The Irk empties into the Irwell at it's elbow, the turn from north-east to north west, near Manchester Cathedral. As early as the 1890s, the Irk was out of sight under the railway bridge leading into Victoria station, and the roads, Hunts Bank and Walkers Croft.
We followed Dantzic Street, past the Working Girls Home, and caught our first glimpse of the river down a little alley opposite the aptly named Irk Street, where it nestles in behind a car wash.
The road leaves the river which curves away from it. In the island between are the caravans of a travellers site isolated from the city and it's services. Then road and river come together again, separated only by a rather fetching blue fence.
Following Collyhurst Road, the city seems far behind us.
We climb high above the river, to the Hellfire Club at the junction of Collyhurst Road and Queens Road.
At Hendham Vale we can see the river in it's industrial context as a mill chimney rises up in front of us.
We lose the river, and then pick it up at the top of the winding Harpurhey Road.
We lose it again in the jumble of a new estate, and then catch another glimpse down below the new buildings.
At the top of Crumpsall Vale, we discover the amazing Hexagon Tower
We end our exploration at Heaton Park, but here are our last glimpses of the River Irk, looking very handsome
The entire walk took us about 2 hours, including getting lost, and was carried out using nothing more technical than an A-Z. There's lots more to explore out there...