A while ago, Cath Dyson was contacted by ‘Will’, who led walks exploring the Mersey Valley using public transport. Got your tram ticket? Let’s go!
This is the first walk in a new series: it’s a 41/2 mile/7km stroll, starting out from Roundthorn Metrolink Station, near Wythenshawe Hospital. From here, we wander through Wythenshawe Park, Kenworthy Woods and Chorlton Water Park to Southern Cemetery. We finish our walk back by the tram line, only this time it’s at Withington Station on Princess Parkway.
Getting there: take the Manchester Airport tram and get off at Roundthorn.
Getting home: Take the tram from Withington (East Didsbury line); changing at St Werburgh’s Road for the Airport line, or Trafford Bar for the Altrincham line.
From the tram station, turn east along Roundthorn Road to Bowland Road. Turn left/NW, then right/NE onto Dunkeld Road. Don’t follow Dunkeld Road round to the left; instead go straight ahead to a footpath, turn left/NW on the footpath and continue, crossing Floatshall Road, onto Leaton Avenue and cross the railway line (marked 1 on our map) .
Go straight ahead and turn right at Royal Oak Road, then the first left/N along Westgate Gardens until you reach Altrincham Road. Take care crossing this very busy road; go through the gap into Wythenshawe Park. Head diagonally right to join the small road alongside the Community Farm and children’s playground to your right. Just after the playground, a short path takes you diagonally right through a small piece of woodland to reach the Courtyard Cafe. At the cafe turn right, then left, in front of Wythenshawe Hall and follow the path to Wythenshawe Road (2). Cross over to Rackhouse Road. At the end of Rackhouse, do a slight ‘dog leg’ left, then right, to the end of Raymond Road. Turn right along the footpath with the M60 to your left.
At the end of the footpath turn left onto Willenhall Road, following it under the motorway. Carry straight on, with your back to the motorway, along a pleasant track/road. Take the footpath to your right into a small wood, bear left/N on the path going through Kenworthy Woods until the path exits at the River Mersey (3).
Cross the river and head into Chorlton Water Park. Go anti-clockwise around the lake for the shortcut; clockwise if you fancy the longer stroll. Exit the park onto Maitland Avenue and continue along (crossing Darley Avenue) until you reach Barlow Moor Road (4).
Cross the road with care, turn right, then left into Southern Cemetery. The cemetery is a truly beautiful place, with some very interesting (and famous) residents. Head into the cemetery, but bear towards the right and the Princess Parkway side. Exit and cross Nell Lane, after which you can re-enter and take the path through the cemetery, running parallel to Princess Road. Exit onto the pavement just before the allotments and continue on to Withington Metrolink Station.