Heaton Park is one of Manchester’s largest green spaces and is located in the Prestwich area, a few kilometres north of Manchester City Centre. Most of the park is made up of open green fields, but a range of attractions enhance Heaton Park’s wider appeal. These include an 18-hole golf course, a boating lake, adventure playground, and an animal centre.
Heaton Hall stands at the heart of Heaton Park, an 18th century manor house that celebrates the beauty of its neoclassical design. Built from sandstone, Heaton Hall has a number of exquisite stately rooms that are open to the public, some filled with temporary art exhibitions. Also standing high in the park is an ornamental temple and the peaceful Western Pleasure Grounds, ornamental gardens first crafted in the early 19th century. The golf course is of championship standard and is one of the best municipal courses in England.
Heaton Park tram stop is outside the park’s entrance on the Greater Manchester Metrolink system. It takes less than 15 minutes to travel from here to Manchester City Centre. The Heaton Park Tramway used to connect the park with the city centre but was discontinued in the 1930s. It now exists as a visitor attraction, using heritage trams to take visitors around the park.
The park has been open to the public since 1902 when it was sold to the local authorities. Standing proudly in the park is the Colonnade, the elaborate pillared facade that formerly guarded the entrance to Manchester City Hall. When the City Hall was due to be demolished, the pillars were removed and transferred to the edge of Heaton Park’s boating lake.