The Manchester Cycleway or Fallowfield Loop is an off road cycle path stretching right across South Manchester.
The Manchester Cycleway starts in Chorlton Cum Hardy in the West and travels through Fallowfield, Levenshulme to Gorton and Fairfield. The route follows the disused Fallowfield railway line which gives it the name of the Fallowfield Loop. The route then joins the infilled Stockport Branch Canal and the Ashton Canal Tow Path leading you to Sports City, home to the City of Manchester Stadium and the Manchester Velodrome. At 8 miles long the Fallowfield Loop is thought to be the longest urban cycleway in Britain and is part of the National Cycle Network route 55.
The Manchester Cycleway is one of my favourite rides close to central Manchester, it gives a sense of being in the countryside yet you are so close to central Manchester passing under Princess Parkway and many other urban roads. Wildlife is a plenty along the cycleway and I am often greeted with the site of an urban fox, rabbits and even badgers. The off road route is ideal for families where children can feel safe away from the hustle and bustle of the urban roads. For those more adventuress types you can link with the Trans Pennine Trail for a much longer and more challenging ride.
The Manchester Cycleway is kept in good working order and is shared with walkers, joggers and even horse riders as it snakes across South Manchester East to West. Sundays are the busiest so care must always be taken when approaching other users at speed. I always find a quick ring of my bell and they always hear me coming so it gives other users time to move to the side.
For all its plus points care must be taken when using the Manchester Cycleway after dark, some of the route feels quite remote so always be on the look out and take care.