Climbing & Hiking Trails - 8 min read

Top 10 Hiking Destinations nearby to Manchester, UK | 2021

Town and Tourist

Town and Tourist, Updated May 12, 2022

Manchester  is an URBAN JUNGLE, but surprisingly it’s also VERY CLOSE to many Lush National Parks, Mountain Ranges, hilly hikes, Waterfall’s & much much more!

No Matter which direction you decide to drive there is something for everyone.

The Global Lockdown has reignited the inclination for a STAY-CATION & with many great places on your door step their is no need to get permission from BORIS, before traveling!

Thus in this post i’m going to reveal my TOP 10 Hiking Destinations close to Manchester city centre! As a Local Manchester resident (City centre) I took full advantage of these

lush spots over lockdown & will continue to do so in the future! ENJOY!



Peak District National Park covers the south end of the pennies & stretches from northern Derbyshire, to includes parts of CheshireGreater Manchester  and even South Yorkshire.

Kinder Scout is a Spectacular Mountain area which offers some Breath-taking views, which are worth the Challenging hike.

At over 2000 feet, the summit is the highest point in the Peak District! So expect panoramic views of the surrounding areas.

Kinder scout peak district
Kinder scout peak district Source:

How to Get there?

Located approximately 1 hour drive (30 miles) from Manchester city centre it is worth the trip & if your in South/East Manchester or Cheshire, kinder scout is practically on your door step.

You can start from Edale train station, then hike through the rocky area, before scrambling up a stepped path called Jacob’s Ladder!


From Hayfield which is close by, there’s an adventurous route to Kinder Downfall, which is the the tallest waterfall in the National Park!

Kinder Downfall, Kinder Scout. Source BBC
Kinder Downfall, Kinder Scout. Source BBC

Safety Tip: Be careful if your near the top, it can get very windy!

YouTube video

9. Dovestone Reservoir

Located at the intersection between Oldham & the Peak District, You will discover the lush Saddleworth Moor & the gigantic gem that is Dovestone Reservoir!

One of my Favourite places for a challenging but Paved hike, with speculator views!

There is a Large Reservoir area at the base of the mountain then on top you will find ANOTHER LARGE Reservoir & Lake, which is quite the treat after the walk up.


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A post shared by Benjamin Alaimo (@ben_alaimo)

Abilities: Challenging but suitable for everyone.

This hike is suitable for ALL ABILITIES & you will see families, couples, young/old taking the challenging walk.

Although Suitable for all abilities & a paved pathway which leads to the top, there are steep parts so I would suggest been in good health, bringing water & taking breaks along the way.

The main walking route is around 5 miles and takes less than two hours however, there’s also a shorter 3-mile walk that circles the reservoir & no need to go up high.

INSIDER TIP: Head up for sunset & you will be treated with spectacular views!

How to get to Dovestone Reservoir?

Located 13.2 Miles (45 mins drive) from Manchester city centre. There is a paid Parking area at entrance (But this is usually full!) so we just carried on along the main road to find a space

to park along the side of the road.

8. Winter Hill

The Delight of Bolton! Winter Hill is a Spectacular area of swampy hills, Castles & even a Medieval Manor house (Smithills hall).

I suggest the Highest hill walk which will take you through the aforementioned spots.   At Winter Hill, the heights reach 1500 feet, the Tallest hill in the West Pennines Moors!

INSIDER TIP: Stick to the pathways as going off road can lead to a swampy pursuit. 

Winter HIill, close to bolton, Mamchester. Source: Bolton news

How to get there?

Located 22 miles from Manchester city centre (57 min drive) (but feels faster!).
There is a variety of small parking areas as you drive up.

7. Rivington Pike – Bolton Favourite

Located in the same area as Winter Hill Mentioned above. This is an nice two-mile hike , (with Moderate/challenging incline at the end) as you ascend towards the castle.

The reward is panoramic views of the Lake District, Blackpool Tower and even the Isle of Man! (If weather is clear!)

Rivington Pike hike castle, Manchester: Source: Manchester evening news

Insider tip: Pigeon Tower & the beautiful Japanese Gardens are great spots to take a nice break on the benches & perhaps have a packed lunch.

We had a BBQ once which turned out VERY difficult to lit at the top of the windy hill! We got there in the end though!

6. Chorlton Water Park – Easy Family Walk.

Do you want a relaxing, family walk which is pretty much flat but still lots to see? Then Chorlton water park is for you!

farmland with woods, fishing in a gravel pit, a pond-dipping platform and a play area.

YouTube video

Insider tip: The stepping stones are a nice feature which you will see if you loop around the 1 mile lake.

For more of a challenge, I like to take my bike along the riverside for a nice ride & through the forests.

5. South Pennine Water Trail

From Hollingworth Lake in Littleborough, this incredible trail guides you along the legendary Rochdale Canal.

The canal rises over 55 locks at its highest point to a crazy 600ft above sea level on the west of the Pennines!

The trail distance is a concise 5 miles, with a challenging last stretch, still this is great for those who don’t want to take on a massive hike. Ideal for a chilled Sunday.

hollingworth-lake, South Pennine Water trail. Source; Manchester s finest


Be sure to check out the Nature Reserve & bird area close to the lake.

4. MAM TOR – Peak District

A legendary walk of the Peak District, enjoy the spectacular scenery of the Edale Valley.

If you Start in Castleton below Peveril Castle, you will walk towards the rugged Winnats Pass before taking a right and ascending uphill towards Blue John Cavern.

Mam_Tor_Lose_Hill_Walks_Peak_District. Source:

From here, it is a short hike along the footpath up to the summit of Mam Tor. From the top you are rewarded with stunning views of the Peak District.

Insider Tip: Great for those who want a very long full route. (6 hours approx) so best to start early morning if you wish to do the whole route.

3. ABER FALLS – Snowdonia

Aber Falls is a Spectacular waterfall located about two miles south of the village of Abergwyngregyn, Gwynedd, Wales.

The waterfall was formed as the Afon Goch plunges about 120 feet over the Carneddau range.

aber-falls-Snowdonia wales. Source: Great British Bucket list

How to get there?

Definitely the furthest spot from Manchester City centre on this list, but I think it’s worth it! Also if your in south Manchester it’s not too far.

2. Macclesfield Forest

Located approximately one hour drive from Manchester city centre, on the door step of those in South Manchester or chesire.

Macclesfield Forest is nestled at the Cheshire end of the Peak District, complete with four reservoirs nearby to adventure into.

Abilities & Route:

Ideal for all abilities as mostly flat with no incline.  It’s also short just a 1/4 mile circular trail.

Macc-Forest-reservoir-view-with-benches-and-leaning-posts. Source: Visit Cheshire

Wildlife Spotting?

Keep an eye out for the majestic red deer & unique wildlife during your walk.

Trentabank reservoir being home to the largest heronry ( majestic birds) in the Peak District.

Grey heron (2) credit Neil Aldridge
Grey heron (2) credit Neil Aldridge. Source;


Great place to snap an instagrammable shot on a sunday morning hike.

1. Lake District

Ok not exactly close to Manchester city centre, but the INCREDIBLE LAKE DISTRICT NATIONAL PARK is located just 1 hour 13 mins away via the M6 (Despite been over 70 miles away!)

A Great place for a stay-cation or weekend getaway.

lake-districtgettyimages-169972342. Source: Conde

Know for it’s ocean like lakes (go figure), rugged mossy mountains and historic Market towns such as Kendal, Ambleside and Keswick.


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