May Bank Holiday 2024: Things to Do

Creative Tourist

The weather’s finally starting to pick up, giving us high hopes for the historically-sunny Early May Bank Holiday Weekend!

To help you plan it wisely, we’ve put together some of the best-looking events and activities taking place over the long weekend. From music and art to delicious food and fancy cocktails — all the best things in one place.

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.

Our top picks

Beer Gardens in Manchester & Salford

If the whole sun thing works out, you’ll likely be in the need of a top tier bar garden or three to pepper into your plans. Here’s 30, yes 30, of our favourites in Manchester and Salford.

Society Manchester

Lamb of Tartary

Lamb of Tartary, 16 Newton St, Manchester , M1 1AE - Visit now

Chef Shaun Moffat’s tastefully British menu and intricate flavours will leave a lasting impression so why not visit the very special new restaurant this Bank Holiday Weekend?

Lamb Of Tartary
Ian Jones

New Wave Ramen

New Wave Ramen, 16 Tib Lane, Manchester , M2 4JB - Visit now

Fluorescent drinks and sensational ramen – what more could you want! Pop into New Wave Ramen for a bite (the regular kitchen takeovers resulting in a fresh menu every time you visit), and stay for the Melon Sour.

Ian Jones

Leilah Babirye: Obumu (Unity) at Yorkshire Sculpture Park

Leilah Babirye: Obumu (Unity) at Yorkshire Sculpture Park, West Yorkshire, Until 8 September 2024, free entry - Visit now

Yorkshire Sculpture Park is a firm favourite when it comes to Bank Holiday spots for walks and culture. This year you also get a chance to see Leilah Babirye’s compelling new exhibition of sculptures in the Chapel.

Unity Sculptures
Yorkshire Sculpture Park

Sunday Roasts in Manchester

With Sunday roasts set to be replaced with lighter bites as the weather warms, the Bank Holiday’s a good time to go out with a belly-busting bang. Check out our roundup of the best Sunday Roasts in Manchester.

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.

Six By Nico Deansgate

Six By Nico Deansgate, 2 John Dalton St, Manchester, M3 2BY - Visit now

Just in time for the Bank Holiday, Six by Nico Deansgate has announced its new menu, themed around New York. Best to act fast on this one, as tables are naturally flying.

Six By Nico Deansgate

Whitworth Art Gallery Tours

Whitworth Art Gallery Daily Tour at The Whitworth, Manchester, Until 31 July 2024, 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.

Free Daily Tours, the Whitworth.

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?

Parks and Gardens 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.

Blossom on trees in Manchester

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!

Pillock at Contact
Spotlight on

Fringe Theatre in Manchester and the North

Check out our top picks of shows previewing in the North West before heading to Edinburgh Fringe Festival later in the summer.

Take me there

Culture Guides