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Guide to Manchester Outdoors

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If you believe the rumors, Manchester is permanently covered by grey rain clouds. But in fact, Manchester receives less rain than you'd think. Even less than Cornwall! From city parks to river strolls and bustling street markets, there is something for everyone to enjoy outdoors in this city.

Good for
  • History Buff
  • Thrill Seeker
  • Nature Lover
  • Peace and Quiet Seeker
  • Thrifty Traveller
  • Like a Local

11 Places

5 City Tips

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Map

11 Places

Heaton Park

Parks

Castlefield Urban Heritage Park

Historic Sites

Levenshulme Market

Other Outdoor Activities

Tatton Park

Parks, Points of Interest & Landmarks

Manchester Ship Canal

Bodies of Water

Fletcher Moss Park & Botanical Gardens

Gardens, Parks

The Runway Visitor Park

Speciality Museums

Clayton Hall Museum

History Museums

Chorlton Water Park

Water Parks

Debdale Park

Parks

Prestwich Forest Park

Parks

Jessica B's City Tips

  • Most of the parks have a café or restaurant, but they're also ideal places to bring a picnic. Just remember to take your rubbish with you when you leave.
  • Manchester has an excellent public transport system. Bus tickets can be bought on board, but you must buy train and tram tickets from the machine on the platform before boarding.
  • If you're planning to stay for a longer time, it's worth investing in a System One card. This can be used on all buses, trams and trains, and works right across Greater Manchester.
  • A One Day and Seven Day travel card are also available. If you're making more than two journeys per day, this will save you money.
  • Manchester can get quite cold and windy, so always bring a jacket with you.
  • Heaton Park
    Parks
    See more photos
    Jessica B Says:

    Heaton Park is the biggest in Manchester and the largest municipal park in Europe. If that's not enough to tempt you, it also boasts an 18th century Manor House, an 18-hole golf course, an animal farm, woodlands, two playgrounds, a boating lake and a traditional lakeside tea room.

    Good for
    • Peace and Quiet Seeker
    • Must See
    • Like a Local
    • Thrifty Traveller
    • Nature Lover
    Tips
    • Heaton Park is huge, so to explore it all why not take the volunteer-run tram system or hire a segway?
    • Don't miss a trip to the traditional nursery, where experienced staff can answer all of your botanical questions. Plants are also on sale here.
    • There are plenty of walking routes throughout the park, most of which have gentle climbs and descents. Sensible shoes are a must.
    • There is a café and deli within the park. The latter serves honey produced by the park bees.
    Plan to stay:
    More than 3 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #30 of 157 things to do in Manchester
    Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • Bonfire night 06/11/2018
    • Escape city chaos! 30/10/2018
    • Heaton Park
    Address:
    Middleton Rd
    Higher Blackley
    Manchester M25 2SW
    England
    Phone:
    +44 161 773 1085
    Hours:
    Sun
    12:00 p.m. - 10:30 p.m.
    Mon - Thu
    12:00 p.m. - 11:00 p.m.
    Fri - Sat
    12:00 p.m. - 12:00 a.m.
    Other:
  • Castlefield Urban Heritage Park
    Historic Sites
    See more photos
    Jessica B Says:

    Castlefield is not a park in the traditional sense, but rather an 'Urban Heritage Park,' a term coined by Manchester itself. There is no playground or duck pond, but instead you can explore the remains of a Roman fort and stroll along the canals that were built during the Industrial Revolution, making Manchester what it is today.

    Good for
    • Must See
    • Thrifty Traveller
    • Trendsetter
    • Solo
    • Friends
    • History Buff
    • Couples
    • Family
    • Nature Lover
    Tips
    • There is a lovely picnic area here which is especially popular with couples and families.
    • Raining or too cold to picnic? Take a stroll down to Catalan Square where you’ll find a selection of good restaurants and gastro-pubs.
    Plan to stay:
    1-2 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #26 of 157 things to do in Manchester
    Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • Walking in a historical park 03/10/2018
    • Leisure 03/09/2018
    • Castlefield Urban Heritage Park
    Address:
    Beaufort Street
    Manchester
    England
    Other:
  • Levenshulme Market
    Other Outdoor Activities
    See more photos
    Jessica B Says:

    Known locally as 'Levy market,' this is a community-run outdoor market selling everything from handmade arts and crafts to homemade food.

    Good for
    • Foodie
    • Shopping Fanatic
    • Art and Architecture Lover
    • Trendsetter
    Tips
    • The market only operates on Saturdays between March and December.
    • This is a great place to find a really original souvenir.
    • Many of the food sellers will let you sample their products before you buy. Don’t be afraid to ask!
    Plan to stay:
    1-2 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #5 of 26 Outdoor Activities in Manchester
    • Outstanding 20/07/2018
    • So lovely shame about the rain 08/04/2018
    • Levenshulme Market
    Address:
    Levenshulme Railway Station Car Park, Farm Side Place, Off Stockport Road
    Levenshulme
    Manchester M19 3AB
    England
    Phone:
    +44 7853 266598
    Hours:
    Sat
    10:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.
    Other:
  • Tatton Park
    Parks, Points of Interest & Landmarks
    See more photos
    Jessica B Says:

    One of the UK’s largest and most famous historic estates, here a Tudor Hall sits at the centre of 1000 acres of beautiful deer park. With a working farm, several walking trails, a bird-watching area and a magnificent Neo-Classical mansion house, there is something for everyone to enjoy.

    Good for
    • Peace and Quiet Seeker
    • Must See
    • Luxury Traveller
    • Like a Local
    • History Buff
    • Thrill Seeker
    • Nature Lover
    Tips
    • Located 30 minutes’ drive outside of Manchester city centre, it is also served by public transport.
    • For experienced walkers, try the 35-mile Gritstone Trail, which will take you through wild moorland and rocky peaks. Breath-taking scenery guaranteed!
    • The deer roam freely over the parkland. Although they are used to humans, please respect their space.
    • The Stables restaurant serves freshly-made, home-grown food. On a nice day you can sit outside in the stable yard.
    • The Gardener’s Cottage serves lunch and afternoon tea with views over the orchard.
    • Don’t miss a trip to the Housekeeper’s store where you can buy locally sourced delicacies including jams and cheese.
    Plan to stay:
    More than 3 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #3 of 11 things to do in Knutsford
    Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • Autumn Stroll 14/11/2018
    • Lovely afternoon 11/11/2018
    • Tatton Park
    Phone:
    +44 1625 374400
    Price range:
    US$12 - US$12
    Hours:
    Tue - Sun
    10:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.
    Other:
  • Manchester Ship Canal
    Bodies of Water
    See more photos
    Jessica B Says:

    First opened in 1894, the canal offers a great alternative way to see the city. Starting in the city centre, the canal stretches for 36 miles and provides spectacular views and gentle walks through the city and beyond. Alternately, it is also possible to take a cruise down the canal.

    Good for
    • Solo
    • Peace and Quiet Seeker
    • Friends
    • Couples
    • Senior
    • Nature Lover
    Tips
    • The canal mainly follows the famous River Mersey and you can even sail all the way from Manchester to Liverpool.
    • It is advisable to keep small children and dogs within close range. The canal can be up to 36ft deep in some areas.
    Plan to stay:
    1-2 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #44 of 157 things to do in Manchester
    Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • Lovely views 09/11/2018
    • An entertaining and informative few hours 13/10/2018
    • Manchester Ship Canal
    Address:
    The Quays
    Manchester
    England
    Phone:
    +44 151 330 1003
    Other:
  • Fletcher Moss Park & Botanical Gardens
    Gardens, Parks
    See more photos
    Jessica B Says:

    There is something for everyone at Fletcher Moss as it covers three separate but linked areas: the park, the Botanical Gardens (which houses some of the world’s rarest trees), and a little further afield, the Stenner Woods Nature Reserve, which follows the bank of the River Mersey. A popular destination for bird watchers.

    Good for
    • Peace and Quiet Seeker
    • LGBT
    • Thrifty Traveller
    • Like a Local
    • Thrill Seeker
    • Nature Lover
    Tips
    • Wear sensible shoes, especially if you plan to walk along the banks of the River Mersey.
    • The park is home to many species of birds, butterflies and dragonflies. Please respect their natural habitat.
    • It is common for bats to fly along the river at dusk – watch out for them.
    • There is a small café inside the park which sells sandwiches and cakes. For a more substantial meal take a walk into the nearby Didsbury village.
    Plan to stay:
    More than 3 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #12 of 157 things to do in Manchester
    Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • Beautiful 06/11/2018
    • Symphony of Autumnal Colours 05/11/2018
    • Fletcher Moss Park & Botanical Gardens
    Address:
    Millgate Lane
    Didsbury
    Manchester M20 2SW
    England
    Phone:
    +44 161 434 1877
    Other:
  • The Runway Visitor Park
    Speciality Museums
    See more photos
    Jessica B Says:

    Located just next to Manchester Airport, this is the ideal place to watch planes take off and land. Raised areas provide a perfect 180 degree view over the airfield. Great if you have some time to kill before a flight.

    Good for
    • Family
    • Thrill Seeker
    • Senior
    Tips
    • Entry is free but a fee is charged to use the car park.
    • Home to the famous super-sized Concord aircraft. You can take a tour inside the hangar, but it is advised to book this in advance.
    • The park is located just off the Airport Orbital Cycle Route: the perfect place for cyclists to take a rest and watch the planes come in. Free bike parking is available.
    • There is a restaurant onsite, as well as a children’s playground.
    Plan to stay:
    Less than 1 hour
    From the community
    Ranked #1 of 53 things to do in Ringway
    Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • The Concorde cafe 03/11/2018
    • Great way to spend a couple of hours 02/11/2018
    • The Runway Visitor Park
    Address:
    Sunbank Lane
    Manchester Airport
    Ringway WA15 8XQ
    England
    Phone:
    +44 161 489 3932
    Other:
  • Clayton Hall Museum
    History Museums
    See more photos
    Jessica B Says:

    Run by volunteers, this park is centred around a Victorian mansion which has been restored to its former glory. A hidden gem and often overlooked by tourists, this is a perfect place for a relaxing walk and picnic.

    Good for
    • Like a Local
    • History Buff
    • Senior
    • Family
    • Nature Lover
    Tips
    • The hall is free to enter but is only open on certain days. It is worth checking the opening days and times in advance.
    • Light refreshments and small gifts are available to buy from the hall.
    • The park and hall are maintained by a small group of volunteers. Donations are kindly welcomed from anyone who can afford it.
    Plan to stay:
    1-2 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #20 of 157 things to do in Manchester
    Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • Visited with my 8year old daughter for her schoolhomework 03/11/2018
    • Halloween visit 30/10/2018
    • Clayton Hall Museum
    Address:
    Clayton Old Hall Ashton New Road
    Manchester M11 4RU
    England
    Other:
  • Chorlton Water Park
    Water Parks
    See more photos
    Jessica B Says:

    Chorlton Water Park is a local Nature Reserve which provides an oasis of calm far removed from the hustle and bustle of the busy city. Set around a central lake, there are several walking trails that take you through woodlands and wildflower meadows.

    Good for
    • Peace and Quiet Seeker
    • Thrill Seeker
    • Thrifty Traveller
    • Nature Lover
    Tips
    • There are walks in and around the lake that cater to all levels. Remember to wear sensible shoes.
    • This is a perfect place for a spot of fishing. You can obtain a fishing license from one of the wardens.
    • For more adventurous visitors, water sports including sailing and canoeing are available during the summer months.
    • The lake is an important wintering site for many water birds. Please help protect their natural environment by not leaving any rubbish behind.
    Plan to stay:
    2-3 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #18 of 157 things to do in Manchester
    Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • A walk in the park. 07/11/2018
    • Chorlton water park 29/09/2018
    • Chorlton Water Park
    Address:
    Maitland Avenue
    Manchester M21 7WH
    England
    Phone:
    +44 161 234 5000
    Other:
  • Debdale Park
    Parks
    See more photos
    Jessica B Says:

    Covering 45 acres, Debdale is one of the largest inner-city parks in Manchester and home to the Debdale Outdoor Centre, which offers a variety of outdoor adventure sports – from hill walking to canoeing to rock climbing.

    Good for
    • Peace and Quiet Seeker
    • Thrill Seeker
    • Thrifty Traveller
    • Nature Lover
    Tips
    • The park is easy to reach by bike: Debdale is the eastern-most point of the Fallowfield loop-line which is part of the UK National Cycle Network.
    • The nature trail can get a bit steep and slippery in places, especially in wet weather, so keep young children close to you.
    • There’s no restaurant in this park so pack a picnic.
    • Check out the Vale Cottage, a traditional English pub serving real ales and great food. Less than a 5 minute walk away.
    Plan to stay:
    1-2 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #59 of 157 things to do in Manchester
    • Gran kids 12/11/2018
    • Afternnon with gran children 01/09/2018
    • Debdale Park
    Address:
    Hyde Road
    Manchester M18 7LJ
    England
    Phone:
    +44 161 223 5182
    Other:
  • Prestwich Forest Park
    Parks
    Jessica B Says:

    Two hundred acres of quiet woodland and open spaces make Prestwich Forest Park an ideal place for a relaxing walk. Combining four parks (Drinkwater Park, Phillips Park, Waterdale and Prestwich Clough), it's big enough to make you think that you are in the heart of the countryside!

    Good for
    • Peace and Quiet Seeker
    • Thrifty Traveller
    • Solo
    • Friends
    • Couples
    • Thrill Seeker
    • Nature Lover
    Tips
    • For cyclists, try the Philips Park Mountain Bike Trail.
    • There are several designated fishing areas within the park.
    • It is easy to get lost in this park so take a map with you!
    • After heavy rain some of the paths get extremely slippery. In these conditions they are recommended for experienced walkers only.
    Plan to stay:
    More than 3 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #91 of 157 things to do in Manchester
    • Great hidden gem 18/10/2018
    • Nature is beautiful 08/05/2018
    • Prestwich Forest Park
    Address:
    Park Lane
    Manchester
    England
    Phone:
    +44 161 796 6404
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