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7 MUST-VISIT National Trust Sites in Manchester and nearby!

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We are so lucky to have many National Trusts in Manchester to visit! From historic houses to pristine gardens and wild woods, Manchester’s National Trust sites have it all!

In this Manchester travel blog, I’m going to give you 7 National Trust places to visit in Manchester and around Manchester from the historic cotton mills of Quarry Bank in South Manchester to the urban garden of Castlefield Viaduct in the City Centre.

I’ve visited all of these National Trust sites around Manchester on my own and with my family and I’ll give you my personal opinion, tips and experience of them all.

National Trust Manchester

National Trust Manchester
Keep reading for the must-visit National Trust sites in Manchester!

Why go to National Trust Sites?

Before I go into the Manchester National Trust sites I recommend, let me just go into why I recommend visiting National Trust places.

It does cost money to visit National Trust sites whether you pay an annual membership (more on that below), or pay the required parking fee, garden and house entry fee, but the money does go to good use.

National Trust Manchester, quarry bank mill gardens in bloom
National Trust charge for garden and house access which helps them keep doing the great work they do!

Firstly for the work that the National Trust do. They are Europe’s largest conservation charity and by us visiting and supporting them they are able to look after our countryside, coastland and woodlands by paying employees to plant new trees, tidy the litter, and protect historic buildings amongst other things.

Secondly and from a more practical point of view, National Trust sites offer a lot of facilities, and you’ll see I have noted which facilities are offered in the below National Trust Manchester sites as they do differ from site to site.

This makes visiting them a lot easier, especially with children, or if you are more elderly.

Most sites have designated car parks, cafes, toilets and staff on hand, so if you:

  • want to walk in nature but have a bathroom close by
  • need disabled parking
  • want to take the pram and know you won’t have issues
  • want to have the option of somewhere to sit between walking

The National Trust sites give you this and their facilities are good, because we know what some council-run park bathrooms can be like!

National Trust Manchester, Dunham Massey Cafe and seating
National Trust sites offer lots of facilities like cafes, bathrooms, shops and car parks,


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  • Map of National Trust Sites in Manchester

    Below is a map of the 7 National Trust sites in and around Manchester I have detailed below to help you plan your visit.

    You’ll notice that basically all of them are located in the South and most are National Trust sites in Cheshire. This is great for me and why I go to them a lot as I live close to Manchester Airport and they are great for you if you live around Altrincham, Wythenshawe, Didsbury or Cheadle too.

    But, if you live North of Manchester City Centre, I understand they will be harder to visit and for easier options, I’d recommend looking into places to visit in the Ribble Valley and National Trust sites in Yorkshire which you can see here.

    National Trust Membership

    If you like the sound of these National Trust sites in Manchester, I really recommend you buy an annual membership for yourself, you and your partner, or your family.

    We’ve had one for the last 2 years now and although it is a bit of a chunky payment upfront, once you’ve paid it, you can go to all of the National Trust sites around the country for FREE.. pretty much!

    If we look at the cost of visiting Lyme Park one of the National Trust properties around Manchester, it’s £32.50 for a family to visit the house, park and gardens. I paid £146.40 for my yearly membership so after we’ve been here, or to a similar site 5 times, every other time that year is free!

    I also think that once we’ve paid for the annual membership, we’ll want to actually use it to make it cost-effective and that encourages us to get outside, take the dog for a walk to one of the sites, take the children or grandchildren, and whilst doing this we are getting fresh air, getting some exercise, and supporting the good work the National Trust do,

    Check out the prices and options of National Trust Membership here!

    It’s a win-win!

    National Trust Manchester, event signs at Tatton Park
    National Trust sites host a lot of activities in the holidays for children which is great for things to do in the school holidays!

    Manchester National Trust Sites

    Here are the National Trust properties in Manchester and National Trust properties near Manchester including houses, gardens and parks to visit.

    1. Castlefield Viaduct Manchester City Centre

    • Location: Castlefield Manchester City Centre
    • Facilities: Toilets, Wheelchair Access, Lift, Seating, Guided Tour
    • National Trust Link
    National Trust Manchester, Ellie at Castlefield viaduct National Trust
    Me enjoying the spring blossom at Castlefield Viaduct!

    Let’s start in Manchester city centre for the only actual National Trust site in Manchester City.

    Castlefield Viaduct is a Victorian-era historic railway viaduct located in the heart of Manchester.

    It is the newest National Trust Manchester site as it only opened in Summer 2022 as a test and has thankfully continued to stay open.

    It offers an ‘urban garden’ and ‘sky park’ where visitors can walk along the viaduct taking in the city views and all of the flowers that have been planted.

    Do check the opening hours as they vary depending on whether you want a guided tour or want to walk around yourself. I found the guided tour really interesting, especially if you are into the industrial heritage of Manchester, or botanicals.

    I’ve been here twice, I really recommend it as one of the lovely things to do in Manchester, and things to do in Manchester with kids as although it won’t take long to visit with children, it’s certainly one of the unique things to do!

    National Trust Manchester, Castlefield viaduct National Trust
    As you can see, this is one of the unique National Trusts in Manchester!

    2. Dunham Massey

    • Location: Just outside Altrincham, South Manchester
    • Facilities: Car Park, Toilets, Restaurant, Shop, Guided Tour, Wheelchair Access
    • National Trust Link
    National Trust Manchester, Dunham Massey National Trust House and Kids event
    Dunham Massey is great for a family day out!

    Easily one of my favourite Manchester National Trust properties! I love how easy Dunham Massey is to visit from the Altrincham area and from the motorway.

    Dunham Massey is one of the National Trust properties in Manchester with a stunning Georgian house located in the heart of a beautiful deer park.

    Visitors have the option to walk around the extensive park spotting deer which are visible most of the year, visit the perfectly manicured gardens, and explore the grand rooms inside the house to learn about the history of the house and its former owners.

    Again, one of the things I love about National Trust sites is the options!

    You can decide to do a full day out by visiting the park, gardens and house (access to all is included in the National Trust membership), or you can just go for a quick walk around the park.

    If you’re not a member, paying for parking only and heading only to the park provides one of the cheaper days out in Manchester.

    Dunham Massey has a cafe at the entrance open all year round and another by the old house open in summer along with an ice cream shop so it’s a great place to head in the summer for lunch or with a picnic to enjoy a summer’s day.

    National Trust Manchester, Deer at Dunham Massey
    Don’t miss seeing the deer in the parkland at Dunham Massey National Trust
    National Trust Manchester, gardens at Dunham Massey
    And going inside the National Trust gardens,

    3. Quarry Bank Mill

    • Location: Style, near Wilmslow and Manchester Airport
    • Facilities: Car Park, Toilets, Restaurant, Shop, Guided Tour, Wheelchair Access
    • National Trust Link
    National Trust Manchester, Quarry Bank Mill House between the trees
    Quarry Bank Mill is one of the National Trust sites in Manchester to learn about the past,

    Another one of my favourite National Trust properties around Manchester is Quarry Bank because it’s so close to where I live near Manchester Airport and because of its history.

    A trip to Quarry Bank Mill ticks so many points!

    Firstly, it’s a 400-acre site of woodland along the Bollin River. I love that you can come here and take a woodland walk along the river getting completely lost in the footpaths but finish up back at the visitor centre with the cafe, toilets etc, it makes it a really easy but adventurous place to visit with children.

    But it’s not all nature, Quarry Bank offers a fascinating insight into the Industrial Revolution because Quarry Bank Mill is a working cotton mill where you can really see the mill in action, and learn about the lives of the workers, particularly the children who were housed here whilst working which you can learn about in the Apprentice House.

    Quarry Bank also has one of the most beautiful National Trust gardens in Manchester. I’ve been here in Spring and Summer and it’s amazing to see it in bloom and so colourful!

    Overall, Quarry Bank offers so much to visitors, from learning about the Mill from the staff and the interactive pieces inside the Mill to wild woodland walks or having a cup of tea or lunch in the gardens, it’s one of the National Trust places in Manchester that has you coming back time and time again.

    National Trust Manchester, family inside Quarry Bank Mill
    Children can learn about the booming cotton industry here in an interactive way,
    National Trust Manchester, quarry bank mill gardens in bloom
    Quarry Bank Mill Gardens are the lovely Manchester National Trust gardens to walk around,
    National Trust Manchester, quarry bank mill river woodland walk
    And you can walk in the quiet woodland and by the river,

    If you like the sound of these National Trust sites in Manchester, I really recommend you buy an annual membership for yourself, you and your partner, or your family. Click here to view the options!

    4. Tatton Park

    • Location: Mere, near Knutsford in South Manchester
    • Facilities: Car Park, Toilets, Restaurant, Shop, Guided Tour, Wheelchair Access
    • National Trust Link
    National Trust Manchester, Tatton Park parkland and lake
    Tatton Park offers a huge parkland area with lakes to walk!

    Firstly let’s clear up…

    Is Tatton Park a National Trust site?

    No, Tatton Park is not a National Trust property, but it is managed by Cheshire East Council on behalf of the National Trust.

    What you need to know about visiting Tatton Park as a National Trust member is that you will need to pay for parking, but, you can use your membership card to get into the gardens, including the Japanese Garden for free.

    If you’re not a National Trust member you will need to pay for parking and garden access but this is the same as at all National Trust sites anyway.

    Tatton Park is an amazing site though and perfect for a full day out with the family (and after paying £7-9 for parking, you want to get a day out of it!).

    Tatton Park has a 1000-acre deer park with lots of lakes and after paying for parking you can walk around all of this for free.

    One of the big highlights of Tatton Park and why I do prefer it over the other National Trust places in Manchester on this list is its huge garden.

    It has 50 acres of manicured gardens whereas other sites’ gardens are much smaller. This is a really big area that you can still get lost in and find time alone in, whilst being surrounded by beautifully kept gardens and knowing that you will come back out the other side,

    The Japanese Garden right at the end is also a highlight, it’s only small and you can only visit the inside on a guided tour but it’s still lovely to walk around from the outside and if you’re been to Japan, you’ll get some memories coming back!

    If you’re reading this in Spring, I went on a Cherry Blossom Hunt this spring and I found Tatton Park to have the best Cherry Blossom in Manchester, particularly around the Japanese Garden!

    National Trust Manchester, Tatton Park Japanese Gardens
    I love the Japanese Gardens at Tatton Park and you can visit for free with your National Trust membership!
    National Trust Manchester, Tatton Park Spring Blossom
    Tatton Park is beautiful in spring with lots of blossom!
    National Trust Manchester, Tatton Park Deer
    And look out for Deer in Tatton Park Parkland!

    5. Lyme Park

    • Location: Disley, near Stockport and on the edge of the Peak District
    • Facilities: Car Park, Toilets, Restaurant, Shop, Guided Tour, Wheelchair Access
    • National Trust Link
    National Trust Manchester, Lyme Park House
    Lyme Park is one of the popular National Trust properties near Manchester,

    Lyme Park isn’t in Manchester, it is one of the National Trust houses near Manchester and is located on the edge of the Peak District. From South Manchester, it’s easy to visit for a few hours though.

    You might recognise Lyme Park because it’s been used as a filming location for many TV shows and movies, including Pride and Prejudice and The Crown and this is one of the reasons many people visit!

    Personally, I love Lyme Park because of its 1,400-acre grounds and the rolling countryside around it.

    I do a lot of hiking, especially in the Peak District but I know some people feel more comfortable having somewhere official to park with bathrooms and somewhere to get food and I feel that Lyme Park offers the chance to walk in the rolling hills of the Peak District whilst having facilities on hand and no worry of getting lost. Make sure you head to the ‘Cage’ on the hill!

    It’s one of the Manchester National Trust sites you can spend a full day out and I recommend it as one of the ideas for family days out near Manchester,

    Lyme Park also has a house you can explore the 6th Century history of, a children’s play area which many National Trust sites don’t have, and during the school holidays, they run regular events for children to keep them entertained whilst exploring the park.

    National Trust Manchester, Inside Lyme Park House
    Going inside Lyme Park House is a great learning opportunity for children,
    National Trust Manchester, Lyme Park gardens
    Lyme Park has some of the best National Trust gardens in Manchester,
    National Trust Manchester, Lyme Park Cage
    And make sure you take a walk to the Cage on the hill!

    6. Hare Hill

    • Location: Close to Macclesfield and Alderley Edge
    • Facilities: Car Park, Toilets, Kiosk, Shop, Guided Tour, Wheelchair Access
    • National Trust Link

    If you’re looking for National Trust sites near Macclesfield, Hare Hill is for you! This is another one of the South Manchester National Trust sites and is fairly close to Alderley Edge which is last on this list.

    Hare Hill offers a tranquil walled garden surrounded by parkland giving visitors a peaceful escape from the hustle and bustle of city life.

    The garden is home to a variety of plants and flowers, including rhododendrons, azaleas, and magnolias, which bloom in a riot of colours throughout the year.

    Visitors to Hare Hill can explore the winding paths and discover hidden corners of the garden, or simply relax on a bench and enjoy the serene surroundings.

    With its beautiful setting and peaceful atmosphere, Hare Hill is a great place for a quiet day out in nature whilst offering the chance to get a cup of tea or coffee from the kiosk too.

    If you like the sound of these National Trust sites in Manchester, I really recommend you buy an annual membership for yourself, you and your partner, or your family. Click here to view the options!

    7. Alderley Edge

    • Location: Outside Alderley Edge Village, near Wilmslow
    • Facilities: Car Parking, Toilets, Cafe (not National Trust ran)
    • National Trust Link
    National Trust Manchester, Field views from Alderley Edge
    I love visiting National Trust Alderley Edge for the views!

    Alderley Edge is an example of a Manchester National Trust site that’s much smaller and doesn’t offer all the facilities of a house, gardens and shops that the others do but that’s also a reason to visit!

    We go to Alderley Edge a lot as a family as the kids love running around the woods and Alderley Edge is just that, a large woodland area with lots of tracks and the ‘Edge’, when you find it, provides a dramatic view between the trees of Manchester City Centre and the surrounding countryside.

    Alderley Edge National Trust does have a National Trust car park where members can park for free with their card and during the day, there’s a cafe and toilets that are open, and often an ice cream truck, although they aren’t National Trust ran.

    However, if you are not a member, there is designated verge parking near the National Trust parking entrance where you can park for free and there is direct access into the woodland from there.

    A popular spot with dog walkers too, Alderley Edge offers the chance to have a real woodland walk in nature whilst being close to the main road and easy to access and also having trails you can follow to ensure you don’t get lost if that’s one of your worries.

    National Trust Manchester, city views from Alderley Edge
    You can see all the way to Manchester City Centre on a clear day from Alderley Edge!
    National Trust Manchester,  Alderley Edge
    Alderley Edge is one of the most popular Manchester National Trust sites!

    National Trust Manchester FAQ

    Here are FAQ for visiting the National Trust sites in Manchester:

    Can you walk into Dunham Massey for free?

    Yes, it is possible to walk around Dunham Massey for free. You will need to park on the road near the upper park area and from there you can climb over the stile/fence. If you access the Dunham Massey car park you will need to pay and you can only access the park for free and will need to pay to enter the gardens and house but the park is very large to walk around.

    Do you need a National Trust card for Dunham Massey?

    No, you can enter Dunham Massey for free by parking on the roads nearby and crossing into the park. Or, you can enter via the National Trust car park and pay the non-National Trust member fee for the gardens and park which is £8.50 per adult and £4.25 per child. You can also enter the house in Dunham Massey without a national trust card, you will just need to pay the entrance fee for this too which is £6.00 per adult and £3.00 per child.

    Can you walk into Quarry Bank Mill for free?

    There are many ways to access the Quarry Bank Mill Park for free without going through the main entrance and needing to pay. The best way is from Style Village just up the road, or you can access it from further along the Bollin River. Note, you will not be able to access the cafe, gardens or any of the houses for free but the Quarry Bank park and forest are large to walk around.

    How much is it to get into Quarry Bank Mill?

    If you are not a National Trust member it is £20.00 per adult for access to Quarry Bank Mill which includes access to all the gardens and houses. For National Trust members and under 5’s it is free to enter.

    Is it free to park at Quarry Bank?

    There is no charge to park at Quarry Bank as there is not a ticket office before reaching the car park but once you walk through the main entrance to access Quarry Bank Mill from the car park, you will need to pay for entry.

    Do National Trust members pay for parking at Tatton Park?

    Yes, they do. National Trust members have to pay the same car parking fee as non-members for Tatton Park which is £8.00 mid-week and £9.50 on weekends in high season.

    I hope this list of Manchester National Trust places has helped you plan a day out!