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Walking

Group of walkers

Rochdale, Heywood, Littleborough and Middleton offer some of the most varied walking in the Greater Manchester area. From gentle strolls along the towpath of the Rochdale Canal to exhilarating hikes high up in the South Pennine moors, you never have far to travel to enjoy being out in the countryside.

Healey Dell is a picturesque part of the Spodden Valley on the outskirts of Rochdale, rich in wildlife, and with a fascinating history and industrial archaeology. Walks include a spectacular high level walk along the track bed of the disused railway viaduct.

Hollingworth Lake Country Park is an ideal base for walking. There are easy strolls around the Lake, which boasts 118 acres of water high in the hills. And, with the dramatic Pennine backdrop of Blackstone Edge, you can use the Visitor Centre as a starting point for many waymarked trails in the surrounding countryside.

Great walks are to be had on the rugged moorland at Blackstone Edge overlooking Littleborough where paths, and a track which some say is a Roman road, lead to the Pennine Way. It offers fantastic views over Greater Manchester to the Cheshire Plain. The best place to park is near the White House Inn on the A58 Littleborough to Halifax road. It's also easy to get to by bus from Rochdale, Littleborough and Halifax.

Gentler walking can be found at Hopwood Woods Nature Reserve, near Middleton, an area where informal paths allow visitors to wander through the woods enjoying their peace and tranquillity.

Also near Middleton, Alkrington Woods Nature Reserve is a charming spot where paths wind through woodland along the banks of the River Irk and around the fishing lodges of Rhodes.

Between Heywood and Rochdale, Ashworth and Naden Valleys and Carr Wood are wooded river valleys with hillside views and sites of early industrial villages.

Another area where walking and water mix is the Piethorne Valley near Newhey. Starting out from the hamlet of Ogden, with its local pub The Bull’s Head, walks around several reservoirs take you up into the hills close to the Lancashire-Yorkshire border.

Read more about some of the great walks Rochdale has to offer:

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