More Than Just Football: Visit Manchester’s Churches, Art Galleries and Nature


Manchester is fairly known for its rich football culture, where the most prominent clubs, Manchester City and Manchester United, were formed. But the city has also excelled in music and other entertainment areas.

However, it is common nowadays that tourists know Manchester only due to the football teams, which doesn’t do justice to the remarkable city, especially its history. Manchester was among the first cities in the world where the Industrial Revolution peaked since it was a considerable cotton and textile producer.

There’s much to learn about Manchester, from its art contributions, gardens, and cultural events you don’t want to miss. So, if you plan a trip to the UK, put the city on your to-do list and try some of the following activities.

Visit the oldest churches in Manchester.

Whether religious or not, it’s important to recognize another country’s beliefs and understand how they impacted its development. For instance, Manchester’s religious past has quite an unconventional background, which is intriguing.

Hence, the first spot where you can get into the city’s history is some of its oldest churches, such as Manchester Cathedral, which is older than 600 years. The architecture is known for its Gothic influences, which is why the building is so impressive. With huge windows, medieval wooden furnishings, and choir stalls, the cathedral will leave you speechless.

But there are other religious sites you should visit. The Monastery, Saint Mary’s Church, and Salford Cathedral are only a few essential locations in the city. It might take you a day or two to see them all, so we recommend booking a car for which you can find airport parking Manchester in no time.  

Get to the historical libraries.

Manchester’s libraries are truly one of a kind, especially since they’re placed within old buildings that contribute to the city’s knowledge. The John Rylands Research Institute and Library is a must-see, with its Neo-Gothic architecture and immense walls. Besides the indoor beauty, you can explore some of the oldest books, such as an ancient fragment of the New Testament and a Gutenberg bible.


While there, visit the Manchester Central Library, one of the biggest in the UK. Its capacity can welcome around 300 people to sit and read, and it also has an exhibition room for arts and a cafeteria. Finally, the historical Chetham’s Library is the oldest public institution where important historical figures like Karl Marx and Friedrich Engel used to meet. Since you may leave with a few books or souvenirs from each place, getting a car is necessary, so look for nearby parking at

Explore Manchester’s artistic side.

Of course, like any significant city in history, Manchester has an artistic and cultural side that’s not talked about enough. You can start with the Manchester Art Gallery, whose collection has multiplied for 200 years, and it now has more than 25,000 pieces consisting of sculptures and paintings by British artists. But you can also find craft and design objects dating from the 17th century to now, such as old furniture and clothing costumes.

Continue with the Whitworth, known as the “Gallery in the Park,” which you can imagine: a gallery constructed within a park, which is why it’s so important to see. Although there are fewer objects here in the number of 60,000, the Jacobean-style architecture completes the beauty of the place.

You can end the art guide by having a street art tour and seeing how creative people in Manchester are. Street art is among the most impressive here, where many artists unleash their imagination on the walls.

Tour all the museums.

Besides the football museums in the city, which are fairly famous, others are waiting for you to explore them, like the Museum of Transport. The institution has an interesting collection of old buses, trams, and carriages from as far back as the 30s, so you can see how people used public transport back then. The building has a tea room where you can take a break from watching all the remarkable art pieces or have a snack.

There’s also the Manchester Museum, whose collection consists of ancient artifacts from Ancient Egypt, Mesopotamia, and the Ice Age. A vivarium inside the museum has a unique breeding program for endangered frog species.

Don’t forget to step into the Imperial War Museum North, which will teach you about numerous conflicts from the First World War. The exhibition center has unique artifacts, photos, and works of art.

Visit the Lake District National Park

The Lake District National Park is a World Heritage Site and England’s largest park with impressive cultural heritage. It’s the best place to go with your family and friends because, besides the beautiful views, multiple activities and events are often organized.

There are a few lakes and valleys within the park, and the best to see are Windermere and Ambleside, Coniston and Keswick, and Derwentwater. You can hire boats, kayaks, and canoes to see them all, but consider all water safety guidelines.


Guided walks are great when you want to take it easy, as most are directed, and you can walk at your own pace. Or, you can cycle around the park without bringing your bike because it has them in all sizes.

By far, the most impressive activity in the park is stargazing. The Lake District is considered quite dark at night, making the sky perfectly clear and allowing you to see all the stars. The best places for stargazing are Ennerdale, Wasdale, and Grizedale Forest.

Final considerations

Manchester is an impressive city, not just because it’s where two of the most famous football teams were formed but also because it’s full of historical importance. It has plenty of museums that show how the city’s past unfolded, libraries that keep old manuscripts, and beautiful nature you can explore at any time.