The Wishing Well

May Bank Holiday 2023: Things to Do

Creative Tourist

Planning your perfect long weekend? You’ve come to the right place. We’re all hoping for a balmy, sun-soaked time but if the weather fails us, there are plenty of events in and out of doors that you can enjoy. Below you’ll find incredible theatre shows, historical and art tours, captivating exhibitions, cocktail bars and much more.

And if you’re curious about what else is on around the North this spring, take a look at our culture guides, where there’s something for everyone, including exhibitions, music, cinema, theatre, literature, tours and activities and family events.

Here are our picks

  • 1. Lindsey Mendick: Where The Bodies Are Buried at Yorkshire Sculpture Park

    Lindsey Mendick, Where The Bodies Are Buried, installation view at YSP, 2023. Courtesy the artist. Photo © Jonty Wilde, courtesy YSP
    Lindsey Mendick, Where The Bodies Are Buried, installation view at YSP, 2023. Courtesy the artist. Photo © Jonty Wilde, courtesy YSP

    Lindsey Mendick at Yorkshire Sculpture Park, Wakefield, Until 3 September 2023, £9 with concessions - Book now

    Rising start of the contemporary artworld Lindsey Mendick has arrived in the Yorkshire Sculpture Park (open on Bank Holidays too!) with her immersive display of gruesomely wonderful artworks.

  • 2. Culture in South Lakes

    Culture in South Lakes
    Ben Nicholson's Cold Fell (1922) oil on canvas (part of Abbot Hall's collection). Image courtesy of Lakeland Arts.

    Culture in South Lakes, Until 30 December 2023, free entry

    The long weekend offers to perfect opportunity for a trip to the South Lakes. Soak up the stunning landscape and a whole lot of culture while you’re there.

  • 3. Old Dock Tours, Liverpool

    © Robin Clewley, Courtesy of National Museums Liverpool 

    The Old Dock Tours at Maritime Museum, Waterfront, Until 31 January 2025, £8.50 with concessions - Book now

    Fancy a historical adventure this Bank Holiday weekend? Book onto the Old Dock Tour in Liverpool and get up close and personal with the city’s history.

  • 4. The Wishing Well

    The Wishing Well

    The Wishing Well, 1d School Ln, Didsbury, , Manchester , M20 6SA - Visit now

    Visit Didsbury’s new bar and restaurant and enjoy the long weekend with a fruity, colourful cocktail in hand.

  • 5. Outdoor Art in the North

    Often free and publicly accessible, outdoor art has a special relationship to community, cultural heritage and the landscape it’s situated in. Why not take the opportunity to discover the iconic outdoor artworks the North has to offer over Bank Holiday Weekend.

  • 6. Whitworth Art Gallery Tours

    Free Daily Tours, the Whitworth.

    Whitworth Art Gallery Daily Tour at The Whitworth, Manchester, Until 31 July 2023, free entry - Visit now

    Visit the gorgeous Whitworth Art Gallery for a tour of its current exhibitions. Afterwards, you can take a stroll in the surrounding park

  • 7. Sunday Roasts in Manchester

    If you don’t feel like cooking this weekend, we’ve got you covered – check out our roundup of the best Sunday Roasts in Manchester. And if you choose Ducie Street Warehouse, you’ve got twice as many chances to scoff one, thanks to the Double Ducie Roast, available both Sunday and Monday.

  • 8. Wild Swimming in the North of England

    If you’re looking for outdoor activity ideas, wild swimming might just be the one. Whether you prefer picturesque lakes or local lidos, there are lots of lovely spots to choose from. And, if you’re after something even more energetic, why not combine a hike with a refreshing dip at the end?

  • 9. Daniel Arsham: Relics in the Landscape at Yorkshire Sculpture Park

    Daniel Arsham, Unearthed Bronze Eroded Melpomene, 2021. Courtesy Perrotin Gallery and Arsham Studio. Photo © James Law

    Daniel Arsham: Relics in the Landscape at Yorkshire Sculpture Park, Wakefield, Until 30 September 2023, free entry - Visit now

    Daniel Arsham’s “future relics” look perfectly at home at the Yorkshire Sculpture Park, as spring makes its way around the Park’s green grounds.

  • 10. UNESCO World Heritage Sites in the North

    World Heritage Sites tell the story of this country’s unique contribution to the world. More than playing its part in that story, the North is home to many sites of international interest, and they’re right on your doorstep! Taking a trip to one or more of them would be an especially wholesome way to spend the Bank Holiday Weekend!
  • 11. Parks and Gardens in Manchester

    Blossom on trees in Manchester

    You can’t go wrong with a visit to the park, weather permitting. Take a break from the city noise, bring a friend, bring your dog, breathe in the spring air and have an ice-cream en plein air.