Whilst we’re all eagerly waiting for ‘Freedom Day’, in the meantime, we’re still able to get together with friends and family and enjoy the very British tradition of a picnic in the park, and just to make things better, we’re having some gorgeous weather! So, whether you’re spending your lunch break outside with colleagues, or your weekend catching rays with a tin of your favourite tipple, we have options that will suit you.
As one of the biggest parks in Europe (impressive right?), and the home of the annual Parklife Festival, it didn’t seem right to not kick things off with this 600-acre beauty. Boasting a boating lake, garden centre, multiple cafés, and even an area to meet a few farm animals, this place seriously has something for everyone, and there’s plenty of space to spread out too.
Fletcher Moss Botanical Gardens
We’ve mentioned this Didsbury delight before, and it definitely deserves yet another shout out. A truly gorgeous and idyllic spot, Fletcher Moss is the ideal place for a more relaxed and chilled out picnic, or even perhaps a day date, as the garden has an influx of birds throughout the summer. So, with the countryside atmosphere and romantic birdsong, this would be a fab place to take your loved one.
Burrs Country Park
Located on the outskirts of Bury, this Green Flag Award-winning Park hosts multiple habitats and wildlife, in addition to a cracking café and pub, multiple playgrounds for little ones, a steam train railway stop, and some eye-catching art, thanks to being part of the Irwell Sculpture Trail. If a picnic isn’t enough for you to soak in all this site has to offer, why not bring your tent, and pitch up in their camping space – got to love a staycation!
Buille Hill Park
Buille Hill Park is a real favourite with locals, and we can understand why, as its city views, tennis courts, and outdoor gym are a smash hit. As a listed park, it’s steeped in history, with links to numerous historical figures, including local hero LS Lowry who was a regular visitor, and author Frances Hodgson Burnett, who reportedly wrote world-famous The Secret Garden during a visit to Buille Hill Mansion.
Not Forgetting Our City Centre Favourites…
Small but perfectly formed, this pocket of city green is behind The University of Manchester’s Sackville Street Building and is so named because of the monument to Vimto. The Park was almost developed by builders a few years ago, but after significant backlash, was saved, and we’re so glad it was. A real suntrap in the city centre, sheltered from traffic and only a short walk from Piccadilly stations ‘facilities’, this spot is perfect for an impromptu mid-week picnic.
St Johns Gardens
A great option to grab five minutes away from your desk or meet a friend for a quick bite to eat, this site used to be home to a church and graveyard, however, is now peppered with gorgeous crab apple trees and blooming wildflowers. Bag a bench and enjoy a few moments of zen during those busy days.
This Park is bordered by many visitor attractions and the nearby Victoria Station, so it can be busy, but it is absolutely worth visiting if you have an hour. A gently flowing water feature runs around the gardens creating a really chilled vibe and there are plenty of sunken benches to avoid grass stains on your summer threads.
Grab a gingham blanket, a few drinks, and the entire deli selection from your local supermarket, and head to one of our great recommendations. We’d love to know what you got up to across the city's green spaces so do let us know. Alternatively, please share your hidden gems, we’d love to discover some new spots.