Best Daytrips from Manchester

Many guests on our food tours ask us about the best daytrips from Manchester. We’re very lucky with our central location and good transport links. Here’s 3 suggestions for daytrips from Manchester.

The Roman City of Chester

Chester, a city brimming with history dating back to Roman times ia about an hours drive from Manchester.
Start with a visit to the ancient city walls, which are the most complete Roman and medieval city walls in Britain. Enjoy a leisurely walk along the walls, offering fantastic views of the city and the River Dee.
The Chester Roman Amphitheatre is the largest of its kind in Britain. You can easily envision gladiatorial contests and Roman entertainment taking place here. (word of warning, you might get caught up in one of the many school trips that we all did as kids here)
Nearby, visit the Chester Cathedral, a stunning example of medieval architecture with beautiful gardens and a tranquil cloister.
After lunch, take a relaxing stroll along the River Dee. You might even opt for a scenic boat cruise to see more of Chester’s picturesque riverside. Then, explore Grosvenor Park, a beautifully landscaped Victorian park perfect for a leisurely walk or a quiet moment amidst nature.
If your visit coincides with a race evening in the summer, end your day at Chester Racecourse, the oldest racecourse still in operation in the world.

The Scenic Beauty of the Peak District

The Peak District National Park, known for its stunning landscapes and outdoor activities, is just a short journey from Manchester.
Enjoy a leisurly hike to one of the area’s iconic viewpoints, such as Mam Tor or Kinder Scout. These trails offer breathtaking views of rolling hills, rugged moorlands, and picturesque valleys.

After a morning of hiking, head to the charming market town of Bakewell, famous for its Bakewell Pudding. Wander through its quaint streets, visit the local shops, and enjoy a hearty lunch at one of the traditional pubs or cafes. Don’t forget to sample the town’s namesake dessert!

Chatsworth House
Spend your afternoon exploring Chatsworth House, one of England’s most magnificent stately homes. Tour the opulent interiors, admire the extensive art collection, and wander through the beautiful gardens and parkland. Chatsworth’s grandeur and history make it a highlight of any trip to the Peak District

The Vibrant City of Liverpool

A 40 minute journey is all you need to explore another North West city in Liverpool.

Albert Dock and Maritime Heritage
The historic Albert Dock, a UNESCO World Heritage site. Visit the Merseyside Maritime Museum to learn about the city’s maritime history, including its role in the transatlantic slave trade and the story of the Titanic.

The Beatles Story
Next, dive into Liverpool’s musical heritage at The Beatles Story museum. This engaging exhibit takes you on a journey through the lives and careers of the Fab Four.

Liverpool Cathedrals
In the afternoon, visit Liverpool Cathedral, the largest cathedral in Britain. Its impressive Gothic architecture and stunning views from the tower are not to be missed. .You can read more about Liverpool’s two cathedrals in our Liverpool Bites blog here;

Food Tour
Join one of our small group food tours of Liverpool. Led by a local guide you’ll be shown some of the city’s best independent food traders. We don’t cncentrate on the tourist areas. Instead we focus on places locals love. Full of history, and cool stories about the city. You can book your places here;

Manchester’s central location makes it an excellent starting point for day trips that showcase the best of Northern England. From the historical charm of Chester to the natural beauty of the Peak District and the vibrant culture of Liverpool, each destination offers a unique and memorable experience. And all within an hours drive from the city centre.

A scenic view of the Peak District

What to do in Manchester this summer.

After whar seems like the longest of winters, summer is finally here in Manchester.
We aren’t famed for our great weather but when we do get the sunshine theres no better city in the world to spend time in.
From cricket matches at Old Trafford to music festivals in Heaton Park, the city has a real excitment and buzz to it when the sun comes out.
Whether you’re a local or a visitor, there’s an abundance of activities and attractions to keep you entertained under the warm British sun. Here’s your ultimate guide to making the most of Manchester in the summer.

Explore the Northern Quarter

Begin your Manchester summer adventure in the Northern Quarter, the city’s hipster haven. This area is renowned for its bohemian atmosphere, independent shops, quirky cafes, and vibrant street art. Wander around the narrow streets and alleys to discover hidden gems like vintage boutiques, record stores, and art galleries. Don’t miss Afflecks, espoecially our friends at Gingers comfort emporium for some of the best ice cream on the planet. The perfect way to cool off.
A good spot to sit and watch the world go by is Stevenson square where as soon as the sun comes out, so do the chairs and tables of the surrounding bars. Get their early to bag your seats.

Visit Manchester’s Parks and Green Spaces

Manchester boasts numerous parks and green spaces perfect for a summer day out. Heaton Park, one of the largest municipal parks in Europe, offers beautiful gardens, a boating lake, an animal center, and historic buildings like Heaton Hall. For a more central location, head to Whitworth Park and the adjacent Whitworth Art Gallery, where you can enjoy contemporary art exhibitions amidst serene surroundings.

Enjoy the Canal Cruises

Experience Manchester from a different perspective by taking a canal cruise. The city’s waterways are a testament to its industrial past, and a leisurely boat trip along the Rochdale Canal or Bridgewater Canal offers a relaxing way to see the sights. Companies like Manchester River Cruises provide guided tours that highlight the city’s history and landmarks, making for an informative and scenic journey.

Attend a Festival

Summer in Manchester means festival season. The city hosts a variety of events celebrating music, food, culture, and more. For music lovers, Parklife Festival at Heaton Park features top international acts across multiple genres. New Order are playing Wythenshawe park this August in what promises to be one of the biggest nights in the city this year. There’s the sounds of the city festival at Castlefield bowl and a variety of smaller more intimate events taking place across the city throughout the summer.

Discover the History and Culture

It will rain at some point, so when it does dive into Manchester’s rich history by visiting its renowned museums and galleries. The Museum of Science and Industry (MSI) is a must-see, offering interactive exhibits that explore the city’s role in the Industrial Revolution. The People’s History Museum provides insights into Britain’s social history, focusing on the labor movement and democracy. Art enthusiasts will appreciate the Manchester Art Gallery, home to an impressive collection of British and European art.

Picnic at Fletcher Moss Botanical Garden

For a tranquil retreat, Fletcher Moss Botanical Garden is the perfect spot. Located in Didsbury, this botanical garden features beautifully landscaped gardens, rockeries, and lush greenery. Pack a picnic and enjoy a peaceful afternoon amidst the natural beauty. The gardens are also home to a variety of wildlife, making it a great place for nature lovers.

Indulge in Manchester’s Culinary Scene

Manchester’s food scene is as diverse as its population. Summer is an excellent time to explore the city’s outdoor dining options. Cutting room square in Ancoats is always a popular spot to grab a bite and sit in the sun. Rudy’s pizza and seven brothers brewery are two of our favourite spots. There’s also the street food markets like GRUB, where you can sample delicious dishes from independent vendors while enjoying live music and entertainment.

Experience Manchester’s Nightlife

As the sun sets, Manchester’s nightlife comes alive. The city offers a wide range of options, from trendy bars in Spinningfields to traditional pubs in the city center. Head to The Oast House for a drink in their outdoor courtyard, or visit Freight Island for one of their many themed nights. For a more laid-back evening, enjoy a cocktail at one of the rooftop bars like 20 Stories, which offers stunning views of the city skyline.

Catch a Cricket Game

Visit the other Old Trafford and catch Lancashire in action in a twenty 20 match. If you’re lucky you might be able to get your hands on a ticket for an England international game taking part throughout the summer. If you’ve never been to a cricket game before Old Trafford is one of the best grounds to visit as there’s a myriad of other activites going on as well as some great local food and drink vendors on site.

Day Trips and Excursions

Finally, take advantage of Manchester’s excellent transport links to explore the surrounding areas. The picturesque Peak District National Park is just a short train ride away and offers stunning landscapes, hiking trails, and charming villages. Alternatively, visit the historic town of Chester or the seaside resort of Blackpool for a change of scenery.

    From its rich cultural heritage to its dynamic contemporary scene, Manchester offers a plethora of activities and attractions to enjoy during the summer. Whether you’re exploring its historic sites, indulging in its culinary delights, or simply soaking up the sun in one of its beautiful parks, Manchester is a city that promises a memorable summer experience.

    Our food tours are a great way to explore the city and visit some of our favourite eating places along the way. We’re very busy in the sumer months so reserve your places as soon as you can by visiting

    A photo of Stevenson square in the summertime.

    Coming this month: The Stockport Food Tour

    We are delighted to announce that we are launching The Stockport food tour later this month.

    Why Stockport?

    For those of you not yet in the know, Stockport has been enjoying somewhat of a rennaisance in the past few years. No longer is it just a stop through on the train to Manchester.
    Stockport has been heralded as the “Berlin of the North,” with a booming art scene and independent food and drink vendors popping up all over town.
    Stockport foodie Fridays are already a fixture in most Mancunian food lovers diaries anyway. Every last Friday of the month the market area becomes a hive of food and drink activity. Local traders set up shop and you can try delicious bites from vendors such as Oh My Glaze or I knead Pizza.

    What to expect on Stockport’s first food tour.

    Over the past few months we have had the arduous but very enjoyable task of walking the town’s streets, putting together the tour. We’ve met bakers, chefs, distillers and more. Time and time again we’ve been blown away by the food and drink on offer and also the people producing it all.
    We’re all about supporting local businesses and Stockport is bursting at the seams with some of the best in the North West.
    Our food tours are running every Friday and Saturday and we’re going to keep them to small groups of a dozen or less.
    Over 3 hours we’ll explore the cobbled streets of Stockport, stopping in at 6 locally run businesses and enjoying some of the town’s most loved dishes.
    From home cooked South American flavours to locally inspired pizzas and even the occasional adult beverage included.
    Our aim is to showcase the people behind the dishes and to give you a unique look at Stockport.
    Each tour is led by a friendly local and there’s plenty of food and drink included for a filling lunch. We’ll tell some fun stories along the way and hopefully introduce you to some new favourites to tell your mates about.

    How to reserve your spot

    So if you’re looking to try somehwere different for a day out or you’d like us to lead you to some of Stockport’s finest producers then look no further.
    To book your spots head to

    Gin tasting on our Stockport food tour

    Supporting Manchester’s Restaurant Industry

    Supporting Manchester’s restaurant industry is one of our prime motivations at Manchester Bites. There’s never been a more critical time for the industry than that at present. Businesses have clung on by their finger nails through covid and then the cost of living crisis.
    The start of 2024 has seen the closure of more restaurants in our city and it’s not just the smaller operations. Here we take a look at what’s been happening and perhaps what we can do to help.

    A Worrying Start to 2024

    Manchester has been known for many things in it’s history. Birthplace of industry and home to some of the best music bands and sports teams in the country. More recently the city has gained a reputation as having some of the best dining outside of London. From uber trendy sushi joints to the Instagramable names of The Ivy and Sexy Fish, no longer is Manchester a backwater for the discernible diner.

    We are blessed with some serious local talent. Simon Martin at our very own Michelin recognised Mana, Michael Clay just down the road at Elnecot and now Tom Barnes with his exciting opening of Skof mean that Manchester is a force to be reckoned with on the dining scene of the UK. Add to this the countless smaller businesses and locally run food heroes and we’re really lucky to have such a scene.

    Unfortunately, the start of 2024 has seen a very worrying pattern not emerge but grow. Restaurant closures. This has been happening since Covid but perhaps now it seems more worrying with big names and long-term businesses shutting up shop.

    We’re not just talking about the smaller operations. Just last month the doors closed on a south Manchester institution Greens in Didsbury. Helmed by TV chef Simon Rimmer, the restaurant has been a go to in the city’s vegetarian community for 33 years and introduced unique flavours to herbivores and carnivores alike. On the closure of his restaurant Rimmer said

    “Our landlords have increased our rent by on the region of 35%. The cost of raw materials, the cost of heat, light and power, employing people and generous food costs had meant that the business unfortunately has become unviable”

    Just this week we have lost a restaurant and deli that was well loved by guests on our Canals to Canapes food tour. Lily’s deli in Ancoats (pictured) closed it’s doors for good on 13th January. Whilst it’s original branch in Ashton and the Chorlton branch are still open, we will miss the staff and of course the food at this little gem of a place. Another locally run business that just couldn’t justify remaining open.

    Why is This Happening ?

    The closure of restaurants in Manchester is also reflective of evolving consumer behaviors, with a growing preference for food delivery and takeout services. The convenience of ordering from the comfort of home, has prompted a shift in how some people choose to enjoy their meals. As a result, many restaurants, especially smaller establishments without robust delivery infrastructure, have struggled to adapt to this changing landscape.

    Additionally, the rise of virtual kitchens and ghost kitchens has added a new dimension to the competition, further squeezing traditional dine-in restaurants. These establishments, operating without a physical storefront, can often offer lower prices and a more streamlined operation, posing a formidable challenge to brick-and-mortar restaurants in Manchester.

    Rising Rents and Property Prices:

    Manchester’s urban landscape has been undergoing a transformation in recent years, with gentrification driving up property prices and rents. This has placed an additional burden on restaurant owners, especially those located in popular and trendy neighborhoods. As property values soar, many restaurants are faced with the difficult decision of whether to absorb the increased costs or pass them on to consumers in the form of higher menu prices.

    For smaller, independently owned restaurants, the rising cost of real estate can be particularly detrimental. The closure of such establishments not only diminishes the city’s culinary diversity but also erodes the unique character that these smaller ventures bring to Manchester’s neighborhoods.

    Business rates, VAT, food costs, wages. Everything is up. Last year in a local news article Sud pasta (now Rigotonis) explained what the costs were involved in their “house pasta”dish. The dish cost £16.50 and after all costs the restaurant made 50p. Think about that for a moment. If you had to get up every morning and work hard to keep your standards high, your reputation in tact and your staff all employed. Wouldn’t you want more than 50p per dish for your efforts?

    Community Impact

    Beyond the economic implications, the closure of restaurants in Manchester has a profound impact on the community. These establishments serve as social hubs, contributing to the city’s identity and fostering a sense of local pride. The loss of these gathering spaces creates not only a void in the culinary landscape but also a gap in the social fabric of the city.

    We pride ourselves on being a friendly city. This is so apparent with the warm welcomes we receive on a daily basis when taking our food tours into businesses such as The Butcher’s Quarter on Tib street or This n That café. We feel almost like family and the community spirit that is created amongst the restaurant industry seaps into every customer.

    When restaurants close we don’t just loose a place to eat we loose familiar faces, friendly smiles and a genuine pillar of the communities. We lose a place to come together, celebrate special occasions, or simply enjoy a meal with loved ones. The closure of these establishments resonates beyond economic statistics, touching the hearts of residents who have forged memories and connections within the walls of their favorite restaurants.

    The worrying surge in restaurant closures in Manchester is a multifaceted issue rooted in economic challenges, changing consumer behaviors, rising costs, and community impact. As the city grapples with these closures, it becomes crucial for stakeholders, including local authorities, business owners, and residents, to collaborate in finding sustainable solutions to revive and support the beleaguered hospitality industry.

    What can we do?

    The resilience of Manchester’s culinary scene lies in the ability to adapt, innovate, and collectively work towards ensuring that the city’s diverse dining experiences continue to thrive. We have amazing people, doing amazing things and getting little if any reward. This won’t continue. We all need to be supporting Manchester’s restaurant industry.

    We can all do a little bit to help this year. Have that lunch catch up you’ve been meaning to have for months, celebrate that milestone, order take aways directly from the restaurant and if possible, go and collect. All small things but if we all do them, we can help.

    Prices will increase but you can be guaranteed that every restaurant owner and manager will be doing their upmost to make sure that service is on top form and that your experience is reflected in those increases. We speak to countelss business owners in the industry and one thing that ties them all together is the reluctance to pass these costs on to the end customer. But needs must and if we’re to keep enjoying Manchester’s food and nightlife economy as we all love to, we need to be aware of this.

    Of course, the main people who really can make a difference here are the government. Ending ridiculous business rates and giving tax breaks to an industry which employs over half a million people directly and millions more indirectly.  The restaurant industry has been battered more than most in the past few years and the help from above is pitiful.

    How many more loved restaurants need to close before our communities are just a generic copy type full of Starbucks, Pizza Express and Nando’s?

    A group of food tour guests visit Lily's in Ancoats. Now sadly closed.

    5 Manchester Christmas Gift Ideas

    It’s that time of year again when we struggle to find the perfect gift for loved ones. What to buy the person who has everything or that friend who says they don;t care but you know that they really do.

    We’ve put a list of Manchester inspired Christmas gift ideas together. We hope it helps.

    Manchester Bee Gifts

    The Manchester bee has become a symbol of resilience and unity, representing the city’s spirit in the face of challenges. Gift your loved ones a piece of Mancunian pride with Manchester bee merchandise. From cozy hoodies and stylish tote bags to delicate jewelry, there are countless options adorned with this iconic emblem. Not only do these items make for thoughtful gifts, but they also carry a powerful message of strength and community.
    You can shop online at the Manchestershop.

    Locally made arts and crafts gifts

    The Northern Quarter is a hub of creativity and innovation in Manchester. Explore local artisanal markets and boutique stores to discover handcrafted goods that make for unique and memorable Christmas gifts. Consider items such as handmade candles, bespoke ceramics, or locally produced artwork. By choosing artisanal goods from the Northern Quarter, you not only support local artists and makers but also give a one-of-a-kind present that reflects the city’s creative energy.

    Head to our friends at the Manchester craft and design centre on Oak street and see what you can find.

    Manchester Gin or Craft Beer gift sets

    For those who appreciate the finer things in life, a Manchester gin, rum or craft beer set is an ideal Christmas gift. We’ve got a thriving craft beverage scene, with numerous distilleries and breweries producing high-quality libations. Create a custom gift set featuring a bottle of Manchester gin, a selection of craft beers from local breweries, and perhaps a bottle of the legendary Salford rum. It’s a tasteful way to share the distinctive flavours of Manchester and the surrounding area with friends and family.

    The Gift of Music

    Manchester has a rich musical heritage, from the legendary sounds of Oasis to the iconic venues that have hosted countless performances. Gift the music lover in your life a piece of Manchester’s sonic history with memorabilia from their favourite artists or concerts. This could include vintage concert posters, limited edition vinyl records, or even tickets to upcoming shows. It’s a thoughtful nod to the city’s cultural significance in the world of music.

    Food and Drink Gift Vouchers

    If your loved one is a real food lover then what better gift than a food tour voucher for one of our food tours in Manchester. We’ve got vouchers for join in tours as well as private tours for those special occassions. You can easily buy vouchers which have a full 6 month expiry so you can wait until the weather gets a bit warmer. If there’s a special occassion please let us know and we’ll see what we can do.

    Click here to buy vouchers


    Manchester Christmas Bee

    New Century Hall.

    New century hall is a name synonymous with Manchester’s music scene.

    Built in 1963 the venue played host to names like Jimmy Hendrix, The Bee Gees, The Rolling Stones and Tina Turner. It was famous for having both excellent acoustics and a sprung dance floor.

    As Manchester’s music scene changed the venue hosted many an acid-house party in the 80’s.

    It was in the latter part of the 20th century that the area around New century hall became an almost forgotten part of Manchester. While other parts of the city were being developed the area we now know as NOMA was very much left alone. Businesses moved to more attractive area’s and the New century development was left behind.

    Last year a relaunch occurred and once more New Century hall was on the lips of those in the know of where to go. Being a listed building has meant that many of the original interior remains. The dance floor is still the original spring version. The lights still date back to the early 60’s.

    The line up will always be eclectic. The bard of Salford John Cooper Clarke has performed here since the relaunch. As have countless up and coming bands as well as some more familiar names such as The Charlatans. It’s a venue that is breathing new life into an already thriving music and art scene here in Manchester.

    New Century Food Hall

    New Century hall is also where you can find one of Manchester’s newest food and drink venues. Right underneath the dance floor on the ground level is New Century Kitchen.

    8,000 square foot of independent food and drink retailers make this a must see destination for any food lovers in Manchester. Local names such as Spice Yard and Zumuku sushi are firm favourites with the crowds. In the centre of the kitchens you’ll find a bar offering local beers and spirits and some great inernational choices as well.

    Evening Food Tour

    We’ve been asked by quite a few of our clients if we’d put together and evening food tour of Manchester. New Century hall is going to be the starting point for this new project. Amazing, local food in one of Manchester’s most historical buildings. What’s not to love?

    To reserve your spot on our new evening food tour, send us an email and we’ll share all of the information.

    New Century Hall Entrance