Picnics are a classic date, lunch or hangout idea. But, in Manchester, it’s difficult to find good spots in the big city since open green spaces are few and far between. Using our list of the best picnic spots in Manchester, you and your friends can take a break in the sun with a picnic blanket and have some fun this month. If you haven’t already, take a look at our list of the best parks in Manchester for more ideas!

Ancoats Canal, City Centre

best picnic spots in manchester
Source: Visit Manchester

In the heart of the Northern Quarter, you’ll find this sweet spot to hang out by yourself or with friends. With relatively quiet spaces available, and unique views of the canal, this makes for the perfect place to kick back, relax and enjoy some quiet time to chill. Plus, being so close to the city centre means that there are plenty of other places to head to nearby if you’re looking to explore Manchester.

Platt Field’s Park, Fallowfield

best picnic spots in manchester
Source: Flickr

You can find this gorgeous park between Fallowfield and the university’s main campus. It’s open from 9 am until 4 pm, so there’s plenty of time to head down for lunch, but might not be the best choice if you’re hoping to sneak in for a midnight picnic with your friends. Platt Field’s park boasts a vast open space for walking and gives plenty of room for picnic-havers. So, if you have spare time, head down for a nice afternoon in the sun.

Alexandra Park, Oldham

best picnic spots in Manchester
Source: Wikipedia

Alexandra Park, with its £5.5million refurbishment in 2014, is a beautiful place to take a respite from the big city. You can take a look at the website here to keep an eye on events that they hold throughout the year or read about its restoration.

Whitworth Park, Rusholme

Best Picnic Spots in Manchester
Source: Loads to Do

Whitworth Park, sitting right across from the curry mile, is the perfect spot to take yourself and some friends for a quick lunch. Like Platt Field’s, Whitworth Park closes at 9pm, so isn’t the best choice for a midnight picnic, but makes a great snack spot. Whitworth Park also boasts the Whitworth Gallery, which is free to enter. There’s plenty to do besides eat, so get down to Rusholme the next time you’re looking for a cheap day out.

Vimto Park, Gay Village

best picnic spots in manchester
Source: Picfair

Not only is this a nice, quiet spot to hang with your friends, but it’s also a place to knock off your Manchester bucket list. They built this monument in honour of the Vimto drink, which originated in Manchester. It makes for a cheap tourist attraction to visit—considering that it’s completely free!

Sackville Gardens, Gay Village

best picnic spots in manchester
Source: Manchester Sightseeing

Another tourist attraction to visit in Manchester is the Manchester Queen Bee (pictured above), built by Christian Taylor in honour of the LGBTQ+ Mancunians. It can be found in Sackville Gardens on Whitworth Street and makes for a nice place to stop by for a spot of lunch.

Fletcher Moss Botanical Garden, Didsbury

best picnic spots in Manchester
Source: Trip Advisor

The Fletcher Moss Botanical Garden in Didsbury is a charming place to visit if you’re bored with the same old parks in Manchester. It takes a bit of travelling by bus, but the ride is worth it when you see the gorgeous landscape that awaits you. There is a cafe available from 10am-4pm each day which makes for a convenient lunch. As well, outside of picnicking, you can volunteer at Fletcher Moss if you’re looking to give back to your community or get some extra work experience.

Heaton Park

best picnic spots in Manchester
Source: Day Out with the Kids

Heaton Park is one of the biggest parks in Britain, so gives you plenty of space to lie down on a picnic blanket, especially during the Summer. Or, if you’re tired of picnics, why not take a turn on the treetop trek? Or go on a boat ride? Heaton Park has plenty to offer and makes for a fun day out. Although this one is another bus ride away, there’s so much to do that the cost of the bus fare will be absolutely worth it.

And that’s our list of the best picnic spots in Manchester. When you have a day free, or even a few hours, make your way to one of these parks. These are some great ways to explore Manchester without spending tons of money. So, head out and have fun! For more things to do, check out our picks of the best parks in Manchester.