Exploring Manchester’s beautiful countryside and heritage

Recently I have been exploring some of the different things Manchester has to offer. The city centre is amazing, but there are some amazing countryside locations and historical sites close by, which I just never think of visiting. So having checked out a couple I have decided to share the experience.

Living very close to Ordsall Hall I’d noticed them setting up earlier in the month for the “Ordsall Hall Great Big Garden Party” celebrating the reopening of the Tudor manor house after undergoing major renovation, and I decided to check it out on the day. I had a chance to look around the inside as well as the landscaped gardens, and they have really considered how to make the history of the place interesting to children. The garden party was enjoyable too, with a hog roast (what’s not to love), fudge stalls (seriously, my kind of event!), traditional Tudor entertainment and crafts and a birds of prey display.

I’ve also come across a selection of walks in the Manchester area which are available in printed form (and can be picked up from tourist offices) and also online at www.visitmanchester.com/what-to-do/countryside/. As part of the Manchester’s Countryside Project these 16 walking trails have been put together to showcase Greater Manchester’s natural and industrial heritage.

Yesterday was great walking weather so I tried out route number 9 “The South Pennine Water Trail”, which followed an attractive route across countryside, through Littleborough, along the Rochdale Canal towpath and finally circling the lovely Hollingworth Lake. The instructions could be quite confusing and difficult to follow at times – there were a couple of ambiguous points where we ended up having to go back on ourselves (which is not something you need on a walk that is already 5 miles!), but the route was very picturesque and not too strenuous. I also have it on good authority that several of the other walks in this series have much clearer instructions, so I’ll definitely consider trying some of the others.

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