Walks: MediaCityUK

This short and easy walk of around an hour is one for urban explorers rather than fans of the countryside. And DON’T forget your camera as there are photo opportunities aplenty.

For those who haven’t paid a visit to Salford Quays and MediaCityUK in a while, it’s well worth a stroll.

Taking the Metrolink tram out of Manchester city centre is a good way to whet the appetite for this walk amid many of Greater Manchester’s most incredible structures.

From elegant St Peter’s Square and past the Bridgewater Hall and Manchester Central convention centre, the tram skirts Chester Road before spiralling into MediaCityUK. An alternative is to park at either the Lowry Outlet mall or one of the other MediaCityUK car parks.

The tram stops directly in front of the piazza bordered by the BBC’s Northern headquarters (picture below) and the offices of ITV. On the grassy area to the side of the piazza you’ll find the Blue Peter garden.

Then head between the two BBC buildings towards the Manchester Ship Canal and a footbridge will take you across to the ITV complex which is the new home of Coronation Street.

You can go as far as the gate on Trafford Wharf Road and hang out a while with the autograph hunters. Unfortunately, you’ll only be able to see the rear of the set over the high wall but you can tell it’s Corrie.

Head left along the road and you can pass alongside, or through, the Imperial War Museum North (pictured above). Designed by architect Daniel Libeskind to symbolise a shattered earth, it’s a striking structure and well worth a visit.

Next stop is one of the world’s most famous sporting stadiums.

Head away from the ship canal towards Old Trafford, Manchester United’s ground, where you can see the museum, gift shop and statues of Sir Matt Busby and the United Trinity of Best Charlton and Law. Wander around the outside of the ground and visit the Munich exhibition in the tunnel and memorial at the front of the stadium. Another nearby landmark is the Class of ’92’s Hotel Football and the striking red road bridge.

Further away in the distance is Old Trafford Cricket Ground – Home to Lancashire County Cricket Club.

On your way back past the war museum, you can take a different footbridge back across to the Lowry theatre and gallery, where you can pop inside for a free look at the LS Lowry art collection.

Then it’s time to take on the Lowry Outlet Mall before heading outside to take a look at the former docks and Helly Hansen Watersports centre, which offers a variety of sports like canoeing and sailing.

Then double back alongside the outlet mall to look at the open water swimming pool, heading towards the new Alchemist restaurant and then back to the tram stop near the BBC.

Allow an hour or two if you’re only walking, quite a bit longer if you plan on calling in at any of the amazing destinations along the way.

There are lots of good places to eat, the most affordable being the food court in the Lowry Outlet.