Tours and Activities in Manchester and the North

Carmel Smickersgill, Tours & Activities Editor

Summer has been the welcome relief many of us have needed. A time to reconnect and reintegrate into old habits. Although the season may be ending, that definitely doesn’t mean we need to stop getting out there, being curious and looking for new adventures. We’ve lined up some of the best tours to experience in Manchester this September, with our new tours and activities guide.

If you’re keen to experience the city in a more personalised way (that involves less walking), why not join John Consterdine for a Manchester Taxi Tour. Step inside his fully electric black cab with a panoramic roof and let this blue badge tour guide show you the sights, secrets and famous streets of Manchester. For Mandarin speakers, RobinGo has started a new mandarin language walking tour of the city centre called Urban Buddies. It’s an excellent overview of the city’s history starting from the Roman times through to the present and beyond.

Just outside the city you can explore the leafy suburb of Worsley and learn about the role the Bridgewater Canal played in the industrial revolution with the Canal, Coal and Cake walking tour. As the name would suggest, you’ll also have chance to enjoy some light refreshments at the end of the tour.

If you’re in the mood for something more hands on, why not check out the new Wednesday free craft evenings at the Left Bank in Leeds, or try your hand as a turntablist with DJ Gym in Hatch.

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

Here are our picks

  • 1. 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. 

  • 2. Urban Buddies, Mandarin Language Walking Tour

    RobinGo

    Urban Buddies, Mandarin Walking Tour at Manchester Cathedral, Cathedral Quarter, Until 27 November 2021, from £25 - Book now

    Join RobinGo for Urban Buddies, a 2 hour walking tour of Manchester, exploring the cities past and future in Mandarin. 

  • 3. 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. 

  • 4. Canal, Coal and Cake

    Canal, Coal and Cake at Bridgewater Canal, Until 30 October 2021, from £16 - Book now

    Canal, Coal and Cake is a walking tour that takes you through the industrial past, present and patisserie of Worsley.

  • 5. Ceramic Animal Sculpture Workshop at MCDC

    Katherine Lees

    Ceramic Animal Sculpture Workshop at MCDC at Manchester Craft & Design Centre, Manchester, 18 September 2021, from £35 - Book now

    Join award-winning ceramicist Katherine Lees to sculpt your own ceramic animal sculpture and hand decorate it with coloured underglazes.

  • 6. 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.

  • 7. Eat The City – Scranchester Tours

    tours and activities
    Scranchester tours

    Eat The City - Scranchester Tours, Until 31 December 2021, 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. 

  • 8. Daily Manchester Walking Tours

    Lee Baxter

    Free Manchester Walking Tours, Until 30 September 2021, free entry - Visit now

    Free Manchester Walking Tours offer a friendly introduction to the city. Setting off every day at 11am, they’ll help you get into the architecture, art and culture of this diverse microcosm. 

  • 9. 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

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.

A Garden Through Time audio walk
Activity Until 30 September 2021,

A Garden Through Time (Online)

A Garden Through time is an audio tour designed to help you explore the site of the old Leeds Zoological and Botanical Gardens.

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.

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

Discover Buxton Audio Tours

Discover Buxton’s audio tours of The Peak cover the area around Buxton and are designed to be enjoyed from the comfort of your own vehicle.

Culture Guides

Cinema in Manchester and the North

Disreputable Japanese cinema, The Black Cinema Project and the return of film festivals all feature in this month’s cinema guide.

Deborah Roberts: A Look Inside at the Bluecoat, Liverpool

Exhibitions

Race, beauty, education and early childhood memories are all explored in this month’s top pick of exhibitions from across the north.

What the Ladybird Heard at The Lowry

Families

As we welcome in the autumn season and live entertainment returns to Manchester, there are so many activities to do with kids of all ages. Here’s our round-up of some of the best family activities and fun days out taking place in the coming weeks.

Northern Lights Writers' Conference 2021

Literature

Events for readers meet events for writers, with plenty of book launches, open mics, literature festivals, writing conferences and poetry showcases to pop into your diary for the remainder of September pushing into October, both online and in person.

Music

Live music is back in full swing with a tonne of great gigs coming up in September and October, from post punk experimentalism to astral jazz.

Stanley & Audrey Burton Theatre: Season of Dance

Theatre

Dark comedies, dance world premieres and celebratory reopening seasons feature in this month’s eclectic pick of live theatre happening across the North.

Classical Music in Manchester and the North

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

Food and Drink in Manchester and the North

A guide to Food and Drink in Manchester and the North, including plenty of new bars and restaurants and exciting new menus from old favourites.

Online events

Discover the best things to do online from the organisations we love in Manchester and the North.

Things to do right now

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

Science Learning at Home with Jodrell Bank

tours and activities
Activity Until 31 December 2021, 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 31 December 2021, from £269

DJ Gym at Hatch

Activity Until 27 November 2021, from £25

Urban Buddies, Mandarin Language Walking Tour

Activity Until 30 October 2021, from £16

Canal, Coal and Cake

Activity Until 31 December 2021,

Manchester Taxi Tours