I happen to live about 5 minutes from the biggest public park in Europe, it is a really good resource. However on an almost hot day when nearly everyone in the city is off work and so are their kids it’s a bit rammed. During any school holiday there is a fair and with a child in tow it could make the whole experience quite costly.
Right behind it on the Middleton rd side is Blackley forest, which I went to for the first time about 5 years ago. I’m still shocked at how nice and rural it feels. Through it runs the river Irk, one of Manchester’s 3 rivers. (That’s what them stripes on the city seal represent.)
Blackley is not an area known for… well anything, these areas used to be where the factories of the city’s garment trade where based. In fact Queen Victoria’s wedding dress was made in Blackley. During World War II (1939-1945) many trees in the area were felled to provide fuel. It spent time as grazing fields and was re-forested by Manchester Corporation and local residents beginning in 1953 and was, therefore, Manchester’s first true community forest.
I would much happily recommend Blackley woods for someone fancying a stroll among trees.