For me the defining characteristic of a walk is the view. There is something incredibly wholesome about looking across a whole landscape. During lockdown, a lot has been said about the physical and mental health benefits of walking, but I think for having a view improves the quality and benefits of a walk tenfold. It is hard to describe what looking over a landscape does for me, but I think it just increases the chances of getting the benefits that a walk is meant to give. Whether this feeling comes because I’m a little bit obsessed with maps and geography is open for debate….. but I believe that anyone can enjoy and benefit from not just a good walk but from a delightful view.
I have outlined five walks in South Manchester and South Cheshire which I have found to have quite satisfactory views which I have thoroughly enjoyed spending time admiring. I have also added my favourite places to have a drink or bite to eat on the route as what is a walk without getting the reward of a café or pub. My only piece of advice is to spend time where the views are the best and just sit and enjoy.
A very well know and well used spot. It can get very busy at times but timing it right you can have more peace and quite to look over the Northern parts of Cheshire East with views of Lyme Park (a later walk). Setting off on the shortened walk from the Wizard Car park or a different free one along the road in the late afternoon / early evening you can catch the sunset over The Edge before going out for a meal in Alderley Edge and feel like a part of the proper Cheshire Set and not be caught in the masses.
There is also a longer circular route there and back to Hare Hill which is less busy and also a very enjoyable changing route across a number of Cheshire Farms. Be aware there are some steep sections in the woods leading up to The Edge. There are a number of options for drinks and food on this route with The Wizard Tearooms or the Ice Cream van both attached to the main car park. Or take a short 5 minute drive into Alderley Edge and spoilt for choice of cafes and restaurants, my personal favourite, the chocolate cake from The Village Café, I could have died happy after I finished my portion.
Red = Long Circular Route to Hare Hill
Blue = Route from the Main car park
Yellow = Alternative Route from free road side parking
After first being introduced to this Country Park while at Air Cadets where I was too busy running around like a headless chicken in a large game of Man Hut to take in the spectacular views. I have gone back on a number of occasions where I take in the views across to Jodrell Bank (my personal favourite landmark in the view). This is a lovely circular walk with a some interesting features from the past mining activities. It isn’t particularly steep walk or tricky walk so you can have a nice and relaxed stroll to the viewpoint. I have yet to try to café at the visitors centre at the Teggs Nose car park but a convenient location after completing the yomp.
Potentially one of my favourite National Trust Estate in England, probably because of its locality and amount of times I have visited it but never the less a lovely area or the world. Lyme Park can get very busy and parking can be an absolute pain. I have two solutions to that problem, get to the park early and get a space in the main car park or park up on Shrigley Road up from Higher Poynton and walk into the park. This does add quite a bit of distance to the walk but it is still definitely achievable. The cage is the main attraction of the park and no doubt is an interesting landmark and viewpoint for the walk and is definitely worth the visit.
However, just like the carpark, it can get quite busy due to the popularity of the landmark. So my solution to this is to head up above The Cage and The House to a higher point which I’ve found not as many people go to, maybe because it is a small steep climb to the highest point, apparently named The Quarry, but gives the quieter location which I look for in a viewpoint. Whenever I look across a city I always think, how weird it is that there are so many people carrying on with their lives that I could be looking over at one time while I just sit and ponder. Food for though. Talking about food, there is nothing better and more nostalgic that getting an ice cream from the hut at the top of the car park and sitting by the stream to eat it as I used to do that with my family on many occasions when I was much younger.
Red = Short Route from main car park within Lyme Park
Blue = Long Route from free street parking in Higher Poynton and West Gate entrance
Initially this list was just going to be walks and views in Cheshire East but when writing the Lyme Park section and thinking about views over Manchester, I couldn’t not include this. One of the best local views I’ve ever had has been sitting on a bench in Werneth Low while the sun is setting and the lights over Greater Manchester start to turn on. And that is exactly the time I suggest to go. Early evening just before sunset was very peaceful and not busy. The walk itself was very easy, I recall doing it in fashionable desert boots and not having any issues. I wouldn’t recommend the footwear that I chose but it shows the low difficulty of the walk. Then at the end, why not have a pub tea at the Hare and Hounds Inn. A definite must in my opinion.
Finally, the toughest of the walks but with one of the best views.
Past the people in the picture, you can see the views you get along the route. When I first went on the walk, I wasn’t expecting to get those views, the picture doesn’t do it justice. A break at the Leather’s Smithy pub is needed as this is a long and tough walk so make the most of the time sitting on the edge of the reservoir. Starting at the Standing Stone car park the walk dips in and out of forest paths which as a person with a short attention span who has a tendency to get bored is good as the changing scenes keeps the walk engaging.
So as people say, save the best for last.