Now it’s getting warmer, we have an excuse to eat almost exclusively al fresco, and what could be more English than a wholesome picnic? Save your pennies and put together a feast from your cupboards, head out to town and lay down a blanket, because we’ve got some wonderful spots for those long, warm days here in Manchester. Whether it’s a bit of flat grass, or a civilised bench, we’ve got the list for you with a variety of parks, gardens and a couple of uniquely Mancunian picnic spots here in Manchester.
1. Mayfield Park
Manchester’s newest park is one of the most perfect places in the city for picnicking, and although it boasts some interesting urban design, there is of course a lot of green space and grassy areas to be had. Lay down a blanket and have at it, within just a couple minute’s walk from Piccadilly station.
📍Boardman Gate Entrance, Baring St, Manchester, M1 2PY.
2. Castlefield Bowl
A staple particularly when Sounds of the City festival comes around, Castlefield Bowl is a beautiful area built from our industrial history, surrounded by trains and canals, as well as the Roman fort that was the birthplace of Manchester. Although the area is pretty much entirely cobbled, take advantage of the tiered covered area of the Bowl, take a perch and enjoy the surroundings.
📍Rice St, Manchester, M3 4JR.
3. Greengate Square
Cleanly landscaped and lovely for a sit-down after walking about town, Greengate Square sits conveniently on the Manchester – Salford border, close to Manchester Cathedral. You almost wouldn’t notice the space if you weren’t looking for it, but for that reason it tends not to be overly packed, which makes a change! Perch on the stone steps, crack out the picky bits and enjoy the sun.
📍Victoria Bridge St, Salford, M3 5AS.
4. Vimto Park
Lovingly named and famed for its statue of the Manchester-born drink, Vimto Park provides the patch of grass you need between Oxford Road and Piccadilly train stations. Home to many students studying at the nearby University of Manchester buildings during the summer months, the park offers a lovely atmosphere and a spot of serenity within the city centre, and is convenient for popping out for a bite with mates.
📍39 Sackville St, Manchester, M1 3WE.
5. New Islington Marina
A hotspot for the cool kids of Manchester, New Islington Marina is prime ground for dog walking, coffee sipping and sunbathing when the weather’s right, and what could make it better? A picnic, of course! With countless benches and pieces of grass covering the banks of the canal, there’s plenty of space to sit and chill, eat and laugh with friends, so don’t hesitate if you’re on the Ancoats side of town.
📍New Union St, Manchester, M4 6FQ.
6. Chorlton Water Park
A wonderful expanse of green space, water and wildlife, Chorlton Water Park is one of the loveliest picnic spots in Manchester. With a really family-friendly feel, it’s a great, cheap day out for everyone and offers some of the best nature in Manchester, as well as being easy enough to get to. It’s also perfect for a walk, run or exercise class, so if you don’t fancy a picnic, there’s more in store.
📍74 Maitland Ave, Manchester, M21 7WH.
7. Fletcher Moss Botanical Gardens
One of the most beloved green spaces around Manchester is Fletcher Moss Botanical Gardens, boasting amazing expanses of trees, shrubbery and, of course, flowers. With several areas to the gardens, you’re free to pick whichever part suits you to sit, eat, drink and enjoy the beauty of the place. Fletcher Moss is a true oasis and you may well convince yourself that you’re in some sort of Italian countryside town, and one of the best spots in Manchester for a picnic.
📍100 Millgate Ln, Didsbury, Manchester, M20 2SW.
8. Heaton Park
Perhaps our most famous park here in Manchester, Heaton Park is generally known for being home to Parklife festival in the summer, along with various other huge gigs. For the rest of the year, though, the park hosts families, volunteers and exercise classes alike, and houses a massive amount of flat ground to park yourself on for the day with a basket full of sandwiches and wine. The park also often provides entertainment for both kids and adults such as the funfair and bouncy castles, so if you’ve got members of the family you need to keep busy, Heaton Park is the place.
📍Middleton Rd, Manchester, M25 2SW.
9. St John’s Gardens
Perfectly tucked away behind the Science and Industry Museum, St John’s Gardens is a useful cut though for commuters getting from one area to another, but also acts as a wonderfully peaceful park, and one of the hidden picnic spots in Manchester. Although not huge, St John’s Gardens has a charm, and plenty of benches and grass for a bite to eat in the sunshine. You’ll see the changing of the seasons in all the wonderful foliage peppered around the park, and it’s only a stone’s throw from Spinningfields, Castlefield and Deansgate.
📍Lower Byrom St, Manchester, M3 4AP.
10. Peel Park
Salford’s finest, Peel Park, is a favourite for Parkrunners and students alike, with the land being adjacent to Salford University. There’s a huge expanse of green space as the park sits on a floodplain of the River Irwell, alongside landscaped gardens and picturesque bodies of water. Take a perch on a bench or set down a blanket and unload your feast looking over this beautiful slice of Salford.
📍The Crescent, Salford, M5 4WU.