When most people envision Northern England they typically picture castles, regal architecture, and rolling hills. Despite being suffused with museums, historical landmarks, and ancient ruins, Northern England also has thrills lurking around every corner. You can cycle just about everywhere, take in world-class sports, and participate in a plethora of unique games and activities from indoor skiing to Escape Rooms. It is a place of endless experiences for the adventure-seeking traveler.
Explore on Two WheelsThe National Cycling Centre of the UK is located in Manchester, and just so happens to be one of the city’s most popular attractions. The center is huge and contains an indoor race track where all the pros compete. When there isn't a high-profile race going on, anyone can ride around or practice their skills. The arena also features an indoor BMX course and outdoor mountain biking trails. The surrounding countryside is great place to explore on two wheels (especially the south Pennines routes).
Take in the Views from New Heights
While hiking through the Lake District is definitely a must, thrill seekers can also take in the area from new heights on the Via Ferrata route. The award-winning cable and ladder course follows the length of the Lake District Mountain and Fleetwood Pike, giving adventurers a unique vantage point of the surrounding countryside unlike any other. The best part? You don't need any experience, just a willingness to try something new!
Ride a Llama through the English Countryside
Contrary to popular belief, llamas don't just call South America home. Far from your average experience, the folks at Nidderdale Llamas allow guests to get to know their animals, experience a farm tour and even trek across the countryside for a few hours with them. It's a full day's worth of weird and wacky that is definitely worth the car ride from Manchester.
What Goes Up, Must Come Down
If you're looking to see Manchester from a new perspective, take to the skies. There are high ropes courses like Aerial Extreme, which features drops, jumps, and gravity defying climbing walls. Depot Climbing Manchester also has the largest Bouldering Wall in Europe (maybe even the world), while Go Ape lets you channel your inner Tarzan on the zipline course. For a true adrenaline rush, Salford Quays is home to the UK Bungee Club if you feel like checking that off the bucket list.
Enjoy the Water
Manchester is known for its lake culture and Salford Watersports Centre is equipped with any toy you may want: sailboats, canoes, kayaks, and even windsurfing vessels. You can enjoy a warm summer day out at Sale Water Park, Burrs Country Park or Hollingworth Lake Water Activity Centre.
Get a Chill
Chill Factore is an indoor snow park complete with real lifts and the UK's longest indoor ski slope. Open year-round, it's a great place to shred in the off-season and get some turns in if you're itching for a powder day. If you're skeptical about skiing indoors, the snow is so good the UK Ski team has even held a practice or two there.