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Manchester

Cycling around Manchester

Bike Touring

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Cycling in Manchester is one of the best ways to see this culturally-rich city’s fascinating history. A huge industrial sector has shaped the geography of this thriving place and by bike you can both explore the vibrant streets and get out into the surrounding nature. 

Use the many canals and riverside paths to pedal your way past old warehouses and factories before heading out south into sprawling farmland without so much as a hill in sight. Cycle routes around Manchester will take you to country parks, up pretty river valleys and even into the neighbouring Peak District National Park. 

Balancing flat trails with great opportunities to add in a hill climb or two, getting to know Manchester by bike is easy. Two-wheeled adventures will take you to hidden places, beautiful riverbanks and patches of glorious nature you never knew existed. 

Intermediate
04:25
45.7 mi
Difficult
04:37
44.7 mi
Intermediate
03:08
30.7 mi
Intermediate
03:55
34.2 mi
Easy
01:47
18.6 mi
Intermediate
03:03
31.0 mi
Easy
01:36
13.6 mi
Intermediate
03:19
34.7 mi
Easy
00:45
7.15 mi
Intermediate
02:35
25.1 mi
Intermediate
02:28
20.0 mi
Difficult
04:50
47.1 mi
Easy
01:17
13.7 mi
Easy
01:35
16.4 mi
Intermediate
02:29
23.2 mi
Intermediate
02:04
22.1 mi
Intermediate
02:36
26.2 mi
Intermediate
03:52
39.9 mi
Intermediate
03:18
31.0 mi
Intermediate
03:06
33.4 mi

Top 20 cycling routes around Manchester

    Map data © OpenStreetMap contributors
    1
    1
    Intermediate
    04:25
    45.7 mi
    10.3 mph
    1,050 ft
    1,050 ft
    Intermediate bike ride. Good fitness required. Mostly paved surfaces. Suitable for all skill levels.
    View
    2
    Difficult
    04:37
    44.7 mi
    9.7 mph
    1,725 ft
    1,725 ft
    Expert bike ride. Very good fitness required. Mostly paved surfaces. Suitable for all skill levels.
    View
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  • 3
    Intermediate
    03:08
    30.7 mi
    9.8 mph
    625 ft
    625 ft
    Intermediate bike ride. Good fitness required. Mostly paved surfaces. Suitable for all skill levels.
    View
    4
    Intermediate
    03:55
    34.2 mi
    8.7 mph
    425 ft
    425 ft
    Intermediate bike ride. Good fitness required. Mostly paved surfaces. Suitable for all skill levels.
    View
    5
    Easy
    01:47
    18.6 mi
    10.4 mph
    300 ft
    300 ft
    Easy bike ride. Great for any fitness level. Mostly paved surfaces. Suitable for all skill levels.
    View
    6
    Intermediate
    03:03
    31.0 mi
    10.2 mph
    725 ft
    725 ft
    Intermediate bike ride. Good fitness required. Mostly paved surfaces. Suitable for all skill levels.
    View
    7
    Easy
    01:36
    13.6 mi
    8.4 mph
    150 ft
    150 ft
    Easy bike ride. Great for any fitness level. Mostly paved surfaces. Suitable for all skill levels.
    View
    8
    Intermediate
    03:19
    34.7 mi
    10.5 mph
    850 ft
    850 ft
    Intermediate bike ride. Good fitness required. Mostly paved surfaces. Suitable for all skill levels.
    View
    9
    Easy
    00:45
    7.15 mi
    9.5 mph
    125 ft
    125 ft
    Easy bike ride. Great for any fitness level. Mostly paved surfaces. Suitable for all skill levels.
    View
    10
    Intermediate
    02:35
    25.1 mi
    9.7 mph
    575 ft
    575 ft
    Intermediate bike ride. Good fitness required. Mostly paved surfaces. Suitable for all skill levels.
    View
    11
    Intermediate
    02:28
    20.0 mi
    8.1 mph
    275 ft
    275 ft
    Intermediate bike ride. Good fitness required. Mostly paved surfaces. Suitable for all skill levels.
    View
    12
    Difficult
    04:50
    47.1 mi
    9.7 mph
    1,625 ft
    1,625 ft
    Expert bike ride. Very good fitness required. Mostly paved surfaces. Suitable for all skill levels.
    View
    13
    Easy
    01:17
    13.7 mi
    10.7 mph
    225 ft
    225 ft
    Easy bike ride. Great for any fitness level. Mostly paved surfaces. Suitable for all skill levels.
    View
    14
    Easy
    01:35
    16.4 mi
    10.3 mph
    225 ft
    225 ft
    Easy bike ride. Great for any fitness level. Mostly paved surfaces. Suitable for all skill levels.
    View
    15
    Intermediate
    02:29
    23.2 mi
    9.3 mph
    425 ft
    425 ft
    Intermediate bike ride. Good fitness required. Mostly paved surfaces. Suitable for all skill levels.
    View
    16
    Intermediate
    02:04
    22.1 mi
    10.6 mph
    575 ft
    575 ft
    Intermediate bike ride. Good fitness required. Mostly paved surfaces. Suitable for all skill levels.
    View
    17
    Intermediate
    02:36
    26.2 mi
    10.1 mph
    575 ft
    575 ft
    Intermediate bike ride. Good fitness required. Mostly paved surfaces. Suitable for all skill levels.
    View
    18
    Intermediate
    03:52
    39.9 mi
    10.3 mph
    875 ft
    875 ft
    Intermediate bike ride. Good fitness required. Mostly paved surfaces. Suitable for all skill levels.
    View
    19
    Intermediate
    03:18
    31.0 mi
    9.4 mph
    350 ft
    350 ft
    Intermediate bike ride. Good fitness required. Mostly paved surfaces. Suitable for all skill levels.
    View
    20
    Intermediate
    03:06
    33.4 mi
    10.8 mph
    475 ft
    475 ft
    Intermediate bike ride. Good fitness required. Mostly paved surfaces. Suitable for all skill levels.
    View

Discover More Tours around Manchester

More Information

Going with the flow

Canals have a sense of magic around them and cycling along Manchester’s is a fantastic way to get to know the heart of this city. Serene, still water accompanies you as you explore the vast Manchester Ship Canal as well as the Ashton, Bridgewater, Peak Forest and Rochdale Canals. 

Some canals have the ability to lead you for miles, turning gentle morning rides into multi-day adventures if you want. Cycle routes by Manchester’s rivers can be just as impressive, with the Mersey, Irwell and Tame all meandering through the city and its surroundings. 

Nature and national parks

The River Tame will take you through Reddish Vale Country Park with its ponds, woodlands and open parkland. Keep an eye out for bright kingfishers as you pedal through. The River Mersey runs through wonderful green spaces and you can follow it from park to park on the outskirts of the city. Meadows, wetlands and woodlands can all be found on the banks of this well-known river. 

If it’s hills and dramatic scenery you’re looking for, the phenomenal geology of the Peak District awaits to the east. Pedal into the Peaks to find a fantastic array of cycle trails from off-road tracks up steep climbs to sweeping valley routes with the grand, rolling heights towering above. 

Pedaling back in time

Bike rides in Manchester never fail to introduce you to the city and area’s intriguing history. The city remains packed with fascinating buildings from repurposed factories and warehouses to mills and dockyards. 

The Tudor manor, Ordsall Hall can be found on the banks of the Manchester Ship Canal in Salford. Out of place amongst the modern media companies of the area, Ordsall Hall provides a glimpse of Manchester’s history before it became the industrial powerhouse from the 1700s onwards. 

Cycling out of the city to the west, head to Worsley on the Leigh branch of the Bridgewater Canal. Stunning 18th and 19th century buildings line the canal here creating wonderfully picturesque scenes. Home to coal mines, the canal link between Worsley and Manchester was immensely important during the Industrial Revolution.

Wherever you end up pedaling in Manchester and its surroundings, history will surround you and carry you along with it. 

Manchester's best cycling routes on the map

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