When it comes to dog walking spots, Greater Manchester plays host to some of the best in the country. With its beautiful hills, lakes, canals and good old northern countryside, you can generally take your pick when it comes to places to take your dog on an outdoor adventure.
There’s one downside to this time of year: when autumn is in full swing, the days are damper and darker. This can mean that the woodlands are muddier and the hills considerably more windy, but fear not, as with a little research and guidance, you can still make the most of these magnificent outdoor dog walking locations.
To help you pick the perfect route, we’ve done a roundup of some of our favourite autumn-friendly dog walking spots, so all you have to do is dig out the woollies and enjoy. You’re welcome!
Sale Water Park
Sale Water Park, south Manchester, is a surprisingly peaceful location with lovely woodland, a lake, and even the River Mersey right there alongside it. A walk through the grassy meadows will take you to the river, or you can talk a stroll over to Jackson’s Boat Bridge.
Interestingly, the large lake was once a gravel pit which was used in the 70’s to extract material for the M60. It was then flooded and transformed into a picturesque lake and dog-walking area which people now visit from all over the north west.
Fast forward a few years and there’s even a restaurant and cafe set up there, where you can warm up with a hot beverage or have lunch after a walk.
This huge park in Middleton is a famous spot to visit all year round, and it certainly makes for a superb crispy walk with the dog (or dogs). There is plenty of space for running off energy, as Heaton park has 600 acres of land to explore, complete with an animal farm, boating lake, and stunning ornamental gardens to walk around.
On a damp day you can rest assured that there are lots of clean, concrete paths taking you all around the space. If you happen to have kids in tow, there’s also the family-friendly Stables cafe right next to a pay area. So get a nice hot cup of tea and sit down for a bit while the kids and pooches have a good run around.
Urmston Meadows is a peaceful oasis in Trafford which is a known spot for locals. It’s an all round perfect woodland walking spot with large grassland and surfaced pathways.
Despite being close to the city, it’s far enough away from the hustle and bustle for you to enjoy a peaceful afternoon. Ditches and ponds are dotted around the area too, if you’re up for a little muddy adventure. If you’d rather stay away from this, the paths go right around the meadows, though you can expect to come across cyclists and horse riders. So long as your dog is ok with this, you’re onto a winner.
This high spot in Rivington (between Bolton and Chorley) is a large hill summit overlooking miles of land, with exceptional views. A bit of a climb, but well worth it for the scenery and views from the top. This spot offers a lot of free parking too which is worth taking advantage of, with different walking options depending on how energetic you’re feeling.
There are little lakes and streams on the way which are kind to the eye, with interesting spots to explore including the ruins of on old house. This is a very dog-friendly area and is a bit of a hotspot with walkers – a really great option so long as you don’t mind the uphill hike.
This woodland area may be right next to a busy motorway, but it’s actually quite a peaceful spot where you can enjoy a relaxing stroll. Declared a local nature reserve in 2006, the “Site of Biological Importance” is home to some delightful wildlife and stunning, wild flowers.
It’s not a surprise that this location is a big hit with dog walkers, with nice maintained paths which lead right through the woodland. Spanning 300 hectares of land it’s also a considerable size – big enough to spend a full autumn afternoon.
Which dogs are suited to which walks?
Your breed of pooch may dictate what sort of location you choose. Some types of dogs enjoy long walks more than others, for example, while others may require less exercise. If you’re still undecided about which breed of dog is right for you, then take a look at the Vitabiotics SuperDogSelector tool. Simply answer a few questions about your lifestyle and it’ll recommend you a couple of breed types that might be ideal!