With corking weather promised for all four days, it's time to enjoy some Bank Holiday fun in the sun…
Bank holiday is just around the corner and we're told to expect four solid days of sunshine. How about that eh? So forget Netflix binges and skulking around inside, here are a bunch of ways to make the most of it, from Good Friday through Easter Monday…
HIT THE TERRACE
For suppin’ in the sun, you can’t beat our guide to the city's outdoor bars, terraces & beer gardens. From First Street to Spinningfields, Ancoats to NQ, there are over 35 spots to choose from. Our only advice? Everyone else will have had the same idea, so get there early. And remember to bring the sun cream.
Another quintessential summer pastime, there are few better ways to soak up some rays than a picnic in the park. We recommend heading to a delicatessen for some proper good nosh (Lunya is one of our faves) and making for one of Manchester’s several parks.
Amongst Europe’s largest, Heaton Park is hard to beat; not only does its 600 acres include plenty of green space to enjoy, you’ll also find sporting activities and lots to keep the kids occupied - including an animal farm, family crafts centre and Treetop Trek.
Other green spaces worth the trip include Whitworth Park (home to the namesake gallery), Alexandra Park (initially designed to ‘deter the working men of Manchester from the alehouses during their day off’), Salford's newly jazzed up Peel Park, and the Grade II listed Philips Park, which retains many historic features.
MAKE IT EVENTFUL (IN A GOOD WAY…)
From a funfair at Manchester Central to creative kids’ workshops at Hatch and a four-day family weekender at Refuge, keeping the kids entertained is a doddle this bank holiday. Grown-ups are well catered for too, with the likes of Pilcrow Pub’s Easter Weekend on Sadler’s Yard and Levy Market’s ‘Good Funk Night’ special.
Talking of markets, the Makers’ will also be back in Spinningfields (Saturday) and Chorlton (Sunday) with the usual mix of artisan goodies, both edible and otherwise.
Perhaps Manchester’s best-known Easter event, the Duck Race celebrates its tenth anniversary this Good Friday with more rubber revelry along the Irwell. Want to try your luck? Ducks cost just £1 each, and all proceeds go to Brainwave, a local charity that helps children with brain injuries access educational and physical therapies throughout the UK.
For those who fancy a smaller event, Salford Quays is also hosting a duck race, setting off from Helly Hansen Watersports Centre.
GET OUTTA TOWN
Manchester’s neighbouring counties are replete with outdoor opportunities; from Peak District National Park to the beaches of Lancashire and Merseyside (Southport and Formby are particularly good bets). But Greater Manchester itself has plenty to go at too.
Our Beyond the City series has some top tips for exploring Salford and Trafford. Elsewhere, you’ll find everything from stunning reservoir walks like Dovestone (Oldham) to historic canal-side museums like Portland Basin (Tameside) and heritage train rides through the Irwall Vale with East Lancashire Railway (Bury).
Hike Bolton’s Rivington Pike for one of the North West’s best views, windsurf on the waters of Wigan’s Pennington Flash Country Park, hit the canal at Rochdale and check out the some of the region’s several stately homes; many of which, like Stockport’s Bramall Hall, also boast beautiful grounds to roam in. And that’s just for starters; check out your local council website for what’s on (because we've had enough now).