Winter is arguably the best season of the year for walking. Really, hear me out.
It’s a season in which fur coats and beanies are just as essential as a warming paper cup full of hot chocolate, and nothing sorts you out quite like a steep incline to paper the cracks of a hellish hangover.
Even though Manchester is a mecca for creative revolution, skyscrapers and 24/7 city life, we’re not too far away from some stunning, picturesque walks where you can marvel at the architectural glamour of the city from fairly high up.
So if you find yourself waking up between now and the new year with some cobwebs to clear, grab your walking boots and head to one of these incredible hill top views where you can marvel at our cracking city skyline.
About as well known as IKEA if you’re from this side of Manchester, Hartshead Pike was built in the 18th century as a warning beacon for local garrisons, possibly lit during times of unrest. The Pike is actually not the highest part of the hill, but you can get a cracking view ranging from Pennine moors to the east, North Wales to the west and north towards Pendle Hill.
Part of the Pennines, Werneth Low is on the border of Stockport and Tameside and gives stunning panoramic views of Great Manchester. On clear days you’ll also be able to get a glimpse of Winter Hill (another one for a good walk on the other side of the city). From the south-western end of the hilltop, you will also be able to see the telescope from Jodrell Bank Observatory.
The well-known landmark was erected in tribute to Sir Robert Peel (founder of the Police Force and ex-Prime Minister). You can see as for as North Wales from the top of this. If you start at Ramsbottom Station you can also do a circular two to three-hour walk around the surrounding area to really get a feel for Bury.
Crompton Moor & Grains Bar
The site is known for its wildlife and is a frequent haunt for birdwatchers on the lookout for kestrels and plenty of other species! There’s loads of trails and the viewpoint offers some picturesque views of the surrounding countryside with the city in the background. There’s also a hidden waterfall close to the car park, which is a must-visit if you’re in the area!
Sitting on the plateau of Kinder Scout it would be rude not to include this one in the list. It’s technically Derbyshire but it offers absolutely cracking views of the city when you get to the top. You’ll also be able to see Winter Hill Bolton and as far as the mountains in Snowdonia on clear days. A million and two walks to choose from here so I’ll let you do the leg work!
Winter Hill is the highest point of the western Pennines and you know what that means – HILL.TOP.VIEWS. You can even get a glimpse of Blackpool Tower from the Pike on super clear days and of course, cracking views of the city centre and North Wales too!