Tours and Activities in Manchester and the North

Carmel Smickersgill, Tours & Activities Editor

This month’s guide focuses some of the most essential tours and activities for anyone visiting or living in Manchester. These are the tours that will really help you understand the heart of the city, whether that be through your curiosity to learn, your more artistic inclinations or your stomach.

Join local history experts Johnathan Schofield and Skyliner (Hayley Flynn) and dive into Manchester’s past with one eye on where it might be heading in the future. Both these guides have a unique style and a charismatic delivery when it comes to sharing the city’s stories. Their tours of Mayfield Depot and the Northern Quarter will open your eyes to the human activity behind the bricks.

Spend a cultured afternoon at Manchester Art Gallery or The Whitworth, with each offering free tours, it couldn’t be easier to find an accessible way into their collections. Hear the stories behind the art and bridge the gap between creator and viewer.

If you want to make the most of Manchester’s culinary scene we recommend checking out Scranchester and Manchester Food Walks. Both of these food tours will take you to scrumptious independent hidden gems giving you the chance to try a bit of everything, all in one meal.

For more tours and activities beyond Manchester, including a couple of Beatles-themed explorations around Liverpool, keep scrolling.

Here are our picks

More Tours & Activities

Activity Until 29 May 2020, from £5

Meditation at the Manchester Buddhist Centre

Learn how to meditate with the welcoming community at Manchester Buddhist Centre. Their beginners classes are the perfect way to find your feet and develop your own meditation practice.

Activity Until 2 July 2020, FREE

Technical Tours at the National Coal Mining Museum

Get into the the heart of the machinery with technical tours of the mines at the National Coal Mining Museum.

Rock and Goal
Activity Until 1 June 2020, from £4.5

Rock and Goal Tour

Join Joe Feeley a Mancunian through and through, who guides you into Manchester’s two pillars of cultural excellence with his Rock and Goal tour.

sunday night waves
Activity Until 14 July 2020, from £7

Sunday Night Waves 5Rhythms Drop In

Embrace the effervescent energy of Sunday Night Waves, a 5Rhythms dance class where you can move with the flow of your own body and explore.

Activity Until 19 December 2020, from £55

Local Leeds Food Tour

Fresh local produce is always on the menu of the Local Leeds food tour. Visit six pubs and restaurants serving up some of Yorkshire’s finest cuisine.

Leeds Street Food Tour
Activity Until 19 December 2020, from £55

Leeds Street Food Tour

Eat your way through some of the best street food Leeds has to offer, with insights into the people and stories behind each bite. Try something new with the Leeds Street Food tour.

Two hour Beatles Guided Walk & Cavern Club
Activity Until 1 December 2020, from £20

Two hour Beatles Guided Walk & Cavern Club

This Beatles Guided Walk & Cavern Club is the perfect way to learn more about The Beatles while discovering the city of Liverpool.

Alice Irwin: People Play Trail at The Piece Hall in Halifax
Activity Until 1 June 2020, from £1

Alice Irwin: People Play Trail at The Piece Hall in Halifax

Drop into The Piece Hall Welcome Centre and collect a sculpture trail map that will take you on a sketching and symbol spotting journey.

Air Raid Shelter Explorer Tour
Activity Until 12 August 2020, from £5.5

Stockport Air Raid Shelter Explorer Tour

Every second Wednesday of the month guided tours of the mile long stretch of Air Raid Shelter under Stockport give you the chance to see a more personalised view of the tunnels.

Culture Guides

Cinema

Cinemas might be closed but independent venues and distributors need any help they can get. We look at some films you can stream and places to donate.

Phoebe Davies: Points of Rupture at Site Gallery in Sheffield

Exhibitions

Art and women’s wrestling, Ancient Akkadian gravesites and invented artefacts – check out this month’s pick of exhibitions from across the north.

The elves and the shoemaker. Two green puppets with a male and female actor either side of them.

Families

Need some inspiration for fun and creative family days out? Look no further than our top picks for families across Manchester and the north.

Carcanet exhibition: Carcanet poets Michael Schmidt and Michael Symmons Roberts.

Literature

News of books just out and books worth revisiting, even if you can’t get to the events yourself. Plus a fabulous new exhibition about independent publisher Carcanet, on for the next six months…

Music

Discover the best live music coming up in Manchester and the north this spring and, dare we say it, summer!

Theatre in Manchester

Theatre

Bringing opera, dance, fierce experimental performance and new writing, there’s much to enjoy in our guide to the best theatre in Manchester and the North.

Classical Music in Manchester and the North

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

Food and Drink in Manchester and the North

It’s time to find the best restaurants for the weeks ahead. Here’s our guide to the best Food and Drink in Manchester and the North

Things to do right now

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Victoria Baths Guided Tour
Activity Until 6 May 2020, from £6

Victoria Baths Guided Tour

Runaway Brewery Tour
Activity Until 11 May 2020, from £15.70

The Runaway Brewery Tour & Tasting

tours and activities
Activity Until 1 May 2020, from £50

Eat The City – Scranchester Tours

Two hour Beatles Guided Walk & Cavern Club
Activity Until 1 December 2020, from £20

Two hour Beatles Guided Walk & Cavern Club

Activity Until 1 December 2020, from £75

Liverpool Beatles Walk and Ticket to Ride Tour

Leeds Street Food Tour
Activity Until 19 December 2020, from £55

Leeds Street Food Tour

Activity Until 19 December 2020, from £55

Local Leeds Food Tour

sunday night waves
Activity Until 14 July 2020, from £7

Sunday Night Waves 5Rhythms Drop In

Rock and Goal
Activity Until 1 June 2020, from £4.5

Rock and Goal Tour

Activity Until 28 April 2020, from £12

Mayfield Depot Station Tour

Because of the ongoing Coronavirus crisis, we are unable to bring you our usual recommendations for things to do in Manchester and the North. Our thoughts at this time are with our readers and with the organisations and businesses who make the North of England a great place to live and visit. We hope you stay well and look forward to sharing more unmissable events and places with you later in the year.

Here’s our guide to supporting organisations in Manchester and the North.

Please note – many of the venues on our site will be closed and events either postponed or cancelled. Please check the venue website for details.