Manchester Best Day Trips
9 Best Day Trips from Manchester
Whether you already live in the city, are starting uni there city or are going on a trip that is long enough that you’ll need to consider days out, read our guide to the nine best day trips from Manchester.
From the nearby national parks to exciting cities such as Liverpool, seaside fun in Blackpool or Wales or perhaps a step back in time to quaint Lancashire and Derbyshire villages, starting from the Capital of the North are a world of day tripping opportunities.
1. Peak District
The Peak District is nearer than you think from Manchester, being just 13 miles away at its closest point. The Peak District itself however, is vast.
For a short day trip you’ll probably want to go to the most accessible parts from the city, which is either the most northerly or westerly aspects. These areas have fewer large towns than in the east and south of the park, but arguably more areas of unspoilt mountains.
The Blue John Cavern is a 60 minute drive away and is one of the best attractions in the park. If you have the time then head to the pretty Derbyshire towns of Bakewell, Ashford-in-the-Water and the unique Matlock Bath.
Also worth a visit is the stunning palatial Chatsworth House. Alternately pack your hiking boots, a map book and a bottle of water and be sure to set off early enough to finish your walk well before sunset. A great place to start a walk is Edale, which is just a 45 minutes away by train.
Everyone should visit Blackpool once in their life, the UK’s closest cousin to Las Vegas. Bawdy is it, genteel is certainly isn’t. This is a place where you go to have fun; donkey rides on the beach, amusement arcades, 70’s nights, stag do and hen dos.
Just don’t come back without a stick of rock and a ‘Kiss me Quick’ hat. From Manchester it’s an hour’s drive to this most iconic of seaside towns.
3. Llandudno & Colwyn
If Blackpool truly isn’t your thing but you still fancy a nice day at a seaside town, take the 1.5 hour’s drive to Llandudno in north Wales.
This charming seaside town is a chance to step back in town. Its neighbouring Colwyn is also worth a visit, with its medieval town walls, castle and elegant harbour.
If you have not visited the Northwest before, you’d be forgiven for assuming Liverpool and Manchester, with their starkly different local accents, are a world apart. Instead they are only 30 miles from one another and it takes just half an hour on the train to get to Liverpool.
But what does Liverpool offer on a day trip that Manchester doesn’t? Well the regenerated heritage site at the Albert Dock for one, as well as the Beatles Story Experience, Tate Liverpool and Liverpool cathedral, the largest in England. The people of Liverpool are known for their warmth and humour, so you best make that day into a night and enjoy a drink with the locals.
5. Chester Zoo
Chester Zoo has won numerous awards for both conservation and visitor experience and is the most visited zoo in the UK. Home to 120000 animals from more than 400 species and a strong ethos on conservation, it really is worth the visit.
The city of Chester itself is also worth popping into. This once romantic town has a well preserved city walls and is home to the largest Roman Amphitheatre in Britain, and a stunning 1000 year old cathedral.
Contrary to popular belief, Old Trafford, the Theatre of Dreams and the home of Manchester United, is not actually located in Central Manchester, but is a 10 minutes train journey from the centre, some three miles east in the Trafford Park suburb.
It still represents a day trip however if you book onto one of their tours and stay for dinner.
Clitheroe is found in the Ribble Valley of Lancashire and is a beautiful market town, and one that itself is surrounded by many amazing villages. After the hubbub of Manchester, this town will seem slow and relaxing, despite being the hub for the villages in the region.
This microcosm of a town has just 15,000 inhabitants and one of the smallest Norman Keeps found anywhere in the world. Pop into Clitheroe Museum find out more about the geology and history of the area and if you happen to be there Tuesday, Thursday or Sunday, take advantage of its fabulous market.
8. Yorkshire Dales
Depending on how long you are in Manchester, you could incorporate a trip to the Yorkshire Dales with a trip to Clitheroe (see number 7) or you can do this as a standalone day. The Yorkshire Dales is an often overlooked National Park, due its location between the highly popular and more well-known Peak and Lake Districts.
However these vast dales are stunningly beautiful and the many cobbled towns and villages found without it make you feel like you’ve stepped onto a 1970’s Postman Pat set. Include a visit to Kirkby Lonsdale, one of the prettiest towns in the Dales and just over an hour’s drive away.
9. Tatton Park
A great option for families, Tatton Park in Cheshire is 40 minute drive by car and is one of the best attractions in the region. You may know it as the home of the RHS Flower Show but this 19th century Neo-Classical mansion also plays host to an adventure play area, farm and woodland trail as well as 100 acre deer park and 50 acres of beautifully landscaped gardens.
Walk around the mansion, have a peek at life ‘downstairs’, visit the Tudor Hall and then buy some local produce from the Stables for lunch.