With spring knocking on the door nothing beats a good walk, whether romantic with a partner, a solitary activity or with friends and family. Although we have many destinations here in the North West where you can take in the greenery and fresh air far away from the city, the urban inner of Manchester has some beautiful places of its own to take a leisurely stroll. Here’s our round-up of convenient yet soothing city centre walks in Manchester for city-dwellers and urbanites.
1. Castlefield Viaduct
After closure for winter and a few new additions, Castlefield Viaduct sky park is back with gorgeous views of Manchester and the loveliest flowers and greenery planted all over. Using a huge part of Manchester’s industrial history, the sky park is housed within a disused part of the train viaduct that towers over the basin of canals below. Feel at one with the city’s history and take in the peace and quiet high above the hustle and bustle of town. The viaduct is open to walk in between 1pm – 4pm every day.
2. Rochdale Canal Towpath
Pretty much any canal walk originating at Castlefield Basin will lend itself to a lovely stroll, but the Rochdale Canal Towpath allows a walk through much of the city centre, popping up to see particular Manc sights. Weave your way undetected through the city, past Deansgate Locks and under Oxford Road, alongside Canal Street and towards Piccadilly basin, all the way to Ancoats and beyond. Exit via any of the countless bridges and locks along the way to create a loop or visit sights such as the Vimto statue or Alan Turing memorial, or carry straight on to your heart’s content. Whether you continue all the way to Rochdale and make a day of it, or turn off into New Islington Marina to sample any of the waterside spots, it’s a lovely fuss-free stroll.
3. Mayfield Park
As the newest city centre park, Mayfield Park is beautifully landscaped and conveniently located near Piccadilly. Used by locals for kids’ entertainment, Parkruns and walks alike, Mayfield Park feels like a breath of fresh air even though it directly borders the city centre, and comes alive at the weekends when Mancs have the time to enjoy it.
4. Northern Quarter stroll
OK, yes, we all know the Northern Quarter inside out, but have you ever strolled through just for the sake of strolling through? Take in what’s changed over the years, the artistry behind the prevalent street art that covers the neighbourhood and absorb the liveliness that permeates from it at the weekend. You could really spend a whole day exploring the streets of the NQ, popping into local spots for brunch or coffee, visiting its independent shops and later grab a table for a well-earned drink and spot of food at the many bars and restaurants. Don’t overlook it – the NQ makes for one of the best city centre walks in Manchester!
5. Architectural city centre tour
Manchester has some truly beautiful architecture, so perhaps let that decide your route for a stroll one day. Whether your favourite style is the Medieval and Gothic architecture of Manchester Cathedral and John Rylands Library, or the Art Deco of Gotham Hotel and Baroque of Manchester’s Albert Hall, you can create your own historical city centre tour of your favourite architectural treasures, especially if showing around someone not so in-the-know. Hopping between beautiful buildings will have you walking streets you don’t usually and appreciating city centre gems that often pass you by.
6. Salford Quays and MediaCity
Perhaps a city centre of its own, Salford Quays and nearby MediaCity provide a peaceful yet interesting walk for many locals. The Quays naturally offer a touch of serenity, with MediaCity having views over the water and so much to explore with the studios housed there including the BBC, ITV and Dock10. MediaCity also has its very own urban garden in the middle, so you can hop straight off the tram and into the botanical paradise, surrounded by media innovation.