A Boxing Day walk is a much-loved Christmas tradition for many. There’s something rather lovely about seeing everyone stepping outside, wrapped up winter woollies and taking in the winter scenery, towing dogs in festive neckerchiefs and wishing each other Merry Christmas.
It’s a chance to soak up the Christmas spirit before the New Year begins, passing houses decked with pretty wreaths and twinkling lights. Villages are especially magical at this time of year, and there’s one you can visit right here in Greater Manchester which offers several walks you can do over the festive period.
Sandwiched between Stockport and the Peak District, Marple Bridge is a picturesque village which feels like it’s in the heart of the countryside, despite being only a short train ride away from the city centre. Quaint stone buildings, waterways and pretty shops all add to the village’s charm.
It’s a scenic spot for a relaxed wander, especially at Christmas time when houses are decorated with lights and trees glow from inside front windows. There are cosy pubs you can step inside to warm up, while if you explore away from the village’s main high street, you’ll stumble across hidden cobblestones, like Low Lea Road, a beautiful street lined with cottages.
Only a short walk away from the heart of the village is Brabyns Park, Marple’s largest park which was once an estate attached to Brabyns Hall. It’s a lovely place to have a wander around, with parkland, woodland, riverside walks and an impressive Georgian Iron bridge, which was built in 1813 and crosses the River Goyt.
Parallel to Brabyns Parks is another walk which offers something a bit different. Here you’ll find the spectacular Marple Locks, a flight of 16 locks over the course of one mile.
Follow the towpath along this scenic stretch of the Peak Forest Canal up to the stunning Marple Aqueduct, the highest aqueduct in England, which opened in 1800. It’s an impressive feat of engineering and you won’t be able to resist taking a few snaps for Instagram.
Whether you choose to have a leisurely stroll around the village itself, a wander around the park or a walk along the call – or even all three – Marple Bridge is certainly worth a visit over the festive season.