Prestwich Parks

East Prestwich, 3/4 mile

Long sequence of parks with foot and bike routes


image of prestwich-parks
(no website)

Get there

Public transport: falls between several travel routes. Despite the bus route that passes at the bottom, best access is Prestwich Clough, itself notable, or the Irwell riverbank. Private transport: Parking at lower Drinkwater and upper Phillips Parks. Obscure entrances.


The Prestwich Parks are not well‐known—possibly because they are difficult to access. Two parks, arguably four, make the longest, if not the largest, park area in Manchester. From the south, Drinkwater Park is over a mile and a half of trees—the only location in central Manchester that can be called woodland. Waterdale Meadow is a wet flatland with wildlife ponds and rambling paths. Phillips Park is a large part‐designed, part‐farm/woodland park. The buildings are abandoned or demolished, the planting overgrown. But the park is maintained as a mountain bike centre, and some plans are in place for conservation. The walks in Phillips Park are good, there’s an activity centre (never seen it open) and, north‐side, top of the hill, an adventure playground. Finally, the Forest Park is a stretch of land next to the Manchester ringroad. The path by the ringroad is noisy, stagnant, and underneath electricity pylons, but the walk to Philips Park is scenic. Summary is unusual: near inaccessible, yet worth travelling for, especially the woodland that is Drinkwater Park, and the long paths of Phillips Park.