60 minutes from Manchester

Venture beyond the many delights of central Manchester and you’ll find spectacular landscapes, fun family outings and buildings steeped in mystery. All are easily accessible from the north west powerhouse and offer incredible experiences that can immerse, inspire and enthral…

The Northern Quarter, Manchester.


Visit Peel Tower

The iconic Peel Tower on Holcombe Hill in Ramsbottom is a tribute to Sir Robert Peel, who was twice Prime Minister and founder of the universally applauded Metropolitan Police. The climb is worth the effort and those visiting should also take the opportunity to enjoy the quaint town of Ramsbottom. The former mill town in the Irwell Valley hosts the annual World Black Pudding Throwing Championships and is a great starting point if you want to hike across rural Lancashire.


Meet the animals at Chester Zoo

Sumatran tiger Kasarna at Chester Zoo.

Come face to face with thousands of animals from across the world at Chester Zoo, around an hour’s drive to the south west of Manchester. A leading conservation zoo with 21,000 of the world’s most endangered and exotic animals, you can discover many wonderful species that can be found in only a handful of locations around the globe. Alongside Sumatran tigers, Bornean orangutans, black rhinos and sun bears, numerous breeding programmes mean you may also get a glimpse of many adorable newborns.


Visit a house that Charlotte Brontë stayed in

A 20-mile drive from Manchester, Gawthorpe Hall is supposedly where Charlotte Brontë’s pseudonym, ‘Currer Bell’, was created. The Elizabethan hall has a rich and detailed history, hosts an intricate textile collection and has plenty of formal gardens to explore. Wander around the grounds to soak up its literary charm.


Discover the mysteries of Pendle Hill

Pendle Hill, which rises up above the Lancashire countryside, is an hour north of Manchester. The trials of the Pendle Witches, which took place in 1612, are the most famous witch trials in English history, and saw ten people hanged for crimes including murder by witchcraft. This chilling tour combines the area’s terrifying history with its beautiful landscape and views.


See the stars at Jodrell Bank

Lovell Telescope radio telescope at Jodrell Bank Observatory, near Goostrey, Cheshire in the north-west of England.

A fantastic day out for families, Jodrell Bank is one of the greatest observatories in the world and was granted prestigious UNESCO World Heritage Site status in 2019. The site is home to the Lovell Telescope – the biggest on the planet when it was constructed in 1955, and still the third largest today. The Discovery Centre offers lots of hands-on activities in two exhibition pavilions, including the chance to experiment with sound-waves and interactive exhibits to find out how the Lovell Telescope works.


Experience medieval life at Ruthin Castle

To experience raucous medieval life, join a night of feasting and revelry where everything – from the menu to the waiting staff – is in period style. At Ruthin Castle in north Wales – around an hour’s drive west of Manchester – the medieval feasts are modelled on the legendary banquets held by the Earl of Warwick (son of Henry VIII) in the 16th century.

More things to do in Manchester

Top 10 things to do
Family friendly
Food & Drink
Film & TV
Free things to do
Hidden gems