A guide to best dog walking routes in and around Manchester
As a dog owner, it’s too easy to slip into autopilot mode. You wake up every morning, let your four-legged friend out to do their business, whilst you get ready and take them for their first walk.
Bleary-eyed, your feet are going one in front of the other, but you’re no longer taking it in. The rolling morning fog has lost its magic. The sun poking through the clouds is missing its romance.
Your once refreshing morning stroll with your best friend has turned into a cold, mundane, necessity. Even your pooch is bored. He’s marked his territory on every lamppost on this route, seven-fold.
It’s time for a change.
Thankfully, Yorkie Cross Chesney and Support Adoption For Pets have scoured the Mancunian landscape and beyond, to help us bring you the best dog walking routes in and around the city.
Chesney’s favourite walks
The Trans Pennine Trail (TPT) - Chesney’s favourite place
Chesney’s is lucky to have his favourite place of all, right on his doorstep. There is nothing he loves more than frequenting the Trans Pennine trail, leading on to the Bridgewater Canal in Grappenhall. He literally makes a beeline for it, every time he leaves the house!
The Trans Pennine Trail (TPT) is a coast-to-coast route spanning 215 miles from Southport to Horsea. Ideal for walkers, cyclists and horse riders alike, there’s plenty to keep both Chesney and his owners entertained.
The paths link the North and Irish seas, passing through the Pennines. On your trip you’ll encounter some of the most picturesque and historic towns in Northern England, boasting a range of heritage pubs, charming cafes and buzzing restaurants.
The route is largely traffic free and alongside rivers and canals, making it the perfect place to get away from the hustle and bustle of Manchester.
- Plan your route and check out facilities at: http://www.transpenninetrail.org.uk/
Macclesfield Forest is Cheney’s favourite place for getting back to nature and exploring the great outdoors. It’s the ultimate outdoor playground for both two and four-legged friends. Owners won’t be short of activities to try out, on offer, there’s horse riding, fishing, walking, cycling and bird watching.
After all of that, you’ll need to refuel. Visit Nice Nosh, a food stall for owners that offers exactly what is says on the tin! You can also dine al-fresco at one of the picnic areas if you’re lucky enough to catch some sun. There’s even dog-friendly self-catering facilities nearby that can be booked through Boots and Paws.
- Dog friendliness - off the lead walking and plenty to explore
- Parking: Car parks at Trentabank Reservoir and a small one at Standing Stone
White Nancy - Bollington
Peggy’s favourite walk is to White Nancy, an imposing 18 foot tall (white) Grade II listed structure, overlooking Kerridge and Bollington.
There lots of different walking routes to the top, ranging from an easy stroll along paths through rolling fields and farmlands to one, short, sharp descent. Whatever your ages or abilities, there will be a path to suit you and your four-legged friend. It’ll be worth it once you reach the peak. Peggy loves looking out at the stunning views of the villages near and far stretching the landscape.
In Bollington you’ll find a range of pubs to rest your feet, grab a bite to eat and rehydrate!
- Dog friendliness - on lead through farmland but can let them off along lanes
- Parking - Kerbside parking on Church Street or Lord Street, Bollington
- Public toilets - Bollington town centre
Bramhall Park is a large scenic park in the grounds of Bramall Hall. The park consists of magnificent landscaped grounds, woodland and trails. A stream runs through the park and there are large ponds for play fishing and feeding ducks. Although, remember, no bread!
The wildlife and scenery are both beautiful. It’s an incredibly peaceful place, full of friendly dog walkers. The park is steeped in history, great for inquisitive owners and pups alike.
Best of the rest: Support Adoption For Pets recommendations
Situated in the east of Manchester in the heart of Medlock Valley, Clayton Vale is a family-friendly nature reserve that will have your four-legged friend bounding for joy.
There’s plenty of wildlife to keep your pup pleased, here you’ll spot dragonflies, butterflies and a variety of breeds of bird. Enjoying a nature walk at Clayton Vale is a bit like taking a walk through a Beatrix Potter book - look out for rabbits, hedgehogs and spritely squirrels.
Humans will have plenty to keep them busy too. There’s a play area for the children and conservation area with dipping platform to discover wildlife. For cyclists, there’s a purpose-built bike shed and plenty of routes to keep you occupied. At the end of a busy day of exploring, visit the refreshment cabin to recover for your next adventure.
Whether your dog enjoys a splash in the Medlock River (you can stick to the pathed walk) or a ramble through woodland, there will be plenty to keep your dog’s tail wagging at Clayton Vale.
- Dog friendliness - suitable for off-lead walk
- Parking - Free car park which closes at dusk or around 3pm in the winter
- Public toilets - at the visitor centre
If your dog loves to roll around in the mud, this is the destination for you. There’s a great two-mile walking route, and we strongly advise that you wear your wellies! For energetic dogs, there are two large fields, perfect for tiring out your pup.
The reservoirs run through the park and give plenty of opportunity for doggies who love to splash and swim. To keep owners happy, Debdale boasts a children’s play area, fishing areas, skate park, tennis courts, football pitch, pitch ‘n’ putt and bowling greens. There is even an outdoor centre with various activities such as kayaking, canoeing and dinghy sailing available!
- Dog friendliness - suitable for off-lead walk
- Family friendly
- Public toilets - at community centre
Heaton Park, covering an area of over 600 acres, is the biggest municipal park in Manchester, England, and one of the largest in Europe. The park includes the grounds of a Grade I listed, neoclassical 18th-century country house, Heaton Hall.
There's lots to see at Heaton Park with lots of open spaces for the dogs to roam free and tire themselves out! The park is very accessible with lots of paths, so it's all-weather-friendly – easy to walk around in the rain without getting covered in mud!
- Car parking costs £1.50 for the day