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Experience the Countryside from Manchester

Experience the Countryside from Manchester

Ah, Manchester. It’s the bustling city we all know and love—but did you know it’s also a gateway to some of the most picturesque countryside spots in the UK?

We’ve picked out the crème de la crème of country escapes, perfect for a day of exploring or a laid-back picnic. And the best part? They’re all just a stone’s throw away from the city.

So, grab your best walking shoes and let’s hit the road. It’s time for a countryside adventure!

Alderley Edge


Now, if there were ever a place that could make you feel like you’re starring in a Tolkien novel, it’s Alderley Edge. A charming village just to the south of Manchester, Alderley Edge is, well, edgy. 

Trust me on this one, you haven’t really witnessed a countryside vista until you’ve taken in the panoramic views from its escarpment. Beyond the breathtaking sights, you can get lost in ancient woodlands, or channel your inner Indiana Jones exploring secret caves. 

Then, round off your adventure by indulging in retail therapy at the local boutique shops or satisfying your culinary cravings at gourmet eateries. All in all, Alderley Edge is a quaint village that packs a punch!

Pro tip:

The Wizard pub does a mean Sunday roast, the kind that feels like a bear hug for your belly. Seriously, try it out, and thank me later.



Ever heard of the phrase, ‘urban jungle’? Forget about it. Didsbury, a vibrant suburban village in South Manchester, is more of an urban Eden. This place is like an artist’s palette of green, peppered with parks and gardens that are absolute eye candy. 

A top spot to visit here is Fletcher Moss Botanical Garden. Its variety of rare plant species will have you thinking you’ve stepped into a botanical encyclopedia. 

As if that wasn’t enough, Didsbury is a haven for bohemian culture! So, if you’re into that kind of vibe, you’ll fit right in. Between the artsy atmosphere and the bounty of nature, Didsbury’s unique allure is hard to resist!

Pro tip:

The Alpine Tea Room in Fletcher Moss Park is a must-visit. Their cakes are heavenly. I swear, one bite, and you’ll think you’ve met your sweet soulmate.

Delamere Forest


Riding on a bit further from Manchester, you’ll find Delamere Forest. Picture this: a vast, green wonderland covering over 2,400 acres. Got it? Well, that’s Delamere Forest for you—the poster child for woodland charm. 

The sprawling forest is dotted with trails that make for some seriously therapeutic strolls, alongside tranquil lakes that reflect the sky like giant mirrors.

And if you’re an adrenaline junkie, brace yourself. Delamere also offers treetop adventures that will have you swinging from the trees, literally! If Tarzan had a vacation home, this would be it!

Pro tip:

Go Ape Delamere is a must if you’re into heights. This high rope course is exhilarating. But warning: not for the faint-hearted or those afraid of heights! You’ve been warned.



Ramsbottom is just as charming as its name is quirky. Nestled in the beautiful surrounds of Irwell Valley, it’s a delightful contradiction of timeless countryside and vibrant culture. 

As the train chugs along, you’ll see a picturesque mishmash of greenery, historical buildings, and panoramic views that’ll have you reaching for your camera faster than you can say “cheese”.

But, this little gem is more than just a pretty face. The lively food and drink scene here is a treat for the senses, especially the melt-in-your-mouth pastries from local bakeries. 

Truly, Ramsbottom is an exciting blend of past and present, giving you the best of both worlds!

Pro tip:

Trust me on this, make a beeline for The Hearth of the Ram. This gastropub and restaurant put Ramsbottom on the foodie map with their locally sourced, seasonally inspired dishes. I can still taste their braised beef, pure countryside comfort on a plate!



If you’re looking for a secret haven where you can take leisurely strolls along the towpaths or hop on a bike for a breezy ride, then head off to Bridgewater Canal. Trust me, the views are worth every pedal! 

As you wander through the village, you’ll spot these adorable Georgian-style buildings that make you feel like you’ve wandered into a quaint little time capsule. 

But wait! We’re just scratching the surface here. Worsley has some serious green game going on! Picture-perfect parks are scattered all over, just waiting for you to plop down a picnic blanket and soak up the sun. 

Oh, and let’s not forget about the locals! They’re the friendliest bunch you’ll ever meet. Whether you’re in need of directions or craving a local insider tip, they’ll gladly chat you up and make you feel right at home!

Pro tip:

If you’re into history, a visit to Worsley Court House is a must. The well-maintained gardens offer a peaceful retreat, and they’re a dream for anyone looking to up their Instagram game. Seriously, this place is #nofilter material.



Let us spill the beans about Saddleworth, the countryside near Manchester that’ll rock your socks off! It’s a total jackpot of natural beauty, mate. Imagine endless green fields as far as the eye can see, like nature’s own version of a football pitch. 

We can roam around, pretending we’re adventurers in a Tolkien novel. Trust me, the views are so breathtaking, they’ll make your selfie game go through the roof! 

Plus, we can mingle with the locals at the cozy pubs, where they serve up proper pints that’ll put a smile on your face faster than you can say “cheers!” Saddleworth’s got it all, my friend—nature, good vibes, and a pub culture worth raising a glass to!

Pro tip:

The Whit Friday Band Contests are a must-see in Saddleworth. Imagine live music, set against a breathtaking landscape. It’s the perfect way to experience the local culture. Trust me, your toes will be tapping in no time!



In our books, Lymm is a village where ducks are friendlier than anywhere else! But enough with the waddling! This place has historical spots like a 17th-century mill, a charming canal, and Lymm Dam, all nestled within lush greenery. 

If you’re a fan of nature walks or just in the mood for a peaceful afternoon, Lymm’s the place to be!

Don’t forget Spud Wood, which is the local woodland area with winding paths. You know those walks that just clear your head? That’s Spud Wood for you. Just you, maybe a friend, and the quiet rustling of trees.

Pro tip:

Pack some bread for those friendly ducks at Lymm Dam. It’s a simple joy that beats scrolling on your phone any day.



Next, we’re heading to Marple, and let me tell you, it’s a charmer. The town is a haven for both nature lovers and history buffs!

The canals filled with locks, the towering viaducts, and the inviting nature reserves make Marple a breath of fresh air—literally and figuratively.

And, the Marple Lock Flight is not just locks; it’s history and engineering marvels combined. We’re talking 16 canal locks that are, no kidding, a part of the steepest lock flight in Britain. It’s definitely a sight to see.

Oh, and don’t forget the Saddleworth Tea Festival! It’s a quirky extravaganza where you can sip tea, sample delicious scones, and get your pinky finger in shape for some fancy tea-drinking action!

Pro tip:

Save some energy to hike up Mellor Cross; you’ll be surprised with the view at the top, like having Manchester on a panoramic canvas. Just don’t forget your camera!



Bowdon is known for its beautiful Victorian and Georgian architecture, with stunning period homes lining the streets. It’s like stepping into a time capsule, where history whispers from every corner. 

Take a leisurely stroll and admire the grandeur of the buildings that have stood the test of time. Then, treat yourself to a culinary journey at The Lime Tree, an award-winning restaurant serving up mouthwatering dishes crafted from locally sourced ingredients. 

For those seeking cultural experiences, pay a visit to the exquisite St. Mary’s Church, a Grade I listed building with stunning stained glass windows and a rich history. The church’s peaceful atmosphere invites contemplation and reflection.

Pro tip:

Make sure to check out Bowdon Downs. This spot is ideal for quiet strolls, or even a jog if you’re feeling up to it. Just be prepared; the peacefulness can be addictive!



You know what we like to say? Edale is the place to be for a countryside getaway! Now, if you’re a fan of putting one foot in front of the other and taking in some stunning scenery, you’re in for a treat. 

Edale sits right in the heart of the glorious Peak District, a paradise for walkers and outdoor enthusiasts. 

And speaking of conquering, brace yourself for a challenge that’s worth every drop of sweat. 

I’m talking about none other than Kinder Scout, the crown jewel of the Peaks. It’s the highest point around these parts, and reaching its summit might make you question your life choices a few times. 

But fear not, because once you conquer that uphill battle, the sense of accomplishment will be off the charts. Plus, the view from the top? Oh, it’s absolutely jaw-dropping, so you wouldn’t want to miss it.

Pro tip:

After your walk, refuel at one of Edale’s cozy pubs. I mean, there’s nothing like a hearty meal after a day of exploration, right?

Cheadle Hulme


As soon as you set foot in Cheadle Hulme, you’ll feel right at home. Prepare for a delightful blend of friendly locals, adorable houses, and serene parks just waiting for you to take a leisurely stroll.

But one of the things that sets Cheadle Hulme apart is its perfect balance between urban convenience and rural charm. It’s like having the best of both worlds in your back pocket. 

With its close proximity to Manchester, you’re just a hop, skip, and a jump away from the vibrant city life. But when you’ve had your fill of the urban hustle, you can retreat back to this tranquil haven, where the pace slows down and relaxation takes center stage!

Pro tip:

Try a slice of the local life at one of the coffee shops in Cheadle Hulme. Great coffee, delicious pastries, and you might even strike up a conversation with a friendly local.



Get ready to channel your inner explorer and embrace all that Rivington has to offer.

First up, we have Rivington Pike, a hill that’s just begging to be conquered. The hike may give your calves a run for their money, but let me tell you, the view from the top is nothing short of spectacular!

Next, head to Rivington Terraced Gardens, a fascinating maze of paths and structures nestled into the hillside. As you explore the gardens, you’ll feel like a detective unraveling a delightful puzzle. 

Also, did you know that the Rivington Pike Tower, perched atop the hill, has a rich history dating back centuries? It served as a beacon and even a watchtower during World War II.

When it comes to food, make sure to fuel up with some hearty pub grub at one of the charming local establishments. Indulge in classic British dishes like fish and chips, a comforting pie, or a sizzling steak. 

Pro tip:

Pack a picnic and enjoy it at the top of Rivington Pike. The view adds a special touch to the sandwiches, I promise.



Let’s zip on over to Hale, a place that’s a little bit swanky but oh-so-welcoming. This charming town exudes a cozy small-town vibe, with its quiet streets and delightful local shops. 

But don’t let the tranquility fool you — when you’re ready for some excitement, Hale has a fantastic selection of pubs and restaurants to cater to your cravings. And if you’re up for a wander, you’re in luck! 

Hale boasts an abundance of parks and reserves just waiting to be explored. Lose yourself in nature’s beauty, but remember to find your way back! 

In our books, Hale strikes the perfect balance between sophistication and a friendly atmosphere, making it an absolute gem worth discovering.

Pro tip:

When exploring Hale, be sure to keep an eye out for the iconic Hale Clock Tower. It’s a charming landmark that stands tall in the heart of the town.



Did you know that Wilmslow is home to one of the most famous streets in the country? Yes, I’m talking about the iconic Grove Street, where you’ll find a vibrant mix of boutique shops, stylish cafes, and trendy bars. It’s a haven for fashionistas and foodies alike.

Speaking of food, make your way to Gusto, a renowned restaurant that serves up mouthwatering pasta dishes and wood-fired pizzas that’ll transport you straight to Italy. 

And if you’re in the mood for a fancy feast, The French Brasserie offers exquisite French cuisine in a charming setting.

Finally, don’t miss out on Quarry Bank Mill, a historic cotton mill turned museum that takes you back in time and gives you a glimpse into the town’s industrial past!

Pro tip:

Got a spare afternoon? Spend it at The Carrs Park. Whether it’s a stroll by the river or a lazy day at the playground, this park’s got it all.

Macclesfield Forest


Did you know that Macclesfield Forest spans over 2,500 acres, making it a vast playground for outdoor enthusiasts? With its diverse range of habitats, from ancient woodlands to open moorland, this place is a haven for wildlife, including red deer and rare bird species.

Don’t miss Tegg’s Nose Country Park, located nearby, where you can embark on scenic walks and take in panoramic views of the Cheshire Plain. It’s a perfect spot to snap some stunning photos and appreciate the beauty of the surrounding countryside.

After a day of exploring, satisfy your hunger at The Leather’s Smithy, a charming pub nestled on the edge of the forest. Indulge in hearty pub classics like fish and chips or savor a traditional Sunday roast while enjoying the cozy ambiance.

Pro tip:

Trentabank Reservoir – remember that name. It’s got some of the best bird-watching around. Just bring your binoculars and a good dose of patience.



Did you know that Prestbury is steeped in history and boasts a rich heritage? Explore St. Peter’s Church, a Grade I listed building dating back to the 13th century, and discover its stunning architecture and captivating stories.

Prestbury is also known for its equestrian heritage, with the prestigious Prestbury Park being a hub for horse racing enthusiasts. Experience the thrill of race day or enjoy a leisurely day at the races, soaking up the excitement and elegance of the sport.

For a more relaxed atmosphere, head to The Legh Arms, a charming pub where you can enjoy hearty British classics and a pint of local ale.

Pro tip:

Don’t forget to satisfy your sweet tooth with a visit to a local bakery. Treat yourself to a slice of Cheshire tart, a regional specialty that combines sweet pastry with a delectable filling of fruit, spices, and almonds.



Stockport is home to the Hat Works Museum, the only museum in the UK dedicated to the hatting industry. Here, you can explore its fascinating exhibits and learn about the town’s rich heritage in hat making.

Nature lovers will find solace in the stunning Etherow Country Park, where picturesque walks, tranquil lakes, and wildlife are abundant. Take a leisurely stroll along the River Mersey or venture into the enchanting woodlands for a rejuvenating escape.

For a taste of local favorites, head to The Plough, a charming pub serving up hearty pub classics and a wide selection of cask ales.

Pro tip:

Indulge in a traditional Stockport pie, a local delicacy that combines flaky pastry with a savory filling of seasoned meat. It’s a true taste of the town’s culinary heritage and a must-try for food enthusiasts.



Alright, buckle up for a jaunt to Urmston! This town is a hidden gem, tucked away with its own unique charm. Visit Golden Hill Park, where you can take leisurely strolls, admire the tranquil lakes, and maybe even catch a ride on the adorable miniature railway. 

Oh, and shopaholics, rejoice! The Trafford Centre is just a hop, skip, and a jump away, offering a shopping extravaganza that’ll leave you grinning from ear to ear.

Also, head out to the stunning trails of Dunham Massey and let the beauty of the countryside take your breath away. Keep an eye out for wildlife, because you never know who might be playing hide-and-seek among the trees.

Pro tip:

Got a dog? Urmston Meadows is an excellent place for a walk. Or just borrow a friend’s dog for the day – they’ll thank you for it!

ST: Top 18 Countryside Escapes Near Manchester

MD: Swap city hustle for serene countryside. In this article, you’ll discover top spots near Manchester in this guide for the perfect day trip. Read on!

RS: 60.2

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