful views of Calderdale and the Pennine Hills. If you have time you could visit the wonderful Hardcastle Crags just north of Hebden Bridge. Here you will find streams, beautiful waterfalls and the fantastic Gibson Mill.
The final stretch runs from Hebden Bridge to Sowerby Bridge passing the pretty village of Mytholmroyd. The canal then joins the Calder and Hebble Navigation which is also great for a walk or cycle.
The canal is excellent for cycling with National Cycle Network Route 66 running along the towpath for most of the way.
|Rochdale Way||45 miles (72 km)||A fabulous circular walk around Rochdale which visits a series of lovely reservoirs and includes a section along the River Roch. The walk visits Blackstone Edge, Healey Dell, Knowl Hill, Tandle Hill, Queens Park and the Piethorne Valley. There are several challenging climbs but with the reward of splendid views of the area.|
|Rossendale Way||41 miles (66 km)||This circular walk takes you on a tour of the lovely Rossendale area of Lancashire and Greater Manchester.|
The path passes Haslingden, Whitworth, Stubbins and Healey with a series of attractive reservoirs including Cowpe and Calf Hey real highlights. The walk also takes you through the delightful Healey Dell Nature Reserve with waterfalls and wildlife to enjoy here. The views of the South Pennine hills are also splendid and make a fine backdrop to the walk.
|Smithills Country Park||2 miles (3.5 km)||Enjoy 2000 acres of cycling and walking trails in this large country park in Bolton. The parkland surrounds the Grade 1-listed Smithills Hall with a history dating back to the 14th century. Smithills includes lakes, woodland, farmland and moorland with superb views of the West Pennine Moors.|
|Stalybridge Country Park||4 miles (7 km)||This country park contains several large reservoirs and some beautiful open moorland. It is ideal for walking and cycling with the super Pennine Bridleway and the Tame Valley Way both passing through the park. You can stay in the lower part of the Brushes Valley and around Carrbrook for flatter, well surfaced paths or climb to Wild Bank where there are fabulous views of the Pennine Moors. The waterside stretch along Walkerwood, Brushes and Swineshaw reservoirs is particularly lovely. The park is located a couple of miles east of the centre of Stalybridge.|
|Tame Valley Way||23 miles (37 km)||Follow the River Tame through Greater Manchester from Stockport to Denshaw on this waterside walk. The trail passes through Ashton-under-Lyne, Stalybridge and Mossley and includes woodland sections as well as the extended sections along the River Tame and Huddersfield Narrow Canal. Also of interest isReddish Vale Country Park, which sits right on the River Tame.|
|Tandle Hill Country Park||2 miles (3 km)||Explore 110 acres of beech woodland and open grassland in this country park in Royton. At the highest point in the park there is a war memorial commemorating the men of Royton who died during the First World War. There are also views across the Manchester Plain and the Pennine Hills. Facilities include a cafe and a Countryside Centre with leaflets and information displays on the local area, wildlife and countryside.|
There are two way-marked walking trails in the park. The green trail follows well surfaced paths and is suitable for wheelchairs and pushchairs. The blue trail is more hilly and not suitable for wheelchairs and pushchairs. The Thornham cycle trail also passes through the park and offers a nice ride on well layed out paths. You could also continue your walk along the Rochdale Way which runs through Tandle Hill.
|Trans Pennine Trail||215 miles (346 km)||This terrific walking and cycling trail runs from coast to coast across northern England entirely on surfaced paths. It starts on the Yorkshire coast at Hornsea and passes through Yorkshire, Derbyshire and Greater Manchester before finishing on the Merseyside coast at Southport.|
|Weighver's Way||9 miles (14 km)||This is a terrific, challenging walk from Littleborough to Catley Lane Head, Rochdale.|
The path begins at the lovely Hollingworth Lake and heads through Littleborough along the Rochdale Canal. The next section climbs to the beautiful Watergrove Reservoir which is a lovely place to stop for a picnic. You then pass Whitworth on your way to the splendid Healey Dell Nature Reserve. This attractive reserve sits in the Spodden Valley and right on the route. It is a real trail highlight with water mills, wildlife, picnic areas and the 1867 Healey Dell Viaduct. Shortly after the route finishes at Catley Lane Head.
|Werneth Low Country Park||2 miles (4 km)||Enjoy fantastic views across Manchester and the Pennine Hills in this 200 acre country park. On a clear day the hills of North Wales are also visible beyond the Cheshire plain. In the park there are well surfaced footpaths and bridleways suitable for mountain biking. |
The Cown Edge Way and the Trans Pennine Trail both run through the park so there is scope for continuing your walk/cycle. The park is located just 9 miles from Manchester city centre.