Manchester has some of the best parks in the UK, whether you're interested in hiking and biking trails or urban parks with an industrial vibe. You can relax in the heart of the city or head farther out to get away from the bustle of city life. These parks offer cafes, children's play areas, festivals and all the outdoor serenity you'd like. You can enjoy wildlife and bird viewing, get out on lakes with kayaks or play football, cricket or other games. Whether you're an adult with the kids on holiday, a couple looking for a quiet romantic liaison or a single person looking for a peaceful walk, you'll find it in 10 of the best parks in Manchester.

    1

    Alexandra Park

    Enjoy a children's play area, cafe and endless green space

    • Couples
    • Families
    • Budget

    Alexandra Park in Whalley Range offers a children's play area, a lake, a cafe and plenty of room for adults and kids to run and play or sit and relax. It's a lush, endless green space of tree-shaded areas, rolling meadows and serenity away from the hustle and bustle of the populated city centre. The park is accessible with recently resurfaced paths to make it easier for those with mobility issues. The facilities include a cricket pitch, tennis courts, a football pitch, a multipurpose games area, a play area for kids and a lake where you can relax or get out in a canoe or kayak. The cafe offers light food, beverages and a selection of children's books and toys.

    Location: 180 Russell St, Manchester M16 7JL, UK

    Open: 24/7

    Phone: +44 (0)1612 344343

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    2

    Piccadilly Gardens

    Relax in the shadow of the historic and modern together

    • Couples
    • Families
    • Budget

    Piccadilly Gardens is an area of open space in the heart of Manchester's city centre that offers leisure space just steps from the shopping district. The area is surrounded by a blend of modern and historic buildings and serves as the hub of the Manchester public transport system, so it is easy to access from any number of places around the city. Piccadilly Gardens is best known for the variety of cultural and live music events held here all year long that bring people together from all over the city. Here you can find fountains, walking paths, benches for relaxation and easy access to everything the city has to offer.

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    Location: Piccadilly Gardens, Manchester, Greater Manchester, M60 1HX, UK

    Open: 24/7

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    3

    Castlefield Urban Heritage Park

    Walk through the gates of an ancient Roman fort

    • Couples
    • Families

    Castlefield Urban Heritage Park is an unofficial conservation area in Manchester offering green space set on the historic site of an ancient Roman fort. Here you can enjoy walks along the shores of a canal with open, landscaped green areas and indoor spaces made from refurbished warehouses. The park covers about 3 hectares of space and includes the fully reconstructed Roman fort Mamucium as well as the Museum of Science and Industry. You'll also find a number of bars and restaurants where you can relax with a cup of tea or a pint on an outdoor terrace. It's a relaxing place to spend the day in the shadow of history.

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    Location: Duke St, Manchester, M3 4AG, UK

    Open: 24/7

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    4

    Whitworth Park

    See the cenotaph memorializing World War I veterans

    • Couples
    • Families
    • Budget

    Whitworth Park was established by the Whitworth Institute in memory of the famed engineer and has been a public green space since 1904. It sits on what is now the University of Manchester grounds. The land that was originally known as Potters Field is under a 1,000-year lease from the Manchester City Council. Among the park's highlights is a memorial to the 7th Battalion of the Manchester Regiment from the First World War. The park features a children's play area and a statue of Edward VIII. It's open daily and is a Green Flag Award park, which means it's considered to be well maintained, safe and welcoming as well as representing strong community involvement.

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    Location: Oxford Rd, Manchester M14 4PW, UK

    Open: Daily from dawn to dusk

    Phone: +44 (0)1612 754950

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    5

    Daisy Nook Country Park

    Take a nature walk along a lake and canal

    • Couples
    • Families
    • Budget

    Daisy Nook Country Park is located in Failsworth, just a few minutes from the Manchester city centre, and offers a lake, a canal, rolling meadows and tree-shaded paths. Its name comes from a book by Benjamin Brierley. The majority of the land belongs to the National Trust, which maintains the woods and fields for public use. The park is known for its annual Easter Fair that draws visitors from all over for holiday-themed festivities, and for its lake and canal where you can enjoy kayaking, canoeing, the scenery and wildlife viewing. The whole park covers 40 hectares of widely varying landscape that's fun for adults and kids of every age.

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    Location: Stannybrook Rd, Failsworth, Oldham, Manchester M35 9WJ, UK

    Open: Monday–Friday from 9 am to 4 pm, Saturday–Sunday from 9 am to 5 pm

    Phone: +44 (0)1613 083909

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    6

    Tandle Hill

    Play hide-and-seek among towering tree groves

    • Couples
    • Families
    • Budget

    Tandle Hill Country Park offers 48 hectares of parkland with tree-shaded lanes and groves, green fields, a children's play area, wildlife viewing and plenty of adventure. The children's play area features a sandpit, slides and climbing areas. Birdwatching is a popular attraction here, with tons of species to view. You can play hide-and-seek in the groves or check out stunning views of the Pennine Hills or Manchester Plain. Downloadable walking guides allow you to take in all the features of the park with tips, fun facts and hidden trails. A cafe allows you to grab refreshments and light food. It's everything you need for a day of outdoor fun and adventure for everyone in the family.

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    Location: Tandle Hill Rd, Royton, Oldham OL2 5UX, UK

    Open: 24/7

    Phone: +44 (0)1616 273221

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    7

    Heaton Park

    Go fishing, play a pickup football game or try an organised run

    • Couples
    • Families
    • Budget
    • Adventure

    Heaton Park is among the largest parks in the northwestern part of Manchester, covering nearly 260 hectares of green space and featuring play areas, lakes and other features. Kids will be thrilled to take rides on the train or see live creatures at the animal centre. Adults can get out on the boating lake for fishing or hit the 3 full-sized football pitches for a pick-up game. For those looking to get their outdoor adventure on, you can hit the outdoor orienteering course, join one of the organised runs or try your hand at a private 5K run through the park. The on-site garden centre serves sweet treats and beverages. Heaton Park is an outdoor adventure paradise.

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    Location: Prestwich, Manchester M25 1SS, UK

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    8

    Wythenshawe Park

    See a wide range of exotic plants from banana trees to coffee

    • Families
    • Budget
    • Adventure

    Wythenshawe Park in the northwest of Manchester offers hectares of space for exotic flora viewing and a Safari Walk that showcases the various species. Here you can see such unusual (to Britain) plants as pineapple and banana trees, rice fields, coffee plants and tea trees, though the park includes some of the more common types of plant life as well. You can test your navigational skills on the park's orienteering course, book time on one of the whopping 10 football pitches, head for a multi-use game field, play a game of tennis or run the track course. Of course, the park also offers plenty of serene green space, picnic areas and paved walking paths that are disability friendly.

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    Open: 24/7

    Phone: +44 (0)1619 982117

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    9

    Prestwich Forest Park

    Kick back in a historic churchyard surrounded by university grounds

    • Families
    • Budget

    All Saints Park is a small city park near the Manchester universities that's just steps from the Oxford Road train station where you can sit and relax. Interestingly, the park was a cemetery in the mid-19th century, a fact that came to light in 2017 when previously interred bodies were discovered beneath the ground. Today the park offers a formal garden with a gated entrance open to the public. On nice days it's crowded with university students taking a break from their studies. You can enjoy a wide range of takeaway food from trucks that cover all sorts of culinary traditions, so it's a fun place to come for a quick lunch.

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    10

    Boggart Hole Clough

    Visit the historic gateway to the Irk Valley

    • Families
    • History
    • Budget

    St Michael's Flags & Angel Meadow Park serves as a gateway to the Irk Valley and sits on the grounds of a historic churchyard dating to the 18th century. The area to the northeast of the Manchester city centre where the park is located was once an affluent suburb that had fallen into urban decay until it was revitalized in 2004. Today it stands as an elegant and serene patch of green space in an area of rich historic heritage, with a few grave markers from the original churchyard still standing in tribute to its legacy. It was originally one of the largest potter's fields in Manchester. Now it's a treasured public leisure space.

    Location: Old Mount St, Manchester M4 4TF, UK

    Open: Daily from dawn till dusk

    Phone: +44 (0)3409 013271

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