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 BMX track, a community market garden complete with cafe and events, a ‘secret’ Shakespearean garden, basketball courts, an ancient ditch (seriously, it’s a top-notch ditch) and an eco garden. It’s even home to the city’s only Gallery of Costume, housed in the beautiful Georgian mansion Platt Hall (currently closed for renovation, opening November 2021).
Platt Fields is a hardworking park, but still offers 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…