5 Things To Do Around Greater Manchester This Autumn

Tuesday, October 29, 2019
If you've been following me on instagram (@ofbeautyand) recently then you'll have seen that I've been exploring my home city of Manchester for a couple of upcoming posts, the first of which is today's post in collaboration with hotels.com. I was kindly gifted spending money by hotels.com but all of the views within today's post are my own. 

There are so many wonderful sites to visit within the centre of Manchester, it's many districts and within an hours drive of the centre so if you are a North West local then hopefully today's post will give you a few ideas of places to visit during the October half term or this autumn. Also, if you're visiting Manchester from around the UK or abroad, whether you're staying in a hotel or a serviced apartment in Manchester, here are a few of my top places to visit this autumn in and around Greater Manchester. 

Shopping: Primark, Friends Cafe, Manchester Fort & Trafford Centre 
Manchester is known for a few things including cotton manufacturing, football and of course, shopping. I think many people around the North West view Manchester as a hub of shopping destinations, from the arndale and the many smaller shops around the city centre to retail parks and one of the most famous shopping areas in the North West of England, the Trafford Centre. 

I live a short drive away from the city centre so it is easy for me to travel to the city centre and I typically park at the Victoria station car park as it's cheap, easy to find and there are usually spaces available. Victoria station car park is within easy reach of many of the main attractions within the centre such as the football museum, Chethams library, the cathedral, the MEN arena and the main shopping areas. 

My favourite spots to shop have to include the huge Primark we have on Market Street which also has the UK's first Friends cafe inside - it's an exact replica of the cafe from Friends, along with various sweet treats. I also like the arndale for it's wide range of shops and places for a bite to eat, although it can be very busy at the weekend so it's best to head to Manchester during the week, if you can, especially when the christmas markets begin next month. 
Jodrell Bank 
As I've said, there are so many wonderful sites within the city centre but there are many interesting and historic places to visit within a short drive from the city centre so if you're staying in Manchester and you have a car then why not explore Greater Manchester and it's surrounding cities such as Cheshire, Liverpool and Leeds.

The world famous Jodrell Bank is an iconic landmark for astronomy as it hosts the Lovell telescope which since 1957 has been exploring the universe. The site is part of the University of Manchester and it features more than the telescope as there's a plethora of interactive learning opportunities, guided tours, science shows, workshops, areas of children and a garden/picnic area.
The area around Jodrell Bank is beautiful in itself as is the Jodrell Bank discovery centre, especially at this time of the year. It is less than an hours drive from the city centre, there are a variety of activities for all ages, especially if you have children who are interesting in space! You can buy tickets online or at the centre for £7.65 per adult and £4 for parking which makes it one of the cheaper attractions around Greater Manchester.

You can look around on your own (which is what we did as we were a little low on time) or you can take part in one of the daily telescope walking tours or check out their website for more events coming up. I would love to go to one of their stargazing nights (£9.50) but you have to be quick as they seem to sell out quite quickly.
John Rylands Library & Chethams Library 
Manchester has such a wide history from the roman and viking invasions to the suffragettes and the industrial revolution, the latter is the most evident era of history within the area of Greater Manchester as a whole with it's mass of red brick mills and victorian factories but there are a few unusually beautiful and older buildings within Manchester too!

Firstly, within Castlefield you'll find the ruins of a roman fort which dates back 79AD (that's the period in history when Mount Vesuvius erupted and destroyed Pompeii)! The ruins are close by the Museum of Science and Industry which is well worth a visit and it's the museum I've visited the most within Manchester.

Another impressive building is Chethams Library which is part of Chethams School of Music and it dates back to 1421 but it was opened as a public library in 1652 which makes it the oldest public library in Britain. I've only been inside once but I would love to again as it is almost a mini Hogwarts library! As it is part of a working school, you do have to go in with a guide but it is free and well worth a visit.

The final historic building I wanted to mention that is also located in the city centre is John Rylands library. The library dates from 1890 and was built by the wife of Manchester's first multimillionaire, John Rylands, as a memorial to her husband. As with Chethams Library, there are also free tours at specific times and I would definitely recommend going on a tour.
Quarry Bank Mill 
Last week we travelled to Jodrell Bank and Quarry bank Mill as they aren't too far away from each other and they combine two aspects that Manchester is famous for, cotton manufacturing and science. Manchester was known as cottonopolis due to it's factories, warehouses and the amount of cotton products the city could churn out thanks to the growing population of Manchester, it's links to the docks in Liverpool, canal network and the plethora of mills and merchants.

There are so many National Trust sites to visit in the North West and my favourites have to include: Gawthorpe Hall, Lyme Park, Dunham Massey, Tatton Park and Quarry Bank Mill. If you have access to a car and you would like to explore around Greater Manchester, I cannot recommend a visit to Jodrell Bank and Quarry Bank Mill, both of which are do-able in one day if you have an early start.
The mill itself is incredibly interesting to look around as it is one of the best preserved mills of it's time and it provides a fascinating insight into the lives of the children and adults who worked at the mill - while they didn't have idyllic lives to say the least but they were treated far better than at other mills within Greater Manchester. The lives of the workers at Quarry Bank Mill takes centre stage with the money making cotton itself as without the hardworking people, the mill wouldn't be profitable.

As well as the mill, there's also a second hand bookstore, shop, cafe and facilities as well as the apprentice house and garden which hosts small tours with knowledgable staff dressed in period costume. I cannot recommend a visit to Quarry Bank Mill enough as it's not only an interesting peek into the lives of the mill workers of the time and the process of cotton manufacturing but the area is beautiful and the gardens are perfect for an autumnal walk.
Tatton Park 
I've already mentioned my love for the National Trust properties within the North West and I didn't know which one to include as my final recommendation as it's a toss up between the wonderful Dunham Massey (which is home to an ancient deer population and the deer come very close to the visitors) or Tatton Park. I recommend both wholeheartedly but if you don't have much time or you really want to see the local deer then head to Dunham Massey; however Tatton Park is going to be my pick for today.
Tatton Park is one of the UK's most complete estates with a Tudor hall, Neo-classical mansion, parkland, gardens and it's own deer population (although the deer at Tatton Park aren't as visitor friendly or as visible, from my experience). I love visiting Tatton Park as not only is the mansion interesting to look around but the gardens are some of the most beautiful I've visited. I adore Tatton Park so much that I had to visit it on my birthday this year.

I have so many more recommendations for places to visit within the city centre, Greater Manchester and the surrounding areas so if you are visiting soon, feel free to comment below with questions or your own recommendations. I will have another post coming soon with more recommendations about visiting Manchester on a budget and more free activities. If you are visiting Manchester this week then be sure to look out for the monsters that have descended on the city centre as part of #halloweeninthecity and the halloween celebrations.

Have you visited any of these sites? Do you have any recommendations of places to visit in or around Greater Manchester? 


  1. These.look like such great places! I would love to visit the UK someday!



  2. I haven't gone around Manchester too often! Normally I was off to an audition or doing to a convention! This is on my travel list of places to go! I really want to look at some of the more historical places! Are they easy places to get to?

    Daisy xoxo | TheDeeWhoLived

  3. My mister is a Mancunian and one of my favourite places to visit is Dunham Massey x

  4. I've never been to Manchester - I'd love to go x


  5. My friend has just moved to Manchester I can't wait to go and visit her it looks great!x

  6. There's so much to see in Manchester isn't there, I especially love it at Christmas time xx

    Tiffany x www.foodandotherloves.co.uk

  7. I haven't been to Manchester in such a long time! These all look like great places to visit x


  8. Manchester has been on my to visit list for so long!

    Love, Amie ❤
    The Curvaceous Vegan

  9. it all looks like such good fun! I love your jacket too it's lovely!

    Erin || MakeErinOver

  10. I really want to go to Manchester this year x

  11. I haven't been to Manchester in years! It's somewhere I'd really love to visit again because I'm sure it's changed so much xx

  12. I’ve never properly visited Manchester before but I keep meaning too.


  13. Tatton Park is always a lovely day out :) look forward to planning in some activities when I'm home for Christmas!
    Jasmine xx

    Jasmine Talks Beauty

  14. Tatton Park looks lovely - I must make a journey to Manchester!
    Em x


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