Manchester
Off the beaten track

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Our most recommended Manchester Off the beaten track

From Manchester: Lake District, Windermere, and Lancaster

1. From Manchester: Lake District, Windermere, and Lancaster

Depart from Manchester in the morning and head straight for the lovely Lake District. Stop first at Bowness, situated on the shores of Lake Windermere. Take some free time to stroll along the lake, opt for a scenic cruise, or wander around the town and admire the sublime views.  Travel around the southern tip of Windermere toward Coniston Water. Take in views of this lake before arriving in the picturesque village of Hawkshead. This is where poet William Wordsworth attended grammar school.  After exploring the quaint village, take the narrow country roads north towards Grasmere, a place Wordsworth described as "the loveliest spot that man hath found." Enjoy spectacular views of Ullswater Lake as you continue on back roads to the southern shore, and then onwards out of the Lake District to Lancaster.  A contrast to the already-visited villages, this town boasts majestic medieval architecture and a spectacular castle that looms over the surrounding district. From Lancaster, head back toward Manchester, arriving in the early evening.

From Manchester: North Wales, Snowdonia, and Chester Tour

2. From Manchester: North Wales, Snowdonia, and Chester Tour

The tour leaves Manchester in the morning and heads straight for the border of Wales. Conwy is the first stop of the day, one of most picture-perfect harbor towns in the world. Here you can see a castle perched by the sea, the world's smallest house, and lots of cute restaurants serving up the best fish and chips. Venture along the winding, scenic roads of the Snowdonia National Park before arriving in Betws-Y-Coed. This quaint town is known as the gateway to Snowdonia and is famous for its alpine trees and cosy cafes. Chester is your next stop. This is one of England’s most historic towns and there is plenty to do here. It's advised to go straight to the ancient cathedral and learn about its remarkable past.

From Manchester: North Wales Sightseeing Adventure Day Trip

3. From Manchester: North Wales Sightseeing Adventure Day Trip

Leave the bustling city of Manchester and travel to Wales on a 90-minute fully-narrated journey arriving at Llandudno. Visit the 12th century hidden chapel of St. Tudno on the Great Orme. Next is the walled town of Conwy, constructed in 1283 with a fabulous 3/4-mile wall circuit. Go inside Conwy Castle, a gritty, dark-stoned fortress built by James of St. George in partnership with the french Richard The Engineer. Head into Snowdonia National Park using carefully-selected, off-the-beaten-track routes with a stop at the “capital of North Wales”: Betws-Y-Coed prayer house in the woods. Finally, take the unique opportunity to experience the Pontcysyllte Canal Aqueduct, built by Sir Thomas Telford in between 1795 and 1805. Prepare to be entertained and informed from your experienced guide and driver.

From Manchester: Yorkshire Sightseeing Day Trip

4. From Manchester: Yorkshire Sightseeing Day Trip

Get a taste of Yorkshire on a full-day minibus tour from Manchester. Explore the county's history and cuisine, admire feats of Victorian engineering, and see the picturesque Hardraw Force waterfall. Make your way to the National Express Coach Station near Manchester Airport Railway Station to meet your driver for the day. Then, board your minibus and travel along roads inaccessible to normal buses throughout the day. After a partially-narrated 2-hour journey, arrive in Haworth to discover the stories of the Bronte Sisters — Anne, Charlotte, and Emily. From there, head to the stunning limestone feature of Malham Cove, formed by melt-water from glaciers over 12,000 years ago. See the impressive Ribblehead Viaduct, a masterpiece of 19th-century engineering, and take a stroll to get a closer look at its 1.5 million bricks. A stop at the must-visit Wensleydale Creamery follows. Sample some of its famous cheeses, made originally by Cistercian Monks. Next, visit the pretty village of Hawes, a honeypot boasting shops, cafes, pubs, and locals sipping John Smith's while munching a Yorkshire Pudding. Once you have explored Hawes, head to Hardraw Force, the UK's highest single-drop waterfall (30 meters/100 feet). Enjoy the splash pool and the breathtaking natural “amphitheater” before beginning your journey back to Manchester. Please note that the Hardraw Force entrance fee is not included in the tour price, but is available as an optional add-on for £2.50.

From Manchester: Derbyshire and Peak District Day Trip

5. From Manchester: Derbyshire and Peak District Day Trip

Departing from Manchester in the morning, set off on a day trip to Derbyshire's Peak District. The first stop is in Castleton, a quaint old town that attracts visitors from all over the world for its quintessential English charm. Wander the streets, enjoy a beautiful view up a valley, and learn about the history at the fascinating information center. Proceed then to Monsal Head, a scenic viewpoint. Hear about the impressive history of the famous viaduct that emerges from green hills to create a unique view. Stop for lunch in Bakewell next. Not only is this town exciting to look at, it's also the birthplace of one of England's most famous desserts, Bakewell pudding.  Continue to Poole's Cavern. Opt for a visit to this enormous limestone cave system that has been described as one of the wonders of the Peak District. This series of caves has welcomed Mary Queen of Scots and countless other visitors, all who have marveled at its many chambers, stalagmites, and stalactites. Travel back to Manchester, arriving in the late afternoon.

From Manchester: Lake District Sightseeing Day Trip

6. From Manchester: Lake District Sightseeing Day Trip

The tour departs from Manchester and drives out of the city into the luscious surrounding countryside. Admire the views as you travel to the UK’s largest national park, the Lake District, stopping at the underground Rheged Discovery Center along the way. During the partially narrated 2-hour journey to the Lake District, the tour also stops by the famous Castlerigg Neolithic Stone Circle where you can feel ancient mythical energy flowing around you. Continue on to Grasmere Village, which boasts an array of beautiful 19th century architecture as well as the grave of well-known poet William Wordsworth. Afterwards, let your nose lead the way to Sarah Nelson’s Gingerbread Shop, where you can taste a selection of traditional sweet treats from the region. After you’ve filled up on gingerbread, it’s time to explore the national park and navigate through the Langdales, also known as “Little Switzerland”. As you wander around the park, marvel at the breathtaking views that sprawl across the landscape, which offers some of the most dramatic and diverse scenery in the UK. Throughout the tour there’s plenty of stops both on and off the bus to make the most of your trip to the Lake District. One of the highlights of the day includes an amble around Blea Tarn before a stop at Ambleside where you can get lost in the maze of twisting streets or shop at a selection of picturesque stores.

From Manchester: 3-Day Tour of Snowdonia, Wales, and Chester

7. From Manchester: 3-Day Tour of Snowdonia, Wales, and Chester

Day 1: Manchester to the border of Wales Depart from Manchester by coach for your first stop of the day, Conwy. Explore the town and its award-winning, picturesque harbor. View a castle perched by the sea, the "world’s smallest house", and traditional restaurants boasting the best fish and chips. Travel to the Llanberis Slate Museum, after you've soaked up the sea air, and learn about the history of the second largest slate mine in the world. Continue to Beddgelert, known as the "loveliest" village in Snowdonia. Admire the beautiful architecture of the stone houses and arched bridges. Travel through the heart of Snowdonia as the evening comes, arriving at your overnight stop in Aberystwyth. Day 2: Aberystwyth to New Quay Set off from Aberystwyth in the morning for the colorful seaside town of New Quay. Enjoy a relaxing stroll along the picturesque beach or grab an ice cream. Visit Laugharne, and stand in awe before this village’s towering castle. Carry on towards Carreg Cennen, an imposing fortress perched on top of a hill, nestled within the Brecon Beacons National Park. Roam across the ramparts and experience stunning views of the surrounding natural landscape. Make your way to Newton House, a palatial building that boasts rich gardens, unique architecture, and famous ghost stories, before returning to Aberystwyth later on that evening. Day 3: Harlech Castle and Chester Watch Snowdonia’s mountains fly by as you make your way to Harlech Castle, one of the most popular castles to see in the whole of the UK. Take the chance to witness the sea views and learn about its war-torn history. Stop for lunch in the little village of Betws-Y-Coed before journeying to one of England’s most historic towns, Chester. Head to the cathedral, rebuilt in the Gothic style from 1250 onward. Arrive back in Manchester in the early evening.

Lake District: 3-Day Small Group Tour from Manchester

8. Lake District: 3-Day Small Group Tour from Manchester

Day 1: Collect your train ticket at the station, travel from Manchester to Penrith, and meet your tour guide on arrival. The tour begins by entering the Lake District National Park and travels along the northern shores of Ullswater. This lake is often described as England’s most beautiful lake, and it is here you get the chance to take a forest walk and see the mighty Aira Force waterfall. You then travel towards Keswick, stopping outside the town to visit the mysterious Castlerigg standing stones, thought to have been built over 5,000 years ago and once a lively hub of ancient pagan rituals. You have a short journey into the lively market town of Keswick where you are dropped off at your accommodation and free to explore the charming town. During July/early August this tour stays in Windermere. Day 2: After breakfast, you take in views of Ullswater Lake as you head along country roads to its southern shores. You continue further south and travel over the narrow and winding Kirkstone Pass towards the lovely Lake Windermere. Here you have the option to take a leisurely cruise on the Lake or eat lunch while enjoying sublime views of the surrounding scenery. After lunch, you travel around the southern tip of Windermere and on towards Coniston Water. Your next stop is the picturesque conservation village of Hawkshead, where the poet William Wordsworth attended Grammar School. After exploring the cozy village, you take the narrow country lanes north towards Grasmere, which Wordsworth described as the loveliest spot that man hath found. There is free time to enjoy the peace and tranquillity of the Wordsworth Daffodil Garden by the River Rothy. And there is Sarah Nelson's Gingerbread shop you have to visit to try the best gingerbread in the world. In the late afternoon, you return to Keswick. Day 3: After a leisurely breakfast, you are picked up at your accommodation and head for the Whinlatter Forest Park and over the Whinlatter Pass into the most dramatic landscapes that the Lake District has to offer. Your journey along winding lanes, past the shores of Crummock Water and Buttermere, and towards the Honister Mountain Pass. Stopping amongst the mountains you have the opportunity to visit old slate workings, where a small number of Cumbrians continue to make their living. After refreshments, you continue through the forests of Borrowdale, passing Derwent Water, where there is free time for lunch and shopping. Once you have eaten lunch, you begin your return journey, heading towards Penrith where you join your comfortable train for your journey back to Manchester or Manchester Airport.

3-day Yorkshire Dales and Peak District Tour from Manchester

9. 3-day Yorkshire Dales and Peak District Tour from Manchester

Day 1: Travel to the Peak District. In the late morning, you will arrive in Castleton. This quaint old town attracts travelers from all over the world for its quintessential English charm. Nearby, there are caves, a beautiful view up a valley, and an insightful information center. Venture to the beautiful valley at Monsal Head. There’s an old rail line viaduct that emerges from the green hills. It’s a gorgeous structure with an impressive history. If you’re hungry, then you’re in luck, because you’re stopping for lunch in Bakewell. Not only is this town delicious to look at, but it’s also the home of one of England’s most famous desserts, the Bakewell Pudding. After savoring every last crumb, head over to Chatsworth House. This luxurious stately home is incredible; you can admire the architecture, get lost in a massive maze, or praise precious art. Finally, head off in the early evening to your overnight stop in York. Day 2: Full-day Tour of York Spend your morning in York. Visit a chocolate museum, find out about the Vikings, or just stroll around the ancient walls. Around midday, leave York and head to Goathland. This town was used in the Harry Potter movies and is situated in one of the largest expanses of heather moorland in the UK. Your next stop is Whitby. This is the type of town everyone dreams of retiring in. There’s a beautifully-located, ruined abbey; old stone steps curving around viewpoints; and a lovely little beach to play about on. After exploring all the nooks and crannies of Whitby, travel to Robin Hood’s Bay. They doubt if the real Robin Hood ever came here, but there are still plenty of smugglers tales dotted around this remarkable harbor village. Finally, arrive back in York in the early evening. Day 3: Touring, Lunch, and Returning to Manchester Take the road to Fountains Abbey. This is one of the largest ruined abbeys in England and part of an important UNESCO Heritage site. Then find yourself surrounded by some of England’s most lovely waterfalls at AysgarthEnjoy a delicious lunch of Wensleydale's famous cheese and crackers. After lunch, travel past the epic Ribblehead railway viaduct before having a short snoop around the old castle-topped town of Clitheroe. In the evening, arrive in Manchester.

Manchester: Northern Quarter Street Art Walking Tour

10. Manchester: Northern Quarter Street Art Walking Tour

Embark on a walking tour around Manchester to discover its iconic street art. Wander around the Northern Quarter and discover the bohemian vibe as you follow your local guide. Explore the neighborhood of bars, cafés, and shops. See amazing street art, from large-scale murals to smaller pieces hidden down back streets.  Meet your guide and other fellow street art lovers in the heart of the city. Walk around and see all the best graffiti the city has to offer. Marvel at the city's counterculture with your guide who provides an authentic voice from that scene. Explore the backstreets of the Northern Quarter on the hunt for an arts trail first established in the 1990s. Peel back the many layers of the city's cultural scene and street art murals looking for meaning. Discover Victorian markets repurposed as food halls, artist studios, and public spaces, and learn how to identify important heritage sites amongst the hip cafes and bars. Discover the city like a local — don't just get to grips with the art, but also have an insight into how the city operates, what assets are at risk, what social and economic issues the city faces, and come away with new knowledge and deep understanding of place.

Frequently asked questions about Manchester Off the beaten track

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Other Sightseeing Options in Manchester

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What people are saying about Manchester

Overall rating

5.0 / 5

based on 5 reviews

All in all was a great experience. What I really like the most was we set our own pace touring the three places we were given set time to come and reconvene which is great not everyone will have the same places to go.

Beautiful places covered. Scenary awesome. Windermere cruise (optional) was totally worth. Itinerary planned very well. Lovely spots as picure-stops. Unfortunately Lancaster had to be dropped

Good itinerary. Good bits of interesting information from tour guide/ driver. Enthusiastic & well-informed tour guide keeping environment lively.

Great tour! Our guide Shelly was competent, fun and an excellent driver! I can only recommend this tour!

It was totally worth every penny! we enjoyed to the fullest.