Summer is the perfect season for picnics, long walks in the park, and sunbathing. You’ve worked hard for the past academic year, so now it’s time to take that well-deserved break. If you’re looking for the best spots to chill, these are the best parks in Manchester.

Whitworth Park

The best parks in Manchester revealed!
Source: University of Manchester

The Whitworth Park is a staple for University of Manchester students. It’s a short walk from the main campus buildings, and it’s also home to the stunning Whitworth Art Gallery. It’s worth taking a trip to there on a sunny day, having a wander around the gallery and its gift shop, and then having a picnic in the park. There’s loads of picnic tables, but it’s also nice to take a blanket and sit on the field, maybe near one of the outdoor art sculptures.

Platt Fields Park

The best parks in Manchester revealed!
Source: Trip Advisor

Platt Fields Park is perfect for any students in the popular Fallowfield accommodation area. It’s an enormous park with a beautiful little lake. It’s a wonder that such a big, open space exists so close to the built-up city, and Platt Fields Park will definitely give you a break from all the city air. No lake is complete without ducks and geese – you’ll find plenty of these feathered friends here. There’s also a spacious skate park where you can pick up a new hobby or practice your skills. Plenty of events happen at Platt Fields, such as boating events and a fantastic fireworks display on Bonfire Night.

Alexandra Park

The best parks in Manchester revealed!
Source: Loads To Do

Alexandra Park is a beautiful space that has existed since the 1800s. Like Platt Fields, it provides a nice escape from the city life. There’s a large array of events to choose from, like park run, yoga, group workouts and tai chi. For anyone interested in the arts, there’s the Alexandra Arts & Events group that works within the park. Alexandra Park also has regular markets and fairs, all with different themes.

Fletcher Moss Botanical Garden

The best parks in Manchester revealed!
Source: Wikipedia

Fletcher Moss Botanical Garden is definitely one of the best parks in Manchester, since it focuses mainly on the garden aspect. You’ll find beautifully maintained trees and plants of all kinds, making it a wonderful nature oasis within the city. An owl carved out of an old tree trunk stands guard at the gates, inviting you to explore the park within. If you want to get stuck into some gardening this summer, Fletcher Moss welcomes anyone who wants to volunteer.

Heaton Park

The best parks in Manchester revealed!
Source: Day Out With The Kids

Heaton Park is located to the north of the university campuses. It’s the biggest park in Manchester, with tonnes to do. There’s a treetop adventure course for anyone who wants to stretch their legs, and an animal centre with a range of farm animals, such as donkeys, pigs, turkeys, and even tortoises. Due to the park’s immense space, its a favourite of dog walkers, so you’ll definitely see some friendly pups.

Debdale Park

The best parks in Manchester revealed!
Source: Visit Manchester

Debdale Park is a little further away, but it’s great if you fancy a day out. Debdale is home to a beautiful lake where you can take part in water sports and activities, such as sailing, windsurfing, canoeing and kayaking, rafted canoeing, power-boating. For all the cyclists out there, Debdale has a fantastic cycling trail around the park. There’s also a number of clubs and societies you can join, plus a handy little coffee kiosk.

Some of these parks are used by Manchester’s running clubs, so if you’re into running – it could be a perfect way to explore the city’s parks while socialising AND working out. Or you could just grab your picnic blanket and plan a trip with your friends!

Check out these fantastic beaches near Manchester for more fun things to do over the summer break.