The best day trips from Manchester

No plans for a sunny holiday this bank holiday weekend? No problem! If you live in Manchester you’re perfectly situated to reach new, incredible places to visit in a little over an hour by car. 

To help you fill those days off, here are some of our favourite day trips from Manchester by car. 

 

Chester

One of the oldest towns in England, Chester is one of the best day trips reachable within one hour from Manchester (depending on traffic). 

If you’re planning a day trip to Chester, make sure you do your research before you go, to really make the most of it. Chester (and the wider Cheshire area) has a lively event programme, with food festivals, historic trails for kids, Easter egg hunts, and live music, dotted throughout the year. 

Again – it’s a great mix of things for little ones and adults alike. Go shopping at The Rows – one of the UK’s oldest shop fronts, dine in one of Chester’s award-winning restaurants, take in a bit of history at Tatton Park or visit the Cathedral. 

For the little ones – there’s Gulliver’s World, Chester Zoo, and the nearby Ice Cream Farm which will keep them busy (and tire them out no doubt!). 

 

Buxton

Perhaps one of the most popular days out near Manchester, Buxton is a historic town nestled 1,000 metres above sea level, in nearby Derbyshire. Historically it was a thermal spa town, so there’s plenty of history, and given it’s surrounded by one of the UK’s national parks – the surrounding countryside is always rather picturesque too! 

While you’re there, you’ll discover plenty of quaint independent shops, antique stores, great cafes and restaurants, as well as a grand Victorian Opera House and Poole’s Cavern – a trail of underground caves that are fascinating for all ages.

For little ones, there’s also Go-Ape nearby as well as the Alpaca Experience at Stoop Farm, Paint-A-Pot crafting centre and a soft-play. A good mix of fun for all the family we’d say!

 

Morecambe Beach

There’s an abundance of coastline available within a short drive from Manchester. But for a day out with the kids, Morecambe Beach has enough going on to keep the whole family busy. 

As well as the white sandy beach, which is a major attraction for all who visit, there are also great restaurants and attractions. Soul Bowl is a boutique bowling alley on the Central Promenade in Morecambe and the nearby Abbey Mount Park is a municipal park with crazy golf, trampolines and water jets – an outdoor playground for warmer, sunny days. Morecambe itself is also a great place to cycle, with great cycle lanes, routes and the lengthy promenade that has plenty of space.

It’s a prime example of a classic seaside town which is reminiscent of the great British staycation so be sure to indulge in a good old takeaway fish and chips (and maybe even an ice cream cone) whilst you’re there!

We’ve listed our top three but there really are so many great day trips from Manchester by car. We say, get out your map and explore – you’ll be surprised just where you can reach within a little over an hour!

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