The GM Ringway: Greater Manchester’s new 188-mile walking trail begins test runs

Featuring over 40 listed buildings, 13 museums, and 14 ancient monuments, the GM Ringway trail not only boasts natural beauty but also allows explorers to delve into Greater Manchester’s rich cultural heritage.

By Manchester's Finest | 3 July 2023

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Greater Manchester is embracing the great outdoors with the launch of the new long-distance walking trail known as the GM Ringway. The ambitious project is set to debut in Trafford, where organisers have planned a series of guided walks to test portions of the trail.

Local residents are invited to join one of the five free guided walks scheduled for Saturday 15th and Sunday 16th July. Participants will also get an exclusive chance to try out the trail’s new app and website. Walkers’ feedback will be crucial in enhancing the experience for future users as all 20 stages of the trail are progressively unveiled over the forthcoming months.

The pilot walks will showcase Manchester’s diverse landscapes and attractions, including a trek from the city centre passing Old Trafford along the picturesque Bridgewater Canal, a step-free promenade around Sale Water Park, and a leisurely stroll around Longford Park with the MileShyClub. There is also a circular journey starting from Altrincham, leading to Dunham Massey.

Water Mill at Dunham Massey

Councillor Tom Ross, the Leader of Trafford Council, and one of the first individuals to walk the entire trail, will be participating in the first of the guided walks on Saturday 15th July.

A joint effort by the countryside charity CPRE and The Ramblers, the GM Ringway project became feasible thanks to a substantial £250,000 grant from the Heritage Fund, funded by National Lottery players.

The trail, a 188-mile (300-km) route spanning all ten boroughs of Greater Manchester, utilises existing footpaths, parks, and open-access lands. It offers an opportunity to explore an incredible array of landscapes, parks, waterways, and stunning countryside. Besides its natural allure, the GM Ringway reveals Greater Manchester’s rich cultural heritage, featuring more than 40 Grade I and II*-listed buildings, 13 accredited museums, including Trafford’s Imperial War Museum, and 14 scheduled ancient monuments.

Jackson’s Bridge, Mersey Valley

Andrew Read, the Project Lead for GM Ringway, expresses excitement at the prospect of unveiling lesser-known natural sites through the trail. He encourages participation in the upcoming guided walks to gather crucial feedback for the further enhancement of the trail stages. It is estimated that upon completion, at least 30,000 people will walk part of the route annually.

For more detailed information on the GM Ringway, including route maps, visit