The new leader of Trafford Council was one of the first to walk across all 10 boroughs on a 300km trail around Greater Manchester.

Tom Ross took on the GM Ringway alongside partner Chris Wills after the pair started to walk in the midst of the coronavirus crisis.

Cllr Ross, a councillor for Stretford Ward who became the new leader of Trafford Council on January 4, after the election of old leader Andrew Western to Stretford and Urmston, said highlights among the 20 stages included the Pennine Bridleway from Littleborough to Norden. 

The councillor, who completed the challenge over the course of around one year, recommended Little Woolden Moss in Salford too.

READ MORE: New Trafford Council leader confirmed as Tom Ross.

Cllr Ross said: "It was a brilliant experience. We saw all sorts of sights along the way including Highland Cattle, donkeys and even an emu. We read any information boards we found on the route and learnt so much about the region we live in."

He added: "It's rewarding to get to the end and complete it and we'll definitely do it again. 

"The GM Ringway is really special and you get a sense of achievement. 

"We celebrated completing it with a Sunday lunch in the city centre after the final stage."

READ MORE: GM Ringway progresses with several stages in Trafford.

An idea of CPRE, The Countryside Charity and The Ramblers, the 300km trail was made possible by support from the National Lottery. 

It takes in the towns of Altrincham, Sale and Stretford as well as other areas such as Dunham Massey, Old Trafford and Sale Water Park.

Andrew Read, GM Ringway lead, said: "It's great to hear about Tom and Chris’s experience of walking the GM Ringway. 

"The route has been designed to be accessible for anyone living in Greater Manchester. It’s also a fantastic way to discover other parts of the city-region and stop along the way at attractions, cafes, pubs and restaurants. 

"You don’t need to tackle the whole trail like Tom and Chris did, as each stage is a standalone walk to introduce you to the wonderful countryside in our region.

"Walking is fantastic for health and wellbeing so we want to encourage people to get out and about and discover the rich heritage and stunning scenery we’re so lucky to have on our doorstep."

For information on the GM Ringway, or for a map of the route, go to 

This article was written by Jack Tooth. Jack is the reporter for The Messenger and covers anything and everything from within the Metropolitan Borough of Trafford.

To contact him, email or follow @JTRTooth on Twitter.