Manchester is an all-rounder with its rich heritage, vibrant nightlife and world-class arts and entertainment venues, but do you ever fancy getting out of the city and going on a day trip? Manchester is one of the most accessible places in the UK thanks to some of the best transport links in the country, meaning a great day of exploring is easier than you think!
As one of the biggest parks in the North West, Heaton Park is a great day out and has loads going on all year round. Most commonly known for hosting the annual Parklife festival, Heaton Park sees hundreds of thousands of visitors a year. When the festivals are packed away Heaton Park continues to thrive with its very own animal centre, garden centre, play areas, gorgeous cafes, bowling greens, and a huge boating lake, the 600-acre park is a full day out in itself with gorgeous scenic walks. Heaton Park is really easy to get to from Manchester city centre, catch the Bury tram from Victoria Metrolink station, and Heaton Park tram stop is a short journey away.
Affectionately known as ‘The Gateway to the Peak District’, Buxton is a thermal spa town popular for its gorgeous scenic walks, Romanesque architecture, and wide range of independent and unique shops. Buxton is a great change of pace for the modern city centre dweller with a largely pedestrianized town centre, luxurious spas, and rolling scenic views. Gorgeous pubs and cafés line Buxton High Street making it a wonderful day out for all. Buxton is an easy 60-minute journey from Manchester Piccadilly Station by train.
Once named ‘the greatest town in Europe’, Hebden Bridge is more than a small town in West Yorkshire. Hebden Bridge is nestled between Manchester and Leeds with the Rochdale canal running through the heart of the town. With panoramic countryside views, it’s easy to see how Hebden Bridge has become a favourite for countryside walkers and day-trippers from the North West. Want more than a nice walk? Hebden Bridge continues to deliver with an array of quirky shops full of unique finds, thanks to the high street prohibiting chain shops. Their original 1920’s art deco cinema is another must-see, a welcome change from your typical multiplex, screening a mixture of classics and new releases. The town is easily accessible from Manchester, being a 40-minute direct train journey from Manchester Victoria Station.
On the edge of the West Pennines, Ramsbottom is a thriving market town engulfed by scenic countryside. The town is packed with independent retailers alongside award-winning restaurants and cafés. It’s easy to see how Ramsbottom has recently picked up numerous ‘high-street of the year’ and ‘top places to live’ awards. Ramsbottom is easily reachable from Manchester city centre by bus (take the X41 from Chorlton Street) and once you arrive why not indulge in their afternoon teas or dine out at a lavish restaurant, take an afternoon walk up Holcombe Hill and take in the views. If you’re visiting on a weekend, be sure to check out their farmer's markets and vintage fairs.
One of the closer options from our list is Didsbury, Didsbury is a popular spot in the southern suburbs of Manchester. Easily reachable by bus, tram, or train, Didsbury is scattered with trendy bars, restaurants, and cafés. The Ye Olde Cock Inn is a great stop-off before heading into Fletcher Moss Botanical Garden. The 21-acre park is home to football fields, play areas, a large tranquil botanical garden and it backs onto the picturesque River Mersey.
We hope this has given you lots of inspiration of places to go and explore this year. Let us know your favorite places to day trip over on Twitter, and be sure to tag us in all of your photos exploring over on Instagram.