National Bike Week – Irk & Medlock Valleys

I forgot to mention that 17 – 25th of June is National Bike Week so all blogs this week will be bike related:


After yesterday’s discussions with Mark Stevenson of Manchester City Council I rode out to the Medlock Valley which Mark told me had recently been signed for cyclists.  I found the signs alright but unfortunately there were a few kissing gates at the start of the trail which made progress a little more awkward than I would have liked.  The Irwell is the best known river in Manchester but the smaller Irk and Medlock rivers also flow into the city. 


The Irk links together a surprising number of little pockets of green space along its valley and there are also plans to develop a cycle route spiraling out of the city centre to Heaton Park.  I would imagine sections of this route would provide


From Heaton Park I took a trail through Blackley Forest which is a community woodland running by the side of the Irk at Bowker Vale.  Bowker is another word for bleach and it was the removal of the bleachworks along this section of the river which has enabled this woodland oasis to be developed.  I then took a couple of miles on road through Blackley Vale to pick up a trail past the Harpurhey reservoirs (where the water lily photo was taken) and through to Queens Park.  I hadn’t looked around this park before and was surprised how well it is kept.  This can also be said for Philip’s Park where I picked up the River Medlock, however the river itself is not in a particularly good state.


About holmesinho

Happily married father of 2 living in Prestwich 5 miles north of Manchester, England. I cycle most days though mostly commuting and also enjoy running and triathlon.
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