August Bank Holiday in Manchester and the North

Creative Tourist

Looking for ideas for the final Bank Holiday of the year? Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered. Here’s our handpicked guide of things to do in Manchester and the North this August Bank Holiday weekend.

For more ideas, guides to food & drink, exhibitions, music, cinema, literature and family events – and don’t miss our picks for the best beer gardens, spots for outdoor eating, our favourite roof terraces, hidden bars and afternoon tea haunts in Manchester.

Here are our picks

  • 1. Northern Art Carbooty 2018 at Sadlers Yard

    Northern Art Carbooty 2018 at Sadlers Yard
    Northern Art Carbooty

    Northern Art Carbooty 2018 at Sadlers Yard, City Centre, 26 August 2018, free entry - Find Out More

    Carbooty has quietly become of a bit of an institution in these parts. This isn’t your mum and dad’s boot sale, enjoy a host of local artistic talent, selling their quality wares at affordable prices. There will also be plenty of free family fun workshops, music, food stalls and live performances too.

  • 2. Wild Swimming

    Last call for the summer? Let’s hope not, but if the weather holds, it’s likely to be one of your last chances to (comfortably) swim outdoors in the North.

  • 3. Oi Polloi

    Oi Polloi

    Oi Polloi, 63 Thomas Street, Manchester, Greater Manchester, M4 1LQ - Visit now

    What do savvy shoppers who want sharp threads with an urban edge do on a bank holiday weekend? Get themselves to Oi Polloi of course. That autumn wardrobe isn’t going to buy itself.

  • 4. Wild Worlds Festival at Chester Zoo

    Wild Worlds festival at Chester Zoo

    Wild Worlds at Chester Zoo, 26 May–30 September 2018, from £20 - Book now

    Art, science, music, performers. Inspired by the incredible and unique worlds of animals and plants, this mind-blowing celebration will have you discovering something new at every turn.

  • 5. Lest We Forget? at Imperial War Museum North

    War Horse at the New London Theatre. Photo by Brinkhoff Mögenburg. Courtesy of IWM North. Lest We Forget
    War Horse at the New London Theatre. Photo by Brinkhoff Mögenburg. Courtesy of IWM North

    Lest We Forget? at Imperial War Museum North (IWM North), Manchester, 27 July 2018–24 February 2019, free entry - Visit now

    Head over to The Quays for Lest We Forget, the first instalment of a major new season of exhibitions, music, dance, talks and events at IWM London and IWM North exploring how the First World War has shaped society today. If you’re looking for somewhere to eat when you’re there, we highly recommend Pier Eight at The Lowry.

  • 6. Journeys of the Imagination at Quarry Bank

    Courtesy David Watson

    Journeys of the Imagination at Quarry Bank, Cheshire, 5 May–28 October 2018, from £Quarry Bank admission prices apply (free for National Trust members) - Visit now

    Pack your bags for an adventure as you discover the incredible journeys made by the people of Quarry Bank in an interactive trail.

  • 7. Gulliver’s Travels at Queens Park Bolton

    Bolton Octagon

    Gulliver’s Travels, 16–27 August 2018, from £12.00 - Book now

    This summer Bolton Octagon are set to transform Queens Park into the extraordinary land of Lilliput from classic children’s tale Gulliver’s Travels.

  • 8. Jackie Brown at HOME

    Images courtesy of Park Circus/Miramax

    Jackie Brown, 27 August 2018, from £9 - Book now

    Is there a more perfect time to sit down and enjoy a good movie than a bank holiday Monday? Probably not, and this is a great one. Part of HOME’s Dark Page season, Jackie Brown is, for me, the last truly great entry in Quentin Tarantino’s filmography. A wonderful soundtrack and superb performances from Michael Keaton, Robert Forster and most of all, Pam Grier.

  • 9. Summer in Stoke-on-Trent

    big feast summer in stoke on trent
    Appetite, The Big Feast Festival 2018

    Summer in Stoke-on-Trent, 1 August–30 September 2018, free entry - Visit now

    Catch The Poppies in Stoke this summer. Home to a wealth of world-class visitor attractions, award-winning museums, exceptional gardens, five Victorian parks and the largest hoard of Anglo-Saxon treasure ever to be found; Stoke-on-Trent (affectionately nicknamed The Potteries) is bursting with an inspired programme of cultural activity this summer.

  • 10. The Tempest at Grosvenor Park Open Air Theatre

    the-tempest-at-grosvenor-park-open-air-theatre
    Storyhouse

    The Tempest at Grosvenor Park Open Air Theatre at Grosvenor Park, 27 July–26 August 2018, from £23.60 - Book now

    Prepare your picnic and pop the prosecco, Grosvenor Park Open Air Theatre plays host to a magical production of Shakespeare’s The Tempest. This is the last weekend of the run, so book now.

  • 11. Liverpool Biennial 2018 – Beautiful world, where are you?

    Paul Elliman, QUERTY_PE, 2012. Courtesy of the artist

    Liverpool Biennial 2018, 14 July–28 October 2018, free entry - Visit now

    If there’s one thing you do this summer, we strongly recommend you hop on a train and make your way over to the 10th edition of the ever-popular Liverpool Biennial – ‘Beautiful world, where are you?’ – a city-wide festival of new and exciting contemporary art from around the world. Check out our weekend guide to Liverpool Biennial and make sure you see it all in style.

  • 12. Yorkshire Sculpture Park 2018 Guide

    Chiharu Shiota –Uncertain Journey, 2016, Blainsouthern Berlin, Germany. Installation metal frames red wool. Photo Christian Gglaaser. Copyright Vgbildkunstbonn 2017 and the artist. Yorkshire Sculpture Park
    © VG Bild Kunst and the artist

    Yorkshire Sculpture Park 2018, 1 January 2018–24 February 2019, free entry - Visit now

    Yorkshire Sculpture Park’s 2018 programme of international contemporary art has left us itching to get out of the city and back to one of our all-time-favourite places. We recommend this every bank holiday, do you know why? Because it’s fantastic and you’ll love it.  While you’re there, it would be criminal not jump in the car and check out Viviane Sassen: Hot Mirror at The Hepworth too.