Free Things To Do
Though Trafford is known as an international sporting destination with a vast (3rd biggest in the UK) shopping centre, but Old Trafford and The Trafford Centre can come at quite a cost. If you’re looking for things to do in Trafford for free, we’ve got some stuff for you to do, so you can enjoy the area’s long heritage without emptying your pockets.
Keeping it green – free parks to visit in Trafford
Worthington Park in Sale is a popular attraction. You can visit the James Prescott Joule memorial, and you might recognise Joule from the nutritional info on the back of food packets. He established the joule, which is the energy measure we use now for our tea, and he lived in Sale! The park also has the Green Gym area, an outdoor gym, perfect for exercising on a nice day. If you’re looking for a free activity, you can do the Worthington park tree trail, which has an online guide to talk you through each of the tree species.
You can find Longford Park in Stretford, where you’ll be able to enjoy a range of outdoor activities. They’re chocka with facilities including the discovery golf course, athletics stadium, bowling green, football and rugby pitches, tennis courts and a climbing boulder. To tire out the kids there are junior and senior play areas, or you can spend a family day at the community allotment. You can also visit pets corner to see chickens, guinea pigs, rabbits, ducks and the two park goats Gandalf and Frodo. Longford also has a tree trail and wildlife garden to admire on a nice sunny day.
If you want to combine culture with your park trip, then Walkden Gardens is the place for you. They have a dedicated theatre lawn for performances and theatrical events where they often serve homemade refreshments, which is an absolute winner. They also have their sunset cinema where you can enjoy the outdoors and the silver screen all in one. Their separate garden areas are all landscaped in different styles, and you can also catch their one of a kind Japanese garden which has three separate areas celebrating Japanese garden traditions – it’s basically like going on holiday.
A trip to the markets in Trafford
A visit to the markets is a perfect weekend afternoon activity, and you can visit most of the markets for free.
Altrincham is one of the OG market towns with a charter dating way back to 1920. It now holds the ‘modern market’ at Market House every weekend with different themes each time. While there you can expect a range of different regional food producers to fill your bellies with delicious fresh food. You’ll be able to browse vintage fashion and furniture, greenery for your garden and lots of local contemporary crafts. You’ll also be able to grab lunch or a snack from 10 different independent food operators who’ve set up shop in Market House.
On the first Saturday of each month, nearly 100 of the finest artisan market traders come together to sell their one-of-a-kind goods at Urmston Artisan Market. Their super-talented traders have been picked for their quality, locality, ethically sourced products and originality, so you won’t get anything like it elsewhere. You’ll find all sorts from home baked-goods to hand-sewn designs. You’ll even find independently brewed fizz. Whilst you browse vintage items and culinary treats, you’ll be serenaded by live music too, ooer.
I would walk 500 miles
Err that’s a bit far actually so we’ll settle for a nice Trafford canal walk instead.
You can hop on to The Bridgewater Canal from Castlefield, MediaCity or wherever you fancy really. On the walk you’ll be able to take in the sounds of water, the wildlife and maybe a bit of Manchester sunshine if you’re really lucky. It’s just over 5 miles to walk from Castlefield to The Trafford Centre and, once you’re there, you can enjoy all the things there is to do there too – you can find out where to refuel here.
There’s plenty of Trafford walks to do when the mood takes you. You can head to Dunham Massey and spot the country park’s ancient trees and resident deer. You might see some waterfowl in the man-made lake of Sale Water Park and take a stroll along the River Mersey running just metres away.
If you fancy a bit of a trek, why not try 14km of Trafford Countryside on the Trans Pennine Trail. The walk winds through Stetford, Sale, Ashton-on-Mersey and Altrincham and finishes by passing through Dunham Massey to Lymm. If that sounds like a bit too much effort, don’t worry, there’s plenty of tram stops along the way, which will take you to a nearby pub for some grub and a pint if you want.
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The Torrs Millennium Walkway – a stunning Peak District walk that hovers above a huge gorge
The best things to do in Greater Manchester this week | 27 March – 2 April 2023