Tours and Activities in Manchester and the North

Carmel Smickersgill, Tours & Activities Editor

Winter is here and we’ve put together a jam packed guide of tours and activities that totally avoids the C word (Christmas). There is plenty to make, see and do in the winter months, so scroll down to see our top picks.

Grab up your instrument and head to Partisan for the soul warming sounds of Partisan Folk Club. This collection of old and new folkies meet monthly, sharing tunes, stories and a common love of community. It’s a BYOB affair and feel free to bring food, whether you’re itching to get your fiddle out or just want to listen.

There are plenty of activities to get your hands dirty with as the weather gets colder. Check out the Manchester Urban Diggers winter clay workshops. These relaxed Sunday afternoons of hand building pots are taking place in The Frog House at Platt Fields Market Garden. All the profit goes towards MUD’s wider projects supporting local food supply chains. You can also check out their website for various volunteering opportunities.

For something more crafty why not try creating your own macramè necklace with the adventurous jewellery designers at Salford Makers, WONDERHAUS. Or join the Jewish Museum for a Chanukah inspired marbling workshop where you’ll have the opportunity to create your own Cards, bags and paper.

If you’re looking for some good old screenless fun, why not try the Board Game Sundays at Hyde Park Bookclub in Leeds. These relaxed afternoons will introduce you to the best new games out there and make an excellent alternative to a lazy Sundays in front of the TV. Join Cards or Die as they teach and advise on the best table top games to suit your interest and group size.

Scroll down to find out more, alongside some other tops picks of tours and activities, and stay well folks.

Here are our picks

  • 1. Partisan Folk Club

    Photo by Suzy Hazelwood from Pexels

    Partisan Folk Club at Partisan, Manchester, 12 December 2021, free entry - Find Out More

    Embrace the sesh with Partisan Folk Club, a monthly gathering of musicians and listeners who take time to learn the tunes for everyone’s enjoyment. 

  • 2. Winter Clay Workshops

    Manchester Urban Diggers

    Winter Clay Workshops at Platt Fields Park, Manchester, Until 19 December 2021, from £65.00 - Book now

    Join MUD (Manchester Urban Diggers) for a series of friendly winter clay workshops, where you can build and decorate your own pot.  

  • 3. Chanukah Marbling Workshop

    Manchester Jewish Museum

    Chanukah Marbling Workshop at Manchester Jewish Museum, Cheetham Hill, 5 December 2021, from £4.00 - Book now

    Inspired by the oil based miracle, this Chanukah Marbling Workshop give you the chance to create your own unique bags, cards and paper. 

  • 4. Macramé Necklace Workshop

    WONDERHAUS

    Macramé Necklace Workshop at Salford Makers, Chapel Street, 13 January 2022, from £40.00 - Book now

    Learn the art of macramè and create your own statement macramè necklace, with this relaxed workshop from WONDERHAUS.

  • 5. Board Games at Book Club

    via Leeds Inspired

    Board Games at Book Club. at Hyde Park Book Club, Leeds, 12 December 2021–2 January 2022, free entry - Find Out More

    The perfect way to spend a Sunday afternoon. Get together with friends or make some new ones with some screen free board games time. 

  • 6. The Workshop, Jewellery Studio

    The Workshop
    Jack Downing

    The Workshop, Jewellery Studio, 9 Hollins Place, Hebden Bridge, West Yorkshire, HX7 8EU - Visit now

    Learn from master jewellers Robert and Jenny Dutson with their jewellery making workshops and courses at The Workshop.

  • 7. Levenshulme Market

    Image courtesy of Levenshulme Market

    Levenshulme Market, Stockport Road (junction with Albert Rd), Levenshulme, Manchester, M19 3AB

    One of the best in the city, Levenshulme Market brings new businesses, arts and lots of delicious food to a carpark in Levenshulme on a weekly basis.

  • 8. Clay Studio Manchester

    Clay Studio Manchester
    CLay Studio Manchester

    Clay Studio Manchester, 61 Old Birley Street, Manchester, M15 5RF - Visit now

    Clay studio was founded in 2016 to provide a dedicated workshop for new graduates, hobby ceramicists and experienced makers. The studio also offers a range of classes for students of all abilities.

  • 9. Candle Making with Cedar Manchester

    Giulia Zonza Photography

    Candle Making with Cedar Manchester at OBJECT, Chorlton, Chorlton, Until 6 December 2021, from £45 - Book now

    Create your own bespoke scented candle with Lizzy from Cedar Manchester and their excellent candle making workshop. 

  • 10. Rock and Goal Tour

    Rock and Goal
    Photo by Florent B. from Pexels

    Rock and Goal Tour at Piccadilly Gardens, Manchester and online, Until 27 February 2022, from £4.50 - Book now

    Join Joe Feeley a Mancunian through and through, who guides you into Manchester’s two pillars of cultural excellence with his Rock and Goal tour.

  • 11. Manchester Taxi Tours

    Manchester Taxi Tours

    Manchester Taxi Tours at Manchester Cathedral, Cathedral Quarter, Until 31 December 2021 - Book now

    Manchester Taxi tours are the most personalised guided glimpse of the city you can find and now you can get to know Manchester better whilst enjoying a delicious afternoon tea. 

  • 12. DJ Gym at Hatch

    Photo by Erik Mclean from Pexels

    DJ Gym at Hatch at Hatch, Manchester, Until 31 December 2021, from £269 - Book now

    Learn some DJ and production skills with DJ Gym Manchester, based in the culturally infused surrounds of Hatch. 

  • 13. Craft Beer Tour Around Manchester

    Craft Beer Tour Around Manchester
    The Craft Tour Company

    Craft Beer Tour Around Manchester, Until 18 December 2021, from £30 - Book now

    Craft Beer Tour Manchester bring the best Mancunian brewing talent, into the space of one afternoon. Expect to find a new favourite tipple.

  • 14. Eat The City – Scranchester Tours

    Scranchester tours

    Eat The City - Scranchester Tours, Until 31 December 2023, from £50 - Book now

    Satisfy your hunger for knowledge as well as lunch with Scranchester’s food tours of the city centre. You may discover a new favourite hidden gem or learn a bit more about the cultural or historical significance of the food you eat all the time. 

  • 15. Goodtime Games

    goodtime games
    Goodtime Games

    Goodtime Games, 212 Burton Road, West Didsbury, Manchester, M20 2LW - Visit now

    Goodtime Games is the latest arrival to Burton Road. Serving up delicious vegan and vegetarian food alongside a plethora of table top fun. 

More Tours & Activities

Flecky Bennett’s HALLOWEEN 2018 Ghost Walk
Activity Until 13 May 2022, from £15

Flecky Bennett’s Ghost Walks

Meet, Flecky Bennet, your guide through the dark and demonic side of the city as he takes you on one of Manchester’s award winning ghost walks.

Activity Until 26 March 2022,

Curious About Leeds, Self guided walking tour of Leeds

Alternative to walking tour guides, Curious about Leeds give you the materials to experience Leeds’ heritage in your own time with their self guided tours.

Activity Until 27 February 2022, from £13.50

Shiverpool: Ghost and History Tours

Expect chilling street theatre and immersive thrills as the award winning Shiverpool return to Liverpool’s streets.

Blackburn Open Walls
Activity Until 31 December 2021, FREE

Blackburn Open Walls

Over 3 years, forgotten walls of Blackburn were brought to life with the creation of a vibrant outdoor gallery, by international, national and local artists, who together over 2 weeks, created a collection of large scale murals and art walk trails for the residents and visitors of Blackburn to enjoy.

Pendle Witch Experience Tours
Activity Until 31 December 2021, from £18

Pendle Hill Witch Experience Tours

Group tours of Lancashire in the area surrounding Pendle Hill. Through visiting the countryside and villages of Pendle, visitors learn all about the dark deeds and wicked plots surrounding the Pendle Witches in the 1600s.

Discover Buxton Tram Tours
Activity Until 31 December 2021, from £80

Discover Buxton Tram Tours

Enjoy a journey through time on Discover Buxton Tour’s unique vintage tram.

Discover Buxton Character Tours
Activity Until 31 December 2021, from £15

Discover Buxton Character Tours

These colourful character guides offer unique and entertaining insights into the history of some of Buxton’s most iconic buildings.

Discover Buxton Walking Tours
Activity Until 31 December 2021, from £10

Discover Buxton Walking Tours

Have your history delivered by expert guides whose passion for the heritage of Buxton spills into the unexpected.

Discover Buxton Roman Tours
Activity Until 31 December 2021, from £15

Discover Buxton Roman Tours

Join local historian Brian Shepherd for a walk around the town and learn what Buxton may have looked like during Britain’s Roman occupation.

Culture Guides

Cinema

Christmas programming, Japanese classics and the latest new releases coming to a screen near you this December.

Exhibitions

With autumn in full swing, we may be missing the daylight but there are plenty of fantastic exhibitions this month to indulge your senses.

Magical Father Christmas Experience at Wythenshawe Hall

Families

Christmas is just around the corner and we can almost smell those delicious mince pies, as we round up some of the best family activities and fun days out taking place across Manchester and the North throughout the festive season. 

Writer and musician Anthony Joseph. Image: Bunny Bread/@icreatenotdestroy

Literature

There are plenty of writerly launches, open mics, literature festivals, pre-Christmas book fairs and festive readings to pop into your diary, some online, some in person – and some both.

BC Camplight

Music

Manchester’s music scene in on glorious form as we head into winter, with artists and audiences reconnecting in ecstatic style. Here are our highlights from the city’s chock-a-block gig calendar.

Bree Smith (Glinda) in The Wiz at Hope Mill Theatre. Theatre in Manchester.

Theatre

All-sung comedy thrillers, joyous musicals and our pick of the pantos. Our theatre guide spans the festive season and beyond.

Classical Music in Manchester and the North

We preview the standout classical music events and venues in Manchester and the north.

Embankment Kitchen

Food and Drink in Manchester and the North

We’re cramming two seasons of festive cheer into one as we present our top Christmas menus and cocktail lists in Manchester and the North.

Things to do right now

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Jock McFadyen at the Lowry
Activity Until 27 February 2022,

Jock McFadyen Goes to the Lowry

Science Learning at Home with Jodrell Bank
Activity Until 31 December 2021, FREE

Science Learning at Home with Jodrell Bank

Activity Until 31 December 2023, from £50

Eat The City – Scranchester Tours

Activity Until 1 December 2022, from £95

Blacksmithing at Forge Four

Textile taxidermy
Activity Until 1 December 2022, from £80

Textile taxidermy with Jaki Bogg at Craven Arts Studios

Activity Until 1 December 2022, from £60

Glass fusing at Glassmonkey Studio

Activity Until 1 December 2022, from £15

Embroidery with Sara Dennis at Lancaster Castle

Activity Until 1 December 2022, from £13

Candle making at Cheshire Workshops

Activity Until 1 December 2022, from £20

Pottery at Earth Pig Pottery and Fine Art in Buxton

Activity Until 1 December 2022, from £59

Making silver stacker rings at The Old Granary

Activity Until 19 December 2021, from £65.00

Winter Clay Workshops

Activity Until 6 December 2021, from £45

Candle Making with Cedar Manchester

Activity Until 31 December 2021, from £269

DJ Gym at Hatch