Manchester is the second largest and third most visited city in the UK. It was one of the world’s first industrialized cities and a center of textile manufacturing. Many parts of Manchester have been revitalized since the 1960s and the closing of the port in the 1980s. Running in Manchester, UK is largely focused on several canal and riverside paths near the center, plus some pleasant parks in the outskirts. Note: If you’d like to have a guided running experience in Manchester, we highly recommend our affiliate partner Go! Running Tours.
The signature run in central Manchester is along the Rochdale Canal, with other canal routes along the Ashton Canal and Bridgewater Way. The continually improving Salford Quays, with the newly opened Imperial War Museum, have a pleasant path around the basins. About 5 miles south of the city, there’s a wonderful series of parks and fields forming a greenway connected by the River Mersey paths, which are the Manchester section of the Trans Pennine Trail. Although Manchester lacks an iconic park like other European cities, Heaton Park and Alexandra Park offer good running options.
Central Manchester is on the eastern bank of the River Irwell, where you’ll find good views of the Pennine mountains to the north and east. The River Mersey runs south of the city. Architecture is a mix of Victorian, red brick, and more modern. Manchester has an extensive light rail system with 7 lines and 93 stops, and a large bus network.