Activities & Excursions

If you are looking for history, culture, shopping, theatre, entertainment or the great outdoors, whether you have a few days or just an afternoon, Manchester has it all.

Visit Manchester would be delighted to offer itinerary suggestions for partner programmes, delegate free-time and any pre- and post conference tours. Options range from leisurely visits to the region's rich spread of stately homes and gardens, to experiencing the vibrancy of the city and town centres. We can also put you in touch with local expert guides and destination management companies which can tailor-make tours and programmes to meet your particular requirements.

On the following pages we have put together some suggestions that will give you a flavour of the options available both in the city of Manchester and the wider Northwest region.

To get up-to-date information about what is happening in Manchester today visit

Option 1:

Spend the morning looking around the different shopping quarters. If high-end, exclusive labels are what you're looking for then head to the tree-lined King Street where you'll find the likes of Vivienne Westwood, Hugo Boss and Armani. Likewise head to Selfridges and Harvey Nichols which grace Exchange Square. For familiar high street favourites, walk along Market Street and into the Arndale Centre for an abundance of high street stores. Alternatively visit Afflecks in the Northern Quarter where you will discover an emporium of eclecticism, a totem of indie commerce. A fabulous place to shop for anything from top hats to tattoos.

Enjoy a relaxing cruise along the historic Manchester Ship Canal to Old Trafford – home to Manchester United Football Club. Here you will experience the thrill of touring the stadium of one of the most popular football teams in the world hosted by one of the stars from the past. From the dug out to the changing room you'll hear stories from Manchester United's humble beginnings in 1878, right through to becoming the world’s most famous and iconic football club.

In the evening take your seats for one  of the hottest shows in town. Manchester enjoys a packed programme of performances all year round. Famous faces, West-End favourites, world class performers, musicians and conductors, all on stage at one of Manchester's many theatres.

Option 2:

In the morning head to the Chill Factore at Trafford Quays Leisure Village and enjoy a real snow experience. Ski, sledge or tube down the indoor ski slopes or take a trip down the thrilling ice slide.

Book a guided walking tour of the city centre. The tour will encompass the contrast of the splendid Victorian architecture with the emergence of modern buildings such as Urbis, as well as learning about the city’s secrets.

End the afternoon with an unforgettable experience on the Manchester Wheel. Each capsule offers a commentary pointing out local landmarks whilst offering spectacular views.

In the evening head to the Northern Quarter, Manchester's bohemian district, home to independent restaurants and bars and the perfect place for a relaxed night out. Try Odd Bar for continental beers, Trof for a relaxed yet quirky atmosphere and Matt & Phred's for live jazz music.


One of the most unique things about Manchester is its links to the rest of England’s northwest and the UK. Within easy reach are breathtaking landscapes, vibrant seafronts and historic towns.

Blackpool and Lancashire

In Blackpool shops and shows, rollercoasters and restaurants, clubs and casinos provide endless entertainment, day and night. Blackpool can also act as the perfect base for exploring the rest of Lancashire with its beautiful countryside and inspirational coastal scenery.

Cheshire and Chester

Step back in time over 2000 years inside Chester’s ancient city walls, roman amphitheatre and splendid Norman Cathedral. Edged by the beautiful river Dee, the city has developed around the Rows, medieval galleries which run through Chester’s half timbered buildings, now filled with fascinating shops. Surrounding Chester, the glorious Cheshire countryside offers spectacular gardens, picturesque villages and distinctive black and white architecture.

Cumbria – the Lake District

Spectacular scenery to inspire, fresh air and open spaces to refresh, peace and quiet to relax. Sixteen great lakes, England’s five highest mountains and almost 3000 kms of footpaths and cycle ways leading to majestic fells, tranquil shores and lakeland villages. This is without question England’s most beautiful corner.


Liverpool is known throughout the world as a city rich in music, art, culture and sport. As Capital of Culture in 2008 this was the city to see and be seen in. the city is famous as the birthplace of legendary band, the Beatles. Why not go on a Beatles inspired tour of the city?

Gateway to the North

As half of Britain's motorways pass through the Manchester region and the city is served by excellent rail connections, getting away from Manchester is very easy, and its northerly situation means that the glories of Scotland, the fascination of medieval cities such as York, as well as the stimulation of Leeds are a short journey away. After less than an hour's drive the visitor can reach the Peak and Lake Districts, aptly designated "areas of outstanding natural beauty". A little further away is Wales with endless coastline and the awe-inspiring Snowdonia National Park. The rolling and deserted north York moors and Northumbria’s magnificent beaches and castles are a couple of hours away.