Fletcher Moss and Parsonage Gardens
Located right next to each other in East Didsbury, these two green spaces are beloved by locals. Dog walkers and strollers often find themselves strolling through Fletcher Moss, through the woods and onto the meadows or the Mersey beyond (unless they’re admiring the plants in the rockery or playing a round of tennis on the public courts). Nature lovers will head first to Parsonage Gardens to admire the diverse array of plants and blossoming trees, perhaps taking a break to read a book beneath a blossoming cherry tree.
If you’re searching for scenic green spaces, skip Beech Road Park and walk a bit further, down past Chorlton Green to seek out a secluded spot in the meadows that wind around Chorlton Ees. This is the perfect place to escape the city streets, taking the path through the woods before deciding whether to walk around the meadows, settle down for a picnic or continue up to the Mersey. There’s no shortage of greenery around here.
Further out of the city centre (but easily accessible by train), Lyme Park is a sprawling country estate on the edge of the Peak District. There are beautiful gardens and an enchanting stately home to explore, but we recommend taking your hiking boots and wandering up through the wild moorland to reach the brooding ‘cage’ on top of the hill. Once you’ve reached the top (it’s an easy climb), turn round for a dramatic view that’s particularly impressive when the trees turn golden in autumn.
One of the largest green spaces in Manchester, Heaton Park is regularly used for a variety of events including Parklife Festival every summer. During the rest of the year, it’s a relaxing haven for locals to temporarily leave city life behind. Take an entire afternoon to explore the park, seeking out the different buildings, gardens and activities on offer; including the animal centre, bee hives, rowing boats, garden centre and various areas for enjoying football, fishing and golf.
Cotton Field Park
Offering something a little different for city dwellers, Cotton Field Park is based in New Islington marina in the Ancoats area of Manchester. Here you’ll find a series of board walks surrounding the newly established marina with a variety of areas to sit and enjoy the fresh air. An orchard island, trees, wildflowers and reeds have all been planted with the hopes of attracting wildlife, with special floating islands designed as spaces for birds and animals to enjoy when they arrive.
Covering a large area on the edge of Chorlton and Stretford, Longford Park is a welcome abundance of greenery in a residential neighbourhood, serving as an extending back garden for the lucky few that live on its periphery. There’s a well-maintained pets corner for the little ones to explore, as well as plenty of fields to relax on and pretty gardens to admire. There’s even interesting ruins to explore, and plenty of places to play sports.
Having undergone a recent transformation, Alexandra Park is now a pleasant place to enjoy a wander, a cup of tea or a summer’s picnic. The pavilion in the centre of the park is taken over by a local café during the summer months, offering refreshments for visitors to enjoy outdoors in the sun. The freshly mown meadows are filled with locals picnicking and barbecuing whenever the temperatures rise, and kids will love the sight of the terrapins soaking up the sun in the pond.