Return to nature with these wonderful woodland walks.
Lockdown getting you down? Take a break from your four walls and immerse yourself in a woodland blanketed with leaves, with a ton of gorgeous routes right on our doorsteps. Whether it’s city views you’re after, or stunning water sights – these are the best woodland walks to try in Manchester this winter.
1. Worsley Woods
Forming part of a circular walking route in Worsley village, Worsley Woods is a popular walk in Salford – featuring enchanting woodland and a canalside route along the Southern side of the woods. Perfect for dog walking or a good leg stretch followed by a pint (when we’re not in lockdown, that is), the 2-mile route is great for all abilities – making for a lovely family day out or a wholesome mate date.
2. Dunham Massey Ancient Tree Trail
Packed full of ancient trees and home to countless wildlife species (including deer!), Dunham Massey’s wood is not only filled with easy-access footpaths for everyone to enjoy, but also has a number of tranquil ponds to sit by and take in the calming surroundings. The dog-friendly woodland walk can take up to two hours – perfect for working up an appetite before chilling on the sofa with a takeaway all night.
3. Alderley Edge Woodland Walk
Providing gorgeous views of both Cheshire and Manchester, the Alderley Edge Woodland Walk is an incredibly satisfying one – particularly for budding photographers. The route consists of 4.5 miles of beautiful woodland, with a few peaks and troughs along the way (but let’s face it, our quads probably need it at this point of the year…).
4. Lantern Wood
Located within Lyme Park, Stockport, Lantern Wood is a lovely little hidden gem – particularly during the Autumn months when it’s bursting with warm, auburn tones. There are some fantastic views of both the surrounding nature and Manchester city centre to take in throughout the route, as well as deer and a number of other species to spot, too.
5. Blackley Forest Nature Reserve
Planted by the community back in the 50s, Blackley Forest is an underrated local spot filled with deer and other wildlife, and is also sandwiched between the River Irk – which flows along both sides of the forest. It’s the perfect spot for a little trip away from your desk for a breath of fresh air, or for a quick weekend walk if you’re in the area. Across the road, you’ll also find the gorgeous Heaton Park – so you can extend your day of exercising with a few different local sights.
6. Chorlton Ees
Consisting of 58 hectares to explore, Chorlton Ees is a great spot to visit for South Mancunians, with Sale Water Park next door, too. Boasting both woodland and beautiful meadows, the small woodland is ideal for a bit of daily exercise – with pubs and restaurants nearby in Chorlton to enjoy after lockdown.
7. Philips Park
A combination of both majestic woodland and parkland, Philips Park has been loved by locals since forever, thanks to its beautiful blooms and vast wildlife. There are ponds, a biking trail, the River Irwell, peacock and streams throughout, with plenty to see and do during your visit.
8. Daisy Nook
A large country park filled with glorious woodland in Oldham, Daisy Nook is as pretty as it sounds – with 40 hectares of varied landscape in the heart of the Medlock Valley. For those looking for an all-rounder when it comes to nature sights, Daisy Nook is a great option thanks to its many waterways, lake, canal and even meadow of flowers. The spot is not only popular with walkers, but horse riders too – with both footpaths and bridleways throughout.