15 Best Walks in Manchester (Hikes & Nice Walks)

15 Best Walks in Manchester (Hikes & Nice Walks)

By will

Manchester is a vibrant and bustling city, full of exciting sights, sounds, and activities.

But if you’re looking for something different to do in the city, why not take in some of the best walks Manchester has to offer?

From leisurely strolls around town to more challenging hikes through the countryside, these 15 walks have something for everyone.

1. Tandle Hill View Point

Tandle Hill trig point
Photo by John Slater

Tandle Hill View Point is a great place to enjoy some of the best walks in Manchester.

Situated on the edge of Oldham, this stunning viewpoint offers breathtaking views over the city and beyond.

On a clear day, you can see for miles and appreciate the beauty of this part of Greater Manchester.

The walk-up Tandle Hill is an easy incline, making it accessible for all ages and abilities.

The hilltop is also home to several interesting attractions, including a Victorian folly tower built in 1853 and a restored windmill from 1798.

Along the way, you’ll come across ancient woodland, meadows full of wildflowers, and wildlife-rich ponds.

Whether you’re looking for a leisurely stroll or an invigorating hike, Tandle Hill View Point won’t disappoint. Plus it’s free to visit! So why not take your time to discover this hidden gem?

2. Blackstone Edge

Blackstone Edge Triangulation Pillar
Photo by David Dixon

Following on from Tandle Hill View Point, the next stop on the best walks in Manchester tour is Blackstone Edge.

This high moorland ridge has a stunning view of the Pennines and makes for a truly breathtaking experience.

The hike to Blackstone Edge is not for the faint-hearted, but it’s worth it – you will be rewarded with panoramic views of rolling hills and lush valleys, as well as wildflower meadows and other wildlife.

The walks are also great for birdwatchers, with many species calling this area their home.

The edge itself is an impressive 500 feet above sea level and provides a stunning backdrop to your journey through the countryside.

On your way back down you can enjoy some well-deserved refreshments at one of the pubs in nearby Littleborough or Hebden Bridge, both of which have plenty of charm and character.

So take your time exploring this beautiful region – there’s something to please everyone!

3. Holcombe Moor To Peel Tower

Peel Tower - Holcombe Moor
Photo by Anthony Parkes

For a great day out in nature, take the Holcombe Moor to Peel Tower walk.

This 10-mile hike takes you through some of Manchester’s most stunning scenery, with views across the moors, reservoirs, and rolling hills.

The route is mostly flat and easy to follow, making it ideal for families or hikers of all levels.

As you meander along the footpaths and bridleways, you’ll be rewarded with spectacular views of lush green countryside, as well as historic landmarks like Worsley Woods and Peel Tower perched atop its hilltop.

The walk begins at Holcombe Moor National Nature Reserve, where you can spot a variety of wildlife including red grouse and lapwings.

From here, you’ll make your way through grassy fields before ascending the hill to Peel Tower.

Once at the top, take in the sweeping views before heading back down towards Hollingworth Lake Country Park.

Here, enjoy a picnic or a dip in the lake before retracing your steps back to Holcombe Moor.

It’s an unforgettable experience that will leave you feeling refreshed and recharged!

4. Marsden Moor

The second leg of our journey takes us to Marsden Moor.

This vast expanse of moorland is the perfect place for a peaceful walk, with its rolling hills and miles of paths to explore.

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The moors are home to an abundance of wildlife and spectacular views over the Pennines, making it a nature lover’s paradise.

From Holcombe Moor we make our way up onto Marsden Moor, taking in the beautiful scenery as we go.

On reaching the top, we are rewarded with stunning views over Manchester and the surrounding area – a truly breathtaking sight.

As we wander along the moorland trails, passing through woodlands and meadows full of wildflowers, we can’t help but marvel at how tranquil it feels here.

With plenty of opportunities for bird watching and photography, it’s easy to see why this is such a popular spot for hikers and nature lovers alike.

Whether you’re looking for a gentle stroll or an energetic hike, Marsden Moor is sure to have something to suit your needs – offering scenic walks that will take your breath away and provide hours of peaceful enjoyment.

5. Macclesfield Forest

Macclesfield Forest is a great spot for a hike or walk. Located in the heart of Cheshire, it’s an area with stunning views, rolling hills, and miles of trails.

The forest provides plenty of opportunities for exploration, with its winding paths, varied wildlife, and abundance of trees.

You can take a leisurely stroll through the woodlands, or tackle one of the longer hikes on offer – either way, you’ll be rewarded with rich rewards.

The paths meander through the trees and past picturesque streams, where you can spot a variety of birds and other wildlife.

There are also plenty of clearings along the way for picnics or simply to take in the scenery.

Whether you’re looking for some exercise or just want to get away from it all, Macclesfield Forest has something for everyone.

So why not grab your hiking boots and head out into this tranquil corner of Cheshire?

You won’t regret it!

6. Tegg’s Nose

Next on our adventure of the best walks in Manchester is Tegg’s Nose.

A great spot for a scenic stroll, this area offers panoramic views over the Cheshire Plain and Lyme Park.

This short walk takes you up to Tegg’s Nose Country Park, which is located at an altitude of 500 feet above sea level.

Here you can take in the stunning scenery and breathe in some fresh air.

The park has plenty of picnic benches and places to stop and take a break while taking in the view.

As you wander through this picturesque landscape, you can also explore its many historical features – such as an old quarry site, a 19th-century windmill, and a Bronze Age burial mound.

For those looking for something more adventurous, there are plenty of challenging hikes to choose from as well.

The nearby Macclesfield Canal is perfect for those wanting to explore what Manchester has to offer by foot or bike.

So if you’re looking for a peaceful way to get away from it all, why not take a trip out to Tegg’s Nose?

You won’t be disappointed!

7. Dovestone Reservoir Circular

One of the most delightful walks in Manchester is the Dovestone Reservoir Circular, a walk that takes you through lush woodlands and across grassy hills.

This hike offers spectacular views of the countryside, giving you a sense of freedom as you take in what nature has to offer.

The start of this circular walk is at Chew Reservoir car park, where you can soak up tranquillity before beginning your journey.

As you wander along the paths, keep an eye out for wildlife such as deer and birds as they flutter around.

The route will then take you past Dove Stone Reservoir, where you can enjoy breathtaking views across to Werneth Low and Kinder Scout.

From here, it’s a gentle stroll back to the car park, leaving plenty of time to appreciate the beauty of this area.

This walk is perfect for those looking to escape into the great outdoors; offering peace and relaxation away from urban life.

There’s something truly special about being surrounded by nature – a feeling that can’t be replicated anywhere else.

So why not take some time out for yourself and explore this wonderful place?

You won’t regret it!

8. Greenfield Waterfall Circular

Next on the list of best walks in Manchester is the Greenfield Waterfall Circular.

This trail is a beautiful hike that takes you past Smallshaw Reservoir and Greenfield Valley, with views of rolling hills and lush greenery.

The path itself meanders up to the top of the valley, where you can take in the stunning scenery before descending down to the waterfall.

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Here, you’ll find a tranquil spot to rest and take in the sights and sounds of nature.

This circular route is just over 6 miles long and will take around 4 hours at a leisurely pace.

It’s perfect for those looking for an invigorating stroll or a strenuous day out.

You’ll also pass by several viewpoints along your journey, so don’t forget your camera!

With plenty of wildlife and wildflowers to spot along the way, this walk is sure to leave you feeling energized with an appreciation for nature’s beauty.

9. Manchester Wharf City Trail

Start your journey along the Manchester Wharf City Trail, and explore a landscape full of culture and history.

The trail takes you from the River Irwell to Castlefield Urban Heritage Park and is one of the most popular routes in the city.

Along the way, you’ll discover some incredible sights, including Manchester Cathedral, Salford Quays, and MediaCityUK.

The trail also offers plenty of opportunities to take in some fresh air and enjoy nature.

It’s a great spot for a peaceful stroll or an invigorating hike.

As you wander along, be sure to admire the impressive industrial architecture that dominates the skyline.

Or if you’re feeling adventurous, why not take a break in one of the many parks that line the route?

Whether you’re looking for an easy walk or a challenging climb, this vibrant trail has something for everyone.

10. Medlock Valley Way

Next on the list of best walks in Manchester is the Medlock Valley Way.

This beautiful and peaceful route follows the banks of the River Medlock, allowing stunning views of Manchester’s riverside nature and wildlife.

Meandering along the canal-side trail, visitors can take in a range of sights from picturesque bridges to lush meadows and historic mills.

With its winding paths and abundant greenery, it’s easy to forget you’re still in a city!

This scenic pathway extends for over 12 miles, making it an ideal spot for those looking to escape their urban lives and explore some of Manchester’s great outdoors.

It’s well-signposted along its entire length so hikers won’t need to worry about getting lost – just follow your nose and enjoy.

Whether you’re looking for a leisurely stroll or an invigorating hike, Medlock Valley Way offers something for everyone.

So why not get out there and enjoy some fresh air?

11. River Irwell And Peel Park Route

The River Irwell and Peel Park route is one of Manchester’s best-loved walks.

Spanning over five miles, this picturesque journey takes you along the banks of the River Irwell and its meadows, as well as through some of the city’s most beautiful parks.

Beginning near Deansgate station, you can make your way down to the riverbank and enjoy views of the many bridges that span across it.

Keep your eyes peeled for wildlife such as swans, ducks, and even otters – if you’re lucky!

As you continue along the path, take time to appreciate the history of Manchester; there are plenty of old mills and warehouses to explore.

You’ll eventually reach Peel Park, where lush greenery welcomes you.

Take a break here to listen to birdsong or simply admire nature’s beauty from one of the park benches.

From here you can either return back along the same route or continue on towards Salford Quays – either way, it’s a walk that will leave your spirit refreshed and energized.

There’s no better way to experience Manchester than by taking a stroll alongside its iconic riverside – giving yourself an opportunity to breathe in some fresh air and take in all that this wonderful city has to offer.

12. Lud’s Church

Next on the itinerary is Lud’s Church, a hidden gem tucked away in the depths of the Staffordshire Moorlands.

This incredible natural landscape is a must-see for any nature enthusiast, as it offers stunning views of the countryside and gorgeous rolling hills.

Whether you’re looking for a leisurely stroll or a more rigorous hike, this area offers something for everyone.

The church itself is an eye-catching ruin that stands tall among the surrounding foliage and serves as a reminder of its long history.

You can even explore the nearby caves which will no doubt provide you with an experience like no other!

And if you’re lucky, you might even spot some wild creatures along your journey.

A visit to Lud’s Church will leave you feeling energized and inspired by its beauty and tranquility.

So why not take a break from your busy day and enjoy some fresh air in this idyllic corner of England?

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13. Lyme Park

Tucked away in the Cheshire countryside lies Lyme Park, a sprawling estate with magnificent gardens, meadows, and woodlands.

It’s a great spot for those who want to enjoy some peace and quiet while exploring the natural beauty of Manchester.

Whether you prefer a leisurely stroll or an invigorating hike, there are plenty of options here.

The grounds include two beautiful lakes, open fields, and stunning views.

There’s also a variety of wildlife to observe, including red squirrels and deer.

You can take in the sights as you walk around the lake or explore the woodland trails that encircle it.

The parkland is well-maintained so visitors can enjoy an easy walk without worrying about tripping over roots or rocks.

At Lyme Park, hikers can experience some of the best walking routes in Manchester – from gentle paths through the woods to steep climbs up hillsides and rocky terrain.

You’ll have plenty of opportunities to take photos along the way, with breathtaking views across the estate and beyond.

After your journey, relax at one of the many picnic areas before heading back home feeling refreshed and invigorated by your adventure.

14. South Pennine Water Trail

The South Pennine Water Trail is a great way to explore the hills and valleys of Manchester.

This scenic walk takes you through lush green fields, deep woodlands, and picturesque villages.

It’s perfect for those looking to escape the hustle and bustle of city life.

Along the way, you’ll pass reservoirs, rivers, streams, and canals – all framed by stunning views across the landscape.

As you go, keep an eye out for local wildlife including herons, kingfishers, and otters. You may even spot a few deer or foxes in the woods!

The trail also offers plenty of opportunities for rest stops; take a break at one of the many pubs or cafes along your route.

You can even take a picnic lunch to enjoy on your journey.

Whether it’s a leisurely stroll or an energetic hike, this route has something for everyone – so why not get out there and explore?

15. Saddleworth Circuit

The Saddleworth Circuit is an outstanding choice for those looking for a vantage point to take in the gorgeous landscapes of Manchester.

This walk takes you around the moors and through some of the most beautiful parts of the region.

Along the way, you’ll encounter rolling hills, quiet valleys, and stunning views that will make your hike memorable.

There are several points along the route where you can stop and admire the scenery, so be sure to bring along a camera!

The circuit is made up of three main trails: Blackstone Edge, Dowry Dale, and Wessenden Valley.

Each trail offers its own unique experience with varying degrees of difficulty depending on your fitness level.

The Blackstone Edge trail is great for beginners as it’s relatively flat; while Dowry Dale is slightly more challenging due to its steep inclines and declines.

Finally, Wessenden Valley is suitable for more experienced hikers as it requires a bit more stamina due to its rocky terrain.

No matter which routes you choose, there’s something for everyone on the Saddleworth Circuit.

The breathtaking views make it well worth the effort and with each trail taking between two and four hours to complete, this is a great outdoor activity for groups or individuals alike.

Get ready to explore one of Manchester’s best walks!

Best Walks in Manchester – Final Thoughts

I’ve explored some of the best walks in Manchester, from Tandle Hill View Point to Saddleworth Circuit.

Each area offers something unique, from stunning views of the Pennines to hidden gems like Lud’s Church.

Whether you’re looking for a challenging hike up a steep hill or a leisurely stroll through the countryside, there’s something for everyone in Manchester.

It’s easy to get lost in the beauty of this city and its surrounding areas.

With so much to explore and discover, you could spend weeks wandering around and still not see everything Manchester has to offer.

I urge you to take some time out of your busy schedule and explore all that Manchester has to offer; you won’t regret it!

Manchester is full of amazing walking opportunities – it just takes a bit of exploration and planning.

Put on your walking shoes and get ready for an unforgettable adventure through one of England’s most beloved cities!

FAQs

What are some easy walks in Manchester?

Some easy walks in Manchester are Tegg’s Nose Country Park, Manchester Wharf City Trail, and Medlock Valley Way.

What are the best circular walks in Manchester?

Some of the best circular walks in Manchester are Dovestone Reservoir Circular, Greenfield Waterfall Circular, and Greenbooth Reservoir Circular Walk.

What are some good family walks in Manchester?

Some good family walks in Manchester are Greenbooth Reservoir Circular Walk, Tegg’s Nose Country Park, and Wild Bank Circular.

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About the author

Will is an avid hillwalker and traveler. You may find him surfing in Cornwall or hiking in the Yorkshire Dales.