Family day trips from ManchesterTuesday 17 July 2018 by Kayleigh Little Think you've done all there is to do and seen all there is to see in Manchester? Why not explore the surrounding areas and visit one of these destinations, each is less than an hour from the vibrant city...
Frequently considered the UK’s second city, Manchester is well-known for its buzzing hive of activity day and night which captivates thousands of tourists every week. It’s easy to think you’ve done all there is to do and seen all there is to see. So why not escape Manchester for the day and visit one of these lovely destinations, less than an hour’s drive from the hustle and bustle of Mancunian life.
Photo credit: @juanmasworld
We know what you’re thinking - but this famous seaside resort, which stretches over an impressive seven miles, really is the UK’s answer to Benidorm. No matter what age you are, Blackpool has certainly got something for everyone. If you’re after sun, sea and squashed chips you could take a stroll down Central Pier, which is located in the heart of the captivating coastline. Or perhaps you’re a thrill-seeking daredevil? Then you need to visit the Pleasure Beach amusement park, home to the UK’s tallest roller-coaster, Pepsi Max Big One. Blackpool really does have it all – from donkey rides along the breezy sea front to selfie opportunities with a Jeremy Kyle waxwork inside Madame Tussauds. Endless roads of tea rooms, arcades and souvenir shops decorate the streets which have been left in need of renovation after a battering from the sea breeze - but this just adds to Blackpool’s charm… Oh we definitely do like to be beside the seaside!
Photo credit: @sophlouwhite
Castleton, Hope Valley
Sat at the head of Hope Valley in the centre of the Peak District National Park, you’ll find Castleton – a beautiful village famous for its history, caves and awe-inspiring man-made architecture. Certainly a far cry from Blackpool, Castleton is home to many interesting sights such as Peveril Castle, one of England’s earliest Norman fortresses, which stands watching over the quaint countryside. Dating back to 1086, the castle allows visitors to gain a pleasant panoramic view of the Peak District before being able to choose from a range of souvenirs inside the onsite gift shop. Alternatively, you could visit Blue John Cavern, home to a series of majestic natural caverns thought to be the finest in the UK. Tours of the caverns run every 20 minutes and cost £12 per adult and £6 per child – this is your opportunity to discover how Blue John Stone is mined then transformed into beautiful pieces of jewellery and ornaments. If you’re more the adventurous type, why not try your hand at various mountain activities such as climbing, navigation, hill-walking and scrambling? You can book these activities through Peak Mountaineering Day Tours, but be warned – they definitely aren’t for the faint hearted!
Photo credit: @yorkshirewill
Situated about an hour north from the bustling city of Manchester is Hebden Bridge, a slightly quieter market town renowned for its artistic community and fascinating culture. It’s no surprise that buskers decorate the streets and local venues, as the city is the home of everyone’s favourite musician - Ed Sheeran. Spend your day exploring independent cafes, restaurants and shops; or if you’d prefer the chance to take in your surroundings, you could go for a stroll along the winding canal and river.
Photo credit: @churchcrawling
Take a step back in time and add a trip to Heptonstall onto your agenda. Often referred to as ‘one of West Yorkshire’s best kept secrets’, the beautifully preserved village is only ten minutes away (up a steep cobbled path) from Hebden Bridge. Very little has changed here over the past 200 years, and even a Methodist Church continues to run in the centre of the village which attracts visitors from surprisingly far afield. One of the most fascinating sights in the whole of the UK also lies in Heptonstall, and that is the churchyard which supposedly holds the remains of, possibly more than, 100,000 people. Interesting, and somewhat eerie, the village almost looks like it’s just been abandoned giving you a real blast into the past.
Photo credit: @kakbina
Knowsley Safari Park
Travel an hour west from Manchester and discover Knowsley Safari Park, home to a range of exciting exotic animals such as lions, tigers and err, Bactrian camels – oh my! There’s so much to see and do here, including everyone’s favourite - a hair-raising safari drive through enclosures housing big cats and cheeky primates. But for those who aren’t keen to get up close and personal with the animals, keeper talks also run regularly whereby you can learn about some of the parks most fascinating creatures. Tickets are slightly cheaper if you opt to buy them online instead of on the gate, just make sure you give yourself plenty of time to fully explore everything the safari has to offer!