Castlefield Viaduct is the National Trust’s newest opening in the region, and it’s a bit of a departure from their usual country houses and rural landscapes.
This is still England as a green and pleasant land, but here the flowers are growing on a steel viaduct which was used to carry heavy rail traffic to the Great Northern Warehouse until 1969. Now a garden in the sky, it’s Manchester’s answer to New York’s High Line.
The juxtaposition of imposing, industrial architecture and colourful flowers is a pleasing one. Plants have been carefully chosen to represent different aspects of the city’s history and architecture, and the views over the city are impressive.
It’s free, and when it reopens on 18 February 2023, you will no longer need to pre-book a ticket. Just turn up from 1pm onwards to explore it at your own pace.
New for spring 2023 are two community gardens, created by Hulme Community Garden Centre and Sow The City. The first is an “urban forest garden” featuring edible plants such as rhubarb, artichokes and strawberries. Sow The City’s sensory nature garden includes a pond, wildlife habitats, and bee-friendly planting.
Castlefield Viaduct is currently being operated as a trial project until summer 2023. Here’s hoping this much-needed green space will become a permanent feature.