hanks to the madness of the COVID-19 pandemic, traveling even locally has been hugely limited over the past 12 months. As the end of the third English lockdown begins to draw nearer, it’s time to start planning some days out to help the feeling of normality return. Luckily, there are plenty of places in the north of England that are within easy driving distance from Manchester.

What If I Don’t Have A Car?

If you aren’t a car owner as of yet, why not consider leasing a car instead of buying one? The benefits are numerous: cheaper monthly costs, no risk of depreciation of value, a wide range of cars available – and it’s even possible for people with poor credit history. Bad credit car leasing is available through Compass Vehicle Services, so leasing is available to everyone. Lease a car to make day-trips to these tourist destinations even easier.

City Breaks

There are numerous cities with lots to offer within easy driving distance of Manchester city center.


Leeds is the largest city in West Yorkshire and is definitely a cultural hotspot. With plenty to see and do, it’s probably best known for its:

  • Restaurants
  • Nightlife and bars
  • Live music
  • Shopping

Driving to Leeds from Manchester city center should take around an hour, so it’s easily doable in a day.


Sheffield is England’s fourth-largest city and is thought of by many as the best city in the UK. There’s a lot on offer:

  • A 19-acre botanical garden
  • Graves Park animal farm
  • Numerous art galleries, such as Weston Park Museum, Millennium Gallery, and Graves Gallery
  • Excellent live music venues

Heading out of Manchester, you could reach Sheffield in under 90 minutes by car. What’s stopping you?


Birthplace of the Beatles, Liverpool is a music-lover’s paradise, but there are many other reasons to take a trip to this coastal city:

  • Great restaurants
  • Interesting architecture
  • Football tourism
  • Beaches!

The city was also voted the European Capital of Culture in 2008, and there’s still a lot to get your teeth into. You can arrive in under an hour, so it’s easy to explore this vibrant and bustling city.


A slightly longer drive that clocks in at around two hours, York is most definitely worth a visit. Its rich, varied history and one of the largest cathedrals in Northern Europe are just the tips of the iceberg. York offers:

  • Medieval shopping streets
  • Medieval city walls
  • Clifford’s Tower (built under the orders of William the Conqueror)
  • Delicious tea

Make the drive to York and see what you can discover.

Explore Nature

If you’re more interested in getting out into nature, you really are spoilt for choice.

The Peak District

Most Mancs have explored plenty of the Peak District, but its incredible views mean it’s always worth another visit.

Forest of Bowland

An area of outstanding natural beauty, this forest straddling Yorkshire and Lancashire offers breath-taking views of deep valleys and moorland. Well worth the 90-minute drive.

The Yorkshire Dales

An incredible national park just a stone’s throw away from Manchester, it’s easy to overlook the Yorkshire Dales in favour of the Peak and/or Lake Districts, but this area tends to be less crowded with tourists, making it perfect for a more relaxing day out.

Whenever UK-based travel begins to open back up, start with easy day-trips by car and explore more of what the north of England has to offer.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here