Profitable tip: Flip Moss and Chorlton water park, Manchester
Skirting the southern fringe of Manchester, Flip Moss and Chorlton water meadows provide an enormous swathe of countryside simply 5 miles from the town centre. Bisected by the River Mersey, they’re house to at the very least 67 species of birds, and the uncommon Daubenton’s bat. In the course of the second world conflict, mock housing and manufacturing facility buildings had been constructed of plywood on Flip Moss as decoys to distract German bombers from close by factories. The world nonetheless sports activities a historic hedge marking the standard boundary between Lancashire and Cheshire. It was threatened final yr with development by Gary Neville’s Salford Metropolis FC, however a neighborhood grassroots marketing campaign efficiently fought to maintain this inexperienced area open to all.• visitmanchester.comHelen Colley
Stormont Property, Belfast

{Photograph}: Alamy
The politicians won’t be making a lot use of it in the intervening time, however Stormont Property, house to the Northern Eire Meeting, is a deal with for the remainder of us. The play park, brainchild of Mo Mowlam, the late Northern Eire secretary, has swings with wheelchair entry and play parts for kids with sensory points. We picnic or seize a espresso from the lorry parked on web site. I typically be part of the Saturday park run or use the out of doors fitness center. Guests can tour the parliament buildings freed from cost and have lunch within the members’ eating room between midday and 2pm. My dependable go-to place for a extra hipster brunch or dinner with wine is the fabulous Normal Retailers close by. The park is open from daybreak to nightfall.• nidirect.gov.ukRoisin Coleman

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Overtoun Home, Dumbartonshire

{Photograph}: Murdo Macleod/The Guardian
Overtoun Home, to the east of Dumbarton, overlooks the River Clyde and has the attractive Lang Craigs wooden as a backdrop. It was a maternity house in the course of the 1960s and 1970s, and plenty of locals had been born there (together with me). The home was bequeathed to the folks of Dumbarton, however for a few years lay in a tragic state of disrepair till it was let to a Christian organisation. It runs a tea room on Saturdays (and Thursdays and Fridays in summer time). You’ll be able to stroll across the beautiful grounds or, in case you’re feeling extra energetic, go up into the Lang Craigs wooden for fabulous views. Then calm down and luxuriate in your espresso and cake within the Angel Room watched over by the heavenly frescoes.• visitscotland.comCarol Ann Ramsay
Watchtree Nature Reserve, Cumbria

{Photograph}: Susie Kearley/Alamy
Watchtree Nature Reserve, close to Carlisle, affords walks in dense woodland populated with hare and deer, in addition to frogs, toads and newts, in case you look fastidiously sufficient. Sited on a former second world conflict airfield, it has a variety of trails by the woods, in addition to easy monitor excellent for biking or skating. It’s potential to rent a variety of bicycles from Watchtree Wheelers to tour the perimeter, although cyclists aren’t permitted to disturb the peace of the wooded areas. Given that’s was as soon as the burial floor for 1000’s of animals caught up within the foot-and-mouth disaster, its transformation into to a nature reserve, wind farm and incapacity biking charity is a serene triumph.• watchtree.co.ukJames Cartwright
Hengistbury Head, Dorset

{Photograph}: Stuart C Clarke/Alamy
Hengistbury Head, simply south of Christchurch, is a phenomenal, tranquil and always altering piece of shoreline that has one thing for everybody. As a newly created canine walker, I can select from flat grassland tracks that result in excessive sand dunes all the way down to the attractive pure and sometimes abandoned seashore. Or we will select to go excessive on to the pinnacle and stroll the trail by heather and ferns, with views of Christchurch Priory and estuary on one aspect, and the Dorset shoreline on the opposite. Then, proper on the tip, you see Mudeford Spit and its seashore huts. There’s wildlife and vibrant flora all over the place, and whether or not it’s sunny or cloudy (it’s at all times windy!) on the finish of a stroll you’re feeling higher for having been there.• see visithengistburyhead.co.ukPhilippa
Baggeridge Nation Park, Staffordshire

{Photograph}: Ian Henley/Alamy
Baggeridge Nation Park, close to Wolverhampton, has at all times been our household’s favorite place for a day stroll. It’s a former colliery with stunning walks, a play park, a miniature railway, lakes and watercress beds to hop throughout. It’s typically heaving on a heat day, so our greatest reminiscences are within the drizzle when it’s quiet and we will watch the wildfowl on Bag Pool, or stroll to Himley Corridor and cease for warm chocolate. You typically spot relics of the previous mine works and may climb to the toposcope and look throughout to the previous brickworks. An incredible place to look at all 4 seasons.• sstaffs.gov.ukColin Pearson
Beacon Hill, Hampshire

{Photograph}: Julian Gazzard/Alamy
Beacon Hill nationwide nature reserve stands above the South Downs in Hampshire. The highest of the hill is coated in beech woodland, which offers shady respite from the warmth of the summer time solar. The chalk downlands are the actual attraction although, and it’s a must to be ready to go sluggish to understand its delights – multitudes of vegetation, all in flower, simply centimetres from one another. The thoughts boggles at how so many various issues can dwell cheek by jowl. The cherry on the cake isn’t simply the track of the skylark, however the clouds of butterflies that erupt with each step. Right here I’m reminded of Pig-Pen, the character in Charlie Brown, as silver-spotted skipper butterflies encompass me of their tons of.• gov.ukRob
Millwall Dock, London

{Photograph}: Elena Chaykina/Alamy
For a slice of serenity within the coronary heart of London, I really like Millwall Dock on the Isle of Canine. Dwarfed by the skyscrapers of Canary Wharf, this expanse of open water is the proper distinction to fast-paced city life. Whether or not it’s observing the mischievous birdlife squabbling over possession of the tern raft within the previous graving dock, or partaking in a bracing open-water swim from the Docklands Crusing & Watersports Centre, or just watching the solar set over the Metropolis of London with an array of dinghies within the foreground, there’s at all times one thing to amuse, refresh or encourage. And for these extra fascinated with llamas, goats and donkeys, Mudchute Farm is only a stone’s throw away.Jack Stookes
Sandwell Valley nation park, West Midlands

{Photograph}: Nick Maslen/Alamy
Sandwell Valley, close to West Bromwich, is a one-of-a-kind place stuffed with hidden gems, with surviving bits of actual countryside, open pastures and grass meadows. It additionally has a pleasant previous farm become a museum and two massive, well-equipped playgrounds. Or you’ll be able to go to the priory ruins – mentioned to be haunted – with its Saxon stone coffins, surrounded by previous darkish woods with hidden medieval ponds. More moderen historical past lies within the second world conflict ack-ack gun emplacements, nonetheless in good condition, however increasingly engulfed by the vegetation yearly. And an previous colliery web site has been remodeled right into a wildlife haven by the RSPB on the river Tame. That is all inside a 1.5-mile radius surrounded on all sides by city sprawl. Might it stay undeveloped for ever.• sandwell.gov.ukStanley
Dalston Japanese Curve Backyard, London

{Photograph}: Alex Segre/Alamy
My absolute favorite inexperienced area is the Dalston Japanese Curve Backyard. This small city neighborhood oasis is about again from the insanity of busy Hackney on a disused practice line. It’s a superbly layered backyard with a magical wooded space, raised beds with greens, and delightful pots stuffed with seasonal flowers. The principle purpose I come right here is for inspiration – I really like the creativity, particularly throughout the seasons. I particularly love visiting in October: regardless of the yr rising previous, it’s remodeled into a phenomenal autumnal area, utilizing the altering vegetation, tons of of carved pumpkins, and coppery purple crispy leaf garlands. Sitting within the chilly, warmed by a sizzling chocolate, it’s simply excellent.• dalstongarden.orgKatherine Phipps
Williamson Park, Lancaster

{Photograph}: Jason Smalley/Alamy
Williamson Park in Lancaster is a gem. Jimmy Williamson (Lord Ashton) commissioned its development from the stays of the town quarry within the 19th century. Most individuals who’ve handed Lancaster on the M6 heading north can have seen the Ashton Memorial within the centre of the park, rising above the timber, however step inside and you discover beautiful walks between mature timber, an everyday out of doors theatre, cafe, wildlife park, butterfly home, youngsters’s play areas and – on a transparent day – views throughout Morecambe Bay to the Lakeland Fells. It’s a hidden marvel a lot well worth the detour.• see lancaster.gov.ukKarl Lester
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