Updated: Saturday, 14th December 2019 @ 6:16pm

MM’s top five… parks across Greater Manchester for winter wonderland walks

MM’s top five… parks across Greater Manchester for winter wonderland walks

By Oliver Rhodes

If you wish to reconnect with nature and escape the hustle and bustle of the city, MM has the best parks to explore around the Manchester area.

With Christmas shoppers beginning to occupy every square-inch of Manchester city centre, taking the trip around parks is likely to ease your frustrations and offer some more space.

And what better way to enjoy the festive season than a stroll through a winter wonderland – just make sure you bring your hats and gloves!

 

1. Fletcher Moss Park & Botanical Gardens

Situated in Didsbury, local alderman Fletcher Moss donated the park to Manchester in 1919.

With chances of captivation, the main feature is the picturesque rock garden, which is surrounded by much vegetation and includes waterfalls.

Fletcher Moss Park also accommodates numerous facilities such as sport pitches, tennis courts and a café to satisfy the energetic as well as the easy-going.

So impressive is the standard of the park, the Green Flag Award has been granted to the area since 2000.

 

2. Heaton Park

Heaton Park is the biggest park in Greater Manchester and one of the largest municipal parks in Europe.

The large open area is appropriate for families, pet owners and those trying to combat the festive over-indulgence with exercise.

Such attractions include the boating lake and the Orangery, but there is also the animal centre – open from 10:30 to 15:30 – with adults and children able to interact with animals.

Four miles north of the city centre, Heaton Park is renowned as the ‘lungs of Manchester’ and breathes countryside into the urban life.


WINTER MORNING: Beautiful scenery at Heaton Park (Picture courtesy of Michael Arb, with thanks)

 

3. Wythenshawe Park

Wythenshawe Park is full of history and boasts three Grade II buildings – North Lodge, the Statue of Oliver Cromwell and Wythenshawe Hall.

The Horticultural Centre is an attraction of free admission and includes the Safari Walk, which features tropical plants.

Appropriate for youngsters, there is also the community farm, which teaches children about where food comes from, and an adjacent play area.

 

4. Dunham Massey

Want something more winter-specific? Dunham Massey, Altrincham, is the ideal place to take the seasonal stroll.

The winter garden is blossoming into its fourth year with white-stemmed silver birches and bright dogwood barks.

Walking around the park, you may be treated to some four-legged inhabitants as deer regularly wander for acorns.

If warmth is required following the shivery saunter, enjoy food and drink at the Stables Restaurant – open daily from 10:30am to 4pm.

To view the prices and opening times to walk around Dunham Massey, visit www.nationaltrust.org.uk/dunham-massey


5. Prestwich Forest Park

Different from the open and grassy parks, Prestwich Forest Park is mostly 200 hectares of woodland. 

The area incorporates Prestwich Clough, Mere Clough, Philips Park, Drinkwater Park and Waterdale Meadow and is a suitable place for joggers, cyclists and hikers.

Philips Park includes a visitor centre and children’s play area, while Drinkwater Park offers a football pitch and there is opportunity to fish at Waterdale Meadow.

Top picture courtesy of freetickt, with thanks.

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