Tours and Activities in Manchester and the North

Carmel Smickersgill, Tours & Activities Editor

The optimism of early summer is once again upon us. Schools are relaxing, beer gardens have become tolerable without thick coats and the festival season has begun. We’ve rounded up a collection of tours and activities this month that will challenge your creativity, musicality and sense of adventure.

Diving in at the deep end, Venture Out’s canoeing and kayaking trips down the River Mersey are an excellent alternative way to experience Manchester’s most beautiful waterway. Hire your vessel or embark on a guided tour featuring rapids, wildlife or a pub at the end of a great river experience. No previous experience is required. However, it is definitely worth planning your transport to and from the river as the trip obviously doesn’t begin where it ends.

For something more creative, Central Library and artist Ibukun Baldwin are hosting a series of banner making workshops as part of the build-up to Refugee Week 2022. Over the course of these sessions, a large welcome banner will be created and displayed in Central Library. Slightly further out of town, Indy Arts Mcr are hosting fun, friendly and mind-opening drawing workshops at the Old Abbey Tap House and Withington Public Hall.

Over the other side of Manchester, the Jewish Museum are encouraging musicians of any level, instrument and ability to enjoy playing Klezmer with their Klezmer Tune Club. This gathering of amateurs, experts and enthusiasts will be led by Daniel Mawson and Richard Fay, as they learn and share tunes from the Klezmer canon.

Looking further ahead into the future, Leeds International Festival has been announced and tickets are selling fast. One of the talks that caught our attention is the panel discussion with Judy Ling Wong CBE, What’s Wrong With Climate Activism?

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

Here are our picks

  • 1. Canoeing and Kayaking on the Mersey

    Venture Out Canoeing

    Canoeing and Kayaking on the Mersey, Until 30 September 2022, from £25.00 - Book now

    Experience the River Mersey from a more intimate perspective with canoeing and kayaking trips from Venture Out. 

  • 2. Klezmer Tune Club at Manchester Jewish Museum

    Chris Payne

    Klezmer Tune Club at Manchester Jewish Museum at Manchester Jewish Museum, Cheetham Hill, Until 11 July 2022, free entry - Visit now

    Bring an instrument and learn with the best Klezmer players in Manchester with Klezmer Tune Club at Manchester Jewish Museum. 

  • 3. LIFI 22: What’s Wrong With Climate Activism?

    via Leeds Inspired

    LIFI 22: What's Wrong With Climate Activism? at Howard Assembly Rooms, 24 September 2022, from £10.00 - Book now

    Judy Ling Wong CBE gathers a panel of activists, campaigners and artists to ask, What’s Wrong With Climate Activism?

  • 4. Northern Quarter Taster Walk with Manchester Food Walks

    John Ryan

    Northern Quarter Taster Walk at Piccadilly Gardens, Manchester, Until 31 August 2022, from £40 - Book now

    Join John Ryan for a mouth watering taster walk as you eat your way through the back streets of the Northern Quarter learning about the local history and culture as you go.

  • 5. Hull Lido

    Hodson Architects

    Hull Lido, 94 Albert Ave, Anlaby Rd, Hull, HU3 6QE - Visit now

    Coming soon, Hull Lido plans to open in the near future, bringing yet another great opportunity for outdoor swimming to the North.

  • 6. Cloud Aerial

    Pexels

    Cloud Aerial, Unit A Aldow Enterprise Park, Blackett Street , Manchester , M12 6AE - Visit now

    Get upside down with Cloud Aerial. Their beginner classes are the perfect introduction to the addictively fun world of aerial arts. 

  • 7. Leeds Craft Cider Tour

    via Leeds Inspired

    Leeds Craft Cider Tour, Until 17 September 2022, from £40.00 - Book now

    Sample the best artisanal ciders, (and an intriguing Perry) Leeds has to offer in this new Craft Cider Tour. 

  • 8. Gin School with Manchester Gin

    Spirit of Manchester Gin

    Gin School with Manchester Gin at The Spirit of Manchester Distillery, City Centre, Until 31 July 2022, from £95.00 - Book now

    Learn about the different styles of gin and distil your very own bottle with Gin School at the Spirit of Manchester Distillery. 

  • 9. Behind the Scenes Tour of Central Library

    Matt Cocker

    Behind the Scenes Tour at Manchester Central Library, Manchester, Until 28 July 2022, from £12.50 - Book now

    Get an access all areas view of Central Library in Manchester, with a brand new behind the scenes tour.

  • 10. Eden Project North

    Eden Project North

    Eden Project North, Morecambe Bay, Morecambe, Lancaster - Visit now

    Opening in 2024, Morecambe bay will become a centre for eco tourism with the exciting arrival of the Eden Project North. 

  • 11. Manchester Museum

    Manchester Museum Tours at Manchester Museum

    Manchester Museum, The University Of Manchester, Oxford Rd, Manchester, Greater Manchester, M13 9PL - Visit now

    Having gone through a physical and cultural transformation, Manchester Museum will be reopening this year with a new inclusive, caring and creative approach to museum curation.

  • 12. The People Of

    Kate Daley

    The people of, Until 30 September 2022, free entry - Visit now

    Experience Northmoor Road as you’ve never heard it before, The people of is a sound walk that encourages you to look beyond the surface of a community.

  • 13. Chester Rows

    Courtesy of Visit Cheshire

    Chester Rows, Bridge St, Watergate St, Eastgate Street, Chester, Cheshire, CH1 1NG - Visit now

    In a city full of historic beauty, the galleries of Chester Rows are a must-visit for their 13th century architecture and charming boutiques.

  • 14. Tours in Chester

    Carmel Smickersgill

    Tours in Chester at Chester Tourist Information Centre, Chester, Until 31 August 2022, from £0.00 - Book now

    Roman Soldiers, blue badge holders and Medieval Longbowman walk the streets of Chester sharing their passion for history with a wide selection of tours.

  • 15. 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.

  • 16. 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 30 June 2022,

Manchester Taxi Tours

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.

skyliner
Activity Until 31 December 2022, from £9

Skyliner: Alternative Tours of Manchester

Join Skyliner for the anti-tour of Manchester’s Northern Quarter. The route interrogates current developments in the city as well as visiting the area’s most notable pieces of street art.

Activity Until 1 December 2022, from £15

Embroidery with Sara Dennis at Lancaster Castle

Learn embroidery in a fun and relaxed environment with the BBC’s Sara Dennis at Lancaster Castle’s famous Witches Tower.

Activity Until 1 December 2022, from £95

Blacksmithing at Forge Four

This beginners workshop will teach participants the traditional skills associated with blacksmithing, in the ‘Steel City’ of Sheffield.

Activity Until 1 December 2022, FREE

Stone carving at West Riding Stonecarving Association

The West Riding Stonecarving Association is dedicated to keeping the art of hand-carving stone alive and bringing it to the general public.

Textile taxidermy
Activity Until 1 December 2022, from £80

Textile taxidermy with Jaki Bogg at Craven Arts Studios

Head to Skipton’s Craven Arts Studios to create a unique mounted animal head for your home with local textile artist Jaki Bogg.

Activity Until 1 December 2022, from £13

Candle making at Cheshire Workshops

Try your hand at candle making with the experts at Cheshire Workshops, this fun and creative skill is suitable for all ages.

Activity Until 1 December 2022, from £20

Pottery at Earth Pig Pottery and Fine Art in Buxton

Try your hand at pottery at Earth Pig Studio in Buxton’s Green Man Gallery; a longstanding community arts hub, shop and gallery.

Activity Until 31 December 2023, from £50

Eat The City – Scranchester Tours

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.

Culture Guides

Cinema

Explore Hollywood history, queer rarities and squirm-inducing horror across the big screens of Manchester and the North this month.

The Tudors: Passion, Power and Politics

Exhibitions

Let’s make the most of early summer, with this month’s selection of brand new art exhibitions from across the North!

Geronimo Festival 2022

Families

Festivals, shows, museums, and much, much more – there’s plenty of summer fun to be had for families in Manchester and the North, whatever the weather. Here are our top picks.

Writer Niamh Mulvey. Photo by K Elliott

Literature

There’s plenty of sunshine-drenched reading to immerse yourself in from established names and emerging talent, poets and prose writers alike, both in real life as well as online.

Music

From rising stars playing basement sets to open air shows by your favourite bands’ favourite bands, there are some gems in this month’s music picks.

Theatre in Manchester

Theatre

Eclectic theatre festivals, silly slapstick and dreamy outdoor shows, there’s lots of brilliant performances happening inside and outside over the summer.

Classical Music in Manchester and the North

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

Food and Drink

Spend June at some of the best restaurants and bars in Manchester and the North.

Things to do right now

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Bridgewater Lates at RHS Garden Bridgewater
Activity Until 30 June 2022, from £6.50

Bridgewater Lates at RHS Garden Bridgewater

Activity Until 31 July 2022, from £95.00

Gin School with Manchester Gin

Activity Until 30 September 2022, FREE

The People Of

skyliner
Activity Until 31 December 2022, from £9

Skyliner: Alternative Tours of Manchester

Victoria Baths Guided Tour
Activity Until 26 October 2022, from £6

Victoria Baths Guided Tour

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