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Walking in manchester

Walking is one of the easiest ways to become more active. 
Walking more is literally the first step you can take if you want to move a little more and start on your journey to becoming more active. 
From moving a bit more at home, walking to the shops or school, joining a walking group in your local park or hiking in the hills, there is something for everyone. 
There are many mental and physical health benefits to walking more – including feeling more alert, reducing stress and anxiety, improving your mood and improving sleep. 
Physical benefits of regular walking include improving your flexibility, strength and stamina, keeping your heart and lungs healthier, boosting your immune system and decreasing your risk of certain illnesses (including some cancers, diabetes and osteoporosis).  It can also help support weight management. 
Walking is a good way to connect with your friends, family, with your community and with nature.  Try a walking meeting or swap your cuppa and cake for a stroll with a friend! 
Swapping driving for walking on short journeys is good for your local environment too - in reducing car exhaust fumes; and for the planet in reducing carbon emissions.   Walking can be a low cost physical activity and mode of transport. 
See the links below for ideas and tips to get you; your families, communities and workplaces walking more. 
Give it a go and see if it works for you!

GM Walking Festival takes place in May. 

This year Manchester has over 80 walks across the city, delivered by a wide range of organisations. 

Many of the walks are short and easy; suitable for those who are new to walking activity.

Walk themes include: social walks, health walks (physical and mental), nature and conservation, history and culture walks and climate change awareness.  

Some are aimed at specific groups of people – e.g. women and girls, older people or bereaved carers.

Take a look through the huge variety of walks and find something that suits you.

As part of the GM Walking Festival 2024, were focusing on walking for this month, check out some walking stories HERE

The Manchester Green Trail 
The Manchester Green Trail, also known as the 'Green Corridor', is a walking circuit made up of 14 routes connecting many of the beautiful green spaces, public parks and tree-lined streets around our city. 

The entire trail spans the whole city from Heaton Park in the North to Wythenshawe in the south.

The routes were created to encourage more people to explore the many parks, woodlands and open spaces in their local area and beyond; making them livelier, safer, more sustainable and inviting places to visit. 

The routes were developed by Manchester and Salford Ramblers, Manchester City Council and Transport for Greater Manchester.

An overview of the 14 linked trails is here and each of the routes has its own individual map. 
The 14 routes:
Walk 1 Chapel Street Park to Clayton Hall Park

Walk 2 Clayton Hall Park to Boggart Hole Clough

Walk 3 Boggart Hole Clough to Heaton Park

Walk 4 Heaton park to Queens Park

Walk 5 Queens Park to Ardwick Green

Walk 6 Ardwick Green to Whitworth Park

Walk 7 Whitworth Park to Alexandra Park

Walk 8 Alexandra Park to Chorlton Bus Station

Walk 9 Chorlton Bus Station to Southern Cemetery

Walk 10 Southern Cemetery to Martinscroft

Walk 11 Martinscroft to Peel Hall Metro

Walk 12 Peel Hall Park to Riverside Park

Walk 13 Riverside Park to Fletcher Moss Park

Walk 14 Fletcher Moss Park to Chapel Street Park
The GM Ringway
The GM Ringway is Greater Manchester’s walking trail. Covering all ten boroughs of the city-region, the 300-km trail explores an astonishing variety of natural and historical sites.

Easily accessed by public transport, each of the trail’s 20 stages offers a unique walking experience.

The GM Ringway visits some of the region’s most iconic landscapes and also gives residents and visitors the opportunity to explore Greater Manchester’s rich cultural heritage.

The project is led by two charities – CPRE, the countryside charity, Ramblers (Greater Manchester & High Peak Area) – and is supported by a Heritage Fund grant.

Find out more here

See the walking apps section to find other walking routes in the area.

The Manchester: Let’s Walk! workshop is an in-person interactive workshop aimed at supporting individuals and organisations to encourage and facilitate more walking in workplaces; communities and amongst families and friends.  The workshop includes:

- The many benefits of walking
- Barriers to walking and how to address them
- How to set up and promote your walks
- Resources to encourage walking in Manchester
- Plus the opportunity to share your ideas and learn from others on the workshop
If you’d like to attend a Walking workshop, or for Manchester Active to run a workshop for your organisation, or in your area, then please get in touch at

Some feedback from the people who have attended:
“A fantastic, informative and enjoyable workshop.  Interesting stats and facts, great activities to get us thinking and working together.  Really useful solutions to barriers, planning a walk activity and apps and resources to use”.  Neighbourhood Community Development Officer.
“An enjoyable workshop. I feel in a better place to help families to set up walking groups” – Start Well Develop Well Community Development Officer.

Did you know there are 144 parks in Manchester – so there is bound to be one near you!   All providing opportunities to get out in nature, walk, and explore your local area; on your own or with others. 

Manchester’s parks have many facilities including green gyms, sports facilities and cafés for the cuppa after the walk!  Find your local park or green space here

Look out also for fun school holiday activity trails in Manchester’s larger parks – e.g. Halloween walks and Christmas walks. Pick up a trail map at the park.

Keep an eye on your local park’s notice board and social media for activities taking place.

Walking is great way to get out and about.  Best of all it can revitalise you; helping you feel brighter!  It can connect you to your community and to others and with nature.

Try to think of what you can do to build a little more walking into your life:

Move a little more – this could be getting up and moving a little more in your home, or garden, walking to the shops, or round the block, getting off the bus a stop earlier or using the stairs rather than the lift.  Everyone has different abilities and fitness level, so find what’s right for you.

Make a change – swap inactive things you do, for walking instead – e.g. walk and talk with a friend, rather than going to their house.  Walk with a family member rather than meeting in a café (or what’s better – walk and then grab that cuppa at the end!); walk that short journey instead of driving (it won’t take as long as you think!). 

Become a walking champion – YOU can encourage others to walk too!  Encourage family, friends, colleagues and neighbours to walk more.   Come along to our Manchester: Let’s Walk! (add link) workshop for ideas and inspiration.

Find walks in your local area New local walks are starting up all the time, so ask in your local community or on local social media to see if there are any new walks you can join.  Or attend a Manchester: Let’s Walk! Workshop (link) and start your own!

Try something different on your walks – capture your surroundings on a photography walk; tune into what’s around you on a Mindfullness Walk; Learn about your local area on a history walk; or see what you can spot on a nature walk. 

Come to our Let’s Walk! workshop  for more creative ideas for your walks.Email for more info

See GM Walking’s Daily Mile resources for ideas to encourage more walking.

Walking with your family is a great way to connect, have fun and burn off some of that endless energy that children seem to have!

Try exploring with your family in your local park or green space.  Just get out there and see what you can find, or what you can see.

Ideas for fun walks – for big and little kids!
- Collect little items from nature to create a nature display (leave living things though).
- Play eye spy on the route.
- Challenge kids to spot or find something of a certain colour or texture
- Play Hide-and-Seek or ‘Sardines’.
- Climb a tree.
- Check out the Love Exploring app (link) – find dinosaurs in Manchester’s parks.
- Nature or Waterside bingo.
- Make Autumn Leaf pictures.
- Make your own Stick Man or Pine Cone creature.
- Take a magnifying glass or binoculars.
- Take a picnic with their favourite treats.
- Photograph interesting things along the way.
- Find a stream and play pooh sticks
- Spot and identify some mini beasts (look but don’t touch!)
-Go on a Splashy Welly Walk.

Kids love exploring though and will find their own fun ?
GM Walking has the Daily Mile toolkit to encourage more family walking.  It also has resources and ideas to encourage families to walk – including making nature mobiles, journey sticks, mindful mandalas, Leaf creatures and Waterside bingo. 
Swap your car for your feet on short journeys:
Try to think of any family trips where you can swap the car for going on foot e.g. walking to school or to the shops.  Start small (e.g. once a week) and do what you can!  Get your children moving more for their health and for the environment.  See Sustrans or Living Streets for information on a more active school run – kids love moving!

Shh.. don’t mention walking!  Some young people and children may not be interested in ‘going for a walk’ – think of ways to encourage your young people outdoors - exploring and having adventures without mentioning walking! 

Having an active workforce has many benefits in the workplace.

Take time out of your working day to go for a stroll.  Just 10 minutes will help you feel more revitalised and able to focus better on your work. 

Try walking to work
One mile of walking takes just 20 minutes approx.  Blow the cobwebs away walking home after a day in the office.

Working at home
Go for a lunchtime stroll, or a walk round the block before or after work.

What you wear can affect how much you move

Give staff (or yourself!) permission to wear flat shoes and more comfortable clothing – if can make all the difference to how much we move.  Read more here about GM #activesoles.  Being active can make us more productive.

Have a walking meeting, rather than sitting in that stuffy meeting room!   Connect to colleagues and let the ideas flow.

For more ideas on workplace walking see Sport England’s Active Employee Toolkit or GM Walking’s Daily Mile Workplaces Toolkit.

The Ramblers - Britain's walking charity working to protect and expand the places people love to walk and promote walking for health and pleasure.
There are several Ramblers groups in the Manchester area offering different types of walks, so see what suits you:
(each title is a link)

Manchester and Salford Ramblers offer shorter weekday, evening and weekend walks of around 3 - 7 miles around the parks, green ways and canals of Manchester and Salford.  The group is friendly and always keen to encourage newcomers.  Get in touch for further information.

‘MAD’ (Manchester and District) Walkers is for those in their 20s and 30s including students and they offer weekend and weekday evening walks in the region, as well as weekends away and they love socialising too.
Manchester Weekend Walkers offer weekend and weekday evening walks and socials, as well as weekends away for those who are working or busy in the week.  Walks are in and around Greater Manchester.
Manchester Coach Rambles organise monthly excursions to Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty and local Sunday walks in the region, accessed by public transport or coach (from the city centre and other pick-up points on route).  Walks are 6-13 miles.  
Greater Manchester and High Peak Area Walks make use of public transport to get to the starting point. There are moderate Sunday walks and longer and shorter Wednesday walks.

There are also Ramblers groups in the other Greater Manchester districts.
Many of the Ramblers groups offer more than just walking; there’s often food and drinks at the end and other social events.  They’re a friendly bunch, so give it a go!             
All the Ramblers groups encourage public transport usage to access their walks where possible.

Free trial walks and Ramblers membership:
The Ramblers offer walkers the chance to try up to three walks for free, after which you should become a member to continue to walk with them. 

Membership starts from as little as £3.42 per month to join with a concessionary rate available (students/retired/on benefits).  

Joint membership is available and accompanied under 18s can walk for free.  Membership includes a variety of benefits and supports the work of the Ramblers organisation.
Volunteer with the Ramblers
The Ramblers are always looking for volunteers to help assist with walks, help with path maintenance and support campaigns.  Contact one of the groups listed above for further information. 

Walking Mums Club offers weekly walks in Manchester’s parks for new and expectant mums.

Fresh air, being in nature, walking, talking, learning and hysterical laughing (we blame sleep deprivation!) are all great for you (and your baby). That's why Walking Mums Club was set up.

We've built an inclusive community of parents who walk together across parks in Manchester, building new friendships, supporting each other and sharing stories of their parental journeys. Come join us on a walk in your local Manchester park.  

It's a great way to take those first steps pre and post-partum and link in to a network of mums all experiencing the same highs and lows.

Check out the page here

Love Exploring has come to Manchester! 

Love Exploring is a free app you can download to bring a whole new dimension to exploring Manchester’s parks!
Love Exploring offers augmented reality games and guided tours.  It’s aimed at little kids, big kids, explorers and challenging minds.

Find immense and flying dinosaurs in Manchester’s parks and even have your photo taken with them; discover and learn about the solar system and find out more about your local park.

Love Exploring adventures can be found in the following parks - Platt Fields; Wythenshawe; Heaton; Alexandra; Debdale; Fog Lane; Chorlton Park, Whitworth; Philips Park, Boggart Hole Clough, and Hulme Park.

Download the app here for free and start exploring (A great free activity for school holidays too!)

Go Jauntly
Go Jauntly has a variety of walking routes in the Manchester area. 

Simply download the app and off you go.  You can also add your own walking routes too.

Plan routes and track your walking activity through apps and technology solutions such as Strava, Alltrails, Kamoot and Fitbit or the NHS Active 10 app – record your steps and then aim for a little more each day / week. 

Get competitive if that’s your thing!  There are lots of apps to record your walking – just search for them.

We’d love to hear about your walking plans and to help support and promote them, so do get in touch. 

Please sign up for our Manchester: Let’s Walk! workshop. 

We can give advice and point you in the direction of useful resources and may be able to support you with some start-up funding to support your community walking plans. 

Contact details:
Angela Martin:

Laurel Kinrade:

Manchester Active