Step into Serenity: 17 Stunning Forest Walks near Manchester

Step into Serenity: 17 Stunning Forest Walks near Manchester

A footbridge in Drinkwater Park
Local Forest Walks
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    The table above lists all the best woodland walks near Manchester. Click on each name to be taken straight to the part of the blog post for that walk.

    One of the great things about Manchester is its proximity to forests, which provide a perfect opportunity for tourists to get some exercise while enjoying the fresh air. There are many different forests to choose from, so you can find one that's close to where you're staying. Whether you're interested in hiking or just taking a walk, Manchester's local forests offer a unique and beautiful experience that you won't find anywhere else.  You can take in the short walk next to the Bridgewater Canal at Worsley Woods, spot the tawny owls at Alderley Edge Wood, or take in the gorgeous views at the Goyt Valley. So be sure to visit at least one during your stay!

    The Local Manchester Woodland Walks You Should Visit

    In this blog post, we will be listing the many forest walks in Manchester.

    Manchester has some great green areas close to the city to explore. Have a look below at the forest walks available on the interactive map and click on the buttons below the map for each walk, to be taken to the Forestry England pages for further information on the forest trails.

    Drinkwater Park

    Manchester is a bustling city with plenty to see and do. However, sometimes it can be nice to get away from the hustle and bustle and take a relaxing walk in nature. Drinkwater Park is the perfect place to do just that. With its native woodland, open meadows, and lush greenery, Drinkwater Park is a true oasis. In addition to its scenic walking trails, the park is also full of history with its links to Irwell House (the former isolation hospital).

    Worsley Woods

    Just a short bus ride from the city centre, Worsley Woods is the perfect spot for a nature walk. Located near Salford, the woods are full of beautiful tall trees with a pathway that runs next to the Bridgewater Canal. The 2-mile route has benches dotted around if you want to stop for a rest, and on a sunny day, it's the perfect place to enjoy a picnic lunch.

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    Dunham Massey Woods

    The National Trust owned Dunham Massey trails are located just outside of the city centre (just off the A56 road) with miles of scenic paths to explore. Whether you're looking for a stroll or an invigorating hike, you'll find the perfect trail for you. And, of course, the woods are a haven for wildlife, so keep your eyes peeled for all sorts of furry and feathered friends. The walk here takes around two hours and is known for its tranquil surroundings.

    Colliers Wood

    Colliers Wood is a beautiful place to take a walk, and there are many reasons to visit on your next trip to Manchester (which is only ten miles away). The first reason is that Colliers Wood is home to an amazing variety of plant life. In addition to the usual suspects like trees and shrubs, you'll also find an abundance of wildflowers in the spring months of the year. The second reason to visit Colliers Wood is the stunning grassland views. On a clear day, you can see for miles, taking in the rolling hills and rural landscapes. Finally, Colliers Wood is a great place to explore with chances to practice your orienteering skills by trying the map reading course that you can find via the following button.

    Alderley Edge Wood

    Alderley Edge Wood is a truly magical place, and it should be on your list of places to visit when you're in the area. The woods are full of birds to spot including woodpeckers, gold rests, and tawny owls! It's also a great place to go for a walk any time of year - the 4.5 miles of paths are well-maintained and there are plenty of views over the Cheshire Plain and the Peak District to see.

    Rochdale Woodland

    Rochdale Woodland is the perfect place to take a walk and get away from our usual everyday hectic lifestyles. The peaceful setting amongst mature broadleaf trees is perfect for a relaxing stroll, and the beautiful scenery is sure to please nature lovers. In addition, Rochdale Woodland is home to a variety of wildlife, making it a great place to see some of the local native animals up close including woodpeckers, kingfishers, and dippers. So whether you're looking for a quiet place to relax or an exciting opportunity to see some new wildlife, be sure to add Rochdale Woodland to your list of places to visit.

    Blackley Forest Nature Reserve

    Manchester is a vibrant and lively city, but sometimes it's nice to get away from the hustle and bustle and enjoy some peace and quiet. That's where Blackley Forest Nature Reserve comes in. Located next to Heaton Park, the reserve offers a haven of tranquillity, with its winding paths, views across the River Irk, and abundant wildlife. And if you're lucky, you might even spot some local deer. So next time you're looking for a break from the intensity of the city, make sure to head to Blackley Forest nature reserve for a relaxing walk in nature.

    Chorlton ees

    Chorlton Ees Nature Reserve

    The 58 acre reserve is home to a variety of different habitats including gorgeous meadows and thick woodland. This means that there is a wealth of wildlife to see from wildflowers to butterflies and birds. In addition, the reserve is surrounded by miles of adjoining woodland and meadows next to the River Mersey, so you can explore as much or as little as you like.

    Philips park

    Philips Park

    If you're looking for a beautiful, peaceful spot to spend an afternoon, then look no further than Philips Park. In addition to its stunning plants and flowers, the park also features plenty of things to see and do, including a biking trail to get your heart rate pumping. And if you're feeling like wildlife spotting, you can keep your eyes peeled for woodpeckers, deer, and many species of butterflies.

    Daisy Nook Country Park

    Daisy Nook Country Park is the perfect place to take a walk and enjoy nature, and it's only a short drive from Manchester. The park covering over 40 hectares has something for everyone, with plenty of scenic walking trails, places to stop for a picnic, and meadows of flowers to explore. There is also a wide variety of wildlife to see including ducks, foxes, squirrels, and owls in the trees.

    Horrocks Wood

    Nestled just outside of Manchester, Horrocks Wood is the perfect place to see some beautiful displays by nature. The wood is home to a variety of wildlife including deer, rabbits, and hunting barn owls. The walking trails wind through the trees with plenty of opportunities to sit and enjoy the quiet. In addition, Horrocks Wood is a great place for some local views where you can see to the Jodrell Bank Observatory on a clear day.

    Viridor Wood

    Viridor Wood is the perfect place to take a walk with the area transformed into a greenspace that the locals and visitors can enjoy. On your arrival, you’ll be met with stunning views of nature with the 5km of trails stretching through the woodland. The wood is home to a variety of trees, a lake, and some wide open grasslands.

    Goyt Valley

    Goyt Valley

    If you're looking for a place to have a peaceful walk for a few hours, then you should visit Goyt Valley. Forming part of the Peak District National Park, the beautiful spot is located a short drive from the city centre. It's perfect for a leisurely walk or a more strenuous hike, and there's plenty of wildlife to see along the way. In addition, the views from the top of the valley across the Errwood Reservoir are simply stunning. So if you're looking for a place to get away from it all, be sure to add Goyt Valley to your list of places to visit.

    Sutton Manor

    Created in 2001, the 230 acre forest is full of towering trees and winding paths. So why should you visit Sutton Manor on your next trip to Manchester? Well, first of all, it's a great way to escape the noise of the city. Secondly, it's an excellent place to get some fresh air and exercise. And thirdly, it's simply a beautiful place to spend time in nature while marvelling at the creation of this forest just over 20 years ago!

    Delamere Forest

    Delamere Forest is the perfect place to enjoy a peaceful stroll among the trees. The forest covers over 9.5 square kilometres, making it one of the largest wooded areas in England. There are plenty of walking and cycling trails to explore, as well as a variety of wildlife to spot. In addition, the Forest is home to several ancient trees and with Go Ape located here, maybe you could climb amongst them!

    Sefton Meadows

    Just a short drive from the city you will find a variety of wildlife including butterflies, woodpeckers and many species of owls in the trees. Sefton Meadows is the perfect place to enjoy a peaceful walk in nature and with the woodlands made up of three sites (Jubilee Woods, Roughlys Wood, and Brooms Cross), there’s plenty to explore.

    Wharncliffe Woods

    Wharncliffe Woods is home to plenty of wildlife and beautiful scenery but is known locally as one of the best places to mountain bike! With over 400 hectares to explore, you're sure to find a spot that's perfect for a stroll, vigorous hike, or a thrill-seeking ride!

    Please note...

    All outdoor activities including forest walks involve a degree of risk. The walks are recommended due to the well known features of each forest but this may change over time and further research is required before undertaking any activity. The weather can also impact the surface and general conditions of each path so please keep yourself updated with the weather forecast before setting off to enjoy your walk!


    In this blog post, we have shared some of the woodland walks in Manchester. To find out more about free things to do in the area, click on the links below:


    Manchester Blogs


    Free Things to do in Manchester


    Cycling Routes in Manchester


    Local Delicacies from Manchester

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    Crown Copyright, courtesy Forestry Commission (23/11/22) licensed under the Open Government License.