16 of The Best Manchester Walks To Do Today

A breakdown of the best walks in Manchester you can do today with friends, family, your dog - or by yourself!

In 2021, walking rather than driving became the preferred mode of transport for residents of Greater Manchester. The same study also revealed that walking and cycling in the region prevented 2,612 long term health conditions, generated £483.7 million of economic benefit and saved 48,000 tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions. 

But you probably know all that; you’re here to find the best Manchester walks in and around the city centre. Whether you’re here to find the perfect route for you and your pooch or to take in Manchester’s quirks in style, we’ve got you covered.

Read on to find out the best walks in Manchester!

Best Walks in Manchester

Reap all the benefits of going for walks in Manchester while taking in the city’s greatest secrets and discovering the very best pubs, cafés and restaurants to boot. Here are the best walks in Manchester for families, couples, friends, and anyone else you can persuade into the great outdoors...

Heart of The Hive

Length: 2 miles / (3.2 kilometres)
Average time to complete: 2 hours
Key sights: National Football Museum, Printworks, Spinningfields, Local history tidbits 

One of the best walks in Manchester for sightseeing, Heart of The Hive takes curious minds and intrepid adventurers through Manchester’s city streets.

Part treasure hunt and part outdoor adventure, Heart of The Hive is a curated trail that uncovers Manchester’s most fascinating landmarks while participants solve clues, decipher riddles and explore the heart of the city. 

Meet the pioneers of Manchester: from a cookery book author to unlikely final resting places, Heart of The Hive is one of the best walks in Manchester city centre for tourists and locals alike.

Find out more here.

Through The Ages

Length: 3.1 miles (5 kilometres)
Average time to complete: 2.5-3.5 hours
Key sights: Deansgate, Bridgewater Canal, Historic monuments

One of the best Manchester walks for exploring the city’s ancient and modern history, Through The Ages is a walking tour that crams a staggering amount of Manchester’s historical timeline into a fun, challenging day out. 

From Romans to computer scientists, Through The Ages takes you around Spinningfields and the edge of the Gay Village in style. Uncover history while deciphering cryptic clues and taking in everything from monuments to gorgeous gardens. 

Find out more here

Northern Quarter Nooks

Length: 2 miles (3.2 kilometres)
Average time to complete: 2 hours
Key sights: Piccadilly Gardens, A Haunted pub, Street art, Fascinating memorials

Renowned throughout the world for its textile industry, Manchester’s history has been tightly woven into the fabric of the Northern Quarter Nooks route.

By walking the Northern Quarter Nooks route, you’ll find poetry in the streets, a perch for exotic birds, and a library with a remarkable history as you wind your way around Manchester’s northern quarter. 

Answer riddles, solve head-scratching puzzles and get your step count above average before sitting down to a well-earned pint as you take on Manchester’s best walks for people of all ages!

Find out more here.

Nice Walks in Manchester

Whether you’re looking for walks through Manchester city centre or simply want a good old-fashioned stroll through the park, we’ve got you. Here are some nice walks in Manchester you can do all year round! 

Heaton Park Loop

Length: 2.5 miles (4 kilometres)
Average time to complete: 2 hours
Key sights: Heaton Park, nature

Ideal for walking in any season (weather permitting!) Heaton Park offers 600 acres of public space to get your steps in. Surrounded by glorious nature and a Grade I listed building on top of it, a loop around Heaton Park is one of the best walks in Manchester for getting a healthy dose of fresh air.

Salford Quays and MediaCityUK

Length: 2.5 miles (4 kilometres)
Average time to complete: 1.5-2 hours
Key sights: Salford Keys, The Lowry, Imperial War Museum North, MediaCityUK

Viewers of the morning BBC Breakfast programme will instantly recognise the iconic skyline of Media City - but few know that this is actually one of the nicest places to take a stroll in Manchester.

Although Salford is a city in its own right, it does still count as Greater Manchester and is a great alternative if you’ve tried and tested all the obvious routes in the city.

Chetham’s Library and Cathedral Quarter Walk

Length: 1.5 miles (2.4 kilometres)
Average time to complete: 1 hour
Key sights: Chetham’s Library, Manchester Cathedral, Medieval architecture

Chetham’s Library is the world’s oldest public library and for that reason alone it’s worth a wander past. 

The best part of this Manchester walk is that pedestrians can happily stroll around the library and its surrounding area to immerse themselves in medieval Manchester’s past, where rare remnants make their presence felt in glitzy, modern Manchester.

Ancoats and New Islington Marina Walk

Length: 2 miles (3.2 kilometres)
Average time to complete: 1.5 hours
Key sights: Islington Mill, Halle St Peter’s, New Islington Marina, Ancoats Dispensary

Tucked beside the Northern Quarter is what was once the world’s first “industrial suburb” Ancoats. A stroll around this unique area and the nearby New Islington Marina provides the perfect blend of nature and urban living.

The perimeter edge of New Islington Marina adjoins the Rochdale Canal Path, so if you want to extend your walk, just carry on until you loop the whole way around!

Hulme Community Garden Centre to Alexandra Park

Length: 3 miles (4.8 kilometres)
Average time to complete: 1.5-2 hours
Key sights: Birley Fields campus, Hulme Park, Alexandra Park

The Manchester suburb of Hulme is a fantastic place for walks in Manchester - especially for those of a literary mind. The pub where Charlotte Brontë first started penning Jane Eyre (it wasn’t a pub back then, obviously!) is still there and well worth a visit. 

And while you’re in the area, you might as well walk to one of Manchester’s most verdant parks, Alexandra Park, which comes equipped with pre-made walking routes and plenty of birdlife for budding watchers.

University of Manchester Campus and Whitworth Park Walk

Length: 2 miles (3.2 kilometres)
Average time to complete: 1.5 hours
Key sights: University of Manchester buildings, Whitworth Hall, Alan Gilbert Learning Commons

For a walk in Manchester that takes in the city’s youthful academic side, opt for this one.

Combining a mix of university life, culture and natural beauty, walkers along this route get to explore the campus and the tranquillity of Whitworth Park. 

Ideal for new students getting to grips with the area or showing off your new home to visiting friends or family, this is a trail that can be done time and again for wiling away some time in serene surroundings.

Fletcher Moss Park Walk

Length: 3.8 miles (6.1 kilometres)
Average time to complete: 2 hours
Key sights: Fletcher Moss Park

A walk through Fletcher Moss Park is the ideal solution to finding nice walks in Manchester that take you outside of the urban environment. 

Immerse yourself in the many plants, flowers and ornamental ponds in the gardens before following the River Mersey River Path to Chorlton Water Park and beyond.

Chorlton Water Park

Length: 1.5 miles (2.4 kilometres)
Average time to complete: >1 hour
Key sights: Nature, Chorlton Water Park, South Manchester

Speaking of Chorlton Water Park, this is the place to go for a walk to find a lovely hidden gem just south of Manchester. 

Brimming with wildlife and natural splendour, Chorlton Water Park is the ideal place to go for a walk (you can bring your dog with you!) or other outdoor activities. 

A firm favourite with canoeists, runners, sunbathers (weather permitting!), a stroll around the lake at Chorlton Water Park should take under half an hour, though if you’re feeling adventurous you could try walking all the way back to Fletcher Moss Park!

Dog Walks in Manchester

Whether your dog is a street-savvy city dweller or loves a romp in the country air, here are five places you can go for dog walks in Manchester.

Castlefield and Bridgewater Canal Walk

Length: 2.5 miles (4 kilometres)
Average time to complete: 2 hours
Key sights: Bridgewater Canal, Industrial Architecture, canalside cafés

Playful pups will love a walk along the scenic Bridgewater Canal, and owners will enjoy a stroll through Castlefield, an area rich in history and industrial heritage.

The perfect blend of urban and natural, this peaceful canal-side stroll will stretch your dog’s legs and give them plenty to sniff and see along the way. 

Dunham Massey Park Circular Walk

Length: 4 miles (6.4 kilometres)
Average time to complete: 2-3 hours
Key sights: Dunham Massey Park, deer and wildlife, nature

Thankfully, well-behaved dogs (and owners!) are free to roam Dunham Massey Park to their hearts’ content. 

The ideal place to spend quality time with your pooch, Dunham Massey Park offers formal gardens, woodlands and a deer park that can be enjoyed by humans and animals alike. Part of the walk takes you alongside the Bridgewater Canal and the length of the walk can be adjusted to suit your needs. 

Sale Water Park Loop

Length: 3 miles (4.8 kilometres)
Average time to complete: 1.5 hours
Key sights: Reservoir, woodland trails, nature

Located just south of Manchester, the Sale Water Park Loop offers a dog-friendly circular walk through serene beauty and outstanding natural beauty. 

The Sale Water Park loop takes walkers around a peaceful lake where wildlife thrives in abundance. Listen out for the calls of different birds and let your pup lead you around his or her new favourite oasis outside of Manchester city centre. 

Fallowfield Loop

Length: 6 miles (9.7 kilometres)
Average time to complete: 3 hours
Key sights: Platt Fields Park, Levenshulme, Gorton Reservoir, Nature

For a more lengthy dog walk in Manchester, head out on the Fallowfield Loop.

Popular with citysiders and country lovers alike, this route contains an intriguing range of scenery that cater to everyone’s tastes. You and your dog will have the opportunity to experience what used to be a railway line (now converted to a recreational trail) and explore plenty of nearby nature reserves and parks. 

Tandle Hill Country Park

Length: 2.5 miles (4 kilometres)
Average time to complete: 1.5-2 hours
Key sights: Tandle Hill Country Park, Woodlands, Panoramic views

Embrace the natural beauty of woodland walks by taking on Tandle Hill Country Park with your dog.

With a range of wooded areas, open spaces and scenic viewpoints, a dog walk through Tandle Hill Country Park will give your dog its much needed space to run around and give you a chance for respite in the clean air.

Discover More of Manchester with CityDays

So there you have it! 16 Manchester walks that you can do on your own, with friends or family and / or your dog!

At CityDays, we create fun, interesting and challenging trails around the world to help you immerse yourself in a city’s culture, history and hidden secrets.

Want to find out more?

Check out all our available activities in Manchester here and embark on an adventure in the city you’ll never forget: CityDays awaits!