Castlefield Urban Heritage Park

#3 in Best Things To Do in Manchester
Castlefield Urban Heritage Park picture
Shahid Ali Khan/Shutterstock

Price & Hours

Free

Details

Parks and Gardens, Free Type
1 to 2 hours Time to Spend
4.6scorecard
  • 5.0Value
  • 4.5Facilities
  • 4.5Atmosphere

The Castlefield Urban Heritage Park is a conservation area located on the southwest side of Manchester's city center. But first, it was the site of a Roman fort, Mamucium. Later, this area became a hub of industry with the construction of a canal and a train station. Today, the canal has been restored, and there's even a recreated gate of the ancient fort.

Visitors call the Castlefield Urban Heritage Park a quiet retreat from the bustling Manchester streets, complete with floating houseboats and picturesque pubs flanking the sides. When the weather is nice, a weekend food and flea market sets up shop as well. One TripAdvisor user also notes, "There is a great pub called 'The Wharf' at the center offering up many beers and great food.

You'll find the park off Liverpool Road in the Castlefield neighborhood, just south of the Museum of Science and Industry. The park is just a short walk from the Deansgate-Castlefield tram stop, which is serviced by all four of the central city lines. You can visit this part of town at any time of day or night, and there's no admission fee. To learn more about Castlefield, visit the Manchester City Council website.

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#1 John Rylands Library

The University of Manchester's John Rylands Library is known as much for its beautiful architecture as it is for its collection of rare books and manuscripts. The impressive gothic structure took 10 years to build — after plans were drawn up in 1889, the library finally opened to the public in 1900. Among its vast collection are medieval illuminated manuscripts, featuring a copy of Geoffrey Chaucer's "The Canterbury Tales;" the personal letters and papers of notable figures like Victorian novelist Elizabeth Gaskell; and even a Gutenberg Bible. There are also a handful of rotating exhibits."

One TripAdvisor user compared the ambiance of the John Rylands Library to the library from Harry Potter's Hogwarts with its own restricted section and dragon carvings. This user also had some practical advice: "If you need to nip into the loo, use those on the second floor rather than the basement — fine old Victorian craftsmanship on display, with lovely comfortable wooden seats!"

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