Tours and Activities in Manchester and the North

Carmel Smickersgill, Tours & Activities Editor

We’re hurtling towards summer and to make the most of these lighter days, fairer skies (sometimes) and greener trees, we’re looking towards the great outdoors in this month’s Tours and Activities guide. Check out our top picks to find some inspiration and venture into the wild.

Over in Hebden Bridge you can embrace Scandi style sauna culture with the Icy plunge pools and soul warming sauna experience at iglu. This enclave of calm nestled next to Nutclough Woods is not only a thoroughly relaxing experience but also very reasonably priced. In Manchester, you can embrace the natural environment with Manchester Festival of Nature at Heaton Park. This day festival is packed with family activities to bring you closer to the natural world as well as parades, live music and lots of fun.

Over in Leeds explore the University through a different perspective in Leeds Black History Walks. Celebrating their 15th anniversary this year, the award winning walks celebrate some of the lesser known figures from the city’s past.

In Kendal you can really embrace nature with a queer plunge as part of pride weekend. Finally, for those who prefer to appreciate the natural world while reading a book in it, check out the second-hand book sales at Elizabeth Gaskell’s House.

Scroll down to find out more, alongside some other top picks of tours and activities, and break away from your normal.

Our top picks

Sauna and cold plunge pools at iglu sauna

Sauna and cold plunge pools at Hebden Bridge Hostel, West Yorkshire, Until 31 August 2024, from £10.00 - Book now

Award-winning sauna and cold-plunge pools experience located in the heart of Hebden Bridge, iglu brings the Scandi experience to Yorkshire. 

iglu sauna
iglu sauna

Leeds Black History Walk

Leeds Black History Walk, Until 5 October 2024, from £10.00 - Book now

Join Joe Williams in the award-winning Leeds Black History Walk to discover the stories of incredible people, hidden in plain sight. 

Joe Williams, founder and guide of the award-winning Leeds Black History Walk
Image supplied by Leeds Inspired

Manchester Festival of Nature

Manchester Festival of Nature at Heaton Park, Manchester, 30 June 2024, free entry - Find Out More

Manchester’s Festival of Nature returns to Heaton Park for a day of celebrating the varied flora and fauna to be found in this bee themed city. 

Manchester Festival of Nature
Heaton Park

Second-Hand Book Sale at Elizabeth Gaskell’s House

Second-Hand Book Sale at Elizabeth Gaskell’s House, Manchester, Until 8 December 2024, from £0.00 - Book now

Browse a varied and well curated selection of second-hand books at Elizabeth Gaskell’s House in Manchester’s best second-hand book sale. 

pile of books
Elizabeth Gaskell's House

Explore@RNCM

Explore@RNCM at Royal Northern College of Music (RNCM), Manchester, 30 June 2024, free entry - Find Out More

Explore@RNCM returns this June, they can’t wait for you to dive into the heart of Manchester’s leading conservatoire for a day of family fun and entertainment.

Photo of female percussionist
RNCM

Un-Convention Manchester 2024

Un-Convention Manchester 2024 at Band on the Wall, Manchester, 21 November 2024 - Book now

Un-Convention is the ultimate independent music industry conference and showcase taking place at Band on the Wall in Manchester this November. 

Image supplied by Band on the Wall

Gallery Tours at Manchester Art Gallery

Gallery Tours at Manchester Art Gallery, Manchester, Until 20 December 2024, free entry - Visit now

Take a deeper look into Manchester Art Gallery’s collection with their regular, informative and fascinating gallery tours. 

Gallery Ceiling
Image courtesy of Andrew Brooks.

Jewish Culture Club

Jewish Culture Club at Manchester Jewish Museum, Manchester, Until 10 November 2024, free entry - Visit now

Meet new people, explore contemporary cultural works and learn about Jewish culture with Jewish Culture Club at Manchester Jewish Museum. 

Manchester Jewish Museum visitors, Chris Payne 2021

MACFEST – Muslim Arts & Culture Festival

MACFEST - Muslim Arts & Culture Festival at The Whitworth, Manchester, Until 15 July 2024, free entry - Visit now

Celebrate Muslim culture, fight islamophobia and experience some top-notch art at MACFEST. Most of the events are free too.

Turkish dancers performing at MACFEST 2024
Image courtesy of MACFEST/ Qaisa Shahraz

Leeds Heritage Pub & Brewery Tour

Leeds Heritage Pub & Brewery Tour at The Tetley, Until 24 August 2024, from £35.00 - Book now

Take a journey through 300 years of pub and brewing history in Leeds, with a heritage Pub and brewery tour. 

Whitelock's Ale House
Image supplied by Leeds Inspired

Whitworth Art Gallery Tours

Whitworth Art Gallery Daily Tour at The Whitworth, Manchester, Until 31 July 2024, free entry - Visit now

Take a closer look at the Whitworth Art Gallery’s collection and architecture with free gallery tours.

Free Daily Tours, the Whitworth.

Sí Manchester Daily Tour

Discover Manchester at Piccadilly Gardens, Manchester, Until 31 December 2024, free entry - Visit now

Sí Manchester’s daily tour is a brilliant way to get an overview of the city with tours running in both English and Spanish.

Sí Manchester Daily Tour

More activity events

Photo of female percussionist
ActivityManchester
Explore@RNCM

Explore@RNCM returns this June, they can’t wait for you to dive into the heart of Manchester’s leading conservatoire for a day of family fun and entertainment.

free entry
Hulme Is Where The Art Is
ActivityManchester
Hulme Is Where The Art Is

A family friendly day festival celebrating the breadth, diversity and quality of Holme’s local artists, Hulme Is Where the Art Is.

free entry
Joe Williams, founder and guide of the award-winning Leeds Black History Walk
Until
ActivityLeeds
Leeds Black History Walk

Join Joe Williams in the award-winning Leeds Black History Walk to discover the stories of incredible people, hidden in plain sight.

from £10.00
Until
ActivityManchester
Sí Manchester Daily Tour

Sí Manchester’s daily tour is a brilliant way to get an overview of the city with tours running in both English and Spanish.

free entry
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

Tours and Activities in Manchester and the North

HOME Manchester
Manchester
Theatre
HOME Manchester

Offering a packed schedule of events and things to do, HOME Manchester is one of the city’s leading hubs for arts and culture.

Sheffield
Cinema
The Void

Sheffield Hallam University’s The Void Cinema is specially designed to facilitate the showing of films in a vast range of formats. 

Cumbria
Cinema
Alhambra Cinema

An independent cinema in the heart of town, the Lonsdale Alhambra is, for many locals, a treasure of Penrith.

Showroom Workstation
City Centre
Cinema
Showroom Workstation

Sheffield’s premier arts centre houses an established independent cinema along with an entrepreneurial hub for creative and digital industries.

The Dukes, Lancaster
Lancaster
Theatre
The Dukes

Lancashire’s only producing theatre hosts exciting seasons of work featuring new writing and the classics in a converted church in central Lancaster. The Dukes is also a cinema, hosts gigs, talks and other special events, run a youth theatre and is a popular all day cafe bar.

Cumbria
Gallery
Florence Arts Centre

Florence Mine has been transformed into a centre for cultural activity, offering workshops, gallery space, cinema and music venue.

Culture Guides