Peak District National Park

Hike the Peak District, meet the Vikings or worship The Beatles

Thanks to its outstanding location paired with reliable rail and road links, Manchester is an ideal base for exploring the north of England. Whether you want a peaceful jaunt through the rugged English countryside or to immerse yourself in British history, a stay in Manchester might be just the way to tick every box.

The Peak District
A 45-minute train ride from Piccadilly station will deliver you to Edale, in the heart of the Peak District National Park. There’s nothing more refreshing than strapping on a pair of hiking boots and spending a day exploring the spectacular undulating hillsides and moorlands which make up this area of outstanding natural beauty. Throughout the Peak District there are also several centres for rock climbing, cycling and horse riding. Alternatively, if you’re looking for something a little more sedate, seek out one of the many pubs dotted around the park and spend a day people-watching with a pint of local craft beer.
Lyme Park
Step onto the train at Piccadilly and 30 minutes later you might feel as if you’ve stepped back in time. A short walk from Disley station, on the edge of the Peak District, is Lyme Park. As well as being an Edwardian-era estate with a Grade I listed house and 1,300 acres of land, it is also the setting for part of the 1995 BBC adaptation of Pride and Prejudice. Wander the manicured rose gardens or spy the red deer who roam the land, and if on a summer’s day you find yourself getting too hot you could always recreate Colin Firth’s famous pond-dive (though we wouldn’t recommend it).
Liverpool and York
With Liverpool just 30 minutes by train from Victoria station and York just 1hr 15mins, it’s easy to turn a trip to Manchester into a tour of the most vibrant and historic cities in the north of England. A reinvigorated culture destination, Liverpool plays host to some of the biggest artists’ exhibitions in the country thanks to its Tate and Walker galleries. A visit to the Tate, set on the awe-inspiring Albert Dock (which also holds the International Slavery Museum, well worth a visit), is the perfect excuse to spend a day by the waterside. Take in the museums or simply enjoy a meal at one of the many fine eateries. Or, if you’re keen for a dose of history, there’s arguably no better place to go than York. From Jorvik Viking Centre, which holds thousand-year-old remains of a Viking settlement and explores the legacy of the Viking invaders, to the medieval city walls which offer a scenic walking route around the city, a visit to York is an opportunity to step back in time. For more recent history, York Castle Museum recreates life in Victorian England, and you won’t want to miss the clean beauty of York Minster Cathedral. Or simply head to The Shambles, a neighbourhood of perfectly preserved Victorian buildings, which is now full of pretty shops and cafes.
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