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Greater Manchester

Hiking around Greater Manchester

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Surrounded by stunning Pennine countryside and dipping its toes into the Peak District National Park, it’s not surprising that walks around Greater Manchester trump those found around just about any other metropolitan county in Britain.


The city and its satellite towns and villages are the products of a glorious landscape, their growth powered by the water that tumbles down off its stark moors and the raw materials that lay buried deep within.


Today, Manchester is a proud, global city, chock full of culture and an exciting place to explore. However, for hikers, the countryside that surrounds it is even better. There’s interest on every point of the compass: to the east is the magnificent gritstone of the Peak District; while the picturesque valleys of the Rivers Mersey and Goyt are found in the south; to the west are half-timbered villages, vibrant nature reserves and grand country parks; and the glorious West Pennine Moors dominate matters to the north. It’s easy to find superb hikes around Greater Manchester.


Top 20 best walks and hikes around Greater Manchester

    Map data © OpenStreetMap contributors
    1
    1
    Difficult
    05:48
    12.9 mi
    2.2 mph
    1,300 ft
    1,300 ft
    Expert Hiking Tour. Very good fitness required. Easily-accessible paths. Suitable for all skill levels.
    View
    2
    Intermediate
    03:54
    8.30 mi
    2.1 mph
    1,125 ft
    1,125 ft
    Intermediate Hiking Tour. Good fitness required. Easily-accessible paths. Suitable for all skill levels.
    View
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  • 3
    Intermediate
    02:30
    5.33 mi
    2.1 mph
    700 ft
    700 ft
    Intermediate Hiking Tour. Good fitness required. Easily-accessible paths. Suitable for all skill levels.
    View
    4
    Difficult
    05:10
    11.1 mi
    2.1 mph
    1,525 ft
    1,525 ft
    Expert Hiking Tour. Very good fitness required. Mostly accessible paths. Sure-footedness required.
    View
    5
    Difficult
    06:32
    14.1 mi
    2.2 mph
    1,875 ft
    1,875 ft
    Expert Hiking Tour. Very good fitness required. Mostly accessible paths. Sure-footedness required.
    View
    6
    Easy
    01:04
    2.58 mi
    2.4 mph
    75 ft
    75 ft
    Easy hike. Great for any fitness level. Easily-accessible paths. Suitable for all skill levels.
    View
    7
    Easy
    01:34
    3.68 mi
    2.4 mph
    175 ft
    175 ft
    Easy hike. Great for any fitness level. Easily-accessible paths. Suitable for all skill levels.
    View
    8
    Intermediate
    03:37
    7.76 mi
    2.1 mph
    1,075 ft
    1,075 ft
    Intermediate Hiking Tour. Good fitness required. Mostly accessible paths. Sure-footedness required.
    View
    9
    Intermediate
    02:27
    4.87 mi
    2.0 mph
    875 ft
    875 ft
    Intermediate Hiking Tour. Good fitness required. Easily-accessible paths. Suitable for all skill levels.
    View
    10
    Easy
    01:49
    4.41 mi
    2.4 mph
    100 ft
    100 ft
    Easy hike. Great for any fitness level. Easily-accessible paths. Suitable for all skill levels.
    View
    11
    Easy
    01:28
    3.40 mi
    2.3 mph
    225 ft
    225 ft
    Easy hike. Great for any fitness level. Easily-accessible paths. Suitable for all skill levels.
    View
    12
    Intermediate
    02:21
    5.77 mi
    2.5 mph
    75 ft
    75 ft
    Intermediate Hiking Tour. Good fitness required. Mostly accessible paths. Sure-footedness required.
    View
    13
    Intermediate
    02:49
    6.18 mi
    2.2 mph
    750 ft
    750 ft
    Intermediate Hiking Tour. Good fitness required. Easily-accessible paths. Suitable for all skill levels.
    View
    14
    Intermediate
    03:02
    6.96 mi
    2.3 mph
    500 ft
    500 ft
    Intermediate Hiking Tour. Good fitness required. Mostly accessible paths. Sure-footedness required.
    View
    15
    Intermediate
    02:21
    5.32 mi
    2.3 mph
    475 ft
    475 ft
    Intermediate Hiking Tour. Good fitness required. Easily-accessible paths. Suitable for all skill levels.
    View
    16
    Intermediate
    02:01
    4.86 mi
    2.4 mph
    125 ft
    125 ft
    Intermediate Hiking Tour. Good fitness required. Easily-accessible paths. Suitable for all skill levels.
    View
    17
    Easy
    01:59
    4.80 mi
    2.4 mph
    100 ft
    100 ft
    Easy hike. Great for any fitness level. Easily-accessible paths. Suitable for all skill levels.
    View
    18
    Easy
    01:14
    2.96 mi
    2.4 mph
    75 ft
    75 ft
    Easy hike. Great for any fitness level. Easily-accessible paths. Suitable for all skill levels.
    View
    19
    Easy
    01:15
    2.86 mi
    2.3 mph
    200 ft
    225 ft
    Easy hike. Great for any fitness level. Easily-accessible paths. Suitable for all skill levels.
    View
    20
    Intermediate
    02:17
    5.60 mi
    2.5 mph
    75 ft
    75 ft
    Intermediate Hiking Tour. Good fitness required. Mostly accessible paths. Sure-footedness required.
    View

Discover More Tours around Greater Manchester

More Information

A metropolis liberally sprinkled with greenspaces

Walks in Greater Manchester explore some beautiful greenspaces and the city is a marvellous base for adventure. Public transport makes getting to many of the region’s most beautiful spots very straightforward; you can even access the heart of the Peak District in less than an hour by train.


To the east of Stockport, the Goyt Valley is a delight to explore. Highlights include Etherow Country Park, a sanctuary for wildlife where you can amble alongside mill ponds, rivers and streams, with colourful views of the valley. In the west, Wigan’s Greenheart region is a beguiling area of greenspaces born from former industrial sites.


Moor fun in the Dark Peak


Some of the wildest hikes around Greater Manchester take you into the Peak District National Park and its atmospheric Dark Peak region. The trails along the high plateau and gritstone escarpments of Saddleworth Moor have been firm favourites with generations of Mancunians. Reaching a height of 1,778 feet (542 m), Black Chew Head is a popular objective, being both the Moor’s and Great Manchester’s highest point. The summit is crossed by the Pennine Way and offers huge views on a clear day.


Wonderful walking in the West Pennines


Many of the best hiking trails around Greater Manchester are found in the north. This is where the urban sprawls of Bolton, Bury and Rochdale make way for the grandeur of the West Pennine Moors. You’ll find yet more country parks, reservoir loops and glorious hillwalking amidst spellbinding, wild-feeling landscapes.


It’s a region where charming former mill towns and picturesque lakes jostle for space in steep-sided valleys. Brooks cascade from windswept heights peppered with the remnants of industry and criss-crossed by trails. Grand monuments adorn the highest summits, boasting wonderful panoramas across the city and the wider North.


Moorland walking can be challenging in adverse weather conditions, so make sure you are prepared with quality hiking shoes, warm layers and waterproofs. However, unlike in many hillwalking regions, in Greater Manchester you are never far from civilisation, a hot beverage or a cosy hostelry.


Greater Manchester's best walks and hikes on the map

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