Manchester has so many things on offer and when on public transport or in the car, you might blink and miss it! One of the best ways to discover Manchester is by stretching your legs and heading out on a walking tour led by guides who know the city inside out. From food and drink-themed to tours that highlight Manchester’s best kept secrets and things the city is notoriously great for, such as music and street art, check out our pick of the top walking tours in Manchester.
Head out on a gastronomic adventure, sample some of the best food and drink that this industrial city has to offer and learn how Manchester’s food and drink offer an insight into the city’s past, present and future. Manchester’s gastronomic scene is booming and this tour will show you exactly what the hype is all about. Starting (and ending) at top food and drink market hall Mackie Mayor, your local guide will take you on a multi-stop food tour across the city revealing some culinary hidden gems and historical insights along the way. We’ve never had such an incentive to walk! Book onto this foodie walking tour here.
2. Free Manchester Walking Tours
Next, there’s a walking tour for those looking to discover Manchester but on a budget. Free Manchester Walking Tours take place every day at 11am, starting from the Alan Turing Memorial in Sackville Gardens- plus there’s no need to book, just simply turn up. During these Manchester walking tours, your local guide tells the story of Manchester including how famous characters, political movements and musical legends made this city what it is today. Plus, being led by locals, you’re bound to walk away with a fair few recommendations and insider tips.
Calling all craft beer lovers! Prepare for things to get boozy as you hop along on one of these craft beer walking tours around Manchester. Sip on 10-12 beers (1/3 pints) of superb craft beer locally brewed in Manchester, with each one very unique. At each venue a brewer or a tasting expert will give the full lowdown on what makes these craft beers un-brew-lieveable. Get your steps in on this craft beer tour and be rewarded with an epic pint– what more could you want? Grab tickets to this Manchester craft beer tour here.
4. Manchester Music Walking Tour
Forget Memphis and Merseybeat, Manchester is THE music city. Manchester is a factory of superior song-making and stirring soundscapes courtesy of Joy Division, the Fall, New Order, Buzzcocks, Happy Mondays, John Cooper Clarke, the Stone Roses, 808 State and the Smiths. All of these legendary musicians were spinning around the legend of the Hacienda, the world’s hippest nightclub, chicer than the Copacabana, sexier than Studio 54, cooler than the Cavern or Cream. On this walking tour, you can relive the good ol’ years of the Hacienda when Manchester music was at its peak, on a free walking tour of the city centre organised by Ed Glinert, a leading historian and long-time music writer.
I ain’t afraid of no ghost! If you’re looking for a touch of the heebie-jeebies then this Manchester ghost tour is for you. Mixing a fictional storyline with real elements of folklore and local history, this outdoor game and walking tour will take you on unique and unusual adventures where you’re guaranteed to see Manchester in a whole new light. You will be guided to some of the most frightful places in the city, following step-by-step instructions in order to solve clues. Dare you go on this tour? Book this Manchester ghost tour here.
More of a crawl than a walk (you’ll understand after all the cheese you consume), this two-hour tour allows you to gorge on Caerphilly-selected cheeses. According to See Your City, there’s only one way to truly get to know Manchester: by touring all of the cheesiest spots, of course. The marvellous Manchester Cheese Crawl takes you to some cheese spots in the city and promises Edam Gouda day out. Starting in St Ann’s Square, and winding its way over to the Northern Quarter, these brie-lliant walking tours will visit the best cheese sellers in Manchester. Plus, there will plenty of cheesy jokes and interactive cheese-themed quizzes and competitions to keep you amused along the way. Grab your cheese-loving gang and book tickets here.
Looking for a walking tour to impress? Well, we have just the one. Treat the special people in your life to this private romantic walking tour of Manchester, which is a particular favourite when Valentine’s Day comes around. Together with a professional local guide, you will visit the city’s most romantic spots and feel spellbound in a charming atmosphere. Discover the best places to go on a date and which areas are considered the best to take lovely photos at. Plus, as you wander through Manchester, you’ll be surprised to find out how many historical love stories are hidden in the streets, buildings and parks of the city. You and up to 14 people can join this private tour, so you can make it as intimate as you like. Book this private romantic tour here.
8. Skyliner Street Art Tour
Manchester was recently named one of the best cities in the UK for street art and they’re not wrong as it boasts some mesmerising murals and awesome artwork that cannot go unmissed. Join these street art walking tours through the Northern Quarter where you’ll be able to get up close and personal with some of the finest street art in Manchester, both old and new. The tours venture in Ancoats over the invisible wall known as Great Ancoats Street and investigate how art and architects worked together to create a cohesive space for living in.
Big fan of the Blues? Enjoy one of the most immersive tour experiences in the Premier League with a guided look around The Etihad Stadium. Learn all about the story of Manchester City in a 360° theatre and enjoy an audio-visual perspective of the players’ matchday dressing-room preparations. Take the fabled tunnel walk onto the pitch and be sure to get photos in the dugouts. There’s even a unique opportunity to field questions to a virtual manager in the press room, so have your notepad and pen ready! Plus, this tour offers audio guides in a number of languages. Book a tour of the Etihad Stadium here.
10. Bridgewater Canal Guided Tours
Lastly, head a little out of the city of Manchester to the wonderful village of Worsley as part of Bridgewater Canal guided tours. On these walking tours just outside of Manchester city centre you can find out more about the fabulous history of the Bridgewater Canal and Worsley Village that includes a Queen, a Duke, several Earls and some ingenious engineers. There is also a tour called Coal, Canal and Cake where visitors can indulge in the history of Worsley’s thriving coal industry and Bridgewater Canal as well as a slice of cake to finish.
That rounds up our list of the best Manchester walking tours, whether you’re a total newbie to the city or simply want to find out more about this fantastic industrial city in a fun, active way.