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5 Scenic Walks in Manchester

Home > Manchester > Day Trips | Outdoor | Parks | Walks
by Millie Kyle (subscribe)
Blogger and writer who enjoys a good read. You'll find me in Manchester or London in a coffee shop or wine bar.
Published December 5th 2017
People tend to overlook the natural side of Manchester and the surrounding area. People visit the city in flocks and spend their time doing the usual city activities, like dining, drinking, shopping, and they leave without experiencing the scenic beauty that Manchester has to offer. I'm going to show you just some of the most scenic walks that you can find in, and around, the city.

Chorlton Water Park


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Chorlton Water Park is a nature reserve amongst the bustle of the city, which holds a picturesque lake surrounded by grasslands and woodlands. There is a network of easy walking paths, along with a lovely, small playground (for ages 12 and under) – so it's perfect for young families. There are lots of hidden areas to escape into and appreciate, and I would recommend this area for photographers; the lake is especially beautiful when you can catch the early morning fog. It's around 170-acres and so you could keep coming back and trying different pathways out.

Historic Houses, Highest Hill


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This scenic walk will take you from the medieval manor house, Smithills Hall, up onto Winter Hill. This hill reaches a height of almost 1,500 feet and is the highest hill in the West Pennine Moors. During this walk, you can be privileged with the view over to the Peak District and Pennines, to North Wales. I particularly love this walk because it conveniently returns to where you began so there's no need to see all the same sights again! You can choose from the easier 4-mile walk or the more strenuous 8-mile walk which is much more rugged and reaches higher heights. This walk is also fantastic for photographers, as you'll definitely want to photograph the quaint Barrow Bridge, which is where you will begin to end the walk. Full details for this walk can be found here.

Worsley Village


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Worsley is a typically beautiful, old, British village with a leisurely walk to meander along. The trail is approximately 3-miles long and so is perfect for elderly couples, and young families; it begins at the Worsley Court House and takes you through the lovely village where you can admire the canals, and explore the Worsley Woodland. There are many quaint restaurants and pubs to choose from along the way, as well as a lot of history and culture to absorb; I particularly love it when you can learn about a places heritage whilst walking. The Worsley Woods is around 30 hectares, and there are self-guided trails to choose from.

Cheshire Ring Canal Walk


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This walk is a huge undertaking and yet is classed as an easy walk on many walking websites. It follows six historic canals through Cheshire, Greater Manchester, and Staffordshire, which make it an incredibly interesting walk for anyone enthused by canals. It's certainly not a tedious walk, as you will pass countryside as well as urban areas, so it is constantly changing. It can take around a week to complete, and the distance is around 98miles. With a walk like this, it's vital to have a pre-planned route; I use the walking route planner on Hikideas for this because it's simple and reliable.

South Pennine Water Trail, Rochdale


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This walk is around 5 miles and takes an average of 2-3 hours to complete. You will walk along many locks and end at the gorgeous Hollingworth Lake – there's something so rewarding about ending your walk at a large body of water, especially when the final stretch of the walk is quite difficult too!

Whichever of these walks that you choose to embark upon, you will undoubtedly be in awe of the natural beauty that is within and beyond the city of Manchester. I hope I have convinced you that there is certainly more to this city than just dining, shopping, and drinking!
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