A Manchester Mini-Trail from the Grey Horse Inn

A short city-centre walking tour from a historic alehouse, featuring a mix of well-known landmarks and lesser curiosities.

Technical sheet
No. 18796990
A Manchester walk posted on 26/01/22 by Walks from the Door. Update : 26/01/22
Calculated time Calculated time: 0h40[?]
Distance Distance : 2.27km
Vertical gain Vertical gain : 12m
Vertical drop Vertical drop : 12m
Highest point Highest point : 62m
Lowest point Lowest point : 45m
Easy Difficulty : Easy
Back to starting point Back to starting point : Yes
Walking Walking
Location Location : Manchester
Starting point Starting point : N 53.477843° / W 2.239827°
Download : -


(D/A) From the front door of the Grey Horse, turn right along Portland St. Pass the Colin Jellicoe Gallery and the Circus Tavern, to the corner of Princess St.

(1) Turn right into Princess St, crossing Faulkner St then, beyond the Yang Sing, turn left into St James St.

At the junction with Dickinson St, turn left and return to Portland St. Turn right to the junction with Oxford St.

Turn right and walk up Oxford St to St Peter’s Square.

Beyond the hotel and library, turn right into Mount St and follow it to Albert Square, in front of the Town Hall.

(2) Beyond the Town Hall, turn right into Princess St. By the Manchester Art Gallery, turn left into Mosley St.

Follow Mosley St (passing Booth St, Charlotte St and York St) to reach Piccadilly Gardens. Turn right and cross the gardens to Piccadilly and follow it to Portland St.

(3) Beyond the Duke of Wellington statue, turn right into Portland St, crossing the tram tracks by the bus station entrance, then cross to the other side of the street to peek into the Britannia Hotel.

Cross Chorlton St then turn right into Charlotte St.

Turn left into Faulkner St and walk through Chinatown to the Chinese Arch.

Turn left along Nicholas St, then right along Portland Street to return to the Grey Horse. (D/A)

Waypoints :
D/A : km 0 - alt. 50m
1 : km 0.04 - alt. 49m
2 : km 0.89 - alt. 54m
3 : km 1.72 - alt. 57m
D/A : km 2.27 - alt. 50m

Useful Information

Pdf link : http://walksfromthedoor.co.uk/i/walks/Ma...

The Grey Horse Inn
80 Portland St,
Tel : 0161 236 1874

Visorando and this author cannot be held responsible in the case of accidents or problems occuring on this walk.

During the walk or to do/see around

  • The Colin Jellicoe Gallery is something of a Manchester institution and one of the least pretentious art galleries you’ll ever find. Manchester-born Jellicoe has exhibited his and other artists’ works here for over 40 years.
  • The Circus Tavern claims to be the smallest bar in Europe. On the opposite side of the road, the Pickles Building of 1870 is typical of the Victorian former warehouses that charac- terise this part of Manchester.
  • A nondescript brick building and tower behind razor wire on the right conceals an entrance to the Guardian Ex- change, a four-mile tunnel network built at the start of the Cold War to provide secure telecommunications. A major fire in 2004 cut off 130,000 Manchester phone lines and caused Internet outages as far afield as Sweden.
  • The Beaux Arts building opposite (now a McDonald’s) is the former Picture House, opened in 1911 and one of the earliest Manchester cinemas. An open square tower once surmounted the entrance above the terracotta plaque.
  • The Princes Building on your left has a striking Art Nouveau facade of 1903. The inverted semi-circular parapets between its nine chimneys sparked tall tales that the builders had assembled the planned arches upside-down!

The slender Portland stone memorial cross in St Peter’s Square marks the position of the former church of St Peter, demolished in 1907. The circular Manchester Central Library was opened in 1934 by Prime Minister Ramsey McDonald in the presence of George V. The Midland Hotel, on your left, is a dramatic Baroque building of pink and brown granite and glazed terracotta. The first meeting of Messrs Rolls and Royce took place here in 1904.

(5) Either side of the Albert Memorial are statues of William Gladstone (four times Prime Minister), Oliver Heywood (banker and benefactor), John Bright (Radical Liberal statesman and free trade advocate), James Fraser (Bishop of Manchester), and the Jubilee Fountain, erected to celebrate Victoria’s Diamond Jubilee in 1897. Manchester Town Hall, built by Alfred Waterhouse, is considered a Gothic Revival masterpiece. The 280-foot tower houses Great Abel, the clock bell (named after Abel Heywood, mayor at the time of the opening). Statues of scientists John Dalton and James Joule guard the entrance hall, and within the Great Hall are twelve murals, the last major works by the pre-Raphaelite painter Ford Madox Brown.

(6) The Manchester Cenotaph was designed by Sir Edwin Lutyens, described by Gavin Stamp as "the greatest Brit- ish architect of the twentieth (or of any other) century." It was erected in front of the Library in 1924 and moved to its present location in 2014. Manchester Art Gallery is the work of another architectural knight, Sir Charles Barry, who designed the Houses of Parliament. It is particularly renowned for its collection of Victorian paintings: works by William Etty, William Holman Hunt, and Ford Madox Brown are among its star exhibits.

(7) Piccadilly Gardens stand on the site of the Manchester Royal Infirmary (demolished 1910). The reordering of 2001–03 and the construction of the adjacent One Picca- dilly Gardens office block was controversial, with only the original statues of Robert Peel, James Watt, Queen Victoria and the Duke of Wellington surviving, and Japanese architect Tadao Ando’s curved concrete pavilion being nicknamed “the Berlin Wall”.

(8) The Britannia Hotel occupies the former Watts Warehouse, built in 1851–56 in the form of a Venetian palazzo, with each floor in a different architectural style. It was the largest single-occupancy textile warehouse in Manchester. The entrance hall has a spectacular open staircase, and in the lobby is a war memorial including The Sentry by the renowned military sculptor Charles Sargeant Jagger (1885–1934). Apparently, the memorial was wryly nicknamed “St Bonus” by the workers whose bonuses were appropriated to pay for it.

(9) Charlotte Street has one of the most complete runs of 19th-century warehouses in Manchester, mostly built by Edward Walters (1808–72), whose best-known work is the Free Trade Hall.

(10) The Imperial Chinese Arch, technically known as a paifang, was erected in 1987 and was the first such arch in Europe. It was built in Beijing and shipped over for assembly here. The traditional Chinese mortar – said to contain pig’s blood – did not stand up well to Manchester’s famously damp climate and the arch required restoration in 2013. The gilded decoration includes traditional Chinese dragon and phoenix motifs. The enormous Betfred bookmakers nearby attests to the Chinese fondness for gambling. A wall overlooking the Faulkner St car park is decorated with a Chinese junk in brick and two oriental pagodas provide shelter nearby.

Other walks in the area

Stockport - a Ramble
distance 7.99km Vertical gain +51m Vertical drop -52m Durée 2h25 Easy Easy
Starting point Starting point in Manchester

This rewarding dérive reveals the B side of our heritage and culture, an antidote to the country walk, and one which for many folk is right on their doorstep. It explores the unique post-occupancy landscape of a Northern town where the rot has set in, viewing iconic heritage sights from the relative safety of the pavement.

Organisation / Walking Club / Mountain guide
distance 5.21km Vertical gain +70m Vertical drop -70m Durée 1h40 Easy Easy
Starting point Starting point in Manchester

Canal towpath and riverside walking in a wildlife-rich rural oasis, including a local nature reserve.

Organisation / Walking Club / Mountain guide
distance 7.57km Vertical gain +141m Vertical drop -134m Durée 2h35 Moderate Moderate
Starting point Starting point in Manchester

Follow the Trans-Pennine Trail to a popular local landmark with extensive views.

Organisation / Walking Club / Mountain guide
distance 6.33km Vertical gain +82m Vertical drop -91m Durée 2h05 Moderate Moderate
Starting point Starting point in Manchester

Wide views, interesting corners, and a quiet stretch of canal towpath with a spooky tunnel.

distance 4.2km Vertical gain +70m Vertical drop -76m Durée 1h25 Easy Easy
Starting point Starting point in Manchester

A short half day walk on old cobbled track through nature reserve and park. Initial gradual uphill section on unmade track, taking you to Stalybridge centre, to come back through nature reserve and park.

Organisation / Walking Club / Mountain guide
distance 6.33km Vertical gain +70m Vertical drop -74m Durée 2h00 Easy Easy
Starting point Starting point in Manchester

A rewarding walk along varied waterways, featuring historic buildings and striking canal architecture.

Organisation / Walking Club / Mountain guide
distance 3.15km Vertical gain +41m Vertical drop -45m Durée 1h00 Easy Easy
Starting point Starting point in Manchester

A level walk full of interest, visiting a historic chapel, a holy well and a stretch of the River Goyt.

Organisation / Walking Club / Mountain guide
distance 12.57km Vertical gain +132m Vertical drop -136m Durée 4h00 Moderate Moderate
Starting point Starting point in Manchester

A rewarding walk along varied waterways, featuring historic buildings and striking canal architecture.

For more walks, use our search engine.

The GPS track and description are the property of the author.