Looking for day trips from Manchester to the Countryside, Coast or other Cities nearby? Plus train or coach trips from Manchester if you don’t have transport??
There are so many things to do in Manchester, but sometimes you just want to get out of the area and see somewhere new, and one of the reasons I love living in Manchester so much is the abundance of places to visit near Manchester.
From nearby cities like Liverpool & Chester to countryside locations like the Peak District, Lake District & the Yorkshire Dales, plus the coast of North Wales and Merseyside, we have a lot of day trips from Manchester to suit everyone!
In this Manchester travel blog, I’ve teamed up with my travel blogger friends to give you a fantastic list of the best day trips from Manchester based on our own experiences of going on them.
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Day Trips from Manchester
For most of these day trips around Manchester, having a car will be the ideal option.
Manchester Car Hire
If you are visiting Manchester from overseas, look into car hire from Manchester Airport here.
Day Trips from Manchester by Train
Travelling by train to one of these day trips from Manchester is a great idea if you do not have your own car or you don’t want the stress of driving, especially if you are based in Manchester City Centre.
There won’t be a train option for all of the below day trips from Manchester ideas but you can search The Train Line to see where you can go by train.
For the cheapest train tickets from Manchester, I recommend booking a few weeks in advance rather than last minute!
Coach Trips from Manchester
Manchester is a great city to do coach trips from thanks to the many bus terminals and companies that serve the city and surrounding area.
If you wish to do an independent coach trip from Manchester, The Train Line searches coach & train options so you can easily buy a return ticket from Manchester and explore the destination yourself for the day once you arrive.
Day Tours from Manchester
Below in this list of the best day trips from Manchester, I have highlighted in green the highly rated day tours from Manchester!
If you are travelling alone without transport, or, you just want a guided tour so you can sit back relax, learn and see more, there are many day tours from Manchester, particularly to the Peak District, Lake District and North Wales.
I love a good day tour because the pressure is off you, just turn up at the meeting point and then you’ll be chauffeured from place to place with a knowledgeable guide all day with the chance to meet some new friends.
Day Trips Manchester
So let’s get into it. Here is a list of the top day trips from Manchester and places to visit near Manchester in one day!
1. Castleton, Peak District
The Peak District is a perfect day trip from Manchester with its pretty villages, fantastic hikes and interesting caves to explore. One of the best places to get a mix of all three is in the small village of Castleton.
With its stone houses Castleton is often described as a quintessential English hamlet and when walking around the pretty streets it is difficult to disagree. It is also one of the main walking centres in the Peak District being surrounded by hills on three side. One of these hills is Mam Tor which is nearly 1700 feet high and this is where the path for the 3km ridge walk from Edale to Castleton passes.
For a shorter walk climb the steep hill up to Peveril Castle. The views from the top are worth the climb. The castle dates from 1086 and belonged to William Peveril who is said to have been one of William the Conqueror’s illegitimate children.
In the more recent past the region was big on mining which can be seen from the number of caves in the area. Close to Castleton there are four caves: Peak Cavern, Speedwell Cavern, Blue John Cavern and Treak Cliff Cavern. Both Peak Cavern and Speedwell Cavern are a short walk from Castleton but if you have a car make the short drive to the Blue John Cavern which is the most spectacular.
Due to the number of hikers and visitors there are a number of restaurants and coffee shops in the village. Some of the best are Tilly’s tearoom, 1530 and Rose Cottage.
If driving from Manchester, the Visitor Centre and a large car park are on the left shortly after you enter the village.
Suggested by: Kristin from scotlandlessexplored
2. Buxton, Peak District
Buxton is one of the fairly easy day trips from Manchester if you are looking for a day trip to the Peak District from Manchester.
From South Manchester it takes 1 hour to drive there, from the city it’s 1 hour 30 minutes, however, you can also get a 1-hour direct train from Manchester Piccadilly to Buxton making it one of the good day trips from Manchester by train.
Buxton is a town in the Peak District and if you think you want to visit the Peak District but aren’t keen on big hikes or you have children that need facilities nearby, Buxton is a great option because there are many things to do in Buxton town without going too far.
Buxton Park offers a lovely green space to walk around and relax in. During the summer and school holidays, there are many events and markets for children and adults to enjoy. Buxton Pavillion offers a botanical garden with an arts centre and cafe attached to it.
There are lots of cafes and restaurants in Buxton suiting all budgets. You can go for afternoon tea at a quaint cafe, have a pub lunch or grab a cake from a bakery.
To make more of your day trip from Manchester to Buxton, you can visit Poole’s Cavern.
Poole’s Cavern is on the outskirts of the town and offers a 45-minute journey through magnificent underground passages rich in stalactite and stalagmite formations, legend and history! Because the Cavern is underground, it’s a great day out near Manchester if the weather isn’t looking great.
Suggested by: Ellie from The Wandering Quinn
PEAK DISTRICT DAY TOUR FROM MANCHESTER
For a highly rated Peak District Day Trip from Manchester to see the rolling hills of the Peak District, taste the traditional treats of Bakewell, and journey into the natural wonder that is Poole’s Cavern, check out this Peak District day tour from Manchester.
Chester, a historic fairy-tale town, makes for a charming and one of the best day trips from Manchester. Founded in 79 AD by the Romans, Chester has a multi-chapter history that includes the Romans, Vikings, Middle Ages and the Renaissance. Today, Chester is known for its medieval-style cathedrals, black-and-white buildings, walkable main strip, well kept green spaces and a beautiful river that flows through the old town.
Check out the impressive Chester City Walls that the Romans built when trying to protect their fortress, the Deva Victrix. While the Deva Victrix is no longer standing, you can still see parts of the foundation around town.
Be sure to take photos in front of the elegant clock that hangs over the Eastgate archway in the main strip. This archway was once the entrance to the ancient Deva Vetrix. The clock above it is the most photographed clock in England after the Big Ben.
Visit the Chester Cathedral, with its spectacular high arches. With its construction of it beginning nearly 1,000 years ago, Chester Cathedral has been defaced and vandalized many times throughout history, but has stood the test of time. Venture to the top of the cathedral’s 125 ft tower for a beautiful, panoramic view of Chester and the surrounding land.
Take an afternoon walk along the Groves, a promenade along the River Dee that winds its way through old town. Along the promenade, there are cafes, shops, restaurants, benches and gazebos. Afterwards, take a boat ride through the river and relax in the Roman Gardens.
You can get to Chester from Manchester in just an hour via the M56. If you’re visiting North West England with kids, be sure to check out Liverpool, a family-friendly city and home of the Beatles.
Suggested by: Kristin from tinyfootstepstravel
4. Knaresborough, Yorkshire
Knaresborough should be on your radar for a great day trip from Manchester as it is one of the nice places around Manchester. The historic town is around 55 miles from Manchester and is easily reachable by public transport. Steeped in hundreds of years of fascinating history, Knaresborough is a charming market town and one of the hidden gems of Yorkshire. Although this is a small town, there are plenty of fun and enjoyable things to do in Knaresborough.
The town is known for its imposing Railway Viaduct, breathtaking vistas, Mother Shipton’s Cave and the petrifying Well. For the iconic view of the viaduct over River Nidd, visit Knaresborough Castle. The ruined medieval fortress sits atop a high cliff. Also, the adjacent Courthouse Museum is well worth a visit. Here you will learn about the town’s past and the intriguing tales of its colourful inhabitants.
But the most enjoyable activity here is rowing on the peaceful water of River Nidd. You can hire a boat from the nearby waterside pier. Also, this will give you the perfect vantage point to admire an epic view of the layered houses and the viaduct more closely.
Afterwards, you can take a pleasant stroll along the waterfront to visit the Chapel of Our Lady of the Crag, a pretty 15th-century chapel cut out of sandstone.
Another unmissable visitor attraction in Knaresborough is the Shipton’s Cave and the petrifying Well. Opened in 1630, this is one of the oldest visitor attractions in England. Here you can discover the history of mystic fortuneteller Mother Shipton who was born in this area.
Suggested by: Moumita & Sankha from Chasing the Long Road
5. Lake Windermere, Lake District
All of the Lake District is fantastic but Lake Windermere is an ideal day trip from Manchester. To get to the southern end of the lake is only a 2 hour drive away and pretty much a straight line up the M61, then the M6.
For a memorable day out, I would suggest to drive to Lakeside and Haverthwaite Railway and jump on the beautiful old steam train that takes you along the river to the bottom of the lake (about a 45 minute ride). Then you can take a passenger cruise boat all the way up lake Windermere to the popular towns of Bowness or Ambleside to explore.
There are spectacular views from the train, boat and town, you can hire a rowing boat to enjoy the lake some more, wander in the local craft shops and of course grab some fish and chips to eat by the lakeside.
You can buy the return tickets for the train and boat as a package, from the railway station so its really convenient. And Dogs get to travel for free so its pet friendly too! It is £24.50 for a return ticket to Bowness and £34.50 to Ambleside.
Suggested by: Callie from Countingourfootsteps
6. Tarn Howes, Lake District
The Lake District is a famous destination for day trips from Manchester due to its stunning scenery and range of outdoor activities. To make the most of your trip, consider visiting a popular spot which is Tarn Hows.
This picturesque body of water located in the Lake District of England is accessible to all types of visitors. Walking paths around the lake are easy to follow and provide excellent views of mountains and woodlands.
Tarn Hows was created in the mid-19th century by James Garth Marshall, who joined three smaller tarns to make a larger one. This way, Tarn Hows became more accessible and enjoyable for visitors.
The best way to get to Tarn Hows in the Lake District from Manchester is to drive. There is a National Trust car park only a few minutes walk from the lake. People with limited mobility can also rent tramper mobility scooters to enjoy a lovely day in Tarn Hows.
Tarn Hows walk around the lake should not take more than 2 hours. If you like longer hikes, you can also visit the nearby Tom Gill waterfall. However, to make the most of your Lake District visit, consider an all-day picnic in a scenic location with ample space and access to the calm water that Tarn Hows provide.
Suggested by: Paulina from the UK Every Day
LAKE DISTRICT DAY TOUR FROM MANCHESTER
The Lake District is full of places to visit but can seem far to drive for some and it has small country lanes not everyone is comfortable with.
So why not join a day tour from Manchester to the Lake District and spend the day with a knowledgeable guide to see the best places to visit in the Lake District? Here are some of the best tours you can book:
7. Lyme Park
Lyme House is a National Trust property that’s just a short drive south of Manchester so it makes a wonderful day in the country if you don’t want to travel too far.
The very grand stately home is one of the main reasons that it is one of the best places to visit near Manchester and people are tempted to visit here, since it’s been used as a filming location for Pemberley, the opulent home of Mr Darcy in the BBC’s 1995 adaptation of Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice. The classic scenes that saw him emerge from a lake and meet Elizabeth Bennet were filmed all around the house’s exterior.
The tv series didn’t use the interior of Lyme House but it’s still a beautiful place to explore and step back in time. There are many rooms to wander around including the library and a regency dressing room.
If the weather is good then you can spend a lot of time outdoors. There are a lot of different areas to explore from the expansive grounds where you might find deer and 500 year old oak trees to the more formal gardens by the house. Perhaps take a walk around the Italian garden which is expertly manicured or the rhododendron walk for amazing colours.
Of course, you cannot miss the gorgeous lake outside the house which provides a beautiful reflection on still days – it’s a great place to practice photography or even painting as it has done for many years.
Suggested by: Kirsty from lostinlandmarks
Macclesfield is an ideal destination for a day trip from Manchester. Nestled in picturesque Cheshire, this charming town boasts a rich history and a plethora of interesting attractions for outdoor lovers.
It’s very easy to get there since it’s only 30 minutes drive from the city centre or 20 minutes on the train from Piccadilly (and there are trains every 20 minutes!).
If you’re a history buff, you’ll want to visit the Macclesfield Silk Museum, which tells you everything you need to know about the town’s silk industry and its influence on the local economy.
For nature lovers, Macclesfield Forest should be the preferred option. It’s located right outside of the town and offers breathtaking landscapes and opportunities for hiking and cycling.
If you are into hiking, you should also consider going to Tegg’s Nose. There are some wonderful walks here with views over the reservoir and the forest.
If you love food and shopping, be sure to visit on a Saturday because there is the weekly Treacle Market in town. You’ll find all sorts of local produce from Cheshire cheese to vegetables.
And if this is not enough, you can also explore some of the attractions in the villages nearby such as Jodrell Bank (a famous observatory), Alderley Edge, a cute village with National Trust walking paths or Bollington.
All in all, Macclesfield is an excellent choice for a day trip from Manchester, offering a perfect blend of history, culture, nature, and culinary delights which makes it one of the top places to go to trips from Manchester.
Suggested by: Pauline from Manchester Pocket Guide
9. Snowdonia, Chester, Lake District Day Tour
A chance to see Conwy Castle, the world’s smallest house, Snowdonia NP, Betws-Y-Coed and the historic town of Chester all in one trip, starting from £65.13pp. Available on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays, Rabbie’s provide this fully guided small group tour departing from Manchester.
This is an 11-hour day tour, departing at 8.30am and arriving back at approximately 7.30pm. The meeting point for the tour is next to the NCP car park on Store Street (M1 2WD). Roundtrip transport is included, as well as the admission fee for Conwy Castle. The Motel One (London Road) is an ideal accommodation base for this trip, which is also nearby the Manchester Piccadilly train station.
Although this trip takes a half-day, it is packed with sightseeing of both architectural and natural variety. It also allows you to tick off places of interest across two countries whilst taking care of the transport logistics – so you just get to sit back and enjoy the scenery on the drive! Your driver is also a professional tour guide, and is there to share all their knowledge as you experience the wonderful sights.
Please note that tickets exclude any other admission fees and gratuities (optional) so it would be advisable to bring a small amount of cash. Food and drink are also excluded so packing a few snacks and some water would be a good idea too.
Suggested by: travelsofasolopassport
10. Pontcysyllte Aqueduct & Llangollen, North Wales
The Llangollen Canal and Pontcysyllte Aqueduct are two of the most iconic landmarks in Wales. A visit to this breathtaking UNESCO World Heritage region is a must-see for any traveller who wants to experience the beauty of North Wales.
The 41-mile Llangollen Canal runs from the pretty town of Llangollen, Denbighshire, through rural countryside to Hurleston Junction near Nantwich, Cheshire. The canal was completed in 1805 and was an important transportation route in Victorian times. Today, it’s used primarily for leisure, with narrowboats available for hire allowing visitors to explore the picturesque surroundings.
The highlight of the canal journey is undoubtedly the Pontcysyllte Aqueduct which spans over 1000 feet across the Dee Valley. Known as “The Stream in the Sky“, it stands over 120ft high and offers stunning views of the surrounding landscape – making it one of Britain’s most popular tourist destinations and best day trips from Manchester.
The aqueduct was built between 1795 and 1805 by Thomas Telford and William Jessop as part of their ambitious plan to connect London with Holyhead. Visitors can walk or cycle along the towpath alongside the canal or take narrowboat tours.
The experience provides an excellent opportunity to enjoy some quiet time surrounded by nature while marvelling at one of Britain’s most remarkable feats of engineering.
Several other attractions worth exploring around Llangollen town include Plas Newydd House Museum & Gardens, Valle Crucis Abbey ruins (a Cistercian monastery), Horseshoe Pass scenic waterfalls and Chirk Castle.
Suggested by: Coralie from greyglobetrotters
11. Eryri National Park (Snowdonia National Park), North Wales
I love Eryri National Park (Snowdonia National Park) in Wales and it really is possible to visit on a day trip from Manchester thanks to the main part of the journey being along the North Wales Express!
Can you climb Snowdon on a day trip from Manchester?? Definitely! I’ve done it many times! You can even climb Snowdon, the highest mountain in Wales and visit a few of the most beautiful places to visit in Wales in the same day!
If hiking is not for you, Eryri National Park (Snowdonia National Park) still has a lot to offer, you can go surfing at Surf Snowdonia, adrenaline seeking in one of the Zip World locations, horse riding at Snowdonia Riding Stables which I did recently, and enjoy the small villages and towns like Llanberis and it’s slate museum.
For one of the full-day day trips from Manchester which will leave you tired but full at the end of the day, plan a day in Eryri National Park (Snowdonia National Park)!
Suggested by: Ellie from The Wandering Quinn
12. Llandudno, North Wales
For some seaside fun and one of the great beaches to visit from Manchester, head to Llandudno on the North coast of North Wales.
You might be surprised to know from South Manchester, Llandudno is just 1 hour 30 minutes by car! This is also one of the places to visit in Wales by train and could also be one of the possible day trips from Manchester by train and as there is a direct train from Manchester Picadilly to Llandudno taking 2 hours 15 minutes.
Llandudno offers a Victorian seaside experience with a huge pier, long beach, actually multiple big beaches, and all of the seaside treats and fun you could want. Of course, in the summer and on a nice summer’s day, it is much nicer but you can also visit all year round as there’s nothing like a winter walk on the beach.
For additional things to do in Llandudno, you can visit the Great Orme which is an easily accessible mountain peak via tram or car. You can also do activities like visiting Llandudno Ski and Snowboard centre and nearby Conwy Castle which is one of the top North Wales attractions to make the most out of your day out of Manchester.
Suggested by: Ellie from The Wandering Quinn
NORTH WALES DAY TOUR FROM MANCHESTER
If you don’t have your own car but want to see the countryside of North Wales, book this day tour from Manchester to Wales!
It will take you to the Victorian seaside town of Llandudno, to the historic and popular Conwy Castle and end in the stunning Eryri National Park (Snowdonia National Park)!
13. Blackpool, Lancashire
Blackpool is the perfect day trip from Manchester when you’re in the mood for a fun day by the coast, as it’s just a short train ride away. If you’ve been to Brighton before, you’ll already have an idea of what to expect in Blackpool. It’s an old beach town with its own charm, and there are plenty of amazing things you can do there.
Some of the best things to do in Blackpool on a day trip include strolling down the promenade and going to one of the arcades on the pier to play some games. Walking on the pier almost feels like being transported back in time to the late 19th century, when it was built.
The main attraction in Blackpool is the Blackpool Tower, which was inspired by the Eiffel Tower. From the top of the tower, you get the best view of the whole city and the seaside from above. Afterwards, you can relax on a sandy beach or head to the “Pleasure Beach” amusement park. There you can find “The Big One”, a rollercoaster which was once the tallest and steepest in the world when it opened in 1994.
So, if you’re in Manchester and want a stroll along the beach or a fun day at an amusement park, Blackpool makes for a great day trip.
Suggested by: Tina from Veganderlust
14. Southport, Merseyside
For some seaside fun north of Liverpool and Manchester, Southport offers a pretty good day trip from Manchester option because of Southport Pleasureland, a fantastic day out, especially for families with young children.
Southport also had a huge beach, in depth when the tide is out, and in length. It has a coastline stretching 22 miles across Sefton!
We visited on a hot summer afternoon and had a great time at Pleasureland with my stepsons and then we hit the beach. The tide was out so after 15 minutes of walking we still hadn’t even reached the water which was crazy but a new experience and a good way to tire the kids out before the drive back to Manchester. You can also walk along the pier which at 1,000 metres long, is the second longest in the country!
Because of the long coastline, bike riding is a popular thing to do in Southport and this is a pretty good-sized town so it has all the amenities you need for food and activities to give you a great day trip from Manchester!
Suggested by: Ellie from The Wandering Quinn
Liverpool is a fantastic day trip from Manchester and one of the best places to visit near Manchester, with its rich history, vibrant culture, and beautiful architecture. It’s conveniently located just a short distance down the M62 motorway or an easy train ride away from Manchester, making it an ideal destination for a day trip.
One of the main attractions in Liverpool is its impressive waterfront, Royal Albert Docks, where you can take a stroll and take in the iconic landmarks and museums, including Tate Liverpool, The Museum of Liverpool and the Beatles Story.
You can also take a Magical Mystery Tour and explore the places in Liverpool associated with the Beatles, such as Penny Lane and Strawberry Field. Or you can visit the Cavern Quarter and listen to live music.
One of the must-do activities during your visit is to hop aboard the iconic Mersey Ferry and listen to “Ferry Cross the Mersey” while enjoying the stunning views of the city’s waterfront. The 50-minute ferry ride has become a popular and memorable experience for tourists and locals. It offers a unique perspective of the city’s skyline and allows you to immerse yourself in the area’s history while cruising along the water.
Liverpool is also renowned for its shopping and dining scene, with a wide range of options to suit all tastes and budgets. The Liverpool ONE shopping center offers a fantastic mix of high-street brands and designer stores, while the Bold Street area is known for its independent shops and cafes.
It is easy to see why Liverpool is an excellent option for a day trip from Manchester because of its vibrant culture, rich history, and iconic attractions!
Suggested by: Rachel from Average Lives
At only 1 hour and 30 minute drive and train ride, York is an easy day trip from Manchester. There are many reasons to visit York – from its beautiful historical buildings and quaint streets to green parks.
York Minster is the main attraction in York. It is the second largest Gothic cathedral in the north of Europe, and every traveller will be amazed by its size and interior with detailed architecture and colourful stained glass.
Another unmissable place in York is The Shambles, home to half-timbered buildings, quirky shops, and ghost stories. It is here where you can also find The Shop That Must Not Be Named, a must-visit for Harry Potter fans.
York also has many incredible museums, perfect for all travellers, including families with children. Some of the most famous museums include JORVIK Viking Centre, National Railway Museum and York’s Chocolate Story for those with a sweet tooth.
When it comes to free things to do in York, there are fantastic activities to do for travellers on a budget. One of the best things is walking on the City Walls to enjoy a different view of the city.
Last but not least, Museum Gardens is a lovely place to relax, picnic, and contemplate St Mary’s Abbey and its ruins.
Suggested by: Cristina of My Little World of Travelling
YORKSHIRE DAY TOUR FROM MANCHESTER
There are so many places to visit in Yorkshire and the Yorkshire Dales, an easy way to see a lot in one day is via a group day tour from Manchester to Yorkshire.
This day tour takes you to picturesque towns like Hawes and Haworth, an impressive waterfall, Malham Cove and the Ribblehead Viaduct and to try local cheeses!
17. Anglesey, North Wales
If you’re happy to be in the car just a bit longer, you can’t beat a day trip to Anglesey from Manchester to give you a dose of relaxed island life.
Anglesey is one of the most beautiful parts of North Wales! It’s an island connected by 1 bridge close to Bangor and it is rich in nature and history.
One of our favourite places to visit in Anglesey is South Stack Lighthouse because this is the most westerly point of Wales.. pretty cool hey! There are also many walking paths around here and nothing but amazing coastal views.
Another one of our favourite places is Traeth Llanddwyn Beach, it offers a huge sand beach with small sand dunes and views of Eryri National Park (Snowdonia National Park).
In fact, if you are looking for the best beach to visit on a day trip from Manchester, I’d say this is it, it’s spectacular!
As well as beaches and walking routes, Angseley offers lovely small villages and towns like Beaumaris so you can really spend a day road-tripping around Angseley going wherever you fancy with plenty of facilities to keep you full and entertained whilst also enjoying nature and being in the middle of no-where!
Suggested by: Ellie from The Wandering Quinn
Ludlow, England is a great day trip from Manchester for those looking for places near Manchester to visit and explore the history of the English monarchy and enjoy some classic British sights. Located in Shropshire, Ludlow is easily accessible by a 2.5-hour train ride and offers plenty of activities to keep visitors entertained all day.
One of the main attractions in Ludlow is its castle. Built in 1085 during William I’s reign, it was once known as an important fortress on England’s Welsh border. It’s famous for its royal ties, but maybe most famously for being the site of Prince Arthur Tudor’s death, leading to his brother Henry ascending to the throne. Later infamously known as Henry VIII.
Today, the ruins remain well-preserved with many original features still intact such as towers, battlements, and even a chapel which can be explored by visitors. The castle also hosts various events throughout the year such as jousting tournaments and music festivals so there are always new experiences to discover here!
The town itself has plenty to offer too! Market Square is home to a weekly farmers market where you can find local produce from nearby farms – perfect for picking up souvenirs or stocking up your picnic basket before heading out sightseeing around the town’s historic streets and buildings.
The town is quite small, and you can explore most of it on foot, taking in the beautiful Tudor houses and even finding a playground for the kiddos.
Several pubs also offer traditional ales alongside delicious food menus – ideal for relaxing after a long day. Just be aware that many, if not most, restaurants and pubs do not serve food on Sunday. If you find yourself there for Sunday dinner, check out The Feathers Hotel.
Book your Sunday dinner table well ahead to ensure you don’t end up eating mini-market sandwiches on the train back to Manchester.
Suggested by Allison from Renovating Life
19. Jodrell Bank Telescope
Jodrell Bank is a world-famous radio telescope in the Cheshire countryside near Macclesfield. It’s just 20 miles south of Manchester and an easy day trip from Manchester by car. You can’t miss it as you get closer to the site – one minute you’ll be driving down a leafy lane and the next there’s a huge white dish looming above the trees.
Jodrell Bank is part of the University of Manchester, and astronomers have been searching the skies from here since 1945. The huge Lovell radio telescope was built in 1957 using parts from old Royal Navy battleships to let it spin and tilt.
During the Cold War space race it was the only telescope able to track the Soviet Union’s Sputnik satellite, and it’s still in active use today. It was added to the list of UNESCO World Heritage sites in 2019.
Visiting Jodrell Bank has been a popular day out for decades, but in 2022, a new visitor centre opened at the site. The new First Light Pavilion includes a cinema where you can watch films about space and the telescope on a huge, domed screen. There’s also a superb interactive exhibition on the history of Jodrell Bank.
Once you’ve seen the exhibition, don’t miss the other attractions and exhibits at the site, including the Whispering Dishes, where two mini versions of the Lovell telescope are set up 40 metres apart. Whisper into one, and you’ll be heard as clear as day by the person at the other end.
Suggested by: Helen from helenonherholidays
At just a couple of hours away, Coventry is a fantastic day trip from Manchester and offers many activities and attractions to enjoy. There are various transportation options available between the two cities, from train, bus or coach – whatever is most convenient for you.
There are many things to experience in Coventry such as seeing one of England’s most famous Cathedrals and visiting the famous Lady Godiva Statue, as well as the Transport Museum – a significant museum seeing as Coventry was once one of the car manufacturing capitals of the world.
Coventry is full of history and unique hidden gems: around 900 years ago Lady Godiva rode through the streets of Coventry naked on a horse in protest to a tax her husband had imposed. You’ll find the statue of her riding the horse in the centre of town, as well as the bust of ‘Peeping Tom’ who was caught looking at her!
During the Second World War Blitz Coventry was one of the most bombed places in the UK (even more so than London!) and the medieval Coventry Cathedral was completely destroyed. You can visit this Old Cathedral: the ruins still remain so you can walk around them, as well as visit the New Cathedral next to it. Both look fantastic in the day as well as lit up after dark and are free to visit.
There are several other attractions in Coventry that are worth visiting, including the popular Coventry Transport Museum which showcases the city’s rich motoring heritage.
Coventry also has a range of shops and a popular indoor market, and there are plenty of restaurants, cafes, and bars to visit.
Suggested by: Catrina from 24 Hours Layover
Birmingham is considered to be the UK’s second capital and makes a great day trip from Manchester, being just 1 hour and 40 minutes away by car or train, visitors can have a full day to explore all the city has to offer.
There are so many awesome things to do in Birmingham for any age group. Families will enjoy visiting the sea life centre or one of the wonderful zoos. If you are a solo traveller you will love seeing the origins of chocolate and how it’s made at Cadbury World or catching a show at Symphony Hall.
For couples there are plenty of date ideas in Birmingham from visiting the oldest working cinema in the UK, to Brewery tours and couples baking classes.
Whoever you are visiting with, Birmingham has something for everyone. As a university city, it is a cultural melting pot and is home to some of the best restaurants in the country, make sure to stop by The Wilderness for a unique experience of rock and roll meets fine dining in the Jewellery Quarter.
Or if street food is more your scene, head to Digbeth dining club for a variety of pop up food stalls. If you are not sure where to start head to Brindley Place and explore some of the bars, restaurants and entertainment options by the canal side.
Suggested by: Steph from Book It Lets’ Go!
Taking a two-hour train ride from Manchester to London is the perfect way for travelers to experience all that England’s bustling capital has to offer.
After arriving, numerous iconic landmarks and attractions are awaiting exploration such as Picadilly Circus, Leicester Square, Trafalgar Square, Buckingham Palace, Tower Bridge, and Covent Garden – allowing everyone an opportunity of discovering unique sights without having to commit overnight in the city!
These places offer a perfect starting point for those looking to make the most of a day in London.
Picadilly Circus is renowned for its theatres, bars and attractions while Leicester Square showcases some of the country’s finest cinemas and theatrical shows.
Trafalgar Square – home to the National Portrait Gallery – is a popular destination for tourists and locals alike, boasting a beautiful fountain as well as the famous Nelson’s Column.
For those looking to explore London’s Royal culture, Buckingham Palace and the Tower of London are some of England’s most impressive monuments.
Finally, Covent Garden offers visitors an insight into the city’s vibrant cultural side – with plenty of cafés, restaurants and designer stores to choose from.
A day trip from Manchester to London can be the perfect way to experience all the city offers – with numerous iconic landmarks and attractions awaiting exploration.
So why not take the two-hour train journey and explore England’s bustling capital today?
Suggested by: Fiona from travellingthirties
Day Trips from Manchester FAQ
Here are FAQ’s for day trips from Manchester:
Where can I go 2 hours from Manchester?
There are many places 2 hours from Manchester. You can go to the Peak District in 1 hour, Lake District in 2 hours, Birmingham in 2 hours, North Wales in 1-2 hours from Manchester.
What is close to Manchester?
The Peak District and Ribble Valley are 2 areas close to Manchester that are well worth visiting as well as Chester and North Wales.
What other cities are close to Manchester?
Chester, Liverpool, Warrington, Leeds, Bradford are all cities close to Manchester
How many days is enough to visit Manchester?
There is a lot you can see with 1 day in Manchester but to fit in places near Manchester too, I’d recommend 3 days.
Thank you for reading, I hope this post has helped with ideas for day trips in Manchester and day tours from Manchester!
For more of my related posts see:
- 25+ FUN Family Days Out IN Manchester | Manchester With Kids!
- Perfect One Day in Manchester Itinerary | A Day in Manchester with Lots of Options!
- London With Kids Itinerary 2-3 Days & Tips For Planning a Trip to London With Kids!
- BEST Halal Restaurants in Manchester!
- Review | Manchester United Museum & Stadium Tour! How Good is it?
- 48 Places To Visit in Wales To See Beautiful Places in Wales!
- How To Do Dovestone Reservoir Walk, Easy Circular Walk in Peak District