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There’s more to Manchester (and the North West) than just Oxford Road…

So by now you’ll all be familiar with travelling up and down Oxford Road to get to uni and back. You’ve braved the queues at Lidl, been for a burger at Five Guys and had a drink or two at the Wetherspoons.

In the midst of all this, it’s easy to forget there’s actually more to Manchester and its surrounding areas than just this stretch of tarmac. So why not switch things up and take one of our top 5 day trips that Manchester and the North West has to offer?

Salford Quays

Just a quick tram journey west of the City Centre you’ll find Salford Quays – a great place to head and spend a day out. One must-see is The Lowry, a beautifully designed art center and gallery, as famous for its architecture as it is for its collections by artist L.S. Lowry and calendar of theatre shows.

The Imperial War Museum is also hard to miss and has become an iconic part of the Manchester skyline since it was built in 2002.We recommend spending a couple of hours wandering the exhibitions covering war and conflicts stories from the First World War to the present day.

Finally, wrap things up with a tour of the BBC at the MediaCityUK site, walking in the footsteps of some of your favourite TV personalities. You can even have a go at making your own news and weather bulletin!

Knutsford

Picturesque Knutsford, about 20km southwest of Manchester, is as famous for its stunning countryside as it is for its dining options. It’s the setting of Elizabeth Gaskell’s best-selling Cranford novel, and is definitely worth a trip to soak up some quaint English country settings.

Tatton Park is a must-see, and one of the North’s most popular historic attractions. Highlights include a 1930s working farm, a medieval old hall, a magnificent mansion, and a deer park set amid acres of parkland and lakes – you might even spot a deer or two.

Didsbury and Chorlton

The perfect lazy Sunday destination, grab a bus or tram down to South Manchester and spend a day in either Didsbury or Chorlton – great for lazy day lounging and great nightlife.

The Makers Markets call West Didsbury their home on the last Sunday of the month, combining food, art, design, music and performance. Then afterwards why not check out some of the many cafes and bars the area has to offer, or head to the pub for a well-deserved roast.

When in Chorlton, make sure to get out in nature at Chorlton Water Park – perfect for Autumn strolls and getting yourself immersed in the great outdoors (without actually leaving the city).

York

Just an hour away from central Manchester by train, the historic city of York is a great choice for a weekend break or overnight getaway. Start things off with a stroll through the Shambles, a winding network of narrow alleys and shopfronts dating all the way back to the 14th century.

You can also walk along the medieval city walls, the largest of their kind to have survived the centuries. The adventure through Roman ruins can take a few hours but it worth it for the beautiful vistas, particularly stunning as the sun sets.

Finish the trip off off by taking in some culture at the famous York National Railway Museum, Jorvik Viking Centre or York Castle Museum.

Altrincham

Altrincham began as a market town way back in 1290 and makes a great day trip. Attractions include Stamford Park and its numerous historic sites, as well as the town’s famous Altrincham Markets covering regional food producers, vintage fashion and furniture, home house & garden and contemporary craft.

A must-see is Dunham Massey Hall, a stunning 18th-century National Trust property worth visiting for its extensively replanted grounds, deer park, and watermill. The property’s White Cottage is also well worth a visit. Built around 1500 or so, this timber-framed structure is famous for its beautiful trussed open hall.

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