The last time we checked, parks were for kids, but not Manchester’s Platt Fields. In the heart of the city’s sleep-deprived student district Fallowfield, the park provides a space and events schedule that acknowledges adults’ and students’ need for time out.
Platt Fields wears many hats, depending on the day and season. Every Saturday morning from 09:00 it’s home to the free 5km circuit, Parkrun, in the summer it hosts Envirolution Festival, the city’s Mega Mela and the autumn brings its well-attended bonfire and fireworks display.
The park’s permanent features include a standout BMX track, a ‘secret’ Shakespearean garden with hedges cut into mazes, basketball courts, an ancient ditch (seriously, it’s a top-notch ditch) and an eco garden dotted with imaginative environmentally friendly projects. It’s even home to the city’s only Gallery of Costume, housed in a quirky mansion (currently closed for renovation, sadly).
It may have a scruffy, down-to-earth feel, but everyone knows that the best type of glamour is faded.
As a hardworking park, Platt Fields has a gritty urban edge but still manages to offer a quiet escape when the need arises.
Sit on a bench overlooking the heart-shaped lake, have a picnic on one of the hills or sit and gaze at the park’s Queen Elizabeth coronation fountain, now re-purposed as an overgrown planter.
Oh Platt Fields, how does Manchester love thee? Let us count the ways…