What's On

Manchester’s new ‘sky park’ on Castlefield Viaduct is reopening to the public next weekend

The New York-inspired elevated urban park has been closed for maintenance over the winter.

Emily Sergeant Emily Sergeant - 10th February 2023

Manchester‘s new ‘sky park’ on Castlefield Viaduct is reopening next weekend after being closed for maintenance over the winter.

The New York-inspired elevated urban park on the giant Grade II-listed 330-metre steel viaduct opened to the public as part of a pilot project to gauge opinion back in July 2022, but has been closed since December to allow time for the team of National Trust gardeners, volunteers, and community partners to prune, plant, and create new and exciting areas.

Over 10,000 visitors got to explore part of the structure and find out more about the viaduct’s heritage and the city’s long relationship with plants and trees when it opened last summer.

But closing the attraction was necessary to the tie up the finishing touches.

On top of National Trust gardeners and volunteers working to add a variety of seasonal planting displays created by, four plots on the viaduct have also been handed over to local community groups and partner organisations to create their own unique gardens for visitors to enjoy.


Hulme Community Garden Centre and Sow the City are two of the groups who will be revealing their gardens when the viaduct reopens to the public on Saturday 18 February.

According to the National Trust, Hulme Community Garden Centre have created an urban forest garden to inspire viaduct visitors to create ‘layered’ planting that optimises precious growing areas.


The garden is aiming to both benefit personal wellbeing and the local environment.

Sow the City, on the other hand, has been working with Hubbub to bring a sensory nature garden complete with a pond – which is a first for the industrial viaduct.

Featuring wildlife habitats and bee-friendly planting, Sow the City’s ‘In Our Nature Garden’ is hoping to encourage a connection between people and nature, with design drawing inspiration from the latest research in environmental psychology that indicates that the closer a person’s relationship is with nature, the more likely they are to care for wildlife and the wider environment.


The group says the aim of the garden is to give those living in Manchester city centre the opportunity to escape the hustle and bustle through tranquil sights, earthy smells, and an immersive audio recording that can be downloaded as part of the nature experience.

These two new areas of the viaduct will join the existing ‘partner plots’ by City of Trees and Castlefield Forum.

The New York-inspired elevated urban park has been closed for maintenance over the winter / Credit: National Trust

Officially reopening on Saturday 18 February, entry onto the structure will remain free while the National Trust team test a new way to welcome visitors.

A booking system will stay in place for guided walk visits between 11am to 12:30pm, but unlike last time it was open, those wanting to explore the viaduct at their own pace after 1pm can now just turn up on the day without needing to book.

“We’re looking forward to welcoming visitors back onto the viaduct to see what we and our partners have been up to,” Rebecca Alexander, Visitor Operations and Experience Manager at Castlefield Viaduct said ahead of the park’s opening next weekend.


“In our first four months of opening, the viaduct proved very popular and many of our time slots to visit were fully booked.

“By introducing a new way for visitors to explore the viaduct at their own leisure, we hope that even more people will benefit from this green space in the heart of Manchester and support us in shaping its future.”

Read more:

The National Trust says there are also plans to host events throughout the spring and summer – including new family tours both on and off the viaduct, yoga, planting events, lunch-hour talks on weekdays, and community-led plays.

Find out more and book your visit here.

Featured Image – National Trust