Why I can't wait for summer to finally arrive in Manchester - even Piccadilly Gardens looks better in the sun

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A few days of glorious weather and it’s basically all we can think about.

Manchester is a completely different place when the sun’s out. It’s amazing how some good weather can completely transform this famously rainy city during the warmer months – even Piccadilly Gardens looks better. 

And after a few days of glorious weather over the past few weeks, summertime in Manchester is all we can think about. Alfresco dining, beer gardens, long walks in local beauty spot – bring it on. Here are some of our favourite things to do in the region over the next few months. 

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Beer gardens and terraces

Starting off in the most obvious place – the beer gardens. We all have our favourite, whether it be the city centre or the suburbs. You can combine a pub visit with a long walk, for example, in Chorlton at Jackson’s Boat, or you can bring the family along to one of the many beer gardens in Greater Manchester that also have outdoor playgrounds. One of the best things to come out of the pandemic was the increase in outdoor seating and the pedestrianisation of Stevenson Square, which is another great place for a drink or two when the sun’s out.

Time Out’s coolest neighbourhoods list rated the Northern Quarter’s food and drink offer Credit: Marketing ManchesterTime Out’s coolest neighbourhoods list rated the Northern Quarter’s food and drink offer Credit: Marketing Manchester
Time Out’s coolest neighbourhoods list rated the Northern Quarter’s food and drink offer Credit: Marketing Manchester | Marketing Manchester

There are also several bars in the city centre that open up their terraces and gardens in the warmer months. Some options include Terrace NQ on Thomas Street, or the Brewdog Dog House hotel on Fountain Street, even the Nag’s Head pub near the Town Hall has a great terrace. If you want somewhere that has excellent views of the city, then 20 Stories is another good option. 

Festivals and other events

Manchester’s diary of events for this summer is already filling up with festivals and celebrations, for all ages and tastes. We’ve already had Salford’s Sounds from the Other City festival to kick off the season, but the next ones to look forward to are Manchester Jazz festival, which starts on 17 May, and Parklife, which will be taking over Heaton Park on June 8-9.

One of the last, and best, festivals of the season is Manchester Pride. And if you can’t make it to Notting Hill carnival that same weekend, Manchester Carnival is taking place a bit earlier in the month on 10-11 August at Alexandra Park in Whalley Range.

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Manchester Caribbean CarnivalManchester Caribbean Carnival
Manchester Caribbean Carnival | Manchester Caribbean Carnival

There are some great foodie events to look out for, including Bolton Food and Drink Festival, which is the largest of its kind in the UK and normally attracts an impressive line-up of celebrity chefs. Last year, we had a great time at Festa Italiana in Cathedral Gardens, which is run by the team at the popular Salvi’s restaurants in Manchester. 

Later on in the summer, Moovin will return to Whitebottom Farm in Stockport over the August bank holiday weekend. This hidden gem festival has been growing and evolving in an exciting way over the last few years, always offering an eclectic mix of new and well-established musicians and DJs. This year, renowned French house and techno DJ Laurent Garnier is among the headliners, as well as Reggae veteran David Rodigan, and local favourites DJ Paulette and Mr Scruff. 

Manchester Day is also coming up on 27 July. The free city centre celebration includes music and dance performances, as well as other games and attractions. Last year the theme was holidays and turned Deansgate into a seaside funfair, complete with people dressed as seagulls and a helter skelter. This year the theme is Manchester icons, so I hope you all have your Manchester bees and bucket hats at the ready. 

Parks, gardens and natural beauty spots

Spending time in the city centre can be quite expensive these days in Manchester, which is why parks and nature spots are always popular when the sun’s out. Here at ManchesterWorld, we are always out and about exploring the region’s best parks, so if you need some inspiration, our favourites so far are Daisy Nook, Fletcher Moss, Heaton Park, Peel Park, Chorlton Ees and Castlefield Viaduct – to name but a few! There are even some in the city centre like Mayfield Park.

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This year also sees the opening of the GM Ringway, a massive walking route spread across the length and breadth of Greater Manchester. The 200-mile walk is divided in 20 one-day stretches through all ten boroughs and takes walkers past some of the region’s landmarks, museums and other points of interest. All information can be found on the GM Ringway website. 

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