Wave by artist Paul Cummins and designer Tom Piper. Courtesy 14-18 NOW and YSP. Photo: Nigel Roddis/Getty Images.

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 film festivals in the Lake District to art biennials in the gardens of stately homes, as well as the UK’s finest sculpture park over in that there Yorkshire, it’s all here.

Here are our picks

  • 1. 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.

  • 2. Dunham Massey

    Dunham Massey
    National Trust

    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.

  • 3. 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.

  • 4. 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.

     

  • 5. Formby Beach

    By Berit from Redhill/Surrey, UK (Formby beach) [CC BY 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons

    Formby Beach, Victoria Rd, Formby, Liverpool, L37 1LJ - Visit now

    This National Trust-owned nature reserve on the Mersey coast is a thing of diverse beauty. Red squirrels a-gamboling in the pine forest? Check. Rolling sand dunes that act as a border betwixt sea and sky? Check. Vast, flat expanse of beach? Check. Though Formby gets chocka on a sunny day, its miles and miles of beach makes it easy to leave the madding crowd far behind. Car parking on site; Mersey Rail station a mile or so down the road. No cafes or shops (bring a picnic. And a bucket and spade).

Things to do right now

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skyliner
Activity Until 27 September 2020, from £9

Skyliner: Alternative Tours of Manchester

Puffin Box
Music Until 27 September 2020, from £110

Puffin Box at Hilton House

gassing with the galdem
Activity Until 28 September 2020, FREE

Girl Gang: Gassing with the Galdem

Science Learning at Home with Jodrell Bank
Activity Until 30 September 2020, FREE

Science Learning at Home with Jodrell Bank

HOME Reopening Programme
Cinema Until 30 September 2020, from £5.5

HOME Reopening Film Programme

Visual Arts Until 30 September 2020, FREE

Manchester Art Gallery Highlights Tour

eat the archive
Activity Until 30 September 2020, FREE

Eat The Archive at Manchester Jewish Museum

MAD walkers
Activity Until 30 September 2020, £36.60 for annual membership

Manchester and District Walkers (MAD Walkers)

Activity Until 30 September 2020, from £20

Circus House: Circus Online

Cinema Until 30 September 2020, FREE

Above The Line – September at YES

Manchester Museum Online
Activity Until 30 September 2020, FREE

Manchester Museum Online