Clifton Country Park | Kidadl

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  • Situated on the River Irwell and Clifton Marina, Clifton Country Park is a beautiful local nature reserve covering 48-hectares in Salford.
  • It provides some of the best country walks near Manchester amongst its woodlands, open meadows and delightful lakeside paths.
  • Clifton Country Park offers an array of self-guided walks and activities led by the Salford Ranger Team such as climbing, orienteering, lake fishing, wildlife trails and walking tours.
  • The park area is also home to the remains of Wet Earth Colliery, one of the first deep mines that was sunk in Greater Manchester and the Irwell Valley.
  • Keep your eyes peeled for the climbing boulder, children's playground and adorable sculpture trail that can be found around this natural parkland.

Around the lake of Irwell Valley lies Clifton Country Park, a 48-hectare expanse of refreshing meadows, shaded woods and exciting walking trails along the trickling River Irwell waters.

This stunning local nature reserve in Salford, a title it was honoured with, in 2005, is the site of a whole host of family adventure activities, wildlife spotting opportunities and revitalising country walks. Families can either create their own adventure and make things up as they go or set out on one of the self-guided, accessible trails mapped out by the Salford Ranger Team, with intriguing woodlands, luscious meadows and the prettiest lakeside walks to discover at your leisure. See for yourself why Clifton Country Park has been awarded a Green Flag accolade as you take in the fresh air and natural open spaces of its arboretum and nature reserve, perfect for a family picnic or a spot of fishing in its Clifton Marina. If you prefer to be guided by the experts, Clifton Country Park also offers a wonderful variety of ranger-led walks and activities, such as orienteering, climbing, wildlife exploring and fascinating expert talks. Salford also invites visitors to use Clifton Country Park and its rich educational site for school, community and family learning in the Irwell Valley.

A metal structure at Clifton Country Park.

Clifton Country Park is also home to the well-known Wet Earth Colliery, which was one of the first deep mines - first established around 1740 - to be sunk in Clifton. It is now a fascinating site of industrial remains and offers a range of features to explore in Clifton Country Park, including an engine shed, gal pit, wheel chamber, cottage ruins and a fan house. There is also a charming dog-friendly café on site at the Country Park Clifton, situated at the main entrance to the reserve within the visitor centre. You can take a hot drink or ice cream away with you to enjoy as you stroll around the lake and reserve, or sit-in for a well-deserved rest as you refuel with a delicious array of drinks, snacks and indulgent cakes. Families can also find the recently-refurbished children's play area at Clifton Country Park, great for little ones to put that adventurous inspiration to good use, as well as climbing boulders and an imaginative sculpture trail featuring beautifully carved animals that is sure to delight visitors young and old. Throughout the year Clifton Country Park and the Salford City Council also put on a huge range of family-friendly events around the park and meadows, such as art exhibitions, music performances, wildlife talks and some wonderful volunteer conservation projects.

Whether you're just looking for a nice walk as a family or some more adventurous wildlife activities, Clifton Country Park is a wonderful natural space to explore all year round. It provides some welcomed fresh air just outside of the city. For something a little more man-made to marvel at in the Greater Manchester area, why not head to the renowned Salford Museum and Art Gallery in the vibrant centre quarter?

What to know before you go

  • Clifton Country Park is open for pedestrian access 24 hours a day. The café is open from 9.30am to 5.30pm Mondays to Saturdays, and 9.30am to 4.30pm on Sundays.
  • The nature reserve is free to visit and walk around on your own accord.
  • There are toilets on-site which are open from 10.30am to 4.30pm Wednesdays or Sundays, or when a ranger is present on-site at the visitor centre.
  • There is a cafe situated in the visitor centre at the park's main entrance which serves hot and cold drinks, snacks, cakes and ice creams to either take away or eat in.
  • Along Manchester Road, you can also find The Atrium Café, Unity Brook Inn, Italian Eats and Wilsons Pie Shop.
  • Clifton Country Park has a children's play area on-site as well as sculpture trails and climbing boulders.
  • You can find way-marked walking trails for accessibility and distance throughout the park, which are mapped out at the visitor centre.
  • However, please note that this is a natural reserve with wooded areas and lakeside walks, so some areas will be uneven, muddy, steeper or more slippery.
  • Clifton Country Park offers a wide range of activities led by the Salford Ranger Team such as orienteering, fishing, wildlife talks, walking routes and climbing. You can visit their website or call the Salford Ranger Team to arrange these for families or groups.
  • There are designated bridleways and cycling routes through the Clifton nature reserve and Country Park.

Getting there

  • Clifton Country Park is located in Salford, in the North West of England.
  • If you are travelling by car, the nature reserve is situated along Manchester Road and signposted to from the A666 via Kearsley. There is a car park on site.
  • You can access Clifton Country Park via the number 22 bus service between Bolton and Stockport, which stops opposite Clifton Cricket Ground.
  • The nearest train station is Kearsley, which is a 25-minute bus ride via the 2 or 8 routes with a small amount of walking either side or a seven-minute car ride away.
  • Clifton Country Park is also accessible via cycling routes around the Greater Manchester countryside.

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