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15 Best Day Trips From Manchester

Heading out of the city for a day? Here's where you should go.

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Every once in a while you're bound to get fed up of the busy city life and that's where these day trips from Manchester come in handy.

Whether you're travelling by car or public transport, you can get to at least one of these days out near Manchester - from countryside escapes to historic gems, we've got it all lined up for ya.

1. Peak District

Head out to Manchester’s nearest slice of uninterrupted nature, the Peak District, for a day out and expect plenty of fresh air. Now, you could stick to the usual day out antics (think hiking, wandering and cycling), or you could really mix things up with a day packed full of water sports. The Peak District’s reservoirs make for the perfect place to try out windsurfing and canoeing – you won’t regret giving it a go, promise.

2. West Yorkshire

If you’re in the market for nature-filled escape, West Yorkshire may just be the place for you. Located just an hour's drive from Manchester, the car journey alone to West Yorkshire is stunning enough – make sure to have a peep out the window as you travel across the moors on the M62. One of our favourite spots to head to on a day out from Manchester has to be Marsden, it has canals, valleys and reservoirs – as well as a great food scene.

3. Alton Towers

Who knew one of the UK’s best theme parks is so close to Manchester? Well, we did, obviously. Make the short hour and a half drive and be rewarded with a day trip out to Alton Towers – think adrenaline kicking experiences, speedy rollercoasters as well as family-friendly rides. Be sure to check out for seasonal events too - they have a killer Oktoberfest and Scarefest. Get your Alton Towers tickets here!

4. Blackpool

Everyone knows that Manchester’s lack of beach can be disappointing, but the good news is that Blackpool seaside is just a hop skip and jump away. An hour and 15-minute drive and 1 hour 30-minute train journey from the city centre, Blackpool is the ultimate day trip from Manchester. It’s not all about the beach either, there’s plenty to do in Blackpool – from a hyper-real approach at history with Blackpool Tower Dungeon tickets to a classy afternoon with Blackpool Tower Ballroom tickets and a thrilling day with Blackpool Pleasure Beach tickets – you'll have loads to do.

Looking for more stuff to get up to in Lancashire? Check out these top 15 unusual things to do in Blackpool.

5. Southport

Another beachy day out from Manchester, Southport is a peaceful escape from busy city life. The sandy beaches of Southport are simply vast and make for the perfect summer beach day. But even if you’re visiting during slightly chillier months, the views at these beaches are unmissable. For a classic Northern day out, head out onto the Southport Pier – a Grade II listed pier, no less – and look out North at Blackpool or South towards the sandy beaches of Formby. Oh, and it’s the second longest pier in the country, we couldn’t forget to mention that.

If beaches just happen to be your thing, we reckon you should check out our 12 favourite beaches in North West England – they won’t fail to impress.

6. Chester

A stunning historic city filled with tales of a Roman past; Chester is a great place to take a day trip from Manchester. Explore the cutesy town centre (especially The Rows – a second row of shops accessible by stairs and protected from any crappy weather) and check out the largest Roman Amphitheatre in Britain.

Looking for more to do in Cheshire on a drizzly day? Check out these 18 things to do in Chester when it’s raining.

7. Liverpool

A city located an hour away from Manchester, Liverpool is absolutely stacked with musical history – get your Beatles Museum tickets along with many other famous spots (think Penny Lane, Strawberry Field and more). Don’t be fooled though, there’s loads of other gems to visit in the city. From the independent restaurants of Bold Street to exploring Sefton Park and visiting the stunning Palm House, there’s a tonne on offer.

P.S This is one of the best-connected day trips from Manchester – it can take as little as 45-minutes by train to travel between these two awesome cities.

8. Knowsley Safari Park

Located a little out from Liverpool, Knowsley Safari Park is the perfect day out for animal lovers and budding David Attenborough's. Explore the 5-mile safari drive past animals from across the globe – think White Rhinos and African Lions – which also happens to be the longest safari drive in the UK. Oh, and there’s no need to worry if you arrived by public transport either – you can explore Knowsley Safari Park by foot and have an experience that’s just as exciting. Think woodland trails and getting up close and personal with the Tiger enclosures.

Check out more Safari Parks and Zoos here.

9. Buxton

This cutesy spa town is tucked into the stunning Peak District but makes for better day trips from Manchester for those who prefer to keep it low-key. Ditch the long hikes for mooching around the town centre and relaxing in one of the iconic spas. And if you’re looking for something event more wholesome to do, check out the Buxton Markets - held on Tuesdays and Saturdays throughout the year, you can explore the food, clothes and gifts on sale from 9am-4pm. Don't miss the minature railway in Pavillion Gardens - it's only £2 for 2 trips round the park and totally worth it! The aformatentioned Pavillion in Pavillion Gardens is also a great spot for food and to buy local produce, gifts & art.

10. Jodrell Bank

Do you know anyone who’s really into space and all things science? Well, they’ll absolutely love a visit to Jodrell Bank. Less than an hour’s drive from the city centre, this day trip from Manchester will have you back in your comfies by 4pm. Explore the indoor exhibitions including the permanent display about the history of Jodrell Bank in the First Light Pavillion. Oh, and for you lot who really love knowing about the nitty-gritties of the universe, check out the Clockwork Orrery (a working model of the Solar System).

11. Delamere Forest

The perfect forest for heading out on a weekend exploration, there's absolutely loads to do at Delamere Forest. If you reckon the usual forest trip out from Manchester isn’t quite adventurous enough for you, be sure to stop by Go Ape Delamere – explore the treetops on one of their courses (each appropriate for different age groups) or see the forest from a different angle on their Forest Segway Experience – perfect for anyone who’s not so keen on heights.

12. York

This city is simply adorable – it's small yet mighty and super historic, what’s not to like? And if you get easily bored of wandering around new cities, we reckon you should get your York Dungeon tickets – it really brings history to life. And you’ll meet York legends like Guy Fawkes (you know the one – he tried to blow up parliament so we light fireworks every November 5th, duh). But other than that icon, you'll also meet a questionable Plague Doctor and super-eager Executioner.

P.S If you’re looking for more to do in the area, you should definitely check out our guide to a weekend away in York.

13. Port Sunlight Village

Now, you’ve probably never heard of this one – and that’s okay – but we’re going to educate you a little. This quaint little spot is a picture-perfect village which was built at the end of the 19th century as a home for workers at the nearby Lever Factory. The entire village was designed by 30 architects (one for each block) and displays the height of housing design from the area. Also in the village is the Lady lever Art Gallery (named after Lord Levers late wife) and contains a world class collection of furniture and art. Port Sunlight is definitely one of our top wholesome days out from Manchester.

14. Lake District

It’s no secret that the Lake District is a stunning spot to visit, but we reckon not enough people head here on days out from Manchester. Being England’s largest National Park and UNESCO World Heritage Site means that there are some pretty spectacular landscapes and strong cultural heritage in the lake District. As well as having some amazing walks on offer, there are a tonne of historical sights to see too – from the Roman remains to the four preserved Stone Circles, there’s much more history than you’d think.

Check out more historical days out here – they make for a stunning day out if you asked us.

15. North Wales

If you’re up for travelling a little further away, why not head to North Wales? Get your fill of mountains, costal views and bara brith (a delicious Welsh fruitcake). Set yourself a challenge and hike up Snowdonia or explore our favourite town about, Portmeirion (just less than 3-hour drive from Manchester). The town was created by Welsh architect, Clough Williams-Ellis, between 1925 –1976 to display how a naturally beautiful site could be developed without spoiling it. Designed like a small Italian village, this town is too adorable to pass up for a day trip from Manchester.

At Days Out, you can book the UK’s best attractions (y’know the proper FOMO inducing ones?) -- we know where’s perfect for you. Find your next adventure.