A walk from Victoria Train Station to Piccadilly Train Station

Walkway and advert with text Play Has No Limits

This 1.5km walk starts at Victoria train/tram station, takes you through the main shopping areas of Manchester and past the sites of  two terrorist attacks. It finishes at Piccadilly train/tram station. If you're in a hurry this is not the quickest way to get between the two stations but if you have a few hours, take your time, stop for something to eat and even take a detour to look at the street art in the Northern Quarter. 

Map showing roads to take from Manchester Victoria to Manchester Piccadilly
Manchester Victoria to Piccadilly (Google My Maps) 

In 1830 the first passenger train service in the world ran between Manchester and Liverpool from what is now the site of the Science and Industry Museum in the Castlefield area of the city. There was a rapid expansion of rail travel in the following years and Manchester Victoria train station opened in 1844.

Stone building with large arched entrances and red wrought iron canopy
Manchester Victoria train station

The Victorian "Refreshment Room" is covered in the original tiles including 1st class entrance and inside what is now a cafe, a remarkable stained glass dome. 

A terrorist attack took place at the Ariande Grande concert on 22nd May 2017 killing 22 at the Manchester Arena. The arena connects with the station and can be accessed at the top of a flight of stairs near the entrance to the Metrolink. The bomber walked up these steps and into the arena entrance.

There's a commemoration near one of the side exits in the main station.

Monument with flowers and a tiled centrepiece with the names of the 22 dead
Commemoration for the Ariane Grande terrorist attack

Exit the station (A) by the main exit (not by the side exit) and follow the sign for "Way Out City Centre". Cross the road in front of you. Turn left, walk a short distance before turning right down a path following signs to Chetham's Library. Walk on this path as it leads you past Chetham's Library (B).

Old stone archway and entrance to Chetham's Library
Chetham's Library and Music School entrance

The building dates from 1421, was built for the Collegiate Church and is now museum. Tours can be booked in advance for a small fee https://library.chethams.com The area around here is referred to on maps as the medieval quarter

As you carry on past the library you will reach Manchester Cathedral. Look left across the green and you will be able to see Urbis the national football museum. Keeping the cathedral on your right, walk down the side of the cathedral all the way down Cathedral Street. On your left as you walk you will see the Corn Exchange, now the home of some great restaurants. At the end of Cathedral Street turn right then after 5 metres walk up two flights of steps on your left (C) Look back to Shambles Square. The Old Wellington pub dates back to 1552. 

Old black and white pub with table and chairs in courtyard
Shambles Square Manchester

Turn left at the top of steps and walk in front of Selfidges towards the Manchester Arndale building. The open area is Exchange Square. 

Once you're by the tram stop turn right and walk down Corporation Street keeping the tram tracks to your left. This was the site of an IRA terrorist attack on 15th June 1996. A warning was given allowing the area to be cleared. No one died in the explosion. A lorry full of explosives was parked under the pedestrian bridge. It was the UK's biggest bomb since World War Two. The post box (D) survived the explosion and has a small plaque but most of the buildings in the area were damaged. The area was remodelled following the attack and the buildings on Shambles Square were moved some distance from their original location. 

Carry on walking down Corporation Street and turn left under a display sign onto Market Street (E)

Billboard on Market Street with logos of places to eat
Food outlets at Manchester Arndale

Walk up Market Street. There are a number of fast food outlets in  the Arndale Food Court. As you carry on down Market Street, you arrive at Piccadilly Gardens.

From here you can link to a circular walk "A stroll around the best street art in the Northern Quarter". This starts from Lever Street off Piccadilly Gardens (F). Street Art in the Northern Quarter

To get to the train station, walk on in the same direction past Piccadilly Gardens until you reach Station Approach (left before you pass under a pedestrian overpass) which leads you up to Manchester Piccadilly train station. Station approach is the starting point for three free busses that take you around the city centre https://tfgm.comyellow single decker bus

Free city centre bus on Station Approach

At the entrance to the station you'll see the statue Victory over Blindness commemorating the centenary of the end of World War One in 2018.

bronze statue of blind World War One soldiers walking in a line
Entrance to Manchester Piccadilly train station

You can continue with a circular walk around Manchester in three legs by walking 2km to Deansgate Castlefield Metrolink Stop via  Manchesters Gay Village



Popular posts from this blog

A canal walk through the Urban Heritage Park of Castlefield Basin

A walk around New Islington and Ancoats