7 Last-Minute Getaways Within An Hour Of Manchester To Rest Your Weary Mind

Time to unwind...

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Call us ungrateful, but sometimes living in a city with so much going on can get a little overwhelming. A weekend in Manchester is a buzz of great night life, music events and dining experiences – but sometimes, when that clock hits 5pm on a Friday all we want to do is chill. Luckily for those of us going through this hermit-phase, there’s an array of de-stressing destinations right on Manchester’s doorstep.

So, if you want to leave behind the hectic 9-5 in favour of a more relaxing time, then these are the laidback retreats you should head to this weekend:

1. Chester

An hour’s drive from Manchester city centre is the historian’s haven of Chester. Originally founded as a Roman fortress in 1AD, the town showcases rows and rows of Tudor-style half-timber buildings. If history isn’t your thing, then Chester’s variety of shops, coffee houses and quaint restaurants is sure to keep you satisfied. Whether you want to enjoy a thrill at the races, explore the town from the heights of the surrounding wall, or indulge in one of the many afternoon teas on offer, Chester has it all. 

2. Alderley Edge 

For a little luxury, head to the famous WAG-land of Alderley Edge. Bursting at the seams with footballers and their associates, the lovely Cheshire village enjoys a host of luxury from interior design shops offering home cinemas to nail parlours with manicures at £50 a pop. Expect a procession of Bentleys and Porsches whilst you peruse the high street. If the thought of spotting Rooney whilst you’re enjoying your lunch is actually a bit of a turn-off (I don’t blame you), then try heading out of the town to the Edge – an outcrop of sandstone on the hill, beneath which lies a cave where legend has it that King Arthur and his Knights lie sleeping. If you’re lucky, you’ll spot the wizards face and his wise words carved into the rock.   

3. Hebden Bridge

For a weekend retreat designed to get your creative juices flowing, head 40 minutes North East of Manchester to Hebden Bridge. The peaceful market town is hugely popular with artists, writers and creative folk, and features an array of independent shops and quirky cafes. Take a relaxing stroll along the canal or venture up to Heptonstall church to see the burial place of renowned poet Sylvia Plath.  


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4. Last Drop Village Hotel & Spa, Bolton

Turn off your phone, switch off your data and go off the beaten track to the last drop village hotel. Whilst Bolton might not be the first place that springs to mind when you think of a relaxing retreat, this self-contained hotel should be. The hotel has transformed a group of derelict farm buildings into a luxury escape, whilst holding on to the traditional touches of the history that thrived there – it’s a modern hotel, steeped in history. Explore the shops along the cobbled streets, then take a plunge in the spa’s luxury infinity pool whilst you admire Manchester from a distance.

5. Marple Bridge

Close enough to Manchester to have great transport links back to the city centre, but far enough away to offer stunning countryside views, Marple and its neighbour town of Marple Bridge is the perfect last minute weekend getaway. With the Peak District right on your doorstep, there’s relaxing walks and picture-postcard views a plenty, whilst the thriving village community offers a range of independent shops and cafes. Catch a movie at the Regent, an independent cinema with a retro feel, or enjoy a drink or two at the Hare and Hounds, a cosy British pub that offers all the favourites. 

6. Clevely Mere

Escape to Clevely Mere for relaxation overload. Whilst a lake-side cabin might conjure up childhood memories of cramped static caravans for some, the luxury boutique lodges poised on the banks of lake Clevey Mere are unlike anything you’ll have ever experienced before. Seven stunning lodges have been beautifully crafted to offer a taste of paradise, with plush interiors showcasing their 5* ratings. 

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7. Tatton Park, Cheshire

Elevated amidst 50 acres of gardens and 1,000 acres of landscaped parkland, Tatton Park is the perfect place to leave the city behind. A must-see for culture junkies, the park is centred around a stunning 18th Century mansion owned by a wealthy family with a penchant for collecting fine art and books. If wandering through the footsteps of generations past is not your thing, then journey instead through the extensive gardens – the Japanese Garden, complete with a Shinto Shrine, is popular amongst tourists.

The neighbouring town of Knutsford is the perfect basis for a relaxing weekend, with high streets steeped in Tudor markings and historical architecture. Visit King Street to admire the imposing Gaskell Tower or soak up a quaint countryside feel along the cobbled streets and colourful houses of Church Hill.  

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Loves eating cake and baking (skilled at the former, not so great at the latter.) Discovering the vibrant city that is Manchester one burrito at a time.Email: amy@lovin.com