More than 300 free walks in Greater Manchester Walking Festival

Photo: Dimitris Vetsikas/Pixabay

May is a great time to check out a walking festival, as there are dozens around the UK to choose from.

One of the premium events is the Greater Manchester Walking Festival, which features more than 300 free walks throughout the month of May. The event also connects with Walk to School Week, from May 20 to 24, and the Big Wigan Walk Week from May 25 to June 2.

The walks range from easy to challenging. There are 15 walks in the challenging section, which range from four to more than 10 miles. These take in parts of the West Pennine Way, the Kingfisher Trail, a rail trail, and canal walks.

Because of the sheer volume of walks, the festival website features a search engine, where walkers can enter the difficulty of the walks, the date, or location of the walks. Walkers can also filter results by dog-friendly walks, buggy or wheelchair accessible, or even routes that include toilets and food stops along the way.

Wigan, Rochdale, Bolton, Bury, Stockport. Oldham and Manchester are among the communities included in the event. Each walk is a link for more information on the walks, including whether or not booking is necessary. For less experienced walkers, there are dozens of walks of less than one mile. Some of these are indoor walks aimed at supporting people with long-term health conditions, are not confident walking or are looking for an opportunity to meet new people.

The extensive website also includes details on getting to the walks, which includes parking details as well as public transport. There is even an excellent resources page to encourage walking beyond the festival dates. This includes walking groups, setting personal goals, walking with children, helping others to walk, and more.