Greater Manchester is fit to burst with walking routes and trails, so we've put together a round-up of some of the best, with easy-to-use downloadable trail maps. Whether it's an easy family walk, a strenuous 5k or a picturesque dog walk you're looking for, these walks near Manchester mean you have access to some of the most beautiful walking routes in the UK.

Historic Houses, Highest Hill

This walk takes you from the medieval manor house of Smithills Hall up to the television mast on Winter Hill, which reaches a heigh of 1000 feet and is the highest hill in the West Pennine Moors. 

Distance: 4 miles/6.5km or 8 miles/13km
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Towers and Turrets

Starting at the Last Drop Village, this walk takes you across a scenic golf course, over one bridge of towers and turrets and past another, and through woods to the beautiful village of Chapeltown.

Distance: 6 miles/9.5km
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Two Faces of Rivington

The very popular walking area of Lever Park was laid out by the 1st Lord Leverhulme. The southern loop of this walk offers easy walking along wooded tracks and paths in the park while the northern loop takes you over rougher country on the fringe of moorland outside the park.

Distance: 3 miles/5km or 7.5 miles/12km
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Wigan Pier to Leigh Bridge

Starting at the iconic Wigan Pier and taking you through the unique collection of lakes and waterways known as Wigan Flashes, this walk goes on through the Hey Brook Corridor to delightful Pennington. A canal-side trail rich in natural history and heritage

Distance: 7.75 miles/12.5km
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Wigan Pier to Arley Hall

This is a canal-side trail, once again beginning at Wigan Pier, but then taking you along the Leeds-Liverpool Canal and up Wigan's famous flight of 23 locks to Top Lock. Then on through the wonderful and picturesque Haigh Plantations on your way to the historic Arley Hall.

Distance: 7 miles/11km
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Wigan Pier to Appley Bridge

Beginning at Wigan Pier and meandering through the Douglas Valley, this is a lovely canal-side trail mixing attractive and rich industrial heritage.

Distance: 5.5 miles/9km
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Worsley Village

This 3-mile circular walk around Worsley takes in the picturesque village, the Bridgewater Canal, its fascinating heritage and explores the rich woodland area of Worsley Woods.

Distance: 3 miles/5km
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Moorland Waters

The secluded Piethorne Valley is hidden from view and deep in the folds of the high Pennine moors. Victorian reservoirs built to supply water to the surrounding area dominate the valley and provide a wonderful backdrop to this moorland walk.

Distance: 3 miles/5km
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The South Pennine Water Trail

Discover Hollingworth Lake and Littleborough with this delightful 5 mile walk. With scenic views over the Pennines, this circular route takes in some of the best countryside the area has to offer. 

Distance: 5 miles/8km
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Saddleworth Circuit

A good walk with some strenuous hilly sections, this route takes in the Huddersfield Narrow Canal, country lanes, weavers' cottages and Saddleworth church before returning through the village of Uppermill.

Distance: 4 miles/6.5km
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Saddleworth Cycle & Horse Riding Trail

Castlehaw Valley is on the fringe of the Pennine moors, with untamed hills and deep peat gullies. Wind your way along the Roman roads and pack horse trails, taking in the ever changing moorland colours of this dramatic landscape.

Distance: 7 miles/11km
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Ramsbottom, Summerseat and Holcombe

This historic trail around Ramsbottom reveals the rich character and close relationship between landscape and community. This walk can be combined with a trip on the East Lancashire Railway.

Distance: 5.5 miles/9km
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Peel Tower, Holcombe Moor and Ramsbottom

This circular walk gives you everything; spectacular views of the woodland, riverside, rambling and heritage. Have a rest when you reach Peel Tower to catch your breath and admire views across Manchester and the North West.

Distance: 6 miles/9.5km
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Hawkshaw and Affetside

A fairly demanding but pleasant walk, taking in lanes and field paths through attractive moorland edge scenery. The northern most part of the route is occasionally closed for military training purposes so you may want to call ahead to check. Phone number is available on trail sheet.

Distance: 8.5 miles/13km
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Etherow Country Park Woodland and Waterways

A beautiful and calm woodland walk around mill ponds, rivers and streams with colourful views of the Goyt Valley.

Distance: 3.5 miles/5.6km
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Middlewood Way to Marple Locks

This is a flat and gentle walk along the reclaimed railway line surrounded by woodland and back alongside the Macclesfield Canal.

Distance: 8.5 miles/13.7km
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  1. Norman
    Just what we needed. An excellent selection of walks of varying distances
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