- Distance & Time: 2.5 miles loop / 45 mins (you can do many different trails/paths)
- Postcode: Ford Lane, M20 2UG
- Parking: Free parking at the post code above, or there is another parking lot by the Alpine Tea Room Cafe, M20 2SW
- Hazards: During football season, the pitches might be used by football clubs; when walking by Millgate Lane and Ford Lane be wary of cars, keep dog on lead
I am sort of embarrassed how long it’s taken me to write a blog post about this park, as this is our local park that we visit every day, twice a day! We are so lucky to be living so close to this park as it’s hazard free, pretty big and has everything your pooch might need i.e. open fields, woods, forest and the river!
If you are driving I’d recommend parking/starting on Ford Lane, as there is a decent sized, free parking lot there. Once there, turn left onto a path, away from the river and towards Didsbury Sport Grounds. Here you have your first opportunity to play some fetch with your pup on the field, or walk along the paved, woodland path until you reach the beginning of Stenner Lane. If you want, you can enjoy a couple of pubs at the top of that road, alternatively take the ground path that runs parallel to Stenner Lane. You will soon reach another paved path the turns right, away from Stenner Lane, follow this path.
On this path you will see a gravel path break off sharply to the right. For this time we are going to ignore this path, but feel free to explore that way if you wish! Keep going until you reach the rose garden. You will need to put your dog on the lead here if you want to peruse and smell the flowers, otherwise keep following the path, past some disused grass tennis courts. You will then reach black gates and another parking lot. To the left of this you will find the lovely Alpine Tea Room Cafe, and also some tennis courts (you can book at space there if you wish to play some tennis!). We are going to take the woodland path right, going parallel to Millgate lane road. Here there are only bushes separating the path and the road, so if your dog doesn’t have great recall, I’d suggest putting them on lead briefly.
The path will turn slightly right, walk down the stairs and you will be brought on a boardwalk. Follow the boardwalk through the lovely forested area, and walk up the stairs on the other side. at the top of the stairs you will see a gravel path on either side. Ignore this and instead walk onto the big field across from the path. Here is another opportunity to play some fetch with your dog if they enjoy that. Chloe’s favourite thing to do here is to jump into the long reeds. She could do that for hours! Walk toward the forested area in the middle of that field and you will see a small path that runs parallel with the trees. Keep following this until you hit the river.
Chloe absolutely loves swimming around in the river, and due to the low bank, most dogs have no problem jumping in for a nice cool off in the warm weather, or the die-hard swimmers can fetch sticks along it. Take the path to your right, that runs alongside the river. Follow the river around as it bends until you hit Simon’s bridge, a green bridge that will take you over to the other side. For reference, the Ford Lane car park will be just on your right here. As soon as you get across the lime green bridge, take the path on the far right and follow the river around. At one point you will notice a well groomed, golf field. This is only used for practicing and isn’t part of the main golf course, so often it’s empty. But do be respectful and if you see golfers practicing put your dog on lead if you think they will be a distraction.
As you follow the river around, you will hit a paved road, this is the extension of Ford Lane. Follow this road to your left here. I would recommend putting your dog on lead here, as this is the main road that leads into the golf course and can get quite busy. It’s got a few turns where it’s hard to see, and some cars can go quite quickly through here. Follow the road as it winds and bends. You will soon hit the main golf house/complex, carry on straight past the parking lots on either side of you. Once you pass the house you can let your dog off lead again as cars don’t go this far. The path will bring you back to the lime green bridge, which you need to cross. As soon as you cross it turn, take the path on your right, parallel to the river. You walk a few meters and then the path splits into two, take the path to the left which is bring you back to the Ford Lane car park!
You have so much variety during this walk, from the river, to fields to forest and woods. There is definitely something for everyone! You also don’t have to stick to the path that I prescribed, you can make the walk longer as your wander around and try out little side trails and paths. I also love that there are very few hazards around. This is why I am giving it a fab rating:
Q: What is your favourite local walk?