Whilst technically a stroll in the park more so than a country walk, a visit to Heaton Park in all it's 600+ acres is not to be sniffed at.
Whilst well known amongst the coolest of kids for being the home of Parklife, the rest of us know Heaton Park as one of North Manchester’s not so hidden outdoor gems featuring a lake, petting zoo and of course the Grade I listed, neoclassical 18th century country house, Heaton Hall.
With Prestwich just a hop skip and jump away from the park and its food & drink offer exploding over the last 2 years, there’s no shortage of places to grab a good brunch before your walk. On this particular day we opted for All The Shapes and their 2 Mexican breakfast dishes.
Heading into Heaton Park via the South West Corner you’ll pass through the Grand Lodge Entrance and walk up the path towards the Town Hall Collonade. A little further takes you to the parks lake where you’ll find plenty of ducks and geese more than happy to take your food and pester you for more.
Personally I prefer to veer off left and head towards The Stables Cafe and Heaton Hall. Worth noting that The Stables has been recently done up and holds it’s own on the tea, coffee, lunch offering so if you didn’t fancy Prestwich you’ll be well looked after there.
A small loop around the Western Pleasure Ground will bring you right back to the Heaton Park Animal Centre, perfect for the children and of course animal loving adults alike. Heaton Hall sits proud off to the right of The Stables and renovation work being undertaken at the moment doesn’t interrupt or spoil the walk around it’s exterior too much. It will of course be great once the work is completed, I can’t wait to see it restored to it’s former glory.
For me though the real gem of Heaton Park is the The Temple. I believe it is one of, if not the highest natural point in Greater Manchester, the view is certainly quite expansive and well worth the short accent up the path.
Overall Heaton Park is of course not a walk in the countryside or a hike up the Peaks but what it lacks in country surroundings it makes up for in green space and convenience.
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