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Best Parks in Manchester for a Family Outing

Lively street of Manchester, United Kingdom

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Did you know that Manchester was the first industrialised city in the world? That’s why its people are proud of its deep industrial heritage since it’s the United Kingdom’s leading producer of textiles and cotton.

However, this doesn’t mean that the 550,000 people residing in the city can’t enjoy a day out in nature. While the area is filled with unique shops, museums, galleries, and the like, there are also plenty of parks in Manchester to visit as a family.

Table of Contents

All Saints Park

What it is: Originally, the park was a burial place for All Saints Church back in the 1820s. In fact, this is where it got its name. However, it eventually closed due to the industrialisation of the city. Not long after its closure, they renovated it into a playground for the children.

Then, it became a public garden and was eventually leased by the Manchester Metropolitan University. Today, it remains the focal point of the campus.

Why we liked it: Believe it or not, even after several renovations, the park’s rich history is still intact! It also serves as an excellent resting spot for students who want to unwind in its peaceful environment.

More information about All Saints Park

Address: Grosvenor Square, Manchester, M15 6BH

Opening Hours: The All Saints Park is open 24/7.

Cotton Field Park

Lake at Cotton Field Park
Cotton Field Park / visitmanchester.com

What it is: Lying in the heart of the city, Cotton Field is an eco-park that’s unlike any other. It features an urban beach, luscious greenery, and a boardwalk. There’s even a community island that serves as a venue for events, so keep an eye out for that!

Why we liked it: Aside from relaxing and birdwatching, the park also offers an array of activities. Yet, what caught our attention the most were the picnic areas and the boat paddling on the beach. Plus, the park’s reeds and wildflowers attract wildlife, so there’s plenty to see!

More information about Cotton Field Park

Address: New Islington, Manchester, M4 6LN

Opening Hours: The Cotton Field Park is open 24/7.

Heaton Park

Flowers and lake in Heaton Park

What it is: Heaton is actually comparable to an amusement park with a variety of available activities. Plus, it’s also a historic area and serves as a venue for its annual programmes, such as plays, dramas, and even concerts.

Why we liked it: The park has everything that you can ask for—a cafe, play areas, a golf course, and even bowling greens. Odds are you’ll never get tired of touring the park because there are lots of things to do, but the Animal Centre can be particularly interesting for younger kids.

All in all, the best way to enjoy the whole place is to join the guided walks. Additionally, the tram ride can also be a good way to admire the beauty of the park, even for just a short period of time!

More information about Heaton Park

Address: Middleton Road, Manchester, M25 2SW

Opening Hours: The Heaton Park opens at 8:00 AM and closes at around 6:30 PM (dusk) daily.

Chorlton Park

What it is: The Chorlton Park was established in 1982, and ever since, it has been constantly attracting tons of visitors annually.

Additionally, it’s not far from the city centre, which makes it easy to visit. There you can find tennis courts, bowling pavilions, basketball courts, a football area, and even a dog-free zone!

Why we like it: If your family is into sports, you should visit Chorlton Park. We especially like the fact that park wardens are always making sure that visitors enjoy the facilities. Yet, the deciding factor for us is that it’s family-friendly, and any age group will absolutely have fun there.

More information about Chorlton Park

Address: Chorlton-cum-Hardy, Manchester, M21 7HH

Opening Hours: The Chorlton Park is open from dawn to dusk.

Prestwich Forest Park

What it is: The Prestwich Forest is a 200-hectare park of greenery, lakes, and wildlife in the Borough of Bury in the Greater Manchester area. All in all, it’s a good place to visit for nature lovers who enjoy scenic walks, bike rides, birdwatching, horse riding, or even orienteering.

Why we liked it: Aside from the fact that the park’s area is vast, it gives you the feeling that you’re far away from the city’s crowds and noise. We also love how the varying foliage hues look during spring and autumn, which can make a dazzling backdrop for a family photograph!

More information about Prestwich Forest Park

Address: Park Lane, Whitefield, Manchester, M45 7HL

Opening Hours: The Prestwich Forest park is open 24/7.

Honourable Mentions

Garden near the Manchester’s Cathedral

If you’re looking for a park that’s close to the city centre, consider going to Cathedral Gardens near Manchester’s Cathedral. It’s an excellent spot for a quick rest during the day, but it also hosts various events, such as the Manchester Food and Drink Festival, which can be a good opportunity if you’re looking for a unique experience.

On the other hand, the Beech Road Park is a good place to add to your list if you’re bringing your kids to Manchester, thanks to its multi-use games area. Plus, this is also where the Beech Road Festival takes place during the summer.

If you’re curious about the name, it’s because the children and the mayors of the town planted beech trees on Valentine’s Day way back in 1968!

That said, Fletcher Moss Park is also worth visiting if your family loves all kinds of flowers and plants. You’ll definitely get immersed in nature while walking around the park because of all the greenery and diversity there, which can be a great educational opportunity for the little ones.

Moreover, the Fletcher Moss area can be an excellent place for birdwatching enthusiasts. In fact, you might get lucky and spot (or hear) a Goldfinch, Song Thrush, Woodpecker, Dunnock, Nuthatch, or even a Parakeet!

Now that you know some of the best parks in Manchester, it’s time to pick the best fit for your family, plan a trip, and enjoy a day out in nature!

Written by
David Prior

David Prior is an NCTJ-qualified journalist and the editor of Big Family Breaks. He is also a father of five and an experienced traveller, especially with kids.

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