August Bank Holiday in Manchester and the North

Creative Tourist

Looking for things to do over the August bank holiday weekend? You’ve come to the right place – check out our handpicked list of things to do in Manchester and the North for a fun-filled three days.

It’s the last bank holiday of the summer, so let’s get the party started. The bank holiday weekend stretches across Saturday 27, Sunday 28 and Monday 29 August, and there’s plenty to keep you occupied, whatever the weather. With a bit of luck, the recent run of clement weather will continue to bless Manchester and the North, in which case grab a book and head to one of our parks and gardens, or take a trip to a sculpture park or even a sunny beer garden.

There’s foodie fun to be had at Festa Italiana, or pack your tent and head to Geronimo Festival, where the music, entertainment and activities are laid on for the whole family to enjoy. If the great outdoors beckons, we’ve rounded up the best wild swimming spots, outdoor art and adventure activities for you, and we’ve found the perfect place to experience some open air theatre. Film-wise we also have you covered, and there’s plenty to see on the art front not to mention workshops to get involved with if crafts are your bag.

Here are our picks

  • 1. Fairy Tales at Z-arts

    Fairy Tales at Z-Arts

    Fairy Tales at Z-arts, Manchester, Until 26 February 2023, from £3.00 - Book now

    The Bank Holiday is as good a time as any to check out Z-arts’ Fairy Tales, an innovative and enchanting exhibition that takes children aged 0-8 and their grownups to an interactive wonderland, jam-packed with storytelling and immersive play.

  • 2. Beer Gardens in Manchester & Salford

    The New Oxford

    There might well be sunshine this bank holiday weekend, so grab a bev and head into the great outdoors with our suggestions for places where you can enjoy an alfresco tipple or two in Manchester and Salford.

  • 3. Geronimo Festival at Arley Hall

    Geronimo Festival 2022
    Adrian Myers

    Geronimo Festival at Arley Hall and Gardens, Cheshire, 26–29 May 2023, from £20.00 - Book now

    Air off your tent, grab your sunscreen and hotfoot it to Geronimo Festival 2022 for all kinds of entertainment, activities and music for all the family, plus plenty of food stalls to keep your rabble fed and watered.

  • 4. Wild Swimming in the North of England

    Make a splash this bank holiday weekend – but be sure to read our guide to the best and safest spots to take to the waters, and don’t forget your towel.

  • 5. Afternoon Tea in Manchester

    Afternoon Tea in Manchester
    Image courtesy of Ian Jones

    We’ve just updated our guide to afternoon tea in Manchester. From high tea with a view at Harvey Nichols to the Alice in Wonderland-inspired Richmond Tea Rooms, our team of trusty tea tasters has set sail to find the finest places to sip Darjeeling, eat dainty finger sandwiches and slap extra clotted cream on a freshly baked scone. This is our guide to the best afternoon tea. Now, shall we be mother?

  • 6. Adventure Activities in the North

    Treetop Adventure Manchester
    Treetop Adventure Manchester.

    The North of England is home to the longest high wire bridge in Europe, over 1,000ft above the Honister Pass in Keswick, and one of the UK’s largest outdoor inflatable water assault courses near Sheffield. This part of the world, then, has no shortage of incredible adventure activities. Here are our favourites.

  • 7. 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. It also makes for a really good excuse to go and explore a new place. Take a look at our guide to the best outdoor installations in the North and get planning your trip out.

Things to do right now

Powered by culturehosts
Activity Until 8 February 2023, from £170.00

Drawing course with Nina Hunter

Music Until 16 February 2023, from £9.50

Donna Candy at SOUP

vegan super club
Activity Until 17 February 2023, from £50

Supper Club at the Vegetarian Society Cookery School

Exhibitions Until 18 February 2023, FREE

The Confessional at HOME

Queer Contact 2023
Comedy Until 18 February 2023,

Queer Contact Festival 2023

PUSH Festival 2023 at HOME
Festivals Until 18 February 2023,

PUSH Festival 2023 at HOME

The Singing Mermaid at Waterside
Families Until 19 February 2023, from £14.00

The Singing Mermaid at Waterside CANCELLED

Activity Until 23 February 2023, from £59.99

Write Like A Grrrl: Ignite

Activity Until 25 February 2023, from £13

Elizabeth Gaskell’s House Tour

Fairy Tales at Z-Arts
Families Until 26 February 2023, from £3.00

Fairy Tales at Z-arts