Altrincham to Manchester City Centre - Off Road

ali79uk

New Member
Hello everyone

I have just joined the website and have also recently moved to Altrincham.

I work in the City Centre, and am wanting to cycle from Altrinhcam to Manchester City Centre but not along any main roads. I have seen that there is the bridgewater canal I can cycle along, but I wanted to know if it was possible to cycle all the way into the city centre on this. I also know I can start at Halfords in Broadheath.

I have looked at the Bridgewater Canal Website but it was last updated in 2011.

I would like to cycle in, but want to avoid the roads. Any routes/suggestions would be great.

Regards
 

ManiaMuse

Veteran
You can definitely cycle along the Rochdale Canal Tow path in the direction of the City Centre. Looks like you have to switch sides of the canal quite a few times and there are quite a few locks and things, but he path does appear to be unbroken looking on google maps. Probably just best to give it a go and see if you become unstuck by any construction work or anything that might affect access.

I wouldn't plan on cycling quickly along it though, especially as you get towards the city. There are pedestrians and geese and it isn't that wide and the surface is made up of those large stones which look pretty slippery when it's wet.
 
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ali79uk

New Member
Thanks for the information, I dont mind slowing down but want to avoid roads.

Is there anyone here who actually makes this journey and can let me know if it is passable and how long it takes. It appears to be 9 miles door to door for me, so I am budgeting 1 hour for the journey, is this sufficent.

Kind Regards
 

Pale Rider

Legendary Member
Have a word with @400bhp - he commutes from Altrincham into Manchester.

His route is not particularly off road, but it is very well sorted so well worth a look.
 

400bhp

Guru
Easier to draw you a few maps: The Bridgwater canal is a good cycle path and is fine for road bikes. Just run wider tyres. I would do on 30mms but you could do on 25mm

V1 - Jump on the canal behind Halfords (Viaduct Rd):
http://ridewithgps.com/routes/7974322

Stay on it amost as far as the decent gravel path goes (there's a new gravel path to get you off the canal, it has new wooden bannisters running along it), then make your way through trafford park (you can use a wide cycle path all the way up to Old Trafford football stadium). Don't make the mistake of carrying on along or you'll end up on a narrow muddy path alongside the canal.
Then you need to go across the old swing bridge and do a loop underneath it (there's a disused cinema just to the left of the swing bridge). You're then on the path that goes alongside the river irwell.Just stay on this until it kicks you out. You're then almost on top of the old Princes Bridge bridge that is now closed to cars but is open for cycles. Brings you out near the old Granada studios on Water Street.

V2 - deviation of V1 (my preferred route). You just use a couple of back roads-go through a small park to get around going through trafford park.
http://ridewithgps.com/routes/7974421

There's another couple of good routes. The first is jumping off the canal in stretford and going along kings rd (reasonably quiet), then mking your way through a couple of back streets. And another by jumping off the canal and making your way through to chorlton. If you need me to draw a couple of maps for these let me know.
 

Origamist

Legendary Member
Location
Sandbach
400bhp as provided a comprehensive answer as ever. I'd also go for route 2...

I might even see you as I use the Bridgewater canal (but don't let that put you off).
 
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ali79uk

New Member
Thank you so much, that is very helpful. I agree the second route seems preferable. I appreciate all your inputs.

Regards
 

biking_fox

Veteran
Location
Manchester
It's the final mile that's the hard bit - I haven't found any sensible way of getting fully into the city centre off road. I Admit I've not looked that hard, but every route I've seen ends about where the very useful 400bhp route does, and any further in is along roads and the 1-way system. Once you've mastered that you might as well get a road bike and do the whole trip on roads, as the cars aren't going anywhere. - During rush hour/commuting times, most cars are stationary or slow moving and you have a pleasant ride along even quite 'fast' roads, just keep an eye open for people turning across you.
 

united4ever

Über Member
I have started commuting down the bridgewater canal this spring since they made the cycle path up to broadheath. I come off near trafford park though and cut through to salfird quays where i work. Often wondered about how to get into town so this is useful.

The canal tow path up to trafford park at least is good but a few things to watch out for: Still got cobbles under dane road bridge and sale bridge. I have road tyres and have to slow almost to walking pace for them. Wish they had covered them too. The surface from timperley to brooklands is not really paved but covered with gravel which can make it a bit hard work....wish they'd tarmac the whole stretch but i gather they were worried about people cycling in icy conditions. Oh, and the geese love to hiss at you...especially when they are protecting their new born chicks. Overall though, it seems a million times better than battling down the A56....i would still be taking the tram if that was the only cycling option. Good luck
 

clf

Senior Member
I find the roads easier in rush hour, as mentioned above the traffic is slow at this time, just be careful when filtering. The canal is full of grumpy dog walkers at this time of year.
 

clf

Senior Member
Used the canal on the way home earlier between Stretford and Timperley, busy with usual dog walkers, geese and kids. So many cyclists going like the clappers. If you won't to go that quick (18mph+) surely you use the roads? I wouldn't be surprised to see physical restrictions put along there soon. As usual the actions of a few knobheads spoiling it for the rest of us.
 

united4ever

Über Member
Yes, seen a few people berating cyclists and calling them a 'nuisance'. Would be gutted if they made it no cycling since it was the catalyst for me to get into cycling to work and would hate to commute down the A56. There are the barriers near Springfield school which work well but can one serious collision with a child involved and their may be restrictions put in place.
 
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