This weekend we felt the need to stretch our legs after an especially big breakfast, so decided to go to our nearest park. Longford Park isn’t in Chorlton, but it is just a short walk away. It can be accessed from the Quadrant at Stretfrord and also from Edge Lane, at the end of Wilbraham Road. We used to go for a morning run in part of it, but had never ventured into the gardens, and we were really surprised to find that it’s quite big and there is an awful lot of effort going into maintaing it.
The first area we were met with was this tree lined path, which leads from the Edge Lane entrance down into the centre of the park. This is surrounded by fields, and lots of space for playing games or walking the dog. The path then comes to a children’s play area…
We were surprised to read from the plaque that John Rylands used to live there. When we got home, I had a look round on the website and learnt a lot about the history of the area and was fascinated to find the area had such an interesting story. It’s a shame the house isn’t there still, but the surrounding cottages, stables and coach house that were part of the estate do still remain. Where the actual hall stood has been turned into gardens, with lots of beautiful flowers and trees.
The gardens aren’t huge, but I would think they would make a lovely place to bring the family on a sunny day. There are lots of cute little places to sit, with benches or toadstools, so we fully intend to bring a picnic on our next visit.
It didn’t seem to be fully open, so we couldn’t get into the area where you can view some of the more exotic birds. We could just see flashes of colour flying around and lots of chirping, but we thoroughly enjoyed looking at the animals we could see. I heard they used to have a goat, and it would be great if they could get something like that again, but I suppose there is a lot of looking after involved with the animals they already have.
After much cooing over the bunnies we walked down to where the new cafe is. Situated in the old Edwardian Bunglalow, extensive renovations took place before this could open. It has been done beautifully though, and much care and attention has gone into creating a simple but a little bit trendy cafe, that should bring in the local crowds.
I think they have got the decor and food choices spot on… I know it isn’t in Chorlton, but this cafe is very Chorlton! Only problem was we didn’t have any cash and they don’t have the facilities to take card payments. GUTTED!
All the cakes looked so good, and after we got chatting to the friendly people behind the counter they offered us a muffin to try. It was delicious and really kind of them. The people running this know what they are doing! You can read more about the cafe on their facebook page. I’ll be back (with cash) for a bit of salted caramel slice!
There is so much going on at the park and lots of hard work being put in, and I’m really glad we went for a wander round to see what was happening. It may not be overly grand, and Chorlton can’t lay claim to it as it firmly belongs in Stretford, but I think we are very lucky to have this on our doorstep.