Day trips from Manchester are cheap, convenient, and inspiring.

Manchester itself is a city worth staying in, but how can you sit still knowing that you could be in the hills or by the docks in under an hour? There are so many places to visit near Manchester that are fun, scenic, and eye-opening.

Read on for our guide of the best day trips from Manchester.

5. Hebden Bridge

day trips from manchester

Ideal for: canals, woodland explorations, and gay pride.

How do I get there from Manchester? Take a train northeast for about 30 to 45 minutes.

Average journey cost: £3.00

Out of all the day trips from Manchester that you could take, this Hebden Bridge may be the most surprising. When the old milling industry scuppered in the 70’s, artists squatted in the abandoned buildings and transformed the quiet village into a colourful, liberal hub with its own yearly arts festival.

If you want to learn more about the town’s history, take a 30-minute stroll up to Hardcastle Crags: amongst the woods you’ll find the 19th century Gibson Mill (now turned into a cafe, shop, and info centre) which will sate your historical curiosity.

4. Edale

day trips from manchester

Ideal for: hikes, valleys, and open sky.

How do I get there from Manchester? Take a direct train south-east for about 35 to 45 minutes.

Average cost: £11.20

If you’re looking for places to visit near Manchester where you can truly escape to nature, Hope Valley is your best getaway. Edale is a village at one end of the valley and is as quaint as anyone could ask for with gabled pubs and stoney cottages.

Walking for just over an hour will take you either to Kinder Scout, the tallest peak in the Peak District, or Mam Tor; “Mam” because it’s the Mother of lots of little landslide hills. If your day trips from Manchester plans get scuppered by bad weather, then go underground: near Edale is Castleton, which sits on top of a network of eery caves just waiting to be explored.

3. Buxton

day trips from manchester

Ideal for: being pampered like a Jane Austen character.

How do I get there from Manchester? Southeast from Manchester on train with one change, for about 1 hour to 1 ½ hours on the train.

Average cost: £10.10

The originally Roman spa town sits on top of natural geothermal springs, and the sight of the Buxton Crescent will immediately remind you of Bath’s Royal Crescent. Currently, the Crescent is undergoing renovation, which will reopen the Pump Room in 2019 and turn the main buildings into a luxury hotel. In the meantime, the developers have promised plenty of historical and cultural events which you can discover on the town’s website.

So what else is there to see Buxton? Take a spa day at the Palace Hotel or glance inside the Devonshire Dome, formerly a hospital and now part of the University of Derby, one of the largest unsupported domes in the world.

Don’t forget to fill your water bottle from St Ann’s Well: the natural mineral water fountain has been a favourite with the sickly aristocracy since medieval times.

2. Liverpoolday trips from manchester

Ideal for: world-changing history, seriously indulgent eats, and too much fun.

How do I get there from Manchester? Take a direct train or bus westwards from Manchester for about 1 hour.

Average journey cost: £3.00

With plenty to see and do, day trips from Manchester to Liverpool are bound to satisfy anyone’s interest. This Merseyside city has harboured the colourful and the dark: the historical Albert Dock encompasses a bizarre but very telling mix of sights, such as a Victorian carousel, the Beatles Story museum, and the International Slavery Museum. For historical places to visit near Manchester, none is richer or more staggering than Liverpool.

Yet Liverpool is also a place where you can also simply let your hair down. Whether it’s at bingo or karaoke bars, old coin-pushing arcade games at Brewdog, or eating indulgent food.

Some tips beyond the inevitable fish ‘n’ chips: afternoon punk tea at the Baltic Social, Nutella and S’mores pizza from Otto’s, or a good old fashioned bag of pick ‘n’ mix sweets from Quay Confectionery. You can check out our guide to Liverpool for more information.

1. Southport

day trips from manchester

Ideal for: beaches, historical facades, and really long piers.

How do I get there from Manchester? Take the train north-west from Manchester for about 1 hour 15 minutes to 1 hour 45 minutes.

Average journey cost: £11.80

You may not have heard of Southport before, but it has several legitimate claims to fame. On the surface, it may look like one of your average seaside day trips from Manchester, complete with golden dunes and a pier. But Southport’s pier is so long it needs its own tram: pushing out to sea for over a kilometre, it is the second longest pier in England (before you ask: the longest is in Southend).

Southport can also drop a name or two; Napoleon III went on holiday here in the 19th century and fell in love with the wide, tree-lined shopping mile, Lord Street and the Wayfarers Arcade.

This is one of the places to visit near Manchester that really has that old glamour reminiscent of Paris. This isn’t a coincidence: Napoleon III returned to Paris and reconstructed its boulevards in the style of that little coastal English town.

 

So what are your suggestions for places to visit near Manchester? Leave a comment below to share the secret with your fellow travellers!

 

 

Rosalee Edwards

Rosalee Edwards

Rosalee is Brit who loves travelling almost as much as she loves tea. Her home is Berlin, a city which taught her the meaning of the phrase: "come as you are."
Rosalee Edwards

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