Creative Tourist

Looking for interesting things to do over summer? This guide features everything from festivals to adventure activities to more sedentary pastimes like plonking yourself in a beer garden outside a great British boozer.

Our top picks


Festivals. We do them well up north. From giant, inhibition-loosening weekends in farmers’ fields to inner-city parties that showcase the best of local, underground scenes, music lovers are spoilt for choice. This guide rounds up our top picks for this spring and summer, taking in everything from hedonistic escapes to contemporary jazz showdowns via family-friendly fun.

Festival-goers at Green Island

Parks and Gardens

The North of England is home to some absolutely stunning parks, and what better time than summer to go and visit a few you’ve never been to. In this guide we’ve rounded up some of our favourite gardens, city parks and patches of outdoor space in Manchester, Liverpool, Sheffield and right across the North. If you only want to see green spaces in Manchester, no problem. We’ve a guide for that, too.

Flower beds beside a wide lawn
Image courtesy of Dunham Massey and the National Trust.

Summer Holidays: the best things to do with kids

Come July, school will be out for six heady weeks of adventuring. Indoor, outdoor, free, ticketed…whatever you fancy. Look no further for your ultimate guide for cultural and just outright fun things to do together to make long-lasting memories (and also achieve precious hours of relative sanity during the hols).

Summer Holidays
Image courtesy of Little Moreton Hall/ National Trust

Open Air Theatre in Manchester and the North

Balmy summer evenings and pre-show picnics; popping of corks and the clinking of glasses; high-quality performance, good company and nature’s very own top tier ventilation system, make open air theatre one of our favourite things. Check out our highlights for this summer, featuring standout shows in Chester’s Grosvenor Park and Lancashire’s Williamson Park.

The Jungle Book at Grosvenor Park Open Air Theatre
The Jungle Book at Williamson Park. Image courtesy of Gabi Dawkins & Jess Turton.

Adventure Activities in the North

The North of England is home to the longest high wire bridge in Europe, over 1,000ft above the Honister Pass in Keswick, and one of the UK’s largest outdoor inflatable water assault courses near Sheffield. This part of the world, then, has no shortage of incredible adventure activities. Make the most of the fleeting British summer and tick a few off.

Treetop Adventure Manchester
Treetop Adventure Manchester.

Wild Swimming in the North of England

We’ve put together the definitive guide to Wild Swimming in the North of England, which is veined with cuts and canals that were once vital to the functioning of our society. Our lakes are treasured by all and none go unpainted for long, while rivers forge through our towns and cities, defining them. Get closer to this side of nature by actually immersing yourself in it.

Beer Gardens in Manchester & Salford

What’s the best thing to do in the sun? Many people on this well-watered isle will, without blinking, respond that it’s having a cold pint in a beer garden with your mates, obviously. And that’s what this guide is all about: revealing Manchester and Salford’s very best outdoor spaces to enjoy beer, cocktails or whatever boozy (or non-boozy, we don’t judge) drink floats your boat.

Society Manchester
Society Manchester
Spotlight on

Beer Gardens in Manchester & Salford

Make the most of the sun in one of Manchester's many top-notch beer gardens.

Take me there

Culture Guides

Furiosa: A Mad Max Saga
Cinema in Manchester and the North

From the latest installment in the Mad Max franchise, to silent movie masterpieces we highlight the best new releases and big screen classics showing near you this month.