‘There’s nothing quite so rewarding for the whole family as travel. The very act of packing your bags and setting sail or jetting off to somewhere the troubles of work and home can’t catch up with you is incredibly appealing…’

Travelling overseas can be both incredibly relaxing and educational. It can prevent us from falling asleep at the wheel (which can happen when we’re stuck in a routine) and allows us to feel years younger. However, it’s a mistake and a fallacy to assume that the benefits of travel only apply when we jet off to destinations overseas.

We can still get many of the same gratifications from travelling by exploring the treasures on our own doorstep. Sure, the weather may not be as great, especially around this time of year, but winter coats are a thing and winter hats help combat heat loss when outdoors. Wherever you call home, there’s likely a plethora of natural and man-made marvels within easy reach. If you’re a reader in the north of England or Wales, here are some fun ideas for days out in and around Manchester for the whole family…

Dunham Massey

Around half an hour’s drive from the city centre, you will come across the picturesque town of Altrincham. Near this attractive and popular town you can find the stunning Dunham Massey Hall; an 18th century stately home that actually served as a war hospital in the Great War. Aside from the beauty and elegance of the home itself, there’s also a lot to enjoy on the spectacular grounds where you can see deer roaming wild and free. Check out the White Cottage on the grounds and the newly replanted gardens.

Quarry Bank Mill

The north-west was made great by its prominent role in the textile industry. If you live in Manchester, you owe the city’s growth and prosperity to its key role in the industrial revolution. Why not take the whole family and pay homage to the city’s industrious history with a visit to Quarry Bank Mill? Located in the little village of Styal near Wilmslow (close to Manchester Airport) you’ll find the mill which is Europe’s biggest working textile museum.

Anyone who’s familiar with Wigan Pier will be familiar with the way in which costumed actors are used to bringing the realities of the industrial revolution to life and the setup is similar here. The mill offers not only a fascinating insight into the cotton production techniques of the early 1900s but also a sobering insight into the difficult and dangerous lives endured by mill workers, many of whom were children.

The Lowry Centre

Located near the gigantic and glittering Media City complex, the Lowry in Salford has a whole lot to offer the whole family. Aside from great shopping and dining at the Lowry Outlet Centre the site also offers terrific theatre and a range of artworks painted by the local legend LS Lowry made famous for his matchstick-like figures and depictions of early 20th-century life.

Stockport Tudor Mansions

Drive south for half an hour, past the trendy suburbs of hipster-filled Chorlton and artisanal Didsbury and you’ll find the town of Stockport. While it may not boast the sheer volume of amenities offered by Manchester proper, it still has much to recommend it, including decent shopping and a surprisingly excellent hat museum. A little outside of the town, however, there are some spectacular historical sights including a number of gorgeous Tudor mansions.

There’s Bramall Hall, with its classic Tudor style black and white timber-framed exterior. Lyme Park, one of the largest Tudor houses in Cheshire located in the picturesque village of Disley. Here you can wander the stunning halls and marvel at the fine furnishings and opulent decor.

The star of the show, however, has to be Underbank Hall, which has sections built way back in the 14th century.

Little Moreton Hall

Speaking of stunning Tudor architecture, if you want to take the whole family for a trip back in time, you’ll find no better place to do so than Little Moreton Hall located near the charming village of Congleton. One of the most impressive mansions of its kind in the country, it was built in 1480 and, against the odds, has been perfectly preserved to this day. With a range of fun tour options, a visit to this stately manor is a fantastic way to get in touch with local history.

So, there you have it. There’s a whole lot more to Manchester than Old Trafford and the Arndale Centre!

Suz xx


** This post was written in collaboration **