Best walks an hour’s drive from Manchester
Taking a stroll around the city centre isn’t quite the same as exploring the natural beauty England has to offer.
But knowing where to go, and how to get there, isn’t always simple. Especially if you’re a beginner, you might not know the best places to go walking outside of the most well-known spots in the country.
Sometimes you want to go on a hike, but you don’t want to journey too far away from home.
That’s why we’re releasing a series of guides to help hillwalkers all across the country find their nearest local beauty spots, for a convenient yet fulfilling experience.
So for those of you who live in and around Manchester, what are Sprayway’s top picks?
Stoodley Pike Walk
Located near Hebden Bridge, this can be a challenging walk, featuring stiles, muddy fields, and exposed open air.
However, it’s extremely rewarding. The views across this route are absolutely stunning, with gorgeous, sprawling countryside all around.
But it’s the Stoodley Pike itself that’s a highlight - particularly if you like to combine a bit of history with your walks. The monument, built to commemorate peace at the end of the Crimean War, stands 121ft high atop a large hill. You can even go inside and climb to the top to take in the view of the moorland, which we find is always a fitting reward for such a hike.
The walk, starting from Hebden Bridge, is around six miles long and takes between 2-3 hours to complete. So make sure to bring your walking boots and plenty to eat and drink!
Dovestone Reservoir to Alphin Pike
Circular trails are always a treat, as even once you reach the main destination or landmark of a walk, you’ve still got a unique path back to take your breath away.
That’s particularly true for this walk. Starting from Dovestone Reservoir car park, which can also be reached easily through public transport, there’s plenty of clearly marked paths through this hike to help you navigate the lengthy trail.
Some particular highlights include waterfalls, rock formations, and the Alphin Pike trig points which acts as a helpful aid to catch your bearings.
At nearly seven miles long, this can be a lengthy walk of around 3-5 hours, and the terrain can sometimes be challenging. This is especially true during weather which impedes visibility, as you may find it harder to find your way. We’d recommend a compass!
Shining Tor via Goyt Valley
Part of the Peak District National Park, Goyt Valley is the southern section of the valley which runs alongside the River Goyt.
The whole valley is filled with stunning routes, but one of our favourites is the trail which takes you from Errwood Reservoir up to Shining Tor.
Start from Errwood Hall car park, and make your way into this valley surrounded by incredible panoramic views. It can be quite muddy, so consider bringing some wellies and other suitable clothing to keep you dry. The paths, however, are well defined and easy to make out, so it’s a good walk if you’re not in the mood to do too much orienteering.
Shining Tor itself is a gorgeous spot which is the highest point of the walk, and offers a wide view of the entire valley.
Just over six and a half miles long, this walk will take between 3-5 hours. It’s one of the longest individual walks in Goyt Valley, and once you’ve completed this one, we’d highly suggest looking into some of the others in the area.
Edale to Mam Tor
Another Peak District walk, this one also happens to be the shortest out of the ones we’ve highlighted, which makes it perfect for beginner hillwalkers or those of you with young families who want to share the outdoors with your kids.
Starting from the main car park in Edale (which is also accessible by bus or train, if you don’t fancy the drive), the rest of this circular trail is an easily navigable trek with clear paths and signs across the landscape.
However, there’s erosion at points which might make things difficult to see during harsh weather - but since it’s a short walk, you shouldn’t find it too hard to find your way again.
Once you reach the summit of Mam Tor, there’s a breathtaking panoramic view of your surroundings. That’s just the first reward of this walk; the second is the choice of pubs and cafes waiting for you back at the beginning, where you can unwind and finish off your hike with a tea and cake.
At just over three miles long, this walk shouldn’t take you longer than two and a half hours, and that’s if you’re taking your time to soak up the views.
Get kitted out for hillwalking
Like the sound of some of these walks? Make sure you’re well equipped with the right clothes for the job.
Whether you’re looking for a new jacket, pair of trousers, or the right set of shoes to brace the muddy weather, Sprayway has you covered. Take a look at our collections and find what you need.
And if you find yourself at any of these spots, let us know! Take a picture of yourself kitted out in Sprayway gear and tag us on Instagram, Facebook, or Twitter with #Sprayway, and we might feature you on our social media.