Running, Walking and Cycling Routes in Manchester

We’ve curated the best walking, running and cycling routes around the city centre and beyond, ideal for an early morning stroll, stretching your legs on your lunch break, or making the journey from the train station to your hotel a little more interesting. If you’ve got time to spare before or after your conference, why not stay active whilst exploring the boroughs of Greater Manchester.

Route 1: Manchester Piccadilly to Manchester Central Convention Centre

Type: Historic / Iconic 
Length: 1.6km (0.8 miles)
Elevation: 26ft 
Start: Manchester Piccadilly (or reverse)
Highlights: Sackville Gardens (Alan Turing statue), Gay Village, Chinatown, Manchester Art Gallery, St Peter's Square, Central Library. 

Route 2: Castlefield Loop

Type: Historic / Iconic / Along the Water
Length: 2.6km (1.5 miles)
Elevation: 65ft 
Start: City Centre (any location)
Highlights: Manchester Central, St Peter's Square, Central Library, Bridgewater Hall, Rochdale Canal, Castlefield Urban Heritage Park, St John's Gardens.

Route 3: Highlights of Manchester City Centre

Type: Historic / Iconic / Along the Water
Length:  5km (3 miles)
Start: City Centre (any location)
Highlights: St Peter's Square, Central Library, Manchester Town Hall, Exchange Square, National Football Museum, Manchester Cathedral, The Lowry Hotel, Science & Industry Museum, Spinningfields, Castlefield, Rochdale Canal, Bridgewater Hall, Manchester Central. 

Route 4: Oxford Road Corridor & Universities

Type: Historic / University / Iconic  / Parks
Length: 5km (3.12 miles) as a return loop
Elevation: 45ft
Start: City Centre or any point on Oxford Road
Highlights: Manchester Metroplitan University, All Saints Park, Manchester Aquatic Centre, Aliance Manchester Business School, Royal Northern College of Music, The University of Manchester, Manchester Museum, Whitworth Art Gallery, Whitworth Park. 

Route 5: The Quays Waterfront Loop

Type: Historic / Iconic / Along the Water
Length: 3.5km (2.15 miles)
Elevation: 37ft
Start: Salford Quays or MediaCityUK Metrolink stations.
Highlights: MediaCityUK , Imperial War Museum North, The Lowry, BBC Studios, Manchester Ship Canal. 

Route 6: 5K Run to Manchester United Football Club

Type: Historic / Iconic / Along the Water
Length: 5km / 3 miles
Elevation: 85ft
Start: City Centre (Return journey from Old Trafford Metrolink stop)
Highlights: Castlefield, Bridgewater Canal, Manchester Ship Canal, Manchester United Football Club, Emirates Old Trafford (Lancashire Cricket) 

Route 7: Manchester City Centre, New Islington & Manchester City Football Club

Type: Historic / Iconic / Along the Water
Length: 6.2km (3.8 miles)
Elevation: 101ft
Start: City Centre (any location)
Highlights: Northern Quarter, Ancoats, New Islington, Ashton Canal, Etihad Stadium, Manchester City Football Club, Rochdale Canal. 

Route 8: River Irwell, Meadow & Peel Park, Salford

Type:  Parks / Along the Water / University 
Length: 7.8km (4.8 miles)
Elevation: 122ft
Start: City Centre or The University of Salford
Highlights: The University of Salford, Salford Museum & Art Gallery, Peel Park, River Irwell, The Meadow.

Route 9: South Manchester Cycle Loop

Type: Historic / Parks / Countryside / Along the Water 
Length: 22.5km (14 miles)
Elevation: 249ft
Start: Manchester City Centre
Highlights: Canals, River Mersey, Trans Pennine Trail, Chorlton Water Park, River Mersey, Platt Fields Park

For more ways to relax and enjoy the city’s green spaces, public parks and tree-lined streets, explore these 14 walking routes on the Manchester Green Trail circuit.  Buzz Manchester | Manchester Green Trail Maps