Mandley Park is in my repertoire of “shopper’s guilt” destinations. If I need to take CJ into Manchester to go shopping for something, I like to stop at a park on the way back to give her a bit of a play, fresh(ish) air and a runaround. Along with St Mary’s Park in Prestwich, Mandley Park is one of my chosen places to let her loose.
It’s situated on a very busy road, but whilst this is a drawback in terms of traffic and noise, there are benefits – namely the selection of local, independent shops. I mananged to resist the tempting selection of pastries and iced donuts at Kosher Delights and treated us to some very tasty iced buns from Brackmanns. Anyway, I digress. The playground….
My favourite things here are the very bright colours of the play equipment and the selection of benches. The colours have 2 benefits – firstly, they are lovely and cheery. Secondly, they lessen the unpleasantness of the graffitti which adorns the climbing frames. Whenever I visit, I can’t resist a little smirk at the mobile number written quite neatly with the offer of “the time of your life”. I am tempted to ring and see if the owner of said mobile really WILL offer me an all expenses paid round-the-world trip, but I fear this will not, in fact, be the case. Joking aside, it’s not the nicest thing to see when you are playing with your innocent little treasure. If you’re playing there with your school age reader, it’s really not good.
Back to the positives though, I particularly like the benches here which are unusually close to the play equipment. I don’t usually get much chance to sit down whilst CJ plays, as she either doesn’t stay on things very long, or I have to help her on or off, or make sure she doesn’t fall. Here though, if you’re feeling bone idle a tad lethargic, you can steal a few moments rest. I took the picture on the right of CJ on a horsie whilst sitting on one of the benches to demonstrate just how close they are.
There’s a nice selection for all ages here; different sized swings, a roundabout, springies, large and small climbing frames, large and small seesaws ( 1 yellow, 1 purple – pretty too!) and a nice circular balance challenge (below).
All in all, Mandley Park is a good local park, worth a stop off if you’re in the area, often busy and bustling but none the worse for that. If you do stop off, be sure to take advantage of those local bakery opportunities…