Travel & Tourism

Manchester’s ‘sky park’ Castlefield Viaduct to become sparkling grotto as night falls

It's announced its Lantern Lates event.

Daisy Jackson Daisy Jackson - 6th December 2023

Castlefield Viaduct in Manchester, the lush National Trust site built up on a disused railway viaduct, has announced plans of night time activity this winter.

The beautiful park in the sky will be inviting visitors to see the urban green space by nightfall.

There’ll be a free Lantern Lates series where the park will transform into a ‘magical, sparkling grotto’.

Visitors can climb up to Castlefield Viaduct, the huge industrial landmark that has views right across Manchester city centre, and savour the winter wonderland created for the coming season.

It’s before the National Trust project closes for a few weeks in the new year for work to refresh the gardens for spring and summer.


The viaduct itself has been abandoned since 1969, until the charity revealed plans to turn it into a sky park similar to New York’s High Line.

The temporary urban garden has attracted thousands of visitors and the National Trust is now fundraising to secure a permanent future for the project, which is currently closing in September 2024.


Along with the Lantern Lates series, Castlefield Viaduct’s other night time events will include a Winter Garden Tour, where guides will explain the stories behind winter plants like holly, ivy and mistletoe.

Castlefield Viaduct has a series of night time events including a Lantern Lates light trail. Credit: David Bewick/National Trust.
Castlefield Viaduct has a series of night time events including a Lantern Lates light trail. Credit: David Bewick/National Trust.

And at the end of it all there’ll be a Cosy Corner, a relaxing spot with books, boardgames and crafts.

The Cosy Corner will be built at the far end of the Castlefield Viaduct park, where huge windows look across the overgrown and untouched section of the old railway bridge.


Castlefield Viaduct is the ideal spot to escape all the madness of the silly season and non-stop parties going on in the city below.

It’s open all the way through winter until Saturday 2 January (except Christmas Day and Boxing Day), with free entry. You can book morning tours on Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays, or take a wander after 12.30pm on those days or any time on Wednesdays, weekends and bank holidays.

Lantern Lates at Castlefield Viaduct

17 November 2023 – 1 January 2024, 3.30pm – 5pm | Free – Drop-in 

As the nights draw in Castlefield Viaduct transforms into a magical, sparkling grotto. 

From 3.30pm to 5pm every day, drop in to wander along the light trail and visit the garden in  the sky in a different way. It’s the perfect time for a moment of rest above the busy city, take  in Greater Manchester’s 21st century skyline and maybe even spot a bat or two. 


The Winter Garden Tour 

Wednesday 13 Dec, Friday 15 Dec, Thursday 28 Dec, Friday 29 Dec – 2pm | Free – booking essential 

Get out of the busy city streets and join Castlefield Viaduct for a tour around some festive flora.  

Nature has long associations with this time of the year from holly and ivy to mistletoe and  chestnuts. Your guide will tell you the stories behind some of the winter plants on the viaduct  and introduce the beauty of winter in the garden. 

Book a spot at the website and take a festive look at nature on the viaduct and beyond.

Cosy Corner 

11 December 2023 – 1 January 2024, daily | Free – Drop-in 


Warm up and chill out… After a walk through the winter garden take some time out in the  Castlefield Viaduct Cosy Corner. 

This December the visitor building will be transformed into a relaxing spot with books, board  games and easy crafts plus the spectacular views of the wild viaduct and Castlefield below.  Take a break from the rush, settle in with a good read or simply watch nature go by.

The viaduct is a temporary project from the National Trust and due to permanently close after summer 2024. To help secure a future for the project and help the garden grow, you can make a donation or give one as a gift? Click here to give direct to Castlefield Viaduct. 

Featured image: David Bewick/National Trust