I decided on Longford Park, Stretford for today’s park visit as it’s near to Chorlton and I needed to get a present for a friend and fancied popping into a few independent shops rather than trudging around the city centre. Longford park is well signposted from Edge Lane, although you could easily miss the turning off Cromwell Road for the carpark. The park is fairly big and situated between Stretford and Chorlton. There is an excellent Friends of Longford Park website and they highlight the fact that the park is in need of investment. This may be true, but we found Longford Park to have a lot going for it.
There are 2 really nice play areas for younger and older children. CJ had a little try on the older playground. There’s a really fun looking climbing frame with a large metal tube slide – when you get round the side of it though, you can see that it’s rather graffitti riddled, which could easily be remedied.
A big plus point of this park is the many mature trees, gorgeous at this time of year. CJ loved crunching and kicking the autumn leaves as we walked along and I don’t need the excuse of being with a small child to enjoy the same activity! The younger children’s play area is lovely, set amidst these trees. I imagine this would make for useful shaded areas when the sun’s out, but alas the skies were grey and we were just glad that it didn’t rain whilst we were there. There are some fun and quirky features here – I loved the wooden planks which you jump on, making a noise like the mouse organ on Bagpuss. CJ was a bit too light to make much noise out of them, so I just HAD to help…There’s also a cute globe roundabout that I would guess has been here a long time, but which has had safety flooring put underneath it to bring it up to date. I struggled to get an in-focus picture as it was whizzing around so quickly!
There is a small pets corner here with birds and rabbits, and some pleasant gardens to wander through. The Friends of Longford Park identify these as an area needing improvement. They are nice, but could be stunning. If you like squirrel spotting these gardens are the place for you – if you look closely at the photo on the left, you’ll see one on the railing chomping on a nut. CJ had lots of fun jumping on and off a tree stump, and she made use of the grass verge for a wee as we hadn’t spotted any toilets.
I’d thought we might be in for rain, so I didn’t pack a picnic – hence I treated us to lunch at The Lead Station on Beech Road. I know it’s well known to many, but it deserves a special mention for being so family friendly. I was so impressed with how welcome we were made to feel and with how warm and friendly the service was. If you’re not familiar with this place and you’re in the area and want to treat yourself, the food is also fab – my veggie burger and chips was £8.65, but was freshly made, delicious and so filling it kept me going all day. I required no evening meal despite going for a 5 mile run when CJ went to bed! There were many cheaper things on the lunch menu and the children’s menu was good value at £3.95 for a choice of main items plus a side order.
I hope that Longford Park does receive some further investment. It’s a lovely place and I met some lovely people in the short time we were there. We’ll definitely return. Go now and enjoy the autumn leaves!