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Day trips based out of Manchester?

Hi world travelers,

I am accompanying my wife on a business trip in mid-February (soon!) and I will need to entertain myself during her work day. I've got 2-3 days to make some plans. I think a little art is good, but I'd like to spend the bulk of my time soaking up history, the local culture, and the great outdoors. I think I've got a decent list of things to see/do in Manchester, but I think I'd like to spend 1 or 2 days exploring a nearby city. Questions:
1. Liverpool seems like an obvious choice. Is it possible/wise to visit a second city in the same day? If it's OK, any suggestions?
2. Being so close to North Wales, this also feels like it could be a great opportunity to explore an area we might not otherwise visit again. Thoughts on travel to this area, particularly in mid-February?
3. There is a Viking festival going on in York during this time of year. A 2-hour train ride seems like a bit of a hike, but if it's super awesome I would be open to going for it. Anyone ever been?

This is sort of a last minute deal, but I'm excited to explore a corner of England that I'd never considered before. I would appreciate opinions or info from anyone with experience in the area. I hear that this group of travelers is a goldmine of information and inspiration! Thank you!

Posted by
1579 posts

I'd skip Wales this time. Bit too far and rural for February.

Liverpool is one of my favourite cities (been three times now) and is a great choice for a day trip. Stay the whole day, there's plenty to see and do. Albert Dock and the two cathedrals will take a day but also consider the two hour Beatles Magical Mystery Tour.

York is also a great choice and worth the train ride.

Posted by
6613 posts

Consider a day trip to Chester, a well preserved town center, medieval walls you can walk around, a fine cathedral with remarkable choir stalls, easy train from Manchester. But a separate day from Liverpool, in the opposite direction.

Posted by
3806 posts

Manchester has some great museums. The Manchester Museum is a natural history museum that has some Egyptian artifacts.

I think you would enjoy the Museum of Science and Industry. It in the former Liverpool Road railway station, has a large collection of steam locomotives, industrial machinery and a few aircraft. Steam train rides are operating on weekends and bank holidays. Admission is free.

Also, there is The Imperial War Museum North which has planes, exhibits and a shard-type tower you can climb for a view of the city.

Six miles south of Manchester is the Stockport Air Raid Shelter, a mile long tunnel built to shelter residents of Manchester during WW2.

Another museum that I enjoyed was the Museum of Transport with its collection of historic buses, trams and lorries (1946 lorry, Beverley's Beers, was my favorite).

The Manchester Art Gallery has a permanent collection of European paintings, and an excellent collection of Pre-Raphaelite paintings.

If you like modern art and sculpture, the Whitworth Art Gallery is worth an afternoon.

There is a Roman fort in the section known as Castlefield.

Posted by
1275 posts

Quick search on nationalrail. York fastest times 1 hour 14, £22 for the return fare