Fletcher Moss Gardens
A beautiful botanical garden and park with playing fields situated in East Didsbury. Great for more than just running truly an oasis from the hustle and bustle of Manchester.
Possibilities: Endless. Fletcher Moss is an awesome place to do so many different training sessions. There is a flat cinder loop that is perfect if you want to run laps, or do intervals. There are also some hills that aren’t too steep, but long enough to hurt. Not only are there the paths within the park, the park also connects to the canal. The canal is pretty cool for those of you that like to run for miles without having to take a sharp turn or run in repetitive loops.
Obstacles: Due to this park also having a botanical garden and being in Didsbury, it does receive a big footfall. If you go at peak times expect dogs, children, families and joggers. I would recommend going quite early, or a bit later on during the weekend if you want a smooth run. In terms of puddles, on the cinder loop you may have to swerve one or two but your new shoes will be relatively safe on the loop. The canal and other connecting paths are prone to big puddles, so avoid wearing your best shoes…
A green spot with no concrete in sight. If you’re really brave you can even dip a toe into the murky depths of the pond.
Possibilities: The waterpark is full of opportunity. There are a number of hills dotted around the park. The loop around the water is a great place to run. This loop is quite nice because it is undulating, so it challenges your body a little more than just running on the flat. If you venture further into the park you will reach the canal and on the other side of the canal you will find more running trails.
Obstacles: This park gets even busier than Fletcher Moss. Not only are there dogs, families and bikes; There are also running groups and bootcamps. Again, just play around with training times and find when works best for you. This park can get quite a few puddles, especially on the path and the canal.
Fallowfield bike path
A great little spot to run when trying to avoid cars and traffic lights.
Possibilities: Initially limited, because the path is just a straight line, but if you use your imagination you can create so many different sessions. The path is slightly undulating, especially closer to the Fallowfield side. I prefer the path for a quick run, it is nothing special, just a relatively safe place to run away from the roads.
Obstacles: The bike gates can be annoying if people are going through them at the same time as you. There are a lot of cyclists if you run during rush hour, this isn’t really a problem and it’s quite nice to run where there are other people.
Hough End Playing Fields
A big grassy field for when you’re feet are sick of the concrete.
Posibilities: You can create various loops for intervals etc. and/or steady runs. I wouldn’t travel from afar to run here. There is a leisure centre with a gym and pool, there is also a little fitness station, which may be useful for circuits.
Obstacles: During football and rugby season, the fields can be filled with people on Sunday mornings. Other than that you may see a few dog walkers and horses, but they have never been a problem. The grass can also be very bumpy, especially during the off season for football, as they don’t cut grass often. The only real issue with this field is that it can become incredibly waterlogged.