Urban Explorer

Cath Dyson follows the Salford Trail and finds a fascinating history along the way.

This is a short, but interesting, urban ramble from Cornbrook tram stop, over Pomona Island, through Ordsall to Media City. The 3.6km (2. mile / 1 hour) route follows the Salford Trail, an urban walking route opened in 2017 by Stuart Maconie.

Leave Cornbrook tram stop and head to the main A56 along Cornbrook Road.Take a left down Ellesmere Street (just before InSitu). At Hulme Hall Road turn left and continue on the footpath under the railway arches and across the Pomona Wharf footbridge.

Take the steps to the edge of the River Irwell and turn right. Continue along this riverside urban park, with its colourful graffiti and views across to Pomona.

Pomona Island has had a varied and interesting history. In the 1800s it was the site of the huge Pomona Palace concert hall and a popular botanical garden (Pomona is the name of the Roman goddess of fruit and nut trees). Tourists flocked to the site by boat from the city centre. Read more about its fascinating history, courtesy of Skyliner.

After its closure, the island became a busy dockland area, before falling to waste and developers moving in.

At the signpost to Ordsall Hall turn right, then left onto Ordsall Lane. You’ll pass by Ordsall Hall, a beautiful historic manor house, which comes as an incongruous surprise, given its surroundings. If you have time, the hall is well worth a visit.

If not, follow the road round to Trafford Road, turn left and take a right down Clippers Quay, turn right and follow the footpath passing South Bay, then St Peter Basin where you pick up the line of the Metrolink. Turn left along the northern edge of Ontario Basin and continue until you arrive at the beautiful and bustling heart of Salford Quays – The Lowry, The Lowry Outlet, MediaCityUK, Imperial War Museum North, the Alchemist and the Blue Peter Garden!

Stop for a well-earned drink, then find your way back to Cornbrook by catching a tram from MediaCityUK.

Download a map of this walk here

Cath Dyson co-organises guided walks and navigation training. mapandcompass.wix.com/mapandcompass  Her book Navigate your way around … the South Pennines is published by Sigma Press