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    8 Outdoor Activities in Manchester You Should Try

    31st May 2023
    8 Outdoor Activities in Manchester You Should Try - Victoria Riverside
    8 Outdoor Activities in Manchester You Should Try - Victoria Riverside

    Now that summer is here, you’ll be eager to get out and about and make the most of those gorgeous sunny days!

    Although a big, cosmopolitan city, there are more than enough outdoor activities in Manchester for you to make the summer last!

    Here are eight of our favourite things to do in the great outdoors while living in Manchester.


    1. Take a stroll in one of Manchester’s many parks

    Manchester is home to several grand parks and a multitude of pretty green spaces. They make the perfect places to have picnics on sunny days, sunbathe with a good book, or take a stroll.

    Located in north Manchester, Heaton Park is well worth a visit on a sunny day, as there is so much to see and do!

    It’s the largest municipal park in Europe, at an immense 600 acres, and has a manor house – the impressive Heaton Hall – as well as a golf course, tennis courts, boating lake, animal farm, ornamental gardens, observatory, tramway museum, and bowling green.  

    The park also hosts some cool summer festivals such as the iconic Park Life, alongside some open-air concerts and fun runs – making it a great place to enjoy fun outdoor activities in Manchester!

    To get there, you just need to catch a Metrolink tram from the city centre and get off at the Heaton Park stop.

    Close by, Prestwich Forest Park is a 200-hectare wide open space and woodland, with plenty to explore. It truly is a hidden gem and a great way to escape the hustle and bustle of city centre life.

    Fletcher Moss Botanical Gardens in Didsbury has a nature reserve filled with birds and rare trees dotted around the park. There are volunteering sessions each week and events throughout the year, so you can get actively involved in the park’s upkeep and social life!

    If you haven’t got time to make a full getaway, a lunchtime oasis can be found in the form of Angel Meadow Park, a quiet spot close to the Northern Quarter and Shudehill.


    2. Go hiking in the Peak District

    If you fancy going further afield and really getting out and about in nature, the good news is that the stunning Peak District National Park is just a short train ride away.

    Within just 45 minutes you could be ascending some of the UK’s most glorious hiking trails, breathing in fresh, crisp countryside air, and getting some incredible photos to make you the envy of all your social media followers!

    If you’re new to hiking, or simply like joining up with other people, you could try a guided hike, such as the Kinder Scout Guided Walks that run regularly throughout the year.

    peak district UK


    3. Go canalside

    The famous canals of the city cannot go without mention on our list of outdoor activities in Manchester. 

    Once a hive of industrial activity in the Victorian era, the canals are now some of the most peaceful and picturesque areas of the city, and ideal for walking and cycling.

    Taking a stroll by the waters, you will pass by some of Manchester’s most interesting sights, such as the Museum of Science and Industry and the Trafford Centre. 

    There are 65km of canal network to enjoy, so you’ll never tire of new routes to take and things to see. Many sections of the towpath are dotted with pubs and restaurants, so there’s always time for a pit-stop to take in the views with a pint.


    4. Go cycling

    Over the last few years, there has been some investment in cycling routes throughout the city, so there’s never been a better time to get on your bike and get exploring!

    The Bridgewater Way is a 39-mile cycling and walking route that forms part of 6 canal towpaths that link Manchester city centre to Altrincham, Castlefield and the Trafford Centre. Explore the Mersey Basin and make sure you check out the iconic Bridgewater Canal.

    The Fallowfield Loop is 8 miles long and is the longest urban cycleway in Britain. It used to be a line on the Manchester Central Station Railway, which means that it is flat and easy to navigate, with plenty of parks and wildlife to take in along the way.

    The Broughton Cycleway and Ashton Canal Cycleway are two traffic-free routes that take you safely into the city centre, with the latter passing by Manchester City’s Etihad Stadium.

    For a real cycling adventure, follow the Pennine Bridleway, which passes through the Peak District, South Pennines, North Yorkshire and Cumbria, offering unrivalled views along the way. 


    5. Get active with watersports

    If you prefer getting active on the water, then head over to Trafford Watersports Centre in Sale.

    Here you can indulge in all your favourites, whether it be canoeing, kayaking, sailing, windsurfing, or stand-up paddle boarding.

    In the nearby city of Salford, there are usually some water sports to get involved with at the Quays, so it’s worth checking out the Salford Watersports Centre.

    aerial view of jet skis


    6. Climbing

    Whether you’re a seasoned pro or looking for a new hobby, the Manchester Climbing Centre has something for you. Once a Victorian church, the centre is now fully kitted out with an impressive 20m lead wall, 75 climbing lines of all shapes and sizes, traverse walls and dedicated bouldering areas suited to all ages and abilities.

    There are rest areas where you can grab a coffee or refreshment if you need a breather too!

    And if you’re feeling super adventurous, take your rock climbing skills to another level with some of the rock-climbing countryside activities in the local and surrounding areas.


    7. Chill Factore

    One of the most exciting outdoor activities in Manchester is to be found at Chill Factore, home to the UK’s longest indoor real snow slope, at 180 metres long!

    Just 4 miles away from the city centre, next to the Trafford Centre, the Chill Factore offers a range of activities, from ski and snowboard lessons for all levels, to snow fun activities. There’s the main slope, as already mentioned, and a beginner’s slope to get started on, as well as a snow park area.

    The venue also has a selection of bars, cafes, restaurants and outdoor clothing shops, so you can make a real day of it!


    8. Riding

    Next up on our list of outdoor activities in Manchester is that most elegant of sports: horse-riding!

    There are a few places that you can get involved, including Wythenshawe Park Riding Stables, an award-winning, family-run horse riding school just six miles away from the city centre, and open 7 days a week.

    You can participate in hacks, bank rides and pony club days,  or host parties and corporate events in over 100 hectares of open parkland, taking in scenic woodlands, open grassland and beautiful wildflower meadows.

    Another option is the Croft Riding Centre which offers riding classes for all levels and ages. You can practise on horses and ponies and learn different techniques and disciplines such as general riding, dressage, jumping and cross country. 

    Lessons are given on a one-to-one basis or as groups, and you can also get stuck into events, clinics, shows and competitions throughout the year.

    Living at Victoria Riverside apartments, the potential for outdoor activities in Manchester is endless. Our list is just the beginning of the story, but is a great place to get started and make the most of the sunshine while it lasts!

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