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Summer in the city: best parks in Manchester for picnics and sunbathing

8 months ago

If you live in a flat or apartment, heat-wave days like these can make you long for an outdoor space bigger than that slither of evening sun you get on your balcony.

You’ve the option of a pub or bar with a beer garden of course. But what if you want to just chill undisturbed with your daydreams and some supermarket snacky bits? Or lie flat-out on your back, shirt off and sunglasses on? (Not something you can do in most pubs, though there’s probably somewhere in The Printworks that’ll accommodate you.)

We’ve picked our favourite parks and green spaces in Manchester for a spot of sunbathing or an outdoor meet-up with your friends. These are the places where you can bring a picnic blanket and a book and a cool box full of treats and make the most of the long summer days. Park life was a thing long before the festival, you know.

  • Alexandra Park, Manchester in autumn.
    Moss Side

    Alexandra Park

    Parks & Gardens

    Alexandra Park, or Alex Park as it’s known, was once rather shabby but has now been restored to something approaching its former glory.

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  • Chorlton Meadows - a large area of green space in Manchester

    Chorlton Ees

    Parks & Gardens

    Chorlton Ees is a bit of a wild gem in such a densely populated area. If you’re lucky you could spot a woodpecker, herons or a kingfisher. At dusk there are plenty of bats flying around, too.

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  • Didsbury

    Fletcher Moss

    Parks & Gardens

    Fletcher Moss has four outdoor, floodlit clay tennis courts which are open to everyone and accessibly priced.

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  • Mayfield Park, Manchester

    Mayfield Park

    Parks & Gardens

    It’s no secret that Manchester city centre is short on decent parks. The opening of Mayfield Park in September 2022 goes some way to fixing that with its 6.5 acres of lawns, playgrounds, pathways and live events area.

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  • Christmas light trail at Heaton Park, Manchester.

    Heaton Park

    Historic Buildings & Sites

    If you’re craving greenery but don’t want to stray too far out of the city, Heaton Park, on the Manchester-Bury border, is one of your best options.

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  • The tennis courts at Wythenshawe Park

    Wythenshawe Park

    Parks & Gardens

    The six, resurfaced floodlit tennis courts at Wythenshawe Park have just been repainted ready for summer 2023. Anyone can book to play here, with hourly rates ranging from free to £4.

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