We only discovered Chorlton Waterpark last year during lock-down and it’s now one of our favourite places to come for a walk on a Sunday! Located in Chorlton, Manchester with easy access links from the M60 motorway and good public transport links, Chorlton Waterpark has so much to offer.
There is a very small car park in front of the Waterpark, but spaces are limited, and it can get busy at weekends. We managed to park on a private, residential road not far from the main car park, but if you park here please respect residential driveways and properties.
Local Nature Reserve
Chorlton Waterpark is a local nature reserve and stands on the site of Barlow Hall Farm. During the construction of the M60 motorway in the 1970s gravel was excavated from the site. The gravel pit was subsequently flooded creating the lake that is central to the Waterpark today.
Surrounded by grasslands and woodland there are so many walking routes to explore. On our visit we decided to walk around the perimeter of the lake which takes about an hour and a half. The paths are concrete and clear so it’s good for bikes, scooters, and pushchairs. It’s also a great place for dog walkers.
Look out for the Wildlife
The lake is home to lots of wildlife such as kingfishers, herons, geese, and ducks. Unfortunately, all we met were the very hungry geese…let’s just say they are rather ‘friendly’! It’s really easy to walk down to the banks of the lake too – the kids enjoyed spotting some little fish searching for food.
Small playground area
There is a small playground area suitable for under 10s, but as this is small it can get busy. It has a large climbing frame with a slide, some swings and a really good larger swing with seats that you pull round – that was a BIG hit with both our children…not so much of a hit with Mummy’s back!! The kids really enjoyed the playground – but we probably only spent about half an hour here and there’s no where really for adults to sit down and on busy days there’s quite a bit of queuing time especially for the swings!
Coarse fishing is available on the lake, but a day or season ticket must be obtained from Chorlton Carp Anglers https://chorltonca.org.uk/ We just enjoyed watching one fisherman catch some fish on our visit!
Facilities – food and drink
On our visit we didn’t see any toilets, and the only food and drink option was the local ice cream van serving take away hot drinks, snacks and ice creams! There’s plenty of space for picnics though and lots of picnic benches and single benches dotted around to have your own snacks.
If you are looking for an easy family cycle route the perimeter of the lake is about a mile so it’s good for younger children. Or if you prefer more of a longer route, the Waterpark is located right next to the River Mersey so you can cycle right along the river. The National Cycle Network Route 62 runs through the park and continues along the Trans Pennine Trail to the nearby Sale Waterpark. Also nearby is the lovely Wythenshawe Park, only about a mile south of Chorlton.
Suitable for all ages
Chorlton Waterpark really is a good place to spend a few hours in the fresh air and is suitable for all ages. It’s definitely one of our favourite places and the kids enjoy having a good run around exploring. We often come for a walk here with grandparents as it’s a really easy, flat walk round with lots of benches for rest breaks…that goes for Mums and Dads too!