Manchester, UK

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.

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Worsley Tour

Manchester, England

A quick tour of one of the more attractive suburbs of Manchester, about 1/2 hour west of the city center. Well-known for the partially wood frame houses paths alon older canals. Our 3.5 mile tour includes the center, canals, parks.

Manchester has a temperate oceanic climate, with mild summers and cool winters. Summer temperatures are comfortable for running, averaging a high of 70F (21C) in July, and rarely getting into the 80s. Winters temperatures average in the 40s (7C), not often falling below freezing, and snowfall is relatively rare. Rainfall averages 32 inches a year – less than the UK average and comparable to cities such as Paris and New York. But it can be quite overcast in winter.

There’s a good cluster of hotels in the historic part of Manchester and in the Central Retail District. It’s the area east of the River Irwell, inside the Ring Road. If you stay at a hotel in this area, you’re within 1-2 miles of some good running along Manchester’s canals & rivers, plus the historic area. The closer you can be to one of the canal paths, the better!  There are also some good hotels on the western side of the River Irwell, which also has access to some good running, and plentiful bridges to hop over to the east side.


Runners Need (Manchester location).  Group Runs: Tuesday 6:30 pm.

Runners Need (Manchester Didsbury). Group Runs: Thursday 7:30 pm.

Sweatshop Manchester (Arndale)

Up & Running (Manchester)

Sweatshop (Hyde)

Foot Traffic (Bolton)

Tobutt Sports

Group Runs

TimeOut published a good piece about group runs in Manchester. Something for every day! The

Great Manchester Run. May. Half & 10k. Popular race.

Run in the Dark Manchester. December.

Manchester Marathon. April.

Stockport Hatters Half Marathon

Alexandra Park 5k. First Sunday of every month!