Manchester is famous for its bustling shopping centres, vibrant night life, numerous tourist attractions and fabulous choice of bars, restaurants and cafés. It really does have something for everyone, but what if you need to take a bit of time out to recharge, take in the scenery and just relax for an afternoon?
Despite being one of the busiest cities in Europe, there are still plenty of places where you can relax in natural surroundings, and all within easy reach of the city centre. So hop in a taxi Manchester has a tranquil side just waiting for you to discover it.
Dovestone lies at the point where Greater Manchester meets with the Peak District national park. It takes less than 30 minutes by taxi, and is well worth the journey – you will find it hard to believe that you are close to such a major city!
Whether you want to take a gentle stroll or have a full day of hiking, Dovestone is the perfect spot. Boasting both a huge reservoir and the highest point in Greater Manchester, it brings together the best of British scenery.
If you prefer your park life to combine some distractions for the kids, then Heaton Park is the place for you. At 600 acres, there is certainly enough space for the many visitors who take the 15 minute taxi ride from the city centre.
There is tranquillity aplenty in the sprawling woodlands and ornamental gardens, and an hour out on the boating lake is a great source of fun for visitors of all ages. The park is also home to a golf course, an animal farm and even its own tramway.
If the English weather should take a turn for the worse, be sure to visit the beautiful Heaton Hall while you are there.
Burrs Country Park
Take a 20 minute drive north to the town of Bury, and you will find Burrs Country Park, a renowned beauty spot that the serious nature lover really mustn’t miss. Spread over some 36 hectares of countryside, there is a variety of habitats including woodland, ponds and wetlands, that attract a diverse range of wildlife.
When you have finished relaxing and are ready for something more adventurous, there are all sorts of outdoor pursuits on offer, including kayaking, archery and abseiling.
Buile Hill Park
Just to the west of Manchester City Centre, in the suburb of Salford, this beautiful spot has a long and famous history. Author Frances Hodgson Burnett was a regular visitor in the early 1900s, and it was in the grounds of this park that she sat and penned her classic children’s tale The Secret Garden.
Other attractions within the park include outdoor gym equipment, tennis courts and a children’s playground.
Finally, not every park has a long history. This intriguing spot lies in the Moss Side area, and a few years ago was a derelict and run down area that nobody would want to visit. But thanks to a £5.5 million revamp in 2013, it now boasts a beautiful lake, a restored pavilion and a modern play area for the children.
Take a look at the newly renovated lodge, where you can see a fascinating exhibition of the park’s history.