Following the announcement of a ten-year, £1.5bn plan to develop thousands of miles of interlinked bike lanes around Greater Manchester, now seems a perfect time to check out the city’s best existing cycle routes.

From sanguine beginner loops to challenging Pennine slogs, here are some of the best bike rides in Manchester, broken down by distance, time and difficulty:

Bridgewater Way | City Centre - Altrincham

One of six new ‘cycleways’ opened around Greater Manchester, Bridgewater Way is a series of paved canal towpaths connecting Altrincham and the Trafford Centre to the centre of town. Flat, tranquil and with plenty of access points, this is a perfect novice ride.

Beginner | 18km traffic-free | ~1 hour

Holme Moss Loop | Gorton - Daisy Nook Country Park

Setting off from Gorton train station, this expert ride sends riders into the southern Pennines with a 4.5km climb at Dovestones and some breathtaking scenery along the way.

Expert | 71km | 3.5 hours

Green Plains Loop | Deansgate - Altrincham

Passing Castlefield’s Roman Fort and Emirates Old Trafford via some of Manchester’s newest cycle lanes, this intermediate loop swings out to Dunham Massey for a well-earned midpoint ice cream stop.

Intermediate | 2 hours | 48km

Tatton Mere Loop | Burnage - Tatton Park

Beginning with the broad, thrumming roads of south Burnage, this intermediate route sees the city give way to an achingly gorgeous landscape of open meadows and quiet lakes – Tatton Mere is especially beautiful in autumn.

Intermediate | 2.5 hours | 52km

Hebden Bridge Loop | Smithy Bridge - Blackstone Edge Reservoir

Packed with the North West’s best views across 70km of borderlands beauty, this long intermediate route swings by Hollingworth Lake, a couple of reservoirs and a climb at Great Edge.

Intermediate | 3.5 hours | 70km

Fallowfield Loop | Chorlton - Fairfield

Beginning at St. Weburgh’s Road tram stop, this short traffic-free ride uses a former railway line and stops by several scenic checkpoints, including the 130-acre Debdale Park.

Beginner | 30 minutes | 8.7km

Wolf McFarlane
Published on:
Wed 10 Aug 2022