Autumn in Greater Manchester is a wonderful thing.
And our region is filled with places to appreciate the beauty and rich colour of this much-loved season.
Walking is one of the best ways get out into nature and experience everything it has to offer, and now that many of us have developed a new-found love, or rediscovered an old passion for walking over lockdown, there couldn’t be a better time to round up some of the best autumn routes in each of Greater Manchester’s ten boroughs.
Of course, in the times that we are currently living in amid the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic and with Greater Manchester having recently entered into Tier 3 restrictions, it is crucial to stress the importance of social distancing, adhering to any guidelines that the grounds or facilities may have implemented, leaving the place as you found it, and just generally being considerate of other people.
As per the travel guidelines for areas under Tier 3 restrictions, each walking route featured on this list remains within Greater Manchester county borders.
Some of the walking trails on the list may be more popular than others and therefore attract more visitors at peak times throughout the day/week, so this may require you to take a little bit of extra care to avoid creating any over-crowded areas.
With the cooperation of everyone, each place featured can be a perfectly COVID-safe walk for all.
So, let’s get walking then, shall we?
Here’s our picks for the best place to go for a walk in each Greater Manchester borough this autumn.
Fletcher Moss Park & Botanical Gardens
18 Stenner Lane, Didsbury, Manchester, M20 2RQ
Fletcher Moss Park & Botanical Gardens is one of the most beloved green spaces in the city region.
This 21-acre park in the affluent suburb of Didsbury – which has three entrances on Wilmslow Road, Millgate Lane, and Stenner Lane – was acquired as a gift from Alderman Fletcher Moss in 1914, and the gardens are renowned for their botanical beauty with many antiquated and unusual plants and flowers, making it an ideal place for a leisurely stroll for the family this autumn.
The park has also retained many of its original features, and there is an Alpine house in the gardens adjacent to Fletcher Moss, which together form a picturesque and tranquil haven for visitors.
There’s also a visitor’s centre onsite, along with tennis courts, a pond, orienteering and nature trails, and a cafe which has recently just reopened to the public with a number of COVID-secure and social distancing measures in place to keep staff and visitors safe.
You can find more information about Fletcher Moss Park & Botanical Gardens here.
Honourable Mentions: Manchester Green Trail, Manchester Wharf City Trail, Alexandra Park, Whitworth Park, Chorlton Water Park, and Clayton Vale.
Walkden Road, Worsley, Salford, M28 2QT
Worsley was once the heart of the transport revolution in Greater Manchester.
Now it’s home to this well-trekked three-mile circular walk, which gives you the opportunity to take in the picturesque village, the Bridgewater Canal, its fascinating heritage, and explore the rich woodland area of Worsley Woods, each of which look all the more beautiful during the colourful autumn months.
Important buildings worth spotting on your way include the Bridgewater Estate Offices, the Alphabet bridge, the humpback bridge, the Nailmakers House, Rock House, Packet House, Court House, the former Police Station (The Old Nick), and of course the famous The Aviary mock tudor house.
There’s also a wealth of restaurants, eateries, cafes and pubs to stop off at, making this a worthy top choice walking spot for all abilities.
You can find more information about the Worsley Village Circular here.
Honourable Mentions: The Salford Trail, Buile Hill Park & Hall, Salford Quays, Peel Park, and Blackleach Country Park.
Jumbles Country Park
Bradshaw Road, Bradshaw, Bolton, BL2 4JS
Jumbles Country Park opened in 1971 following the construction of Jumbles Reservoir – one of a number of major reservoirs in/bordering Bolton – and has an easily-accessable path around the reservoir, making it a popular walking trail for all abilities.
It boasts beautiful parkland and picturesque walking routes through a network of footpaths radiating up the valley and across adjacent hills. The grounds can be entered from a number of locations/starting points, and there are two designated carparks, with the main one located off Bradshaw Road.
The onsite Jumbles Country Park Café also provides food and light refreshments for visitors.
You can find more information about Jumbles Country Park here.
Honourable Mentions: The Last Drop Village, Moss Bank Park, Doffcocker Lodge, Moses Gate Country Park and Queens Park. (Rivington Pike, Turton Tower, Wayoh Reservoir and Entwistle Reservoir – each cross the Lancashire border).
Holcombe Moor & Peel Tower
Lumb Carr Road, Holcombe, Bury, BL8 4NN
Fancy giving your legs a good stretch?
This circular walk climbs to the Peel Monument on Holcombe Hill, which is an impressive landmark that stands at a height of 1,100 feet (335 m) above sea level and offers some really wonderful views over the surrounding countryside and towns. The recommended best starting point for this walk is from the car park just to the south east of the tower on Lumb Carr Road, and from there you head west.
For the best views, don’t forget to head up to Millennium bench, and then continue to explore the expansive Holcombe Moor if you still have the energy.
There’s also a number of places for well-earned refreshment along the extended route, or you can instead head into the historic market town of Ramsbottom, which is home to a wealth of independent cafes, restaurants and pubs.
You can find more information about Holcombe Moor & Peel Tower here.
Honourable Mentions: Heaton Park, Burrs Country Park, Nuttall Park, Prestwich Forest Park, and Hawkshaw & Affetside.
Hollingworth Lake, Littleborough, Rochdale, OL15 0AQ
Hollingworth Lake is a man-made lake which spans 118 acres.
It was originally built as the main water source for the Rochdale Canal during the 19th century and in Victorian times was known as “The Weighvers’ Seaport”, becoming a much-loved attraction for those living nearby shortly after.
Hollingworth Lake itself has an easy access footpath trail around, and the wider country park area then also has plenty of walking routes, which range from easy strolls, to sturdier treks in the surrounding hills.
As the lake is known to attract a large number of visitors at peak times, Rochdale Borough Council says: “We’re asking you to consider the safety of yourself and others. If the area looks busy, please consider visiting at an alternative time, or perhaps visit somewhere else that is local to your home.”
You can find more information about Hollingworth Lake here.
Honourable Mentions: Blackstone Edge, Healey Dell Nature Reserve, Greenbooth Resevoir Circular, Queens Park Heywood, and Hare Hill Park.
Greenfield, Saddleworth, Oldham, OL3 7NE
Dovestone Resevoir sitting in the heart of Saddleworth Moor is a beloved gem among many Mancunians.
This picturesque spot has good links to areas of open access moorland and an extensive network of easy access footpaths which makes it simple for the whole family to take a stroll round the reservoir, or stop on the way at Chew Brook to explore the rocks and paddle in the stream. If you’re feeling adventurous though, the site also includes two more reservoirs to walk round – Greenfield and Yeoman Hey – from which you can explore Saddleworth moor and the crags above.
Given its beauty and subsequent popularity, this area is also known to attract crowds and so taking extra care to ensure necessary social distance when visiting at peak times is always advised.
You can find more information about Dovestone Reservoir here.
Honourable Mentions: Tandle Hill, Daisy Nook Country Park, Strinesdale Country Park, Besom Hill, and Crompton Moor.
Werneth Low Country Park
Higham Lane, Hyde, Tameside, SK14 5LR
Werneth Low in Tameside offers what is one of the most spectacularly expansive and panoramic views of Manchester and beyond, and the dark blue silhouette of the Welsh mountains can even often be seen on clear days too, as can the Pennine hills close by.
The country park – which is both a haven for wildlife and an area for visitors to find peace and relaxation – extends for 200 acres across the northern and western slopes of Werneth Low.
The number of well-surfaced footpaths, horse riding and cycle routes, picnic areas, view finders, informal gardens, and seats provided at many locations throughout the trail designed for visitors to rest and take time to appreciate this unique area, also make this one of the most worthwhile walks in the region.
Make sure to stop off at the Hare & Hounds Inn in Hyde if you want a little extra time to appreciate this unrivalled view.
You can find more information about Werneth Low Country Park here.
Honourable Mentions: Lover’s Alley Trail, Stalybridge Country Park, Harridge Pike, Haugton Green Circular, and Haugton Dale Nature Reserve.
Dunham Massey, Altrincham, WA14 4SJ
Dunham Massey really needs no introduction.
The extensive 190-acre deer park and gardens in Altrincham boast over a thousand winter shrubs, trees and evergreens, making it the perfect place for a family-friendly autumnal stroll, or to take a moment to sit, listen to the seasonal sounds, and take in the beauty of nature’s changing colours.
You can then treat yourself to a warm drink, snack / bite to eat at the Stables Restaurant or Stamford Café, and there’s even a wood-fired pizza van onsite seven days a week now too.
Due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, Dunham Massey and the National Trust has introduced a number of safety measures, meaning visitors now need to pre-book a ticket for a half-hour timed entry slot prior to their visit, with non-National Trust members required to pay £8.
You can find more information about Dunham Massey here.
Honorable Mentions: Wythenshawe Park and Gardens, Trans Pennine Trail, Banky Meadows and Ashton upon Mersey, Urmston Meadows & Old Ees Brook, and Sale Water Park.
Bramhall Park Road, Bramhall, Stockport, SK7 3NX
Bramhall Park – which sits in the grounds of the historic 14th century timber-framed Bramall Hall in the Stockport suburb of Bramhall – is a magnificent and beautifully-landscaped greenspace of woodland and walking trails, which makes it another ideal location for an easy stroll, or a brilliant spot to appreciate all the colours autumn has to offer.
The onsite Stables Kitchen Cafe is also a great place to grab refreshments.
The landscaping of the park began in the 1890s – when the onsite ponds were first made – and the park is now also home to a variety of wildlife, as its woodland and lakes provide an excellent environment for habitats to develop.
The park has a pay and display carpark on site, and is also close to rail and bus routes.
You can find more information about Bramhall Park here.
Honourable Mentions: Reddish Vale Country Park, Lyme Park, Fred Perry Way, Heaton Mersey Common, and Etherow Country Park.
Pennington Flash Country Park
St Helens Road, Leigh, Wigan, WN7 3PA
Pennington Flash Country Park is a 490-acre park located between Lowton and Leigh in Wigan, and it offers an easy and family-friendly autumnal walk for all abilities.
As well being great for walkers, with the Pennington Flash Circuit (Jubilee Legacy Gold Route) being the most popular, thanks to the ‘flash’ – referring to the lakes on the site which were formed over time as a result of the mining subsidence – the park is also considered to be one of the most premier bird watching sites in the North West, with over 200 species to lay eyes on.
A nine-hole golf course is also open to the public, as well as fishing permits available and a children’s play area.
While there’s no permanent place for refreshment within the park’s grounds, food trucks and an ice cream van are known to visit, and there’s plenty of amenities at the nearby Parsonage Retail Park too.
You can find more information about Pennington Flash Country Park here.
Honourable Mentions: Haigh Country Park, Fairy Glen, Borsdane Woods, Worthington Lakes, and Mesnes Park.
There’s no doubt that we’ve missed some other spectacular walks off this list across Greater Manchester, so which routes would you add into the mix?
What’s your pick for the best place to go for a walk in our region?
Let us know.
All the best Joshua Brooks gigs and events on this February-April
Now the January slump is finally behind us, we’re raring to get stuck into a new season of live music, club nights and more. Thanks to Joshua Brooks’ line-up, we’ve already got a fair few in our diary.
Since its revamp back in 2021, JBs has gone from strength to strength, not only welcoming back returning customers who’ve frequented the much-loved Princess Street venue for years but ushering in a whole new crowd. With plenty of food, booze, music and live events, it never disappoints.
With that in mind, Joshua Brooks has an absolutely jam-packed schedule of live music, club nights and more this month and leading right up until April, not to mention plenty more to come this year.
With the likes of Pola & Bryson, Monrroe, GLXY, DUSKEE and Kira headlining, legendary drum, bass and jungle label Shogun Audio is returning to Joshua Brooks this February. Expect a thumping sound system, cutting-edge visuals and a room packed full of ravers. Grab your tickets HERE.
2. Super Bowl LVII – 12 Feb
Although the majority of dates on the list are music-related, the Super Bowl is one of the biggest sporting events of the year, so of course these lot are showing the game. With sharing platters and £2 pints on offer, not to mention table packages, it’s going to be one of the best places to watch the Bowl.
3. Whippin Label Paty with Melé – 17 Feb
Whipping Records are bringing two of their most popular artists back to the Brooks with Mele and Toby Simpson set to rock up and play a mix of world music-influenced house, transatlantic hip hop, UK techno, classic Chicago grooves and more. There’s something for everyone. Find out more HERE.
Treating the basement to what’s bound to be a banging DJ set, Joshua Brooks is one of the next stops on TS7’s massive headline tour, kicking off hours of house beats and basslines from 10pm onwards. You’ll want to grab a ticket for this one.
5. Luuk Van Dijk – 24 Feb
Amsterdam DJ Luuk Van Dijk is one of the most diverse we’ve come across in recent years and he’ll be greeting this beloved Princess Street venue with his unique sound once again just before the end of the month. Secure your tickets now and you’ll get to listen to him all night long.
6. Yousef – 25 Feb
Yousef is one of our absolute favourites, playing a variety of deep and tech house to all-round floor-filling dance music and everything in between. With support from Powda and the Dunmore Brothers, he’ll be playing for three whole hours — what a way to close out February. Get your ticket HERE.
Heading into March, we all know how great Thursday nights at Joshua Brooks are, even more so when they tea up with Tribal to bring you resident trick label DJ Ammara, as well as Nick Spencer, Max Rottier and Mcminn. Now that’s value for money. You can book in for any phase or all of them (why not?) HERE.
8. Moxy Muzik with Darius Syrossian – 3 March
The following day, you have JBs second night of Moxy Muzik for 2023 with Iranian DJ Darius Syrossian, who’s set to put on a three-hour set of house, UK garage and minimal techno. Moxy is one of the best up-and-coming local labels and definitely know how to put on a hometown show. Don’t miss it.
A pioneer of modern progressive house, London-based producer Ilan Bluestone has shot to fame on the international dance music scene. With some big singles and remixes over the past few years, not to mention his sophomore album Impulse, this master of synths is a good reason to stay up. Tickets HERE.
10. Horse Meat Disco – 10 March
Not just one of the best-named dance nights: it’s simply one of the best dance nights full stop. The London stallions are bringing the likes of Supernature, Scott Forrest and Rhod Parry to set the night off on a four-horse race to fill the floor and take the roof of 106 Princess Street. We’ll see you there.
That’s right, Mason Maynard is making a special appearance at Joshua Brooks along with guests Calvin Clarke and Ervs. The set will run from 10pm until 4am and tickets are bound to go quickly. Grab yours now while you still can.
12. What Hannah Wants – 17 March
Let’s. Effin. Go. What Hannah Wants is to be heard and with a dedicated fan base already behind after some unforgettable nights at Warehouse Project, she certainly will be. Give us that hard-hitting house or give us death. Tickets will go on sale soon, so keep your eyes peeled.
A true raver born on the underground scene, Seb Zito sets are legendary. The owner of Seven Dials Records and Fuse London, not to mention a resident at Infuse Ibiza, the Joshua Brooks crowd will be treated to a full night of techno and deep house until 4am. Say no more — tickets HERE.
14. Hannah Laing – 24 March
Dundee’s Queen of House, Hannah Laing is making her way down to Manchester as part of her North Headline Tour and we can’t wait — her ‘Murder On The Dancefloor’ edit alone is worth coming along for. Tickets aren’t yet live but you can join the waiting list now.
Next up is Max Dean, who after absolutely killing it at JBs back in December has been invited back to the basement once again. The house and minimal tech DJ is only 21 but is already making a splash on the electronic scene. He’s also got a few unreleased tracks just raring to go — maybe you’ll get to hear them.
16. Toman – 31 March
To close out Joshua Brook’s March offerings, Manchester is being treated to another rising Dutch DJ in Toman, as well as support from Pirate Copy. He’ll be playing what’s sure to be a lively three-hour set from 10pm and the student discount tickets have already sold out, so grab yours while you still can.
Joshua Brooks is kicking off April in style with a throwback for the ages. It’s been seven whole years since the last Just Skank event anywhere in Manchester and it just so happens that JBs has been selected for the night garage, D&B, dub and bassline. You simply cannot miss this one.
18. Fleur Shore – 14 April
As we hit the middle of the month, Birmingham’s very own Fleur Shore is back at JBs and playing all night long, from start to finish — this girl doesn’t need support. After a huge year playing all over the globe, she’ll be making the basement her own. Tickets HERE.
With festival season on the horizon, JBM Music and Retro Events are doing their bit to get you in the mood by hosting a warm-up party for this year’s Retro In The Park. The massive weekend line-up of DJs, worldwide acts and local artists might be over in Burnley but you can get in the mood a month in advance right here in 0161. Might as well get started early.
20. Full Circle – 21 April
Last but not least, our final pick from Joshua Brooks’ events this April is their Full Circle night which will take you back to what they call ‘the golden era of deep house’. With the likes of Route 94, Infinity Ink, No Artificial Colours, Brian Murphy and more on the playlist, we tend to agree. Get in booked in HERE.
The best things to do in Greater Manchester this week | 6 – 12 February 2023
February is already off to a great start in Greater Manchester, and it’s set to get even better this week.
As a new month gets underway, the events calendar soon becomes filled with all sorts of different activities to be getting up to this week, so once again, we’ve cherry-picked a few of the best bits for another edition of our ‘what’s on‘ guide.
As always, some of the events we’re going to mention are completely free, while others will set you back a few pounds, and many will need to be booked in advance.
Here’s our top picks.
Fancy catching all the February deals, discounts, and offers in Manchester’s cafes, bars, and restaurants?
Quite a few of the city’s bars and cafes have decided to extend their 50% off food deals from January into February, and we’re absolutely chuffed to see it.
Beyond that, there are some awesome set menus, lunch deals and general discounts going around – not to mention quite a lot of Valentine’s deals to take up if you’re looking to celebrate Cupid’s holiday with someone special this month.
If you’re looking for somewhere to grab a bite this week, we’ve rounded up some of the best Manchester February restaurant deals to take advantage of in 2023.
Never-before-seen portraits of local Holocaust survivors have gone on display at the Imperial War Museum (IWM) North in Manchester.
The new photography exhibition has opened to mark Holocaust Memorial Day 2023.
Following its successful inaugural run at IWM London back in 2021, the exhibition – which is titled Generations: Portraits of Holocaust Survivors – features 60 contemporary portraits of Holocaust survivors and their families, alongside four new photographs taken by The Royal Photographic Society (RPS) President and Chair of Trustees, Simon Hill.
Mamma Mia! has taken over the Opera House Manchester until this Saturday 11 February.
Fancy grabbing tickets to see the world’s sunniest and most exhilarating smash-hit musical? Making a much-anticipated return to our city, fans of the popular films will know Mamma Mia! is set on a Greek island paradise, and cleverly tells a story of love, friendship, and identity through the timeless songs of Swedish pop group ABBA.
Sophie’s quest to discover the father she’s never known brings her mother face to face with three men from her distant romantic past on the eve of a wedding they’ll never forget.
Exhibitions that explore the power of music, and give you the chance to try out an interactive “hands on” gaming experience are just some of the activities on offer at the Science and Industry Museum this winter.
The award-winning museum is invites people to discover 250 years of innovations and ideas that started life in Manchester and went on to change the world. Standout exhibition, Turn It Up: The power of music, is a world-first event giving those curious the chance to explore the science of music’s mysterious hold over us through a series of “immersive musical experiences and interactive activities” at a specially-commissioned ‘musical playground’.
There’s also still time to head on down and check out the stand-out interactive gaming experience, Power UP, and so much more.
Find out more about what’s on at the Science and Industry Museum here.
PUSH Festival 2023
Monday 6 – Saturday 18 February
PUSH Festival has returned for HOME MCR’s annual celebration of North West creative talent.
HOME’s stages, screens, and spaces are being dedicated to showcasing fantastic works from around the region, as well as offering opportunities for creatives to meet industry professionals, share ideas and inspiration, and develop their skills.
This year’s festival is showcasing newly-commissioned works across a range of art forms, including theatre, digital work, visual arts, and cinema.
The festival also includes a series of workshops and other artist development opportunities.
From Moss Side to Marseille: The Art of Michael Browne and Eric Cantona
National Football Museum
Monday 6 February – onwards
Manchester United legend Eric Cantona has set up a special sport-based art exhibition in the National Football Museum.
Spotlighting work by fine artist Michael Browne, who created a series of pieces exploring the relationship between sport, art and modern society, the new exhibition titled ‘From Moss Side to Marseille’ covers everything from “human rights, equality, injustice, the impact of power and elevations to a godlike status.”
The exhibition was commissioned by the Frenchman with the aim of celebrating influenced sporting heroes who used their positions to advocate for social change, even in the face of great personal cost.
RuPaul’s Drag Race UK star Cheddar Gorgeous’ iconic Pink Triangle outfit is on show at Refuge throughout LGBTQIA+ History Month.
Cheddar Gorgeous was applauded for the powerful HIV conversation in the werkroom of Drag Race UK and used the runway to showcase their activism with the bodysuit embellished with pink triangles.
Kimpton Clocktower Hotel and Refuge is also raising funds for its charity partner George House Trust throughout February with an outfit-inspired special cocktail called the ‘Pink Triangle’ – with a donation of 50% from each drink purchased going to the charity.
Cocktails ‘n’ Canvas is hosting a painting party at Vapiano in the Corn Exchange Manchester this week.
Don’t worry if you aren’t too artistic, as the artist will guide you step-by-step through painting your very own Oscar the Ostrich.
An ideal event for beginners and artists alike, and led by the amazing Cocktails ‘n’ Canvas team who will give you as much or as little guidance as needed, he aim is to have fun and leave with your very own piece of art to gift or keep for yourself.
It’s National Pizza Day this Thursday, so the amazing Gatto Pizza will be leading an informative workshop to show you how to make a beautiful authentic Neapolitan pizza in a relaxed and fun environment down at GRUB.
In this session, Gatto Pizza will guide groups through their ingredients and processes for making the perfect Neapolitan pizza, and you’ll learn to stretch and top your own pizza, and will be given a recipe card to take home.
Each ticket includes all the ingredients to make a pizza to stay and eat at GRUB.
Manchester 360º: The Shapeshifters, Kirollus & Supernature Disco
Friday 10 February
Ever wondered what it’s like to dance the night away inside one of Manchester city centre’s most historic buildings?
Well, there’s no need to wonder any longer, as the latest event in JBM Music – the team behind popular city centre venue, Joshua Brooks – and Fever’s newly-launched Manchester 360º series sees the “epic electronic disco” return to Manchester Cathedral once again by popular demand for one night only this Friday.
Top global DJs The Shapeshifters are headlining the event, with both Kirollus and Supernature Disco also gracing the decks on the night as support.
The Hip Hop Orchestra will serve up a mouth-watering combination of hip hop nostalgia, chart-topping R&B goodness, badass BBQ, and luscious liquor at the ultimate bottomless brunch party.
Running every Saturday at The Blues Kitchen in Manchester, you can expect live versions of your favourite tracks.
A range of tasty dishes will be served up, including burgers, fried chicken, and a handful of veggie and vegan options, and then for those really looking to get the party started, there’s an option to add bottomless booze to your ticket – with rum and prosecco for 90-minutes.
One of the biggest Guinness Fan Zones in the UK has arrived in Manchester city centre for the Six Nations, and the best part of all is, it’s absolutely free.
With the beloved rugby union tournament having kicked off on Saturday 4 February and running up until Saturday 18 March, Guinness have brought their popular fan zone to our lovely city – which is the biggest one outside of London – and have popped up at Escape to Freight Island just round the corner from Piccadilly Station.
The space has been transformed into a dedicated area for rugby lovers to watch the match, enjoy a fresh pint of ice-cold Guinness, and get involved with a whole host of other festivities.