Tours and Activities in Manchester and the North

Carmel Smickersgill, Tours & Activities Editor

We have a packed new guide of Tours and Activities to get involved with this month, with plenty of things to do, learn and experience. Once the novelty of being able to go for a sit down coffee has worn off, we’re all left with a need for creative outlets and new hobbies to discover. Thankfully there are many opportunities to get stuck into activities in Manchester. Whether that involves diving into the local history and street art of Manchester with Skyliner, learning to embroider with botanical designs or rekindling that playfulness and curiosity with the Royal Exchange, you won’t be stuck for things to do in May.

With physical tours still limited why not explore Skyliner‘s (Hayley Flynn’s) online content. For as little as £1 you can access thoroughly and thoughtfully researched video tours, that travel through decades and civic boundaries to bring lesser heard voices to the forefront of Manchester’s cultural identity. For something lighter on the intellect but heavier on the palate, join Manchester Cheese Crawl for a fromage based frolic through the city.

rekindling that playfulness

The People’s History Museum are once again programming excellent artistic guests for their Radical Lates series. Join visual artist Issam Kourbaj and songwriter Ewan McLennan for an evening of talks and music responding to the journeys of Syrian refugees.

If you’re a member of the elder community and looking for an excuse to get creative, try Elders Mondays with the Royal Exchange. These three workshops happen on selected Mondays and help you develop your writing, reading or performing skills. We’re also excited about the return of in person events with Rebecca Stevens beautifully designed botanical embroidery workshops.

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

Here are our picks

  • 1. Skyliner: Virtual Tours of Manchester

    skyliner

    Virtual Tours of Manchester with Skyliner, online, Until 31 July 2021, from £1 - Book now

    Whilst walking tours are still limited, join Skyliner for unique and thought provoking video tours, taking you through the modern history of Manchester’s street art. 

  • 2. Radical Late: Exploring Crossings: community and refuge

    10 June, Radical Late, Issam Kourbaj @ People's History Museum © Trustees of the British

    Radical Late: Exploring Crossings: community and refuge – a British Museum Spotlight Loan, online, 10 June 2021 - Book now

    Exploring Crossings is part of the PHM’s Radical Late series. Artist Issam Kourbaj will be talking about his evocative work Dark Water, Burning World.

  • 3. Elders Mondays with the Royal Exchange

    Royal Exchange

    Elders Mondays with the Royal Exchange, online, Until 31 August 2021, from £4 - Book now

    Feel connected and stay creative with a group of like minded older people with Elders Mondays from the Royal Exchange. 

  • 4. The Manchester Cheese Crawl

    Manchester Cheese Crawl
    Photo by Polina Tankilevitch from Pexels

    The Manchester Cheese Crawl at St Ann’s Square, City Centre, 8 May–28 August 2021, from £25 - Book now

    Eat your way through the dairy based delights of Manchester, with the Manchester Cheese Crawl walking tour. 

  • 5. Botanical Embroidery Workshop at OBJECT

    Rebecca Stevens

    Botanical Embroidery Workshop at OBJECT, Chorlton, Chorlton, 9 October 2021, from £49.1 - Book now

    Join artist Rebecca Stevens for an afternoon of crafting where you’ll make your own botanical embroidery with 3 simple embroidery stitches.

  • 6. Women and Girls Skate sessions at Projekts

    women and girls night

    Women and Girls Skate sessions at Projekts at Projekts MCR Skatepark, City Centre, Until 26 August 2021, from £8 - Book now

    Join Projekts skate park for exclusively women and girls skating, every Thursday from 7 – 9 pm. Be warned the sessions are very popular so book in advance to avoid disappointment.

  • 7. Curator’s Tour: Grayson’s Art Club

    Manchester Art Gallery

    Curator's Tour: Grayson's Art Club, online, Until 30 June 2021, free entry - Visit now

    Join Natasha Howes and Fiona Corridan for a curator’s tour of Grayson’s Art Club, with some of the pieces that didn’t make it on T.V.

  • 8. Art Classes in Didsbury with ColourWheel

    ColourWheel Art Classes

    Art Classes in Didsbury, online, Until 14 June 2021, from £50 - Book now

    Learn new skills, refine techniques and explore different medias with ColourWheel Art Classes in Didsbury. 

  • 9. Carve and Cast Workshop Kit with Wonderhaus

    Wonderhaus

    Carve and Cast Workshop Kit, online, Until 31 May 2021, from £85 - Book now

    Have a go at designing your own jewellery with Wonderhaus’ Carve and Cast kits. You’re given the tools to carve your own designs in jeweller’s wax which will then be professionally finished and cast at Wonderhaus. 

  • 10. Zoom Tours: Jonathan Schofield’s New Series

    Johnathan Schofield

    Johnathan Schofield's Zoom Tours Series, online, Until 24 August 2021, free entry - Visit now

    Join expert tour guide Johnathan Schofield as he travels chronologically and geographically through the culture, architecture and geography of Manchester. 

  • 11. 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. 

  • 12. Alliance Française de Manchester

    Alliance Française de Manchester, 125 Portland St,, Manchester, M1 4QD - Visit now

    Le français, c’est chic! The Alliance Française de Manchester has a large range of online and onsite French courses starting 14 September.

More Tours & Activities

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.

Babies listening to a man play the guitar as part of My First Protest Song
Activity Until 5 June 2021, FREE

My First Protest Song with the People’s History Museum

My First Protest Song goes online. Round up the family and join Matt Hill for this live-streamed event full of toe-tapping tunes.

doodle den at people's history museum, young girl using thick marker pen to drawer on a glass panel
Activity Until 31 December 2021, FREE

Doodle Den: Playful Protests Online

Pick up a pen and encourage the whole family to explore the art of peaceful protest.

Culture Guides

Cinema in Manchester and the North

We look at online festivals, new streaming releases and some newly announced outdoor cinema screenings.

Exhibitions in Manchester and the North

Exhibitions

A floating festival, an LSD-inspired journey across space and time, an exhibition curated by GCHQ – there’s plenty to look forward to this month.

Family Things to do in Manchester

Families

Need some inspiration for online activities and creative family fun? Look no further than our top picks online for families across Manchester and the North.

Writer and translator Jhumpa Lahiri.

Literature

As the land of live literature tentatively opens the door a crack, we have some talks and walks IRL to flag up and a whole host of online dates for your diary this May, a jam-packed month of festival readings, digital book launches and spoken word showcases…

Music

We look ahead to the return of physical gigs, selecting a handful of live shows in May and June, as well as some online concerts to tide us over.

Theatre in Manchester and the North

Theatre

You’ll find all the best live-streamed shows, online festivals and live outdoor performance in our theatre guide this month.

Classical Music in Manchester and the North

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

Dapur Malaysia

Food and Drink in Manchester and the North

It’s the March edition of the Food and Drink Guide to Manchester and the North and things are slowly starting to feel more promising. Spring is here, the weather is mostly warming up and in just a few weeks we’ll be allowed to eat and drink outside at venues with outside space.

Exhibitions in Manchester and the North

Online events

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

Things to do right now

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

Science Learning at Home with Jodrell Bank

Activity Until 31 August 2021, from £4

Elders Mondays with the Royal Exchange

skyliner
Activity Until 31 July 2021, from £1

Skyliner: Virtual Tours of Manchester

Activity Until 14 June 2021, from £50

Art Classes in Didsbury with ColourWheel

women and girls night
Activity Until 26 August 2021, from £8

Women and Girls Skate sessions at Projekts

Activity Until 30 June 2021, FREE

Curator’s Tour: Grayson’s Art Club

Activity Until 24 August 2021, FREE

Zoom Tours: Jonathan Schofield’s New Series

Activity Until 31 May 2021, from £85

Carve and Cast Workshop Kit with Wonderhaus

Pendle Witch Experience Tours
Activity Until 31 December 2021, from £18

Pendle Hill Witch Experience Tours

Blackburn Open Walls
Activity Until 31 December 2021, FREE

Blackburn Open Walls

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

Discover Buxton Audio Tours

Discover Buxton Roman Tours
Activity Until 31 December 2021, from £15

Discover Buxton Roman Tours