Manchester – Manchester City Centre canal walk – by Moist
1.5 miles, 30 mins, 139 Cal (med pace)

Distance Time Calories CO2 Saved
1.5 miles 22 mins (fast) 157 Cal (fast) 0.13 kg Metrolink
2.4 km 30 mins (med) 139 Cal (med) 0.44 kg car
3420 steps 45 mins (slow) 135 Cal (slow) 0.26 kg bus
Route Map
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Manchester City Centre canal walk


by Moist. More by this author

Head along the Rochdale Canal from Piccadilly Basin to Castlefield's Roman fort, or vice-versa.

  1. Head under the ‘Piccadilly Basin’ arch and across the Dale Street car park to canal lock 84.
  2. Take care in crossing the lock to the other side and continue along the towpath towards the undercroft of Dale Street Bridge.
  3. Continue along under Piccadilly Tunnel, past lock 85 and towards Aytoun Street Bridge. Note: Piccadilly tunnel should be avoided at night as it is a renowned hotspot for ‘gay cruising’ and can be a bit intimidating!
  4. Head up the towpath ramp onto the junction of Auburn Street/Minshull Street - from here turn onto Canal Street and continue until you reach the end of the street at the New Union Hotel. Note: Start here at night (see above).
  5. Here, at lock 87, cross to the canal towpath on the other side and head under Princess Street Bridge.
  6. Pass lock 88 and below the grand St James’ Building and Oxford Street Bridge.
  7. Here at the Tib Basin, continue along. OR, you can use the footbridge (or have a go at crossing lock 89 at your own risk, which has railings along one side!) From here, you can branch off along the old Manchester and Salford Junction Canal, which ends further up at the Bridgewater Basin (The Bridgewater Hall).
  8. Walk along the towpath between locks 90 and 91, better known as Deansgate Locks. As you start to reach Deansgate Tunnel, bear left for a gentle slope, or right for some very steep steps! Note: this part of the route is very atmospheric at night, due to its location as a hub of Manchester nightlife, which nicely contrasts with the peacefulness of the canal.
  9. At this point, you pass directly below the railway viaduct. The open space with huge arches on the right is Pioneer Quay. Directly above that is the tram viaduct. Continue along.
  10. Leave the canal here at the Castle Street Bridge/Duke’s Lock 92. You can either explore the likes of Potato Wharf and Grocer’s Wharf in Castlefield, or continue north along the designated route, passing the unmapped Catalan Square, and under the viaducts into the open space of Castlefield Open Events Area at Giant’s Basin.
  11. Make your way up the steps on the right, taking you onto Duke Place. Here you will pass part of the Mamucium Roman fort. Continue along to the end Beaufort Street, and turn left to explore the other half of the fort.
  12. Liverpool Road - like the rest of Castlefield, this too is part of the Castlefield Urban Heritage Park. Have a drink in the White Lion on the right or The Ox, a little further up on the left. Or, take a trip to the Museum of Science and Industry, which is just across the road from The Ox.
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