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10 Best Day Trips Nearby Manchester

10 Best Day Trips Nearby Manchester

Now, I won’t blame you if you think Manchester is the be-all and end-all, as I used to be the same way. Cosy pubs, gigs on every corner, the world’s best footie (fight me on that one) — who could ask for more? 

But one day, after a particularly gruelling week, my friends and I decided to step away from the noise and neon lights. Swapped them for birdsong and blooming hedgerows, and folks, it was bliss. I couldn’t believe what we’d been missing.

So, whether you’re a fan of idyllic country escapes or quaint towns so full of history they practically ooze charm, I’ve rounded up the 10 best day trips from Manchester that will absolutely sweep you off your feet. 

1. The Day trip to Liverpool

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Liverpool is the perfect destination for an unforgettable day trip. As the birthplace of The Beatles, it holds a special place in the hearts of music lovers worldwide.

One notable gem we discovered in Liverpool is its maritime heritage. Immerse yourself in the city’s rich seafaring past by visiting the Merseyside Maritime Museum, where you can explore captivating exhibits and learn about Liverpool’s prominent role as a maritime powerhouse.

During our visit there, we had to make sure to check out their extensive collection of historical photographs, which beautifully capture Liverpool’s maritime legacy.

Pro tip: Experience the lively atmosphere of the Cavern Club, where the Beatles used to perform.

2. Chester

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With its rich Roman heritage and picturesque atmosphere, Chester promises a unique experience worth exploring. Take a leisurely stroll along the ancient Roman walls surrounding the city for stunning views and a sense of the past. 

And don’t forget to immerse yourself in the awe-inspiring Chester Cathedral, a magnificent Gothic masterpiece that left us in awe of its architectural beauty.

If shopping and dining are on your agenda, you’ll be pleased to discover the vibrant city centre, filled with charming boutique stores, cosy cafes, and traditional pubs.

Pro tip: Don’t miss trying the traditional Chester delicacy, the Chester Pudding, a sweet dessert with a unique flavour.

3. Delamere Forest

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Delamere Forest, a breathtaking 2,400-acre woodland paradise in Cheshire. With its lush greenery, diverse tree species, and abundance of outdoor activities, it’s the perfect destination for adventurers of all kinds and wildlife enthusiasts. 

Keep your eyes peeled for a variety of bird species and maybe even catch a glimpse of elusive deer roaming freely within the forest.

For adventure seekers, the forest features a high ropes course and a cycling trail that promise an adrenaline-pumping experience. Whether you prefer a leisurely stroll or an exciting outdoor adventure, Delamere Forest caters to all.

Pro tip: Don’t forget to bring binoculars if you’re interested in birdwatching or wildlife spotting.

4. Port Sunlight

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Port Sunlight is not your average village. It was designed as a housing project for soap-factory workers, but it became so much more. As you take a leisurely stroll through the village, you’ll find yourself immersed in its rich history and creative spirit. 

Your visit to Port Sunlight will not be complete without exploring the Port Sunlight Museum. Here, you’ll uncover the captivating story behind the village’s creation and the vision of William Hesketh Lever. 

As art enthusiasts, we made sure to make a stop at the Lady Lever Art Gallery. This gallery, founded by William Lever himself, houses an impressive collection of art, including stunning paintings, sculptures, and decorative art from around the world.

Pro tip: Consider having lunch or afternoon tea at the luxurious Leverhulme Hotel. 

5. York From Manchester

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Although the trip may take a bit longer, spanning approximately 2 hours (or 1 hour 35 minutes by car), every minute will be worthwhile with York Daytrip.

Your first destination will be the renowned Shambles. Brace yourself for a captivating experience as you encounter a remarkable collection of houses dating back to the 14th and 15th centuries.

Interestingly, it is even speculated that the enchanting atmosphere of the Shambles served as inspiration for the magical setting of Diagon Alley in the beloved Harry Potter series.

Pro tip: If time allows, venture beyond the city walls and visit attractions like the National Railway Museum.

6. Congleton

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Just a short 40-minute train ride south from Manchester, this hidden gem awaits with its quaint streets and delightful attractions. A visit to Congleton wouldn’t be complete without discovering the remarkable Little Moreton Hall. 

This stunning half-timbered mansion, dating back to 1508, is a true architectural marvel and one of the most notable in all of England. Thanks to the dedicated efforts of the National Trust, the hall has been lovingly restored and preserved.

As you roam its halls and marvel at its timeworn beauty, you can’t help but be transported to a bygone era. It’s a true testament to the enduring spirit of history and a place that will capture your heart with its charm.

Pro tip: Take a moment to explore the independent shops and boutiques in Congleton Town Centre.

7. Lake District

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A day trip to this picturesque region is like a gift of serenity, offering vibrant landscapes and a refreshing change of pace. Join us as we venture into this natural paradise, just an hour and 20 minutes away from Manchester by train or car.

If you’re looking for a memorable experience, head straight to Lake Windermere, the largest of the lakes. Lace up your walking boots and embark on a scenic hike to truly immerse yourself in the terrain. 

And when the day comes to a close, consider staying overnight to experience the nightlife  in one of the traditional inns that dot the region. Experience country comfort at its finest and wake up refreshed, ready for another day of exploration.

Pro tip: Visit Keswick, a bustling market town located in the northern part of the Lake District, offering a variety of attractions, including Derwentwater, Castlerigg Stone Circle, and the Theatre by the Lake.

8. Peak District

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Lyme Park is a must-visit spot within the Peak District. This tranquil estate offers meticulously manicured gardens and the chance to observe a population of majestic red deer, creating a serene ambiance that is perfect for a peaceful escape.

Like the history enthusiasts in our team, you will be captivated by Haddon Hall and Chatsworth House. 

These remarkable mansions and their beautifully landscaped gardens transport you to bygone eras, allowing you to wander through centuries-old halls and immerse yourself in their architectural splendour.

Pro tip: Take some time to explore the charming market towns in the Peak District, such as Bakewell or Buxton, known for their unique shops, local produce, and historic architecture.

9. Southport

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While in Southport, stroll along the canopied boulevards, adorned with stunning Victorian buildings. 

And you don’t  want to miss the opportunity to visit the scenic gardens scattered throughout Southport. These tranquil oases offer a serene escape, where you can appreciate the harmonious blend of man-made beauty and the wonders of nature.

During our trip, we made sure to visit the nearby arcade, which is filled with a variety of games and amusements for all ages. Take a ride on the charming carousel, evoking a sense of childhood nostalgia.

Pro tip: Explore the charming side streets off Lord Street, as they often hide hidden gems such as independent shops, cafes, and art galleries.

10. Bradford

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Bradford is home to the Bradford Industrial Museum, housed in a 19th-century mill, for a journey through time and insights into the region’s industrial heritage.  

While in Bradford, you can step into the mediaeval era at Bolling Hall, a charming historical site filled with aged furnishings and a captivating ambiance.

And of course, our team had to make sure to visit Haworth Village to complete the trip, which was once home to the renowned Brontë sisters. There, you can delve into their lives through manuscripts, letters, and personal belongings

Pro tip: Visit Cartwright Hall, an art gallery and museum showcasing a diverse collection of art, including works by local and international artists.

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