Outdoor Activities

Creative Tourist

Ah, the great outdoors: all that fresh air, rosy cheeks and innocent entertainment. If you’re tired of city living, head outside – and there’s no better place to begin, thanks to our guide to interesting, unusual and distinctly cultural outdoor events and outdoor activities. From thorough rundowns of the North’s best outdoor art and adventure activities to standalone outdoor events like Around the World in 80 Days at Williamson Park and Heaton Park’s Festival of Nature, as well as the UK’s finest sculpture park over in that there Yorkshire, it’s all here.

Our top picks

RHS Garden Bridgewater

RHS Garden Bridgewater, Occupation Road (Off Leigh Road), Worsley, Salford, Greater Manchester, M28 2GU - Visit now

Are you looking for a family day out in Manchester where you can be at one with nature? RHS Bridgewater beckons outdoor enthusiasts of all ages.

RHS GARDEN BRIDGEWATER
Image: Harris Bugg Studio

Outdoor Art in the North

Read all about the North’s best outdoor art, which has a special relationship to community, cultural heritage and the landscape it’s situated in.

Adventure Activities in the North

The North of England has no shortage of incredible adventure activities. This guide highlights a selection of the very best, each one showcasing a spectacular aspect of the landscape of the North.

Treetop Adventure Manchester
Treetop Adventure Manchester.

Stately Homes in the North

The North of England is blessed with stately homes, most dating back many centuries, and featuring some of the finest gardens in the country.

Wray Castle

Wray Castle, Low Wray, Ambleside, Cumbria, LA22 0JA - Visit now

This mock-gothic castle sits imperiously on the shore of Lake Windermere, far from the crowds. Built for a retired Liverpool surgeon with ideas of grandeur, he crammed every architectural feature he could think of into the brief and got the lot – a portcullis, turrets, arrow slots, mock ruins in the garden and even secret passageways and escape routes to and from the master bedroom. It is marvellous in a bonkers sort of way and has stunning interiors and grounds.

Dunham Massey

Dunham Massey, Altrincham, Greater Manchester, WA14 4SJ - Visit now

For a slice of the country that’s close to home. The National Trust’s most popular property, Dunham Massey, is just a few miles outside Altrincham, set in beautiful parkland, and close to favourite pub The Swan with Two Nicks.

Dunham Massey
National Trust

Heaton Park

Heaton Park, Middleton Road, Higher Blackley, Manchester, Greater Manchester, M25 2SW - Visit now

Heaton Park’s Temple – a small circular structure with a breast-esque dome and Tuscan columns, designed in 1800 – was built on the highest point in Manchester. Scale the hill it sits on and you can see (and be seen) for quite a distance. It gives a unique view of the green fells that surround the city, as well as being an iconic spot: Heaton’s Temple was featured in none other than the 1981 TV series, Brideshead Revisited.

Yorkshire Sculpture Park

Yorkshire Sculpture Park, West Bretton, Wakefield, Yorkshire, WF4 4LG - Visit now

Yorkshire Sculpture Park is a day trip in itself – pack kids (if you’ve got them, don’t go stealing someone else’s), a picnic, a camera and go exploring the art and landscape at this stunning gallery beneath the sky.

 

Yorkshire Sculpture Park
actor with pig puppets The Three Little Pigs at Waterside Arts
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Take me there

Culture Guides

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Exhibitions in Manchester and the North

February is a month of love so art lovers in the North - rejoice! There is lots to choose from: two photography festivals, gorgeous crafts and shows celebrating local talent.