Top 5 Best Walks In And Around Manchester

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The prettiest places to go for a walk around Manchester…

Whether you’re looking for a chance to soak in nature, scope a new running route, get lost in and amongst historical buildings or simply leave the house for some fresh air- Manchester has some wholesome trails perfect for stretching your legs. Read on to discover what we feel are the best walks around Manchester…

Lyme Park

Image © Lyme Park via National Trust

Disley, Cheshire, SK12 2NR

Situated just an hour or so outside of central Manchester, Lyme Park consists of a stunning Regency house, and 1,400 acre estate which is home to herds of red deer. The National Trust site is constantly preserved and kept looking its best all year round, and is the perfect spot for some peace and quiet. With guided walks across the woodland and moors, and 17 acres of idyllic gardens open every day, the dramatic views make this south-of- Manchester walk a must see. Plus, entry to the gardens is only £4.50 per adult, or free for National Trust members. Find more information here.

Hollingworth Lake and the South Pennine Water Trail

Image © Hollingworth Lake Caravan Park

Littleborough, Rochdale, OL15 0AQ

Discover even more of rural Manchester with The South Pennine Water Trail. This route takes you around Hollingworth Lake on a discovery of Littleborough, Rochdale and beyond, with spectacular views over the Pennines. The 5 mile (8km) walk starts at the Hollingworth Lake Visitors Centre, and passes through many different geographical and historical points of interest (including the allegedly haunted Clegg Hall). Whether you decide to do the whole stretch, or opt into a shorter route, you’ll find no better way of exploring the beauty of Littleborough and the South Pennines.

Should you have the time, it’s also worthwhile to explore Littleborough. It has a quaint history of both wool and cotton weaving and is rich with character with old stone buildings lining the streets, along with a delightful array of shops. So why not warm yourself up with a warm cup of tea following your country walk.

Chorlton Water Park

Image © Chorlton Water Park via Visit Manchester

Chorlton, Manchester, M21 7WH

Set in the popular neighbourhood of Chorlton, Chorlton Water Park is Manchester’s first Local Nature Reserve, and isn’t far from your doorstep if you are staying central. The 170 acre park is set around a lake, with walking paths taking you through twisting woodlands and open meadows. Ideal for family walks or just if you’re looking for something a little less “hike-y”, the network of paths are accessible and leisurely, with the site open to not only walkers and ramblers but cyclists, horse riders and anglers.

Etherow Country Park

Image © Etherow Country Park via

Compstall, Stockport, SK6 5JD

One of Britain’s first country parks, this now award-winning Green Flag Park offers a popular destination away from city life. Located in a village called Compstall it attracts over a quarter million visitors per year and is one of the most nature-rich walks in the south of Manchester.

Its 240 acres of green space is situated in the foothills of the Peak District, along the Etherow river valley. With a whole host of trails and paths to choose from, you can create your own self-guided walking route or follow the ‘Coal Trail’ through the steep woodland to discover fungi, birds and other wildlife.

Fletcher Moss Park

Image © Fletcher Moss Park via

Didsbury, Manchester, M20 2RZ

Previously the home of the Moss family, the Old Parsonage and its surrounding gardens were donated to the city in 1919. It’s the second oldest building in Didsbury it’s 21 acre park boasts beautiful foliage including botanical gardens, a rock garden and a wildlife garden to encourage sightings of birds all year round. The park and gardens are now maintained entirely by volunteers, and entry is free. For more information click here.