Manchester's Best Neighbourhood Park Runs

We all need the exercise, and so these neighbourhood parks are perfect during lockdown...

By Ben Brown | 9 February 2021

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Hulme Park
Distance: 0.5km – 1km per lap
A tiny park right on the edge of Hulme and the city centre, a lap around this place will clock in at around 700m, so you might be forced to go around and around for rather a long time. There’s some lovely views of the city from here, so take your phone and grab a couple of pics for the ‘Gram while you’re here.


Platt Fields Park
Distance: 700m – 3.5km per lap
Just because you probably want to know this, if you just run around the lake in Platt Fields, that 714 metres. The park is MASSIVE though and so there’s an almost unlimited number of ways in which you can run around it. If you just go around the outside of everything – you’ll end up doing just over 3km. It’s a great park too this, mostly because there’s always something to look at as you run around it. Check out the BMXing on one end, kick a duck on the other end and perhaps stop off for an ice cream when you’ve done?


Longford Park
Distance: 3km – 5km per lap
There’s loads of green space down at Longford Park, much more than it’s moderate showing on the main road would have you believe. This thing has a real arse on it, stretching all the way up to Kings Road and the Quadrant. That, of course, means that there’s plenty of running space and routes, and a run from one end to the other comes in at about 1.5km – perfect for a quick back-and-forth. The park is also home to the outstanding Longford Park Cafe – home to some truly wonderful treats and coffee.


Alexandra Park
Distance: 2km – 4km per lap
Another huge park here, and another one with an abundance of running routes for you to try. One lap of the outer edge comes to 2km, so if you can do 2 or 3 of them in one go – you’re doing very well indeed. The park itself is split into loads of little bits, with wide open spaces, a tree-strewn mall, a large lake and loads of facilities. The cafe here is great too, and if you can find any terrapins in the lake – let me know.


Ordsall Park
Distance: 0.5km – 2km per lap
The second oldest park in Salford (after Buile Hill Park), Ordsall opened up in 1876 and even though it’s not the biggest park out there, there’s plenty of facilities for you to use. There’s some of that outdoor gym equipment for you to do your stretches, and a lap around here comes in at a very reasonable 1km.


Birchfields Park
Distance: 1km – 2.5km per lap
Dotted around Birchfields Park are information boards displaying a choice of 3 routes for joggers around the space. They range from a nice easy 1km, to a more challenging 2.5km. My advice would be to just do laps round the very outside of the park, taking in the wooded area, the large open playing fields and the multitude of limited gym-like bits that are dotted around. There’s not much going on in the park most of the time, except some young lads who like to play cricket early before school.


Gorse Hill Park
Distance: 0.5km – 2km per lap
Once a dairy farm back in the 1880’s, the park as it is now was opened back in 1923, and it’s a moderately-sized space that’s excellent for running. A lap of this park comes in at just over 1km but there’s plenty of routes to choose from down the many paths. At the Chester Road entrance, you’ll also find The Great Stone, a legendary Stretford memorial that was likely used as a plague stone – where money from an infected town could be placed so that tradespeople delivering food could collect it.


Heaton Park
Distance: 5km – 10km+ per lap
A monster of a park, there’s a reason that Manchester’s biggest outdoor events take place here – it’s HUGE. Perfect for running, jogging or just walking the dog, Heaton Park is also home to Heaton Hall, a stunning Grade I listed, Neoclassical 18th century country house. Oh, and the café here is excellent too – so if you fancy a treat after your run – this place just near the old stables is perfect.


Fog Lane Park
Distance: 2km – 5km per lap
A moderately sized park between East Didsbury and Burnage, Fog Lane Park was actually one of the city’s first public parks, purchased back in 1926 by the town planning committee. It’s named after the grass that grows throughout – Yorkshire Fog, and there’s plenty of facilities and routes to choose from when running around it. A full lap around the outside is about 2km, but take a few detours and you can get up to 5km out of it.


Peel Park
Distance: 1km – 2km per lap
Straddling the River Irwell, Peel Park is the best running option for anyone living near Salford Central, or near the University. It’s been here for well over 150 years and was even the main public venue for the 1851 royal visit of Queen Victoria. It’s about 1km around once, but if you include a lap of the adjoining ‘Meadow’ over the river – you can get this to a reasonable 2km.


Turn Moss
Distance: 4km – 6km per lap
Stuck between Chorlton and Stretford, right on the banks of the River Mersey is Turn Moss, a series of playing fields, meadows and wooded areas, most of which turns into what is known as The Mersey Valley. As you’d expect from such an expansive green area, there’s loads of running routes and paths – with the ones that goes down the side of the river the most scenic and interesting. From the canal in Stretford to Chorlton Green you’re looking at 2km – perfect for an easy back-and-forth.