Manchester: Campus to Quays


 1. To begin, take the tram, either from a City Centre location or from the end point of the walk, at Salford Quays, to the West of the City Centre. Head east out of the City, on the Ashton line, to the Etihad Campus.

2.  As a warm-up exercise for the start of the walk, climb the steps up from the tram stop and view the stadium from all sides by walking round it, clockwise or anti-clockwise as you wish.

3. Having circumnavigated, look for the blue bridge (unmistakeable as a large bridge surfaced in bright blue. From the stadium it seems to lead towards a gasometerDo not cross the bridge entirelyJust after the bridge crosses the tram tracks and the canal, take the steps on the left down to the towpath.

4.   The route now follows the canal towpath.

5.    After about a mile, approach a brightly coloured building on the right of the canal. 

6.  Walk along the towpath to the far end of the Chips building and then immediately turn right. Do not continue on to cross the yellow, Dutch-style lifting bridge. Follow the path across the City end of Chips and across the low swing bridge over the canal arm.

7. Cross the road ahead. To the right of the canal basin enter “Cotton Fields” through a gate.

8.   Walk along the right of the basin past a wider section and then cross a footbridge to the left of the basin. After the bridge turn right and walk towards the red brick mills of Ancoats.

9. At the Ancoats end of the Cotton Fields basin, the Rochdale Canal is reached. Turn left along the Rochdale Canal towpath. Cross the shapely old footbridge to the Ancoats side of the Canal. After the bridge, turn right and walk back along Redhill Street passing, on your left Royal Mills and Union Mill.

10.   After Murray Street turn left, opposite a new canal footbridge into Bengal Street.

11. Further along Bengal Street, after crossing Jersey Street, turn left into Hood Street.

12. Leaving, or passing, the cafe turn left into Sherratt Street, opposite the entrance to St Peter’s. After crossing Loom Street the next street is George Leigh Street.

13. To the left of Victoria Square, walk along George Leigh Street, past some parallel terraces of three-bedroomed houses. 

14. Walk along Anita Street and, at its end, turn left into Cornell Street and then right, into George Leigh Street.

15. Cross Great Ancoats Street, at the pedestrian crossing, to leave Ancoats and enter the Northern Quarter.

16. Having crossed Great Ancoats Street, enter Lever Street. Take the second right into Warwick Street.

17. Continue along Warwick Street, across Spear Street to Oldham Street. Stay on Warwich Street which becomes Whittle Street to cross Tib Street. Whittle Street widens just before the Wheatsheaf Pub.

18. Just after the Wheatsheaf, turn left into Oak Street.

19. At the far end of the Centre turn left out into William Fairburn Way/Hare Street and then immediately right into Copperas Street.

20.  At the far end of Copperas Street turn left into High Street.

21. Turn right into Thomas Street. After passing Salmon Street on the right cross the busy Shudehill to the transport interchange. To its left is the Metrolink stop. Cross to the left of that and walk along the footway down its left hand side. Then cross Dantzic Street into Balloon Street.

22. Follow the tram tracks across Corporation Street and into Victoria Station

23. Walk through the ticket hall to the opening to the left, away from the platforms, to view the large tiled “Lancashire and Yorkshire Railway map of destinations accessible from Victoria.

24. Walk out on to Victoria Station Approach.

25. Turn left along Victoria Station Approach.

26. Walk across the gardens by the paved Long Millgate, with a grassed area (with football-themed play equipment and an artificial stream) to your left.

27. Continue into Cathedral Street, which runs to the rear of Manchester Cathedral.

28. Immediately after passing the Cathedral, turn right into Cathedral Yard and then left into Cathedral Passage. This brings you to an area surrounded on three sides by pubs – the Mitre, the Old Wellington and Sinclair’s Oyster Bar.

29.  Walk between the pubs and up the steps opposite then along New Cathedral Street, a new “up-market” shopping street built in the post-bomb phase.

30. Cross St Mary’s gate at the end, with the front of Marks and Spencer to the left and enter Exchange Street.

31. Exchange Street opens out into St Ann’s Square.

32. Walk around St Ann’s Church to the right and at its far side go through St Ann’s Passage. Turn right into King Street, another fashionable shopping street. Walk to the junction with Deansgate.

33. Cross to the far side of Deansgate and turn left along it, passing King Street West, Bridge Street and Wood Street. Then, on the right, is the ornate, red sandstone, neo-Gothic, John Rylands Library.

34. Leaving the Library cross the open square to its South side, past the awkward angled building and turn right down The Avenue. This leads to Crown Square.

35. Turn right out of the Avenue, passing to the right of the Oast House pub, along Dolefield to Bridge Street. There turn left and left again into Gartside Street to walk along the looming South-East side of the Civil Justice Centre,

36. Beyond the end of the Civil Justice Centre, bear slightly right into New Gartside Street and then turn left into Hardman Square.

37. Walk through Hardman Square, bearing slightly to the left and enter Hardman Street, which leads back to Deansgate.

38. Cross back to the east side of Deansgate, to the statue of Chopin at the end of Brazenose Street.

39 Turn right up Brazenose Street into Lincoln Square. Leave the square to the left through an unattractive low covered passageway that leads to Mulberry Street.

40. Return to Lincoln Square and turn left towards the Town Hall, clearly visible beyond the end of the street. Cross the road into Albert Square.

41. Walk past the extension to the right, along Mount Street to the junction with Peter Street. Turn left into Peter Street and walk into St Peter’s Square.

42. Leaving the library turn right and follow the tram tracks, to the left of the Midland Hotel along Lower Mosely Street.

43. Cross to the left of the Street to Barbirolli Square.

44. Beyond this, to the left some steps lead steeply down to a small canal basin. Walk down there and follow the path around the right of the basin and then alongside a small, narrow stretch of canal, beneath Bridgewater Street and emerging by the Rochdale Canal.

45. Turn right at the lock ahead as you emerge from the tunnel and cross the footbridge to the towpath on the far side. Turn right on the far side and follow the towpath.

46. After walking beneath a road bridge, enter a section of the canal with a narrow towpath on the left.

47. At the end of the arches, descend to the left of a lock into a tunnel which takes the canal beneath Deansgate, illuminated by small coloured lights. Emerge from the tunnel to see a perfectly straight stretch to the end of the Rochdale Canal at lock 92.

48. At the lock, with a large pub “Duke’s 92” on the left and a lock keeper’s cottage on the right, cross the canal by the road bridge and then walk diagonally to the left, through the beer “garden” of a pub.

49. The route of the walk now crosses the large canal basin, at the junction of the Rochdale and Bridgewater canals. Before crossing that, explore the area to the right beneath several immense railway bridges, with several smaller footbridges over small canal arms.

50. Return to the basin and cross the large white arched bridge. At the far end of the bridge turn sharp left and walk back beneath the bridge to join the towpath of the Bridgewater Canal. The route now follows this until Throstle Nest Bridge, near Old Trafford.

51. At Throstle Nest Bridge, unmissable with its name in proud large letters, leave the towpath by walking up the ramp and then turn right to cross the bridge.

52. Cross the small slip road and then use the pedestrian crossing to find a way across the complex road junction of Trafford Road and Chester Road. Via several such crossings find your way to the entrance to Wharfside Way, with large warehouses on both sides and a large vertical chain sculpture.

53. Walk along Wharfside Way with views of Old Trafford Football Ground, home of Manchester United, appear on the left. Turn left up Sir Matt Busby Way to visit the stadium (or not, depending on your prejudices.)

54. Leave the Stadium by walking back down Sir Matt Busby Way. Cross Wharfside Way and Trafford Wharf Road and enter the Salford Quays complex to join the Quayside path. Turn left and follow the path along the side of the Quays.

55. Continue along the quayside opposite the Lowry, approaching the Imperial war Museum North, just beyond the footbridge, to the left.

56. Walk along the quayside beyond the IWM.

57. Cross the large footbridge, with eight large spikes supporting its suspending cables. This bridge swings to let ships through. On the far side walk between the Media City buildings, here mostly occupied by the BBC.

58. Walk out into a wide square, with studio and office buildings on two sides, a dock on another and, ahead of you, some tall posts with a large TV screen. Just beyond the screen, to its right, is the Media City UK Metrolink Stop, the “official” end point of this walk.