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Countryside and waterways

Discover a refreshing secret about Salford - 60% of it is green space. Amazing isn't it? We have three green flag parks, five local nature reserves, and over 20 public parks there's plenty to keep you occupied. Sometimes the most revitalising activity is simply to let time drift by. Flying a kite, pausing to notice the many aromas of wild flowers or sitting with a picnic in a bluebell wood - stock up with scrumptious bread, cheese, preserves and fruit at the Eccles Farmers' Market.

Parks and greenspaces

You can explore one of the beautiful country parks such as Clifton Country Park's meadows, play hide and seek in Worsley Woods or turn cartwheels in the fields at Blackleach Country Park. If you prefer a more wild approach, try some real wilderness at Kersal Wetlands.

Blackleach Country Park is a green haven within the city where you can enjoy the countryside on your doorstep. Just half a mile north of Walkden town centre, the 50 hectare site has been reclaimed from its industrial past as a result of a community campaign.

Officially designated as a Local Nature Reserve in 2004, this site also received the prestigious Green Flag award in 2005, 2006 and 2007.

The country park is an ideal place to take a stroll, enjoy a picnic, go cycling or fishing, feed the ducks or watch out for wildlife.

The site and visitor centre are managed by an active group of local people in conjunction with the Salford Ranger Team who together provide an exciting programme of activities. Blackleach has a lot to explore and discover, this includes:

  • Education programmes for schools
  • Kids' activities
  • Volunteer opportunities
  • Walks and talks
  • Health walks
  • Wildlife
  • Fishing
  • Orienteering

 Download the Blackleach Country Park Map showing entrance points and facilities

Sunset in Blackleach Country Park

The lake in Blackleach Country Park

Located within the Claremont and Weaste area of Salford, Buile Hill Park is a Grade II listed Park of National Historic Importance.

It has had a long and varied history with links to many important historical figures. Some of the lesser known facts include links to a certain Mr L.S. Lowry, a one time local rent collector who frequented the park before gaining recognition for his works of art. Emmeline Pankhurst the local girl turned suffragette and Frances Hodgson Burnett author of the classic children's novel The Secret Garden rumoured perhaps romantically to have been written during one of her many visits to Buile Hill Mansion.

Today Buile Hill Park covers an area of approximately 35 hectares. Whilst some of the historic features have been lost over the past century the park itself has survived largely intact. During the past three years a steady series of improvements has begun. New play areas have been built, many of the once grand carriageways re-surfaced and areas of planting renewed. Home to the popular Buile Hill Park Banqueting Suite, the park provides an attractive environment for local people. It features:

  • tennis courts
  • tropical plant collections
  • play areas
  • picnic areas.

An open air venue for many of the city's events, including the annual Bonfire Night firework displays, it remains Salford's favourite public park.

Buile Hill Park
Eccles Old Road


Tel: 0161 736 8911

Trees in Buile Hill Park

Trees on a summer's day in Buile Hill Park

Clifton Country Park Local Nature Reserve is approximately 48 hectares of scenic urban fringe countryside in Salford, with woods, meadows, ponds and a lake to explore and remnants of the city's industrial past to discover.

It is hidden away in the Irwell Valley just a few miles from Salford city centre and easily accessible from the A666. The Country Park was designated a Local Nature Reserve in 2005, and in 2006 and 2007 it was awarded a prestigious Green Flag award

Here you can explore the woodland and lakeside walks, bring a picnic, go fishing or bird watching. The visitor centre holds information about the site and surrounding areas and provides toilet facilities for users.

As well as self-guided trails and activities the ranger team provides a wide range of exciting activities throughout the year for adults and children alike. These include:

  • kids' activities
  • walks and talks
  • discovering wildlife
  • fishing
  • orienteering
  • volunteer opportunities
  • environmental education programmes for schools and community groups.

At Clifton Country Park are the industrial remains of the Wet Earth Colliery. Established around 1740, the colliery was one of the first deep mines to be sunk in the Irwell Valley.

Access for disabled users

There is a hard surfaced path around the lake providing a circular walk which is fully accessible for disabled users including those in motorised wheel chairs. Three designated parking bays are available for disabled users in the main car park. The visitor centre is fully accessible with male and female toilet facilities.

Car parking

The Clifton Country Park car parks are accessed via Clifton House Road. The main car park is opened at 9:30am and closed at 9:30pm during the summer and opened at 9:30am and closed at 5pm during the winter. The country park has 24 hour pedestrian access with 24 hour parking available in the smaller over flow car park.

Download a map of Clifton Country Park showing the trails, paths and facilities

Clifton Country Park
Clifton House Road
M27 6NG

Tel: 0161 793 4219

Sculpture in Clifton Country Park

The lake in Clifton Country Park

Peel Park was created on the slopes leading down to the River Irwell.  Over the years the land was terraced so that the park is now a fairly flat riverside area flanked by steep banks. At the top of the slope are the buildings of Salford University and Salford Museum and Art Gallery.

Interpretation panels in the park give more information about key features.

A flight of stone steps from the back of the museum sweeps down to the iconic circular flower beds.  Beyond are large areas of grass lawn and wildflower meadow, interspersed with avenues and small groups of trees.  In spring the northern part of the park is swathed in daffodils, planted as a Marie Curie ‘Field of Hope’ some years ago.

A monument in the park demonstrates the significance of the nearby river.  The Irwell carries water from a huge area and has flooded the park and other areas of Salford many times.  The flood marker shows the height reached by the flood of 1866.

A footbridge crosses over the River Irwell and will lead you out of the park to the Meadows where nature has been allowed to take over a former industrial area within a broad curve of the river.

Steps to the west side of the park lead up to the University campus where you may see a curious statue of Engels Beard which commemorates Friedrich Engels and also serves as a climbing wall.  Walking through the campus will bring you back to the Museum or to public transport links.

More about Peel Park

Worsley Woods occupies around 30 hectares of countryside. The site can be reached from Salford's network of looplines or the historical Bridgewater Canal. With beautiful woodland to amble around and the Kempnough Brook flowing through, Worsley Woods offer a welcome break from city life.

As well as self-guided trails and activities the Salford Ranger team provide a wide range of exciting activities throughout the year for adults and children alike. These include:

  • kids' activities
  • walks and talks
  • discovering wildlife
  • orienteering
  • volunteer opportunities
  • environmental education programmes for schools and community groups.

For more information call Jo Regan 0161 607 1759

Get involved: Worsley Woodlands Action Group

The Worsley Woodlands Action Group was set up in 2005 with the support of the Ranger Team. This was to give the users of Worsley Woods the opportunity to be involved in and consulted about the management of the site.

The group aims to conserve and develop the plants and creatures of Worsley Woods and to enhance its value for all the people of Salford. The group meet regularly to discuss new plans and projects.

If you would like to get involved in practical conservation activities such as tree and wildflower planting or fence and step construction, conservation mornings are held once a month. No experience is needed and refreshments are provided!

To join the group or simply find out more please contact Jo Regan on 0161 607 1759.

Download the Worsley Trail

Bridgewater Canal frozen in winter

Worsley covered in snow

For details of Salford's other parks see the Salford City Council parks pages.


Water, water everywhere. With six waterways, 30 miles of river and canals, and 112 ponds, Salford is literally swimming in the stuff.

Situated on the Bridgewater Canal, a short distance from the centre of  Worsley Village, Boothstown Marina sits as nestled amongst a modern housing area and acres of green space and parkland.   

Originally a quaint village with a handful of cottages, Boothstown was home to the families of miners and 19th century industrialists whose trade relied on the nearby Bridgewater Canal.

The site of the marina was formerly a 'tip', where coal was loaded into barges, and now acts as a stopping off point along the canal, and is one of Salford's most popular moorings for barges. It is a short 30 minute walk along the canal bank from Worsley village, which takes in both the masses of water and green space. Recently redeveloped, the area is a haven for wildlife, fishing and boat enthusiasts alike.

The marina is also home to The Millers, located on the bank of the canal. This family friendly pub and restaurant is open throughout the year serving great food and drinks. It's an ideal spot to sit out on a summer's evening by the canal and soak up the idyllic surroundings whilst watching the barges drift past.  

There's also a chance to head out on the water yourself from the marina, with the Bridgewater Marina company offering boating holidays from the moorings. You can set sail on a mini adventure along the Bridgewater Canal and beyond on a hired barge. Onsite facilities at Boothstown marina include free, secure car parking, free boatmanship tuition, diesel, gas, water, pump out facilities and shop.

Boothstown Marina during the day

Barges at Boothstown Marina


A walk along the banks of the Bridgewater Canal is a journey to the past and a glimpse into the future. Every stretch of the waterway has a story to tell about human ingenuity, endurance and events that shaped Salford and the world. Today the Bridgewater Canal in Salford is buzzing with walkers, cyclists, anglers, volunteers, school groups, families and the local community. Come along and enjoy what the canal, and its surroundings, has to offer.

Visit the Bridgewater Website

Barges on the Bridgewater Canal

A houseboat on the Bridgewater Canal

This famous river meanders its way through the city and forming the boundary between Salford and neighbouring Trafford and Manchester city centre.

Over the years, the river has been integral to the development and growth of Salford, with the city largely being built on and around its banks. It has provided locals with a source of transportation, industry, water and leisure. The waterway played a central role in the cotton industry of the 18th century that spear-headed the Industrial Revolution

Rising on the moors at Cliviger it flows south through Bacup, Rawtenstall, Ramsbottom and Bury before merging with the River Roch near Radcliffe. Turning west it is joined by the River Croal near Farnworth and runs south east where it meanders around the centre of Manchester, joining the rivers Irk and Medlock. Again turning west, from Salford until it meets the Mersey south of Irlam, its route was altered in the late 19th century to form part of the course of the Manchester Ship Canal.

Today, there's plenty to do on and around the River Irwell in Salford. Head out on the water, whether it's rowing or on a heritage cruise. Sit on the river's bank at the Mark Addy pub and enjoy the view over a few post-work drinks in the summer. Take a walk along the Irwell Sculpture Trail which takes in the river, along with Clifton Country Park and some unique outdoor art. Hear tall tales and local legends surrounding all the goings-on on the river on a Chapel Street Ale Trail, or simply take a walk on one of the many paths and walkways on the river's bank.

The river Irwell in the city centre

The Quays is Greater Manchester's unique waterfront destination, situated just 15 minutes by tram from Manchester city centre. It is Britain's hottest short-break destination and packs everything you can do in a big city into one spectacular square mile. Shopping, sport, art, drama, history and truly world-class architecture - you name it and you'll find it at The Quays.

Visit the Salford Quays and MediaCityUK webpage

The Quays at night time

The Quays at dusk

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