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Winter Walks Around Greater Manchester

Top spots for a brisk wintry walkabout

When the festive season is drawing to a close, the air is cold and our wallets are empty, it can feel like you’re running out of reasons to leave the house – nip that in the bud and take a look at these top spots for a brisk winter walk around Manchester and beyond. 

Lyme Park
Disley, Cheshire, SK12 2NR
Situated just an hour or so outside of central Manchester, Lyme 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 after the holiday week. With guided walks across the woodland and moors, and 17 acres of idyllic gardens open every day, the dramatic views are a must see. Plus, entry to the gardens is only £4.50 per adult, or free for National Trust members. Find more information here.

Lyme Park
Hollingworth Lake and the South Pennine Water Trail
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, with spectacular views over the Pennines. The 5 mile 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).

The South Pennines
Chorlton Water Park
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 live centrally. The 170 acre park is set around a lake, with walking paths taking you through twisting woodlands and open meadows. Ideal for shorter walks or family days out, the network of paths are accessible and leisurely, with the site open to not only walkers and ramblers but cyclists, horseriders and anglers. 

Horse and Jockey Pub, in Chorlton 

Etherow Country Park
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. 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 routeor follow the ‘Coal Trail’ through the steep woodland to discover fungi, birds and other wildlife. 

The Peak District
Fletcher Moss Park & Botanical Gardens
Didsbury, Manchester, M20 2RZ
Previously the home of the Moss family, this house and surrounding garden were donated to the city in 1919, opening it up as a public space for walking, sports and picnicking for the people of Manchester. The 21 acre park includes renowned 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 entrance to the beautiful space is free.