We’ve composed a list of ten of the best day trips from Manchester to help you decide where to go. Whether you’re a culture vulture, a keen hiker or a city lover, there’s something for you to discover here:
- The Lake District
- Hebden Bridge
Keep reading to discover what's in store at each of these awesome day-trip destinations.
1. Manchester to Ashton-under-Lyne
If you’re looking for places to visit outside Manchester but you don’t have a lot of time, consider Ashton-under-Lyne. History buffs will want to soak up some local culture at the Portland Basin Museum. But to get back to nature, head to Stamford Park for superb boating and hiking opportunities. And don't pass on the chance to walk up Hartshead Pike - on a clear day, you can even see as far as Snowdonia in Wales.
2. Manchester to Altrincham
Another part of Greater Manchester that is worth a visit is Altrincham. Head to the refurbished market for local delicacies and hand-made products. Or discover the historic Dunham Massey House with its elegant Georgian architecture. But the best thing to do in Altrincham is to stroll around its pretty streets. Crammed with gastropubs and independent eateries, the town is a food lover's dream!
3. Manchester to Edale
Gateway to the Pennine Way, Edale is the perfect retreat for nature-lovers. All about the Peak District’s famous rugged scenery, Edale is a walker's paradise. Choose from a selection of guided walks or take yourself off with a map. For a taste of what the area would have been like during Norman times, head straight for Peveril Castle with its breathtaking views.
Getting there – if those weren't enough good reasons to visit, the journey from Manchester to Edale only takes around 41m.
4. Manchester to Liverpool
A trip to the historic port city of Liverpool makes for a great day trip from Manchester. Discover the city's past at the Museum of Liverpool or check out the Walker Art Gallery, the TATE or the Open Eye Gallery to see the modern face of Liverpool. If you like to keep things high-end, then explore the restored Albert Dock – here you’ll find the chicest of boutiques and bars. Of course, you won't want to miss out on a trip to the Cavern Club: birthplace and spiritual home of the Beatles.
5. Manchester to Chester
Plan a day trip to Chester to discover a world of cobbled lanes and olde worlde shops. Those who love a challenge can head straight to Escapism, the town’s live escape room. Or if you prefer to be outside in the fresh air, stroll around the ancient city walls and visit the cathedral. The Rows, a collection of pretty black and white buildings, house shops ranging from high-street favourites to quirky boutiques.
Getting there – to travel from Manchester to Chester, simply take a direct train from Manchester Piccadilly and you’ll be there in 1h 17m.
6. Manchester to The Lake District
Just over an hour away from Manchester Piccadilly is Oxenholme, a charming Lake District village. Take a trip from Manchester to Oxenholme to enjoy stunning views and pleasant walks. To get your heart racing, go gorge walking. Or why not try climbing, canoeing, kayaking and more, all offered by the Lakes Outdoor Experience. For something a little more laid-back, take a stroll up to Kendal Castle or visit Lakeland Maze Farm Park, which is a big hit with the young and young at heart. Kids will especially love the maze, go-karts and soft play areas. Just make sure that you leave enough time to find your way out of the maze in time to catch your train back to Manchester
Getting there – the journey from Manchester Piccadilly to Oxenholme by train takes 1h 16m.
7. Manchester to Blackpool
Revel in classic seaside escapades with a day out in iconic Blackpool. The highlight here is Blackpool Pleasure Beach, a theme park crammed with exhilarating rides, including the Big One, a hair-raising roller coaster that reaches 87 miles per hour! The Central Pier offers a more genteel side to this traditional seaside town: ride the Ferris wheel or helter-skelter and be transported back to a charming bygone age. Take in sweeping views of the city from Blackpool Tower or head to the beach with its seven miles of golden sand - just make sure to take a bag of fresh fish and chips along with you!
Getting there – travelling from Manchester to Blackpool is easy as pie - hop on a train at Manchester Piccadilly and arrive in Blackpool North in around 1h 23m.
8. Manchester to Southport
Southport makes for another great family-friendly day trip from Manchester. Southport Pleasureland has rides suitable for all ages and kids will love the sprawling Model Railway Village. Grown-ups, meanwhile, will appreciate Hesketh Park, with its walking trails, pretty lake and sumptuous gardens. Or simply spend a day watching the birds from Ainsdale Beach. And did we mention that Southport even has its own museum dedicated to the humble lawnmower?
Getting there – the journey from Manchester to Southport takes around 1h 15m, with trains leaving from either Piccadilly or Victoria.
9. Manchester to Hebden Bridge
Hebden Bridge is perhaps Yorkshire’s quirkiest town! Crammed with independent shops and themed cafes, it is the perfect antidote to the city. Choose from a selection of cosy pubs or head to the hills with a walk to Hardcastle Crags. Movie buffs can catch a screening at the beautifully restored art deco Hebden Bridge Picture House. Or for some fresh air, take a stroll along Rochdale Canal, with its colourful barges and alternative vibe.
Getting there – trains from Manchester to Hebden Bridge depart from Victoria and only take between 30m and 45m.
10. Manchester to Todmorden
Known to locals simply as 'Tod', Todmorden has a town centre that will win your heart. If you’re itching to get walking, head to Stoodley Pike. Or you could head to the edge of town to walk along part of the Pennine and Calderdale Ways. Architecture aficionados will appreciate the Grade 1 listed Todmorden Town Hall, with its neo-classical design and stunning ballroom. Bargain hunters, meanwhile, can dive into the array of cool boutiques. And if you’re with kids, don't miss a visit to the reptile house and skate park at Centre Vale Park.
Getting there – travel from Manchester to Todmorden in around 30m, with trains leaving from Manchester Victoria.
Getting out of Manchester on a day trip couldn't be easier - the only challenge is deciding which place to start with. Book with us and our user-friendly website will help you find the best train deals, so you can get on with planning your adventures.