Newest Review: ... impressive Grade 1 listed manor house. Unfortunately it is currently closed and out of use and will be for the next few years while renova... more
Heaton Park, Manchester
Heaton Park (Manchester)
Member Name: Larrabee
Heaton Park (Manchester)
Advantages: Huge, well kept, lots to do, easily accessible
Disadvantages: None, a wonderful park, a great resource for Manchester's population
Manchester is a wonderful city, but sadly unlike London it is not renowned for its green spaces. Thanks to its industrial heritage parks in the inner areas of the city are small, few and far between. Thankfully, Heaton Park is nearby, just a few miles outside the city centre, easily accessible from inner areas via A roads and from the M60 ring road.
According to Wikipedia, Heaton Park is one of the largest municipal parks in Europe. It was given to the city by the Earl of Wilton at the turn of the 20th Century and has been managed by the local authority ever since. They do an excellent job in my opinion of keeping the park clean, safe, attractive and of providing a wide range of facilities and events.
At the heart of the park is Heaton Hall, an impressive Grade 1 listed manor house. Unfortunately it is currently closed and out of use and will be for the next few years while renovations and upgrades are carried out. Its still worth a visit though as its lovely even fro the outside and as it sits at the highest point of the park the views of Greater Manchester and the surrounding countryside are spectacular. On a clear day you can see for miles.
There are lots of facilities for children and young families. There is a little farm where you can meet the animals including horses. There are several different play areas, all of which have fairly modern play equipment and the children I see always look like they're having a good time! There's a little train that trundles around the park during the summer and in the school holidays and of course you can always feed the ducks at the lake or even hire a boat for an hour.
I visit the park as dog walker, and my dogs absolutely love it. Because the park is so vast you can pretty much do a completely different walk every day of the year so there's no chance of getting bored doing the same route every day. I still occasionally discover a new path or a bit of woodland I didn't know about before. Dogs are allowed off lead but must be under control and must be put on a lead if requested by a member of the park's staff. As everywhere, you must clean up after your dog or pay a fine, and you aren't allowed to be in sole charge of more than 4 dogs at once.
The park feels very safe, even when you're on one of the less popular footpaths or when you're in a deserted area. The whole park is fenced and gated and the gates close at dusk every day (worth checking sunset times online before you go so you don't get locked in! There are always staff around, more in the summer obviously when there are more people around and when all the facilities such as cafes, boat hire, the train etc. but even in the winter there are cars that slowly patrol the various areas of the park.
There are several large car parks, you have to pay to park at peak times (weekends, school holidays) but its free at less popular times. There are also lots of residential streets around the park where you can park for free.
So if you live in the Manchester area and you haven't visited yet, you really should! Its great for a walk, a picnic, a day out with the children, a bike ride, a good place to go for a run, oh and there's a golf course too but I'm afraid I know nothing about golf so I can't really review that, sorry!
Summary: One of my favourite places, the dogs love it too.
More reviews in the field of Sightseeing National
- A must-see attraction on the Isle of Wight
- Woo hoo what a ride
- Just why is the Great Orme so great?
- Take a walk on the wild site
- Petworth-A place full of delights.
- "Bad" By Name, Not By Nature!
- "Yew" Really Should Visit!
- Beautiful castle on the Isle of Wight
- Fishing in the Sky
- Cragside, full of technology, nature and history a National Trust Gem!