This is one of the 20 stages of the GM Ringway – the new walking trail for Greater Manchester. Stage 2 follows a series of pretty, traffic-free footpaths through the Mersey Valley greenbelt of South Manchester.

This section has now been revised to finish at Didsbury Village Metrolink station rather than East Didsbury, reducing the amount of roadside walking on this and the following stage.

Note that the latter parts of the stage close to the Mersey in Didsbury can be flooded after heavy rain. If this is the case, please follow the diversions indicated.

Note that parts of the trail may be damp, muddy and slippery at any time of year and especially after periods of wet weather. Please bear this in mind when planning your trip.

Map and directions

This walk is available on the user-friendly Go Jauntly walking app. Here, photographs and written directions will enable you to follow the route on your phone. You can also download a printable PDF of the directions from the same link.

Alternatively, you can follow the route (without written directions) on the mobile-friendly Plotaroute app . To use Plotaroute on your phone’s browser, simply click the map. Then, when you’re ready to start walking, click the tracker icon (bottom right) to show your position as you follow the route.

We recommend carrying an additional power source and/or map when following online routes on your phone. For any challenging routes, we would recommend that you also have access to and know how to read an Ordnance Survey map.

Go Jauntly app & PDF link

Feedback on the route

To give any feedback or notify us of any issues with this route, please click on the button below


Highlights include

  • The wildlife and greenery of Chorlton Water Park
  • The trees and birdlife of Kenworthy Woods, Manchester’s newest local nature reserve
  • An especially pretty meander of the River Mersey
  • An old country lane near Didsbury village
  • Fletcher Moss Park, one of the most attractive and varied areas of parkland in Manchester.

Accessibility and facilities

– Toilet facilities
– Cafe or pub nearby
– Dogs permitted (on a lead)
– Transport via Metrolink, bus, or train

Most of the paths are well-made and level, though there are steps where you leave the River Mersey by Withington Golf Course, a very few short slopes, and potentially muddy sections in many places after wet weather. Because of these factors, the complete walk is not wheelchair or pushchair-friendly. However, we believe that the section around Chorlton Water Park is largely step-free; this is listed as a separate walk here. There are also several step-free paths in Fletcher Moss and nearby Parsonage Gardens. We will be adding step-free and shorter walks on parts of the GM Ringway over the next few months.

Public toilets including accessible facilities are available at the cafe near the start in Sale Water Park and at Chorlton Water Park. The many refreshment opportunities are marked on the Plotaroute map.

How to get there

Start point Sale Water Park Metrolink M33 2LX

View start point on Google maps

End point Didsbury Village Metrolink M20 6WE

View end point on Google maps 

All stages of the GM Ringway can be accessed by public transport. This stage links  Sale Water Park and Didsbury Village Metrolink stations. At present (early 2023), dogs are permitted on Metrolink tram services. If this is no longer possible, walkers with dogs can use bus services to either Sale or Chorlton as shown on the Plotaroute map and take the train from East Didsbury train station or a bus back to Chorlton or other destinations.

To work out how to get to and from the walk start and end points, click the Google Maps links on this page. Then click ‘Directions’ and enter your postcode or location in the relevant field. Then, for public transport options, click the train icon. Alternatively, input the postcodes shown on this page into the Traveline journey planner.