If you need a break from your local scenery, these gorgeous scenic walks in and around Manchester make for great additions to your to-do list. From hiking up hills to ambling along lakes and reservoirs, escape the city and explore these great walking spots. Without further ado here are the best walks in and around Manchester to head out on this autumn.
1. Marsden Moor
Just outside of the city towards Yorkshire, Marsden has six different trails to choose from for all abilities, making it a great option for beginners and pro’s alike.
On the outskirts of Huddersfield, this rural gem is just 30 minutes on the train from Piccadilly and has walks varying from just 2 miles to 10. The trails offer so much to see with three stunning reservoirs, 360-degree views of the Peak District, as well as the picturesque Huddersfield narrow canal to walk along.
Marsden Moor is a field day for budding photographers, with the quaint village boasting traditional cottages and pubs and spectacular sights around Blakeley reservoir in particular. The village is usually the perfect spot to enjoy a cheeky pint and a chippy before heading back on the train to the city.
2. Macclesfield Forest
Just a one hour drive from Manchester city centre, Macclesfield Forest is set in the Cheshire end of the Peak District and has four reservoirs nearby to discover and snap photos of, as well as enjoy walks around.
Lucky trekkers can spot a glimpse of red deer and other wildlife during their walk, with Trentabank reservoir being home to the largest heronry in the Peak District. The route is perfect for all abilities and features almost no incline, so is a great starting point for those looking to take up walking as a hobby. Just a 1/4 mile circular trail, Macclesfield Forest is the perfect morning walk before heading into the nearby town to check out the local area.
Your Instagram can thank us later.
3. Tegg’s Nose
East of Macclesfield in the Cheshire Peak District, Tegg’s Nose Country Park is an amazing choice for those who enjoy a rewarding view after a long hike.
The 380m summit provides sights of the nearby Macclesfield Forest and reservoirs, and if visited on a clear day, trekkers can be treated to views of the Welsh hills and even Liverpool’s cathedrals in the distance.
The summit walk is approximately 2.5 miles and is suitable for those able to walk with a slight incline, so if you’re used to sitting in front of the TV watching Netflix like everyone else, you may need a couple of breaks!
There’s a ton of activities usually in the country park too, with fishing, horse riding and rock climbing in the park’s quarry all being popular choices.
4. South Pennine Water Trail
A five-mile varied route for those who like a change of scenery, the South Pennine Water Trail follows the Rochdale Canal, allowing walkers to discover the beautiful Hollingworth Lake and Pennine town of Littleborough.
The route offers scenic views of the nearby Pennines, taking you through Ealees Valley, Littleborough and by the Rochdale Canal. The walk kicks off at one of its highlights, Hollingworth Lake, before guiding you towards the 17th-century Clegg Hall outside of Smithy Bridge and towards Littleborough – where you can usually stop off at a local pub or check out the little shops nearby.
The route is suitable for walkers of all abilities and is mostly flat for the duration. There’s lots to take in on this trail, so pack a few snacks and give yourself time to admire the views!
5. Whaley Bridge, The Goyt Valley
The Goyt Valley has a number of routes to choose from – all of which vary in difficulty and length.
Their Whaley Bridge walk is one of the easier ones clocking in at just 3 miles total, a great option for a relaxed weekend stroll taking in the countryside air.
Starting just a short walk away from Whaley Bridge’s town centre, the walk heads towards Taxal offering sights of the historic Taxal church, the Goyt, and the photogenic river bank.
3 miles sound like a piece of pie to you? More adventurous walkers can extend their journey by continuing to walk to see the Fernilee Reservoir and if you’re feeling really ambitious, extend further to Errwood Reservoir.
6. Dovestone Reservoir
Right on the edge of Oldham and the Peak District, Dovestone Reservoir is one of Greater Manchester’s most breathtaking spots.
The reservoir is set in Saddleworth Moor and features photo-worthy highlights such as The Trinnacle, the reservoir itself and Greenfield Waterfall. Walkers have a pick of places they can check out so you can tailor your trip to suit you, however, the most popular route takes trekkers on a trail by Greenfield Reservoir with views of the brook too.
The main walk is approximately 5 miles and takes less than two hours however, there’s also a shorter 3-mile walk that circles the reservoir with just as pretty views to take in.
7. Rivington Pike
A popular option for those looking for walks in the north of Manchester, this two-mile hike is best for those who can handle a moderate incline with rewarding views of the Lake District, Blackpool Tower and the Isle of Man if visited on a clear day.
The route is certainly a pretty one, taking you through the terraced gardens, before stumbling upon Pigeon Tower and the stunning Japanese Gardens – a great spot for a short break to take in your surroundings.
Other highlights of the trail include a series of idyllic waterfalls to photograph and of course, Pike Tower itself. The walk can be extended to explore Anglezarke Reservoir as well as Rivington Reservoir and Winter Hill for those with more experience (and strong calves!).
8. Mam Tor, Castleton
The wonderful Peak District is a treat for any rambler, and we’re extremely lucky in Manchester that many beauty spots in the national park are only around an hour away. The stone surfaced footpath from the car park to the top of Mam Tor will reward you with one of the most dramatic vistas in the Peak District – from the viewpoint you can see north over the Edale Valley to Kinder Scout and the Derwent Moors.
A circular route takes you round Mam Tor and has some amazing scenery, so why not take the pups along, and perhaps follow a route such as this National Trust walk on a crisp autumn day?