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The 5 Best Towns & Villages To Visit In Greater Manchester


The city is full of surprises. From the dazzling nightlife to its booming music scene, Manchester has always been a favourite among locals and visitors. 

The surprises don’t just stop in the city, though. Areas within Greater Manchester are also worth a visit.

Towns within the county are full of hidden gems, green parks and fantastic museums. So if you’re looking to find other places to explore, don’t just stop at Manchester! The greater area is full of picturesque towns to check out.

We’ve picked out 5 places worth visiting within Greater Manchester - all reachable by bus or tram!


Bury is home to Philips Park, East Lancashire Railway and the Bury Market. 

A hidden gem within Greater Manchester, Bury boasts a rich history (reflected by their architecture), enchanting train rides and medieval charm - complemented with picturesque landscapes that have attracted trekkers nationwide. 

Where is Bury?

Bury is located within the northern area of Greater Manchester and is reachable from Manchester city centre. 

To reach Bury, you can use the Bury Line via Manchester, which stops right in the centre of the town. Alternatively, you can also use the 135 bus (from Piccadilly) or bus 987 (from Shudehill Interchange), which reaches the town relatively quickly - depending on Traffic.

Things To Do in Bury 

To give you some ideas on what you can do in the town, here are our best recommendations on what you can do for the day in Bury. 

Bury Market

The Bury Market (located in Bury Market Hall) is a large, traditional market in a modern setting. With lots of stalls selling fantastic products (from fabrics to household goods), Bury Market delivers a market hall that appeals to everyone. 

Bury Transport Museum 

The Bury Transport Museum houses a wide collection of vintage models of transport - including buses, trams, trains, and so on. This museum offers interactive experiences, making it a perfect place for families to visit. 

Entry is also completely free! However, a small, voluntary donation can always support improved experiences in the future.

Walk Up To Peel Tower

If you’re feeling up to the challenge, this challenging (but rewarding) walk will treat you with spectacular views overlooking the greeneries surrounding Greater Manchester. 


Oldham is a charming town buried within the gems of Greater Manchester. Like its neighbour Bury, Oldham also boasts a blend of heritage, natural beauty and historical buildings. Its Instagrammable architecture and natural landscapes, as well as its frequent festivals and events, make it one of the most visited areas within the county.

Where is Oldham?

Oldham is a borough of Greater Manchester, located northeast of Manchester. 

To reach Oldham, you can use the Rochdale tram line via Manchester Metrolink. If you prefer a bus, you can take the 76 from Piccadilly Gardens which will take you to Oldham Mumps, or the 83 (also from Piccadilly Gardens) which can take you to Oldham Centre. 

Places To Visit In Oldham

If you’re spending just a day in Oldham, we highly recommend the following places

Daisy Nook Country Park 

Located south of Oldham is Daisy Nook Country Park. This small park contains a river that runs through the Medlock Valley and contains a charming little cafe - as well as a  playground - which is perfect for families to explore and relax in.

Alexandra Park 

A bigger counterpart to Daisy Nook is Alexandra Park, a stunning green space expanding 60 acres, Alexandra Park is surrounded by gorgeous trees, outstanding views and relaxing walk paths. An outstanding place to visit in Oldham.

Gallery Oldham

Another free attraction that you can take advantage of is Gallery Oldham, a free-to-view museum available to the public. The gallery boasts a great art gallery and scheduled exhibitions, as well as activities for children and families. 


You might already be aware of Trafford due to its massive reputation of holding Old Trafford Emirates, home of MUFC (Manchester United Football Club). 

However, Trafford is much more than its relation to sport. Trafford holds various attractions that many visitors will find entertaining. This includes the Chill Factore for adrenaline junkies, Manchester’s Ship Canal, Sale Water Park and, of course, Trafford Centre. 

Where is Trafford?

Trafford is located in the southwestern area of Greater Manchester.

To get to Trafford, you can use the Trafford Centre tram line to get to various places within Trafford (including Old Trafford). Various buses also go to diverse locations within Trafford, including Altrincham. 

Things To Do In Trafford 

Chill Factore

Take a crack at skiing even without snow at Chill Factore. This indoor ski slope is home to a variety of snowy activities, including beginner ski lessons, downhill doughnuts, and other fantastic activities. 

Imperial War Museum North

Immerse into the deep history of the world wars. IWM North exhibits moving art pieces that represent the story of those involved in war, and its effects towards others. You can expect a highly educational visit when considering IWM North. 

iFly Manchester Indoor Skydiving

Are you an adrenaline junkie in the making? Experience Manchester’s indoor skydiving, where you can get a feel of what skydiving will be like. With expert instructors to guide your experience, iFly is a highly recommended activity you can find in Trafford.  


Rochdale is home to a high number of canal locks - having the highest concentration of canal locks in the north with over 91 extending 32 miles.

The canal locks boast a steep climb in lots of its pathways, but the exhausting journey results in exhilarating views. The natural reserves are just part of the town’s charm, though. With heritage centres, theatres and parks sprinkled across Rochdale, you can find lots to do in Rochdale.

How Far Is Rochdale From Manchester?

Rochdale is about 20 to 40 minutes from Manchester via public transport.

There is a tramline going straight to Rochdale from Manchester, which arrives and departs every 10 to 15 minutes. You can also look at getting there by bus, such as 17 from Shudehill Interchange. 

Things To Do In Rochdale

Explore Canal Locks 

The canal locks in Rochdale is one of the most popular attractions found in Greater Manchester, explored by hundreds every week. With over 91 canals to sightsee, Rochdale’s heavy number of canal locks is a fantastic way to spend the day.

Touchstones Rochdale

One of the closest attractions in Rochdale is Touchstones, an arts and heritage centre that houses diverse galleries, learning spaces and a cafe. A perfect resting spot, as well as a building for experiencing various exhibitions, Touchstone is a staple in Rochdale’s bustling town.

Healy Dell Nature Reserve 

Healy Dell is one of the most spectacular nature reserves available throughout Greater Manchester. With great views and waterfalls, Healey Dell is a park often visited by those who want to experience natural scenery in the area.


Technically, Altrincham is a town located in Trafford. However, we want to give it a special mention as Altrincham is a fairly attractive area that garners lots of visitors every year. 

The enchanting market town holds diverse outdoor restaurants, nature walks and a stunning market area. While Altrincham is beautiful every season, we can’t recommend visiting their markets enough during winter or Christmas! 

Where is Altrincham?

Learning how to get to Altrincham is relatively easy. Altrincham is around 40 minutes using the tram from Manchester’s St. Peter Square, located at Greater Manchester’s southern area. 

There is a tramline that goes right into Altrincham, which we recommend taking as buses can take a while to get there.

Things to do in Altrincham

Altrincham Markets

Altrincham’s Market House is arguably the most popular attraction in the town, visited by tourists, professionals and families. With quality food and drink stalls, a canteen-style hub and outdoor seating, Market House is a delightful visit for lunch, dinner, or drinks! 

Planet Ice

Ice skating is available at Planet Ice all year round for those that want to take up the hobby. Planet Ice enhances the ice skating experience by hosting various events - such as hockey matches, disco sessions, and performance shows. 

Stamford Quarter

The Stamford Quarter is a hub of independent shops, food and drink options, leisure features and a wide array of market shops.  

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