Manchester Activities

  • A historic and world famous music scene, and vibrant nightlife
  • Voted best city to live in the UK, and 51st in the world
  • Beautiful parks, gardens, forests and lakes – Pride and Prejudice was filmed here
  • Historic home of football
  • An LGBT destination, with UK’s only ‘Gay Village’ in Canal Street

Located in the northwest of England, Manchester, born out of the ashes and dust of the industrial revolution, is now a modern and vibrant metropolis. The city is extremely accessible, with the second largest airport in the UK and excellent rail and road links. This makes it ideal for an activities base, with a wide range of fantastic day trips within easy reach – there are nine medieval castle sites in the Greater Manchester area to explore, located amongst stunning natural scenery, with ravines and exciting walks for adventurous families and ramblers to tackle. Younger families might enjoy a trip to the Heaton Park Farm and Animal Centre, or one of the city’s many big parks and gardens, perfect for all kinds of outdoor activities.

This makes it ideal for an activities base, with a wide range of fantastic day trips within easy reach – there are nine medieval castle sites in the Greater Manchester area to explore, located amongst stunning natural scenery, with ravines and exciting walks for adventurous families and ramblers to tackle. Younger families might enjoy a trip to the Heaton Park Farm and Animal Centre, or one of the city’s many big parks and gardens, perfect for all kinds of outdoor activities.

Manchester is rich in culture, with a large number of world-renowned museums, galleries and libraries, exhibiting everything from old book collections, to football memorabilia, and ancient Egyptian artifacts. You will be spoilt for choice when it comes to bars, restaurants, and nightclubs – the Mancunians know how to party.

Sport is obviously a big deal in here, as the city is home to two of the most famous football clubs in Europe, if not the world. Old Trafford is a must-visit site for any football fans, and is a great option for stag parties. It also boasts Britain’s largest indoor skiing facilities, as well as a large number of watersports centres, perfect for adrenaline junkies.

All providers in and near Manchester Activities

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Euro Tactical Ltd
Unit 28 Cariocca Business Park Sawley Road
Manchester, Lancashire
DISTANCE: 1.44 Miles
ACTIVITIES: Shooting Range...
Manchester Climbing Centre
St Benedicts Church Bennett Street
Manchester, Lancashire
DISTANCE: 1.75 Miles
ACTIVITIES: Bouldering, Climbing, Indoor Climbing...
The National Cycling Centre
Stuart Street
Manchester, Lancashire
DISTANCE: 2.03 Miles
ACTIVITIES: Track Cycling, Mountain Biking, Road Cycling...
Debdale Outdoor Centre
1073 Hyde
Manchester, Lancashire
DISTANCE: 3.64 Miles
ACTIVITIES: Abseiling, Canoeing, Climbing, Climbing Wall, Dinghy Sailing, Hiking, Kayaking, Navigation Courses,...
The Water Adventure Centre
Maddison Road Droylsden
Manchester, Lancashire
DISTANCE: 3.73 Miles
ACTIVITIES: Kayaking...
Salford Watersports Centre
Civic Centre Chorley Road
Salford, Lancashire
DISTANCE: 4.50 Miles
ACTIVITIES: Abseiling, Canoeing, Dinghy Sailing, Indoor Climbing, Kayaking, Orienteering, Powerboating,...
Chill Factore
Trafford Way Trafford Quays Leisure Village
Manchester
DISTANCE: 4.96 Miles
ACTIVITIES: Skiing, Snowboarding...
Airkix Manchester
Airkix 9 Trafford Way Trafford Park
Manchester, Lancashire
DISTANCE: 4.96 Miles
ACTIVITIES: Indoor Skydiving...
Asylum Paintball
Welkin Mill Welkin Road Bredbury
Stockport, Cheshire
DISTANCE: 6.14 Miles
ACTIVITIES: Paintball...
Awesome Walls Stockport
The Engine House Pear Mill
Stockport, Cheshire
DISTANCE: 6.43 Miles
ACTIVITIES: Bouldering, Indoor Climbing...
Mainair Fying School
51 Cherry
Sale, Cheshire
DISTANCE: 6.80 Miles
ACTIVITIES: Flying Lesson...
Hazel Grove Sub Aqua Club
Bramhall Park Road Bramhall
Stockport, Cheshire
DISTANCE: 7.95 Miles
ACTIVITIES: Diving...
Burrs Activity Centre Limited
Woodhill Road
Bury, Lancashire
DISTANCE: 9.32 Miles
ACTIVITIES: Abseiling, Archery, Canoeing, Climbing, High Ropes Courses, Kayaking, Orienteering, Raft Building...
Drive Supercars
50 Springfield Park Twyford
Reading, Berkshire
DISTANCE: 10.38 Miles
ACTIVITIES: Supercar Driving...
Outdoor Activities Service
BURY
Bury, Lancashire
DISTANCE: 10.67 Miles
ACTIVITIES: Abseiling, Archery, Canoeing, Caving, Climbing, Climbing Wall, Kayaking, Mountain Biking,...

History

Manchester was first settled by the Romans, who named the place Mamucium (“Place of the Breastlike Hill”).

Since 1760, growth galloped with the burst of the Industrial Revolution. The city was nicknamed “Cottonopolis” or “Warehouse City” in the Victorian era. The world’s first modern railway, connecting Liverpool and Manchester, was opened in 1830.

Charles Halle founded the oldest symphony orchestra in 1857 and the 4th oldest in the world.

The world’s first professional football league started here in 1888 at the Royal Hotel and is now home to Manchester United and Manchester City football teams.

The Manchester Shipping Canal which opened in 1894 is the largest in the world and has made the city an important port despite the fact that it is almost 40 km away from the sea.

Frederick Royce produced in Manchester the first Rolls Royce car in 1904.

Things to See

Castles

Manchester’s Greater area is home to several medieval castles – each with its own peculiar character and an excellent sight for visitors to explore.

The Buckton Castle near Carrbrook (built in 1180) offers some spectacular views of Manchester’s Greater area.

Ullerwood Castle in Ringway is 12th century shell keep surrounded by a beautiful bocage.

Almost nothing has survived from Dunham and Watch Hill Castles, but the sites are great for families that love explorations and strolls in ravines.

Bury Castle’s remains drew attention in 1973 when amateur archaeologists uncovered stonework underneath a car park. If you’d love to discover more of this moated manor house, don’t forget to plan a visit.

Parks & Stadiums

Manchester’s “Heaton Park Farm & Animal Centre” is a family favorite: kids can pet all kinds of farm animals, enjoy a donkey ride, or have fun in the park’s playgrounds. There is also a lake for boating and a tram museum.

Queen’s Park has an outdoor gym, tennis courts and an outdoor theatre and a wonderful lake for boating.

“Wythenshaw Community Farm” in Queen’s park opens its gates for free for families and kids that love sports and farm animals. There are woodlands for walking, a running track, tennis courts and indoor botanical gardens.

Prestwick Forest Park is just the place for a romantic stroll or for adventurous hiking and cycling, while Fletcher Moss & Parsonage Gardens are ideal for visitors who seek a few moments of relaxation.

Old Trafford, the legendary home stadium of Manchester United and the “City of Manchester Stadium”, home to Manchester City FC, are definitely worth the visit.

Sporting Activities

Manchester’s Chill Factore houses UK’s longest indoor real snow slope (180 metres) – a true magnet for adrenaline addicts who love skiing and snowboarding – making it an easily accessible, fun and popular leisure destination for absolutely everyone. A 12m climbing wall adds to the whole experience.

Several water – sport venues offer canoeing, kayaking, windsurfing, wakeboarding, sailing, rowing, paddle – boating and more. The “Salford Watersports Centre” is a great option for water-sport addicts, while those who prefer steady ground can practice climbing on the centre’s indoor climbing wall.

Swim lovers can also bring their family and friends to the “Aquatics Centre”: a 50 metres pool, gym, health spa and kid’s play area with water – slide.

The Manchester Racecourse will offer gamblers some genuine thrill.

Watching up close a fierce battle between Manchester United and Manchester City is an unforgettable experience.

Museums

Manchester’s Museum of Science & Industry is an excellent spot for those who love learning.

Book lovers and ardent Christians must visit the “John Rylands” Library, which has some of the rarest collections in the world, including

  • medieval illuminated manuscripts
  • a Gutenberg Bible,
  • the greatest collection of the famous editions of the Aldine Press
  • and the Rylands Papyrus 52, who is considered the earliest extant New Testament text.

Soccer fans will love the National Football Museum, the world’s biggest and best football museum. Admission is free.

Manchester Museum boasts 16,000 Egyptian artifacts and focuses on archaeology, anthropology and natural history, while history buffs can also visit The People’s History Museum and the Imperial War Museum.

Day Trips from Manchester

Manchester boasts some of the best road and rail links in Britain, making it easy to reach several interesting places.

Edale

Just 45 minutes away by train, Edale is a ramblers’ favorite, because of its national parks and the Pennine Way. Climb Kinder Scout or Mam Tor or walk to the village of Castleton, under the imposing scenery of the famous Peveril Castle.

Lyme Park

A 30 minute journey from Piccadilly Station, Lyme Park is famous as the scenery of the 1995 adaptation of ‘Pride and Prejudice’. A great family spot, the estate is also home to red and fallow deer who wander around, a children’s play area and several paths to explore.

Tatton Park

Famous for its numerous events, like the RHS Flower Show, Tatton Park has more than 50 acres of landscaped gardens. Children enjoy the local “Home Farm”, the adventure play area and a woodland play trail.

Todmorden

For country buffs, Todmorden is just ideal: surrounded by valleys and moorland is great for strolls and exploration, but its greatest pride is the beach – the highest in Britain, a hidden charm that doesn’t make it easy for visitors who have the courage and stamina to trek up its steep hill.

Hollingworth Lake

A popular water-sports centre, excellent for

  • rowing,
  • sailing,
  • paddling,
  • windsurfing,
  • and powerboating,

while those preferring the land can enjoy climbing and archery; cafés, restaurants and pubs fill in the gaps.

Salford

Well-known for its university, Salford has many things to see, like Ordsall Hall (a 15th-century manor house), the Bridgewater Canal and the “Lowry Centre”, an art gallery best-known for its collection of many original works of L. S. Lowry.

Festivals

Manchester’s cultural calendar is full of all kinds of festivals throughout the year, but a few memorable mentions are in order.

The Manchester International Festival – once every two years – hosts performances by top artists in world premiers for a period of 21 days.

Manchester’s Jazz Festival is held annually each July and lasts 10 days, featuring over 500 musicians and 80 events in 7-10 venues

Nightlife

Choices in Manchester nightlife are simply inexhaustible. Cocktail bars, pubs, gin parlours, nightclubs, music venues, bowling alleys and much more.

Manchester is also famous for the so called “Gay Village” in Canal Street, a pedestrianized area, lined with gay bars and restaurants, attracting visitors from all over the world.

Culture vultures have plenty of options too, from dancing halls, to operas and theatres.

Summary

Manchester is easy to get to and is just an ideal place to visit, either alone, with friends or with your family. Countless options out there for both party animals, sport enthusiasts and culture buffs, who will surely discover that this vast and modern metropolis requires a lot more than a day trip to explore.