Manchester's Best City Centre Walks

You don't need to travel out of the city for some great walks...

By Ben Brown | 12 October 2021

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The Rochdale Canal
Stretching all the way from Sowerby Bridge to the Castlefield Basin, the Rochdale Canal is certainly makes for an interesting (if long) walk. Instead of messing about with it’s entire length, just pick it up in the city centre and enjoy a leisurely walk along it’s length as it passes by some of Manchester’s most iconic landmarks and venues.

Take note too of the bit next to the Hacienda, there’s a timeline of music events cut into the metal there, charting the rise and subsequent fall of Manchester’s most iconic and famous music venue. Oh, and don’t worry about ‘The Pusher’ – he doesn’t exist. Still be careful though.


Northern Quarter Street Art
There’s always a new bit of street art popping up somewhere in the Northern Quarter, and so taking a nice walk around the area to spot as many as you can makes for a great way to spend an afternoon.

Start off in Stevenson Square and make your way down the back streets of the old industrial warehouses and factories – you’re going to find A LOT of art on the walls let me tell you. At the end of it all – head down Thomas Street for a couple of well-earned pints and some food.


The Brewer’s Mile
I don’t think you’ll disagree with me when I say that Manchester’s beer brewing scene is positively world-class, with an impressive range of brewers all setting up shop in the old industrial units dotted around the city in recent years.

So The Brewer’s Mile is the perfect walk for not just exploring the city’s industrial past and heritage, but also the chance to check out some of these breweries, chat to the brewers and (obviously) taste the freshest beers EVER as they come straight out of the tank.

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New Islington
A newly renovated and much improved corner of the city, New Islington Marina is now a lovely bit of green space in Manchester, and is perfect for a little picnic and a few tinnies when the sun comes out.

It’s also a great spot for a bit of a walk, taking in the marina, the new developments and the historical parts of Ancoats along the way. Be sure to pop into Pollen for a post-walk Cruffin too.

New Islington: “The Best Place to Live” in the City Centre?



Castlefield & Roman Ruins
An inner city conservation area, Castlefield acts as a major canal hub, as well as being home to Manchester’s Roman Ruins and even the world’s first passenger railway on Liverpool Road inside the Science & Industry Museum.

The area makes for the perfect weekend or evening walk, with loads of history, some cracking bars and restaurants, the aforementioned (free) museum and the ruins of the old city – Mamucium – providing a bit of culture to it all.

We’re set to get our very own ‘High Line‘ too in the old railways above your head, which should hopefully be open by mid-2022.


The Traditional Pub Walk
The perfect way to not just explore the city but also sample its many wet delights, our traditional ‘old man boozer’ pub crawl will take you to Manchester’s best old pubs – each one filled with mad characters and fizzy lagers.

Starting up on Rochdale Road at the Marble Arch, you’ll go all over the city and take in some of the best and most famous boozers along the way. It’s a great way to see the city, and an even better way of getting absolutely hammered.

The Best Manchester ‘Traditional Boozer’ Pub Crawl


Medieval Quarter
Featuring some of Manchester’s oldest buildings, the Medieval Quarter is perfect for a leisurely stroll through the city, and you might learn a few things along the way.

In this small corner of the city centre you’ll find Chetham’s Library, the oldest free public reference library in the English-speaking world, which was established back in 1653, as well as Manchester Cathedral and also Manchester’s oldest pub!

Take a walk around Cathedral Gardens (with the emos), pop into the National Football Museum and then pop into the Corn Exchange for a banging curry at Delhi House Café. There’s usually some form of event on in Cathedral Gardens too, with an ice rink this Christmas, alongside the Markets.


The Bridgewater Canal
Starting things off in Castlefield, the Bridgewater Canal then stretches all the way to the Manchester Ship Canal and then joins the River Mersey and heads out to sea. It makes for a great walk too – which will take you all the way to MediaCityUK.

Along the way you’ll pass Man Utd’s ground – where you can pop in for a tour – as well as the historic Pomona Island, up-and-coming Ordsall and finally – Salford Quays. Once there, treat yourself to a sandwich from Bada Bing, a cocktail from Alchemist or a huge sushi platter at Lime Bar.