Bike exploring: The New Forest
Brockenhurst New Forest Loop. Just under 12 miles of easy going forest trails and tarmac. A great all year ride, perfect for families. The route starts and stops in the pretty little town of Brockenhurst.
Located in central Manchester, St John’s Gardens are the perfect place to take some time out during a busy day. The gardens are especially popular with workers taking a lunch break.
Originally a graveyard with over 20,000 graves, the gardens remain the resting place of these individuals. Although, the only grave left visible is that of John Owens, the founder of Owen’s college.
In 2012, this garden was awarded a green Flag, meaning it’s well maintained, safe and welcoming. The perfect place to read a book and drink a coffee.Open in OS maps
Heaton Park is most famous for hosting Parklife Festival. However, when it is not being a venue for partying, there are plenty of other activities you can do.
Every Saturday morning, Heaton Park hosts parkrun, a free 5km run around the park. Alternatively, you could walk or jog that same route at a time convenient for you. You could also get your steps in whilst doing some orienteering – the map is available online link.
If you prefer water, there are rowing boats available to hire. The park also offers bowls, but again you have to pay for this.
The playground was recently refurbished and is now accessible to wheelchair users, so is the perfect place for everyone to have fun!
Heaton Park also has a well-hidden secret, Hazlitt Wood Pond. This pond that can only be reached by foot, so remains quiet and secluded. There is a walk you can do around the pond, available here.Open in OS maps
Located in the Gorton area of Manchester, Debdale park is the largest inner-city park of Manchester. Awarded a Green Flag award in 2014, the park is welcoming, safe and well maintained. The park also has strong involvement from the local community.
There are a wealth of activities available at Debdale Park, including a ‘multi use games area’ (MUGA), a skate park, free tennis courts, football pitch, pitch and putt and a members only bowling green. There is enough at Debdale Park to keep you occupied all day.
Debdale Park is also a good place if you like geocaching, although be aware that some of the caches are close to deep water.
There are footpaths suitable for wheelchair users, although some are not – so do check this first. The park also has a cycle track loop that is part of the UK National Cycle Network.
Alexandra Park opened originally in 1870, and features a traditional Victorian design of curved pathways, perfect for strolling along. There is a beautiful orchard of apple, plum and pear trees to walk along.
Recently revamped, the park is now very sports orientated and has 4 floodlit tennis courts. You can often just turn up and play, although booking is advised at weekends. There’s also a Lacrosse pitch, cricket square, and football pitch, as well as sports changing rooms that include showers. These even marked distances for running around the park.
Make sure you check out events held at the park, as its home to a Caribbean Carnival - amongst other events.Open in OS maps
Awarded a Green Flag award in 2011 and 2012, the park’s grounds are a beautiful mix of open grassland and wildflower meadows. Rich in history, there are three grade II listed buildings located within the park.
With a large range of facilities on offer, you can find plenty to occupy you here. From athletics tracks to horse-riding, there are an extensive list of facilities. There are also thirteen woodlands, where you can go and spot the different types of trees.
Check out their website for talks, education programmes and sports clubs.Open in OS maps