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The Best Parks and Day Trips In Greater Manchester and Beyond

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Fletcher Moss

If it’s tranquility you’re after, Fletcher Moss Garden is the ideal park for all seasons. 

Get lost in the garden’s extensive network of paths, saunter through Stenner Woods, and meander round Millgate Field along the River Mersey. 

The Edge, Alderley Edge

Known for its affluence, Alderley Edge is home to many celebrities and footballers, and has since become one of the most sought-after places to live outside London. 

Its high street features many designers stores, trendy bars and cafes, and visitors can also take a nature walk to its famous ‘Edge’, with breathtaking views of the surrounding county.

The Carrs Park, Wilmslow

Popular with dog walkers, Wilmslow Carrs offers riverside and woodland walks, large open grassland, picnic area and a football area. 

Walks around the River Bollin are picturesque and have links into Styal Country Park.

Quarry Bank Mill & Styal Woods

Commonly known as Styal Mill, Quarry Bank was formerly a textiles mill in the Industrial Revolution, now a museum. 

From the grounds of the mill, there are breathtaking walks into Styal Woods through to Wilmslow Carrs, or you can enjoy the sunshine during a gorgeous stroll through their kept gardens and greenhouse.

There are also several cafes within the grounds, including their delightful garden cafe, where you can sip on your latte beneath beams of radiant sunshine.

Lyme Park

Known as Mr Darcy’s house Pemberley in the 1995 adaptation of Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice, Lyme Park offers stunning views of the surrounding area from the Cage up on the hill, plus lush nature walks and tours of the Hall.

Tatton Park & Knutsford

An historic town with access to Tatton Park, Knutsford is a quaint sanctuary from busy city life. 

Sandwiched between the Peak District and the Welsh mountains, there are several streets with shops, bars, restaurants and cafes, and stunning country walks in Tatton Park, no matter what the weather.

Keep an eye out for deer that roam freely around the park’s grounds.

Tandle Hill Country Park

Oldham’s oldest country park has 48 hectares of parkland and woodland, with expansive views of the Manchester Plain and the Pennines.

Chorlton Water Park

A Local Nature Reserve with its own lake, surrounding grasslands and woodlands, Chorlton Water Park features panoramic views and loads of picturesque corners to head out for a Spring walk. 

There’s car park, playground, and picnic benches for lunch when the sun’s out.

St John’s Gardens, Manchester

St. John’s Park is a city centre oasis that lies between Lower Byrom Street, Byrom Street and Quay Street in Spinningfields.

Previously a graveyard, the park was redeveloped in the 1930s, and is now a conservation area – a “secret” spot that not a lot of Mancunians know about.

Haigh Woodland Park, Wigan

This picturesque spot is perfect for picnics, amazing for adventurers, and fantastic for foodies, with miles and miles of walking trails.

Day trips

Dovestones Reservoir, Oldham

Spend an hour strolling around the reservoir and then pop to the village of Uppermill for a bite to eat. 

Uppermill has come great places for food, one of our favourites is Muse – they have a great lunch time menu, keeping things cheap and cheerful.

Windermere, The Lake District

About an hour and a half drive from Manchester, Windermere features fantastic lake views, enveloped by the surrounding hills.

It might even be better to stay overnight to ensure you make the most of the place. Often, mist can be seen sitting on top of the lake, but if the weather is on your side, you can get a boat ride and enjoy some truly beautiful views.

(Image credit: j.anne.co)


Southport takes us back to our childhood days, being so excited to go on the carousel horses on the beach, or ride in the red cars until you feel slightly sick and dizzy.

Always a fun day out eating candy floss and lollipops…and CHIPS! Always chips.

(Image credit: j.anne.co)


Under an hour’s drive from Manchester, Chester is perfect for an Easter day trip.

With its huge Tudor-style buildings, it is a photographer’s dream, and you can spend countless hours admiring the gorgeous architecture. 

Head over to the Roman Coliseum, which was once used for entertainment and military training, or if that doesn’t float your boat, then have a stroll along the beautiful River Dee, finishing up at one of Chesters oldest pubs, The Old Boot Inn.

Formby Beach

Now part of the National Trust, Formby has been a celebrated coastline in the North West for decades. 

With a booming tourist industry during warmer months, the beach features significant sand dunes and several nature trails with sights of rare red squirrels.

Hebden Bridge

Hebden Bridge is a market town 14 miles north-east of Rochdale, lying on the Rochdale canal and close to the Pennines Way and Hardcastle Crags walks. 

The town is a popular place to live, and has since developed a New Age community. Famously, American poet and author Sylvia Plath is buried just up the hill in Heptonstall.

Lymm Village & Reservoir 

A large village near Warrington, Cheshire, Lymm is a designated conservation area, with a picturesque canal, pubs, shops, and its own landmark Lymm Dam. 

There are stunning nature walks around the lake to enjoy now the weather’s getting nicer, with higher viewing points and a wide variety of tree species.

The Peak District, Derbyshire

The Peak District is a national park, largely considered to be in the centre of England. But if you hop into a car or jump on a train, you can get there from Manchester within the hour.

With stunning panoramic views, any corner of the Peak District is a photographers dream.

Pennine Way is a National Trail begins (or ends) in Edale in the Peak District and finishes (or starts) in Kirk Yetholm – a 268 mile walk that offers some of the finest views the North of England has to offer.

Hartshead Pike

This 18th century tower and hill in Mossley, Greater Manchester share the name of Hartshead Pike, where the view of the Pennine moors, North Wales and Pendle Hill are all breathtaking on a clear, sunny day.

Perfect for a stroll around the grounds this Spring, especially when the sun starts to break out through the clouds and you can get the sunglasses out!

Snowdonia, Wales

When the weather’s nice this Spring, you can drive to Snowdonia in Wales and take in the panoramic mountainous views. The tallest peak is 3,560ft, the highest mountain in Wales and England, where you can experience the world’s fastest zip wire at Zip World.

READ NEXT: 20 Things To Do With The Kids This Weekend in Manchester

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