Manchester is well-known for its thriving music and fashion scene, along with a proud history in science, arts, politics and sports. Often referred to as the Capital of the North, Manchester is a city brimming with international culture and cuisine; with brilliant galleries and museums, excellent restaurants and cosy cafes a-plenty. Yet what draws us and many others to this northern hub is its proximity to natural spaces, being only an hour from the beautiful landscape of the Peak District, and two hours from the hills of the Lake District, the Yorkshire Dales and Snowdonia National Park.
Manchester also has an excellent train network and public transport links, and an international airport that means that one of the best things about living in Manchester is being able to so easily leave Manchester. Yet within the city itself there are a number of suburban parks and green spaces that make for a relaxing retreat from the bustle of city life. National Trust-run estates like Tatton Park and Lyme Park are within easy reach for a taste of the grandeur of antiquity, while adventure-seekers can make the most of the excellent hiking, camping, cycling and climbing in the Peak District National Park. Whether you’re wanting a gentle stroll in the country-side or an overnight backpacking trip in the hills, Manchester makes for an excellent base and starting point for going outside and being submerged in nature.
In this guide, we’ll be exploring all that Manchester has to offer for anyone wanting to spend more time outside. We feature a mixture of green spaces within the city itself, or locations that can be reached within one hour from the city - many of which are easily accessible via public transport. We believe that living in a city doesn’t have to confine you to concrete and sky-scrapers, so see what green spaces Manchester can provide and be inspired to spend more time outside.
Fletcher Moss Park & Parsonage Gardens
Park | Disdbury
A beautiful green space in South Manchester, Fletcher Moss Park is the perfect place to take in some fresh air within the city. Wander through the wild woodland area before heading over to the Alpine Tearoom for a hot chocolate outside, looking over the walled Rock Garden. Designed on a south-facing slope to be protected from the elements, the garden contains an array of alpine flora; from royal ferns to marsh marigolds, tulip trees, redwoods and cypresses. If you’re a lover of botany, this is the perfect place to spend an afternoon.
From the Botanical Gardens, head back up to Parsonage Gardens where yew and cedar trees adorn the lawn and there is a small greenhouse open on Tuesdays. The Old Parsonage has now been converted into a community centre and gallery, often showing work by Manchester artists. It’s certainly worth having a wander through the parsonage to admire the beautiful stained-glass windows, and look out for the neo-Norman stone arched gate at the entrance to the gardens, topped with a striking sculpture of an eagle.
Getting there: The Park is around a 15 minute walk from either East Didsbury or Didsbury Village tram stop. It’s also possible to park at the park.
Food & Drink: The Alpine Tearoom within the park serves hot drinks, basic food and cakes, or head into Didsbury Village for lunch.
See an in-depth feature on Fletcher Moss here.