5 Best Parks to visit when exploring Manchester

Open space in Heaton Park, Manchester

There are currently 150+ parks in total, which you can explore in the present-day Manchester area. Compared to the mid-1800s, when there were only three – Philips Park, Queen’s Park, and Peel Park.

Choosing which ones should you visit can be confusing. Which of them are the most amazing? While all of them are fabulous, here are the five stands out the most.

Every park in this list is different in its way. Flora and fauna in each is diverse. Read on to find out what will be the best for you personally.

1. Heaton Park

Taking first place on our list is Heaton Park. It’s the biggest park in Manchester and one of the biggest municipal parks in Europe. This is more than just a walking or jogging place; it is a classical landmark. It offers attractions for a full day out for all ages. It has a Grade 1 listed, 18th-century country home called Heaton Hall. The hall is occasionally available to the public as a museum and events venue.

Here are some of the entertainments it has to offer:

  • A pitch and putt course
  • An 18-hole golf course
  • Tennis courts
  • A gold driving range
  • An animal farm
  • A boating lake
  • Ornamental gardens and Woodlands Orangery
  • An observatory
  • Two playgrounds
  • A volunteer-run tram system
  • The only flat green bowling greens in Manchester
  • A restaurant and lakeside tea room

2. Queen’s Park

Originally granted to the people of Heywood by Queen Victoria in 1879. This striking municipal park listed as Grade II is of landscape importance and high historical. Still highlighting some of the principal buildings, like the Victoria Fountain and Lodge House. Every weekend there are organized events, and it can be a opening place for a walk along with the Ashworth Valley and River Roch. The park also has a Green Flag Award from 2013.

The park facilities include:

  • BMX track
  • Visitor centre
  • Lake and riverbank
  • Cycle racks
  • Toddlers play area
  • Orienteering courses
  • Activity center
  • Play area
  • Grassland areas
  • Tennis courts
  • Café
  • Multi-use events area
  • Wetland and wildlife areas
  • Free car park
  • Crown green bowling greens and pavilion
  • Wildlife walk
  • Secure fully fenced site
  • Site-based park warden

3. Wythenshawe Park

In January 2012, a region of Wythenshawe Park was listed as a local nature sanctuary. The park features two biological importance sites – Gib Lane Wood ans Nan Noon Wood. Commonly referred to as “Garden City”. This park represents excellent garden maintenance.

Facilities in the park are:

  • Bowls
  • Athletics track
  • Courtyard Cafe
  • Children’s play area: mixed-age
  • Horse riding
  • Ten senior football pitches
  • Multi-use games area
  • Horticultural Centre
  • Parking
  • Orienteering course
  • Putt and pitch court
  • Toilets at Horticultural Centre and Stable block
  • Tennis courts
  • Walks and woodlands
  • Veterans Pavilion
  • Wythenshawe Hall
  • Wythenshawe Community Farm

4. Fletcher Moss Park

Containing many old-fashioned and unusual flowers and plants, this is truly a place of botanical charm. 

Going there, you can join the following activities:

  • Tennis: There are weekly sessions, with coaching if you want.
  • Monday Health Walks: Organised Health Walks around the park every Monday throughout the year (except bank holidays)
  • Nature Trail: It goes through Stenner Woods, along Stenner Lane and around the Health Walk
  • Walking for Pleasure: It has an extensive network of paths around the area, at first, a map will be helpful

5. Prestwich Forest Park

Last but not least on our list is Prestwich Forest Park. It offers 200 hectares of woodland and open space. It consists of Philips Park Local Nature Reserve, Mere Clough, Prestwich Clough, Waterdale Meadow and Drinkwater Park. Giving you lots of places to explore. From time to time, various activities occur, but mostly it’s a place to relax.

The facilities it has to offer are:

  • Visitor centre (Philips Park)
  • Children’s play area (Philips Park)
  • Car parks (Philips Park/Drinkwater Park)
  • Fishing (Waterdale/Drinkwater Park/Philips Park, near 13 arches/M60)
  • Football pitch (Drinkwater Park)

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