Just a short walk from Chorlton Green at the bottom of Beech Road, you’ll find yourself wandering among the trees in the Ees. There’s no end of picturesque picnic spots here with a scattering of idyllic meadows located within the woodland. During the summer months the grass is high, sheltering you from both the sun and the sight of other picnickers. Pick up your picnic grub from Chorlton’s array of vegan coops, delicatessens and independent grocery stores before embarking on the most photogenic picnic to be had in the city.
If you’re seeking somewhere to light up a disposable barbecue, Platt Fields Park is full of plumes of smoke on hot days. You’ll have to share the fields with hordes of skaters and students, but this is where to head if you prefer your picnic with more of a party atmosphere. No need to bring your own music, there’s sure to be a nearby group blasting out summer-appropriate tunes. The friendly laid-back vibe allows for the perfect way to spend a hot afternoon, and if you need to cool off you can always go in search of the ice-cream van.
The largest park in the vicinity of Manchester offers plenty of space for private picnicking, although popular spots such as the Western Pleasure Ground do get packed thanks to the views over the city. It’s not hard to find your own sun-drenched corner of Heaton Park to relax and enjoy a picnic spread, and there’s plenty to see and do once you’ve finished eating. Just be aware of the various events scheduled throughout the year, including the popular Park Life festival that takes over the park for a weekend every June.
Fancy a picnic with a difference? Whitworth Park art gallery offer free picnic hampers to be enjoyed within the gallery and in the park that acts as its grounds – the only catch is that these hampers are filled with arts materials rather than food. Take along your own food and drink, pick up a hamper and spend the afternoon getting to grips with your own creativity while being inspired by your surroundings. On a hot day, getting creative outdoors is a refreshing alternative to simply reading a book or lying in the sun.
Alexandra Park may have once had a bad reputation, but its recent renovations have transformed it into a popular picnicking spot. Situated south of the city centre, between Whalley Range and Moss Side, the park has been lovingly landscaped, creating various green areas that are perfect for both large and small groups to picnic. If you haven’t brought your own food, pop into the pavilion to stock up on cold drinks, sandwiches and cakes to take back to your chosen sun trap.