Manchester, Chester & the Lakes - 3 Day Rail Itinerary

Manchester, Chester & the Lakes - 3 Day Rail Itinerary

3 Days

Think of Manchester and many think of football. But just north of this vibrant city, sits the enchanting countryside of The Lake District. And, 40 miles to the south, the historic city streets of Chester. Whilst these three destinations are close in distance, and can easily be combined as part of a visit to the North of England, the contrast between them has to be seen to be believed.

Getting Around

For short trips, individual rail tickets can be booked in advance through the Trainline. For longer journeys, such as this one, one of the easiest and most relaxing ways to explore Britain is with a BritRail Pass, which allows unlimited journeys and the freedom to explore.

Day 1

Things to do in Manchester

Hop-on Hop-off Manchester Sightseeing Bus

These days, Manchester is synonymous with Premier League football. Whilst a love of “beautiful game” runs strong, the Hop on Hop off bus gives visitors a chance to see this side of Manchester, and more. From the city’s crucial role in the industrial revolution, to the bustling shopping and nightlife of the present day, this 90 minute tour through Manchester features 15 stops – showcasing the city’s science, history, music, art and sport.

Tour details

Min – Max capacity: 1 – 68
Frequency: Winter:  3 tours daily
Easter to end of October: 6 tours daily, up to every hour
Private tours: Not available
Contact: info@sightseeingmanchester.com
FIT or Groups: FIT
Translation: German, Spanish & Chinese

Book on the Visit Britain shop

Website: Manchester Sightseeing Bus

Manchester United Museum & Stadium Tour

The Manchester United Museum & Stadium Tour is the ultimate opportunity to glimpse behind the scenes of one of Britain’s most iconic football clubs. With interactive experiences, historical exhibitions, and an impressive trophy cabinet, the award winning museum gives a fascinating insight into the 130 year history of the club. Audio guides are available in nine languages, and bring the tour to life as it explores the players’ dressing room and walks the halls that the likes of Eric Cantona, Ryan Giggs and Wayne Rooney have made famous.

Even non Manchester United fans will find it hard not to be impressed walking out to the 76,000 seats that make this stadium truly unforgettable!

Buy your Premier League football tickets from the VisitBritain shop (Premier League tickets available oversees only).

Tour details

Min – Max capacity: 1 – 45
Frequency: Every 10 mins from 09:40 to 16:30 (excluding match days)
Private tours: Yes
Contact: tours.enquiries@manutd.co.uk
FIT or Groups: FIT & Groups
Translation: Audio guides available in 7 languages and foreign language tour guides can be arranged with advance notice

Website: Manchester United Museum & Stadium Tour

Discover Manchester – Daily Guided Walking Tour

Starting at the Manchester Central Library, this walking tour is a great way to discover the city – uncovering its fascinating culture, history and architecture. Whether short of time, and looking for a quick taster of the city, or keen to hear from a local guide, this tour is a perfect introduction to this historic city – taking in sights such as Manchester Cathedral, the Royal Exchange and the Neo-Gothic Manchester Town Hall.

Tour details

Min – Max capacity: 1 – 25
Frequency: Daily 11am – 12.30pm
Tours start outside Manchester Central Library.
Private tours: Available on request
Contact: +44 (0)7505 685942
info@manchesterguidedtours.com
FIT or Groups: FIT & Groups.
Translation: French, German, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, Mandarin – can be arranged with prior notice

Book on the Visit Britain shop

Website: Manchester Guided Tours

Day 2

Things to do in Chester

Chester Zoo

Home to over 15,000 of the world’s most endangered and exotic animals, it’s easy to see why Chester Zoo is one of the most visited in the UK. From regular talks by the team of rangers, to feeding demonstrations and guided tours around the 125 acres of grounds, there are plenty of opportunities to learn about the habits and habitats of animals from around the globe at this leading conservation centre.

Tour details

Min – Max capacity: Min 1
Group rates available for 15+
Frequency: Open daily from 10am. Closing times depend on season, from 4pm in Winter to 5pm-6pm the rest of the year
Private tours: Available on request (max group 20)
Contact: groups@chesterzoo.org
FIT or Groups: Groups
Translation: Not available

Website: Chester Zoo

City Sightseeing: Hop-on Hop-off Chester

Did you know that Eastgate Clock in Chester is said to be the most photographed in the country after Big Ben? Or that the Roman walls surrounding Chester are the most complete set of city walls in the country? Exploring Chester from an open top double decker bus is a great way to uncover the fascinating history of this medieval city. Visitors can get on the bus just near Chester train station, and get on and off at any of the 13 sites on the tour – enjoying fun and informative commentary along the route.

Tour details

Min – Max capacity: 1-30+
Frequency: 1st April – 29th October Every 30 minutes from 9:45am until 5pm
Last bus leaves Chester Railway Station at 4pm.
Every 20 minutes during busy periods e.g weekends, school holidays
Private tours: Available on request (max group 20)
Contact: groups@city-sightseeing.com
FIT or Groups: FIT & Groups
Translation: Not available

Website: City Sightseeing Chester

Day 3

Things to do in The Lake District

Ullswater Steamers Cruise with Prosecco

It seems only right to experience the Lake District from the water, and Ullswater Steamers offers the perfect way to do just that with a Round the Lake Cruise. Operating 363 days a year, and with regular departures throughout the day, it’s a great way to learn about the Arthurian legends of the region, the abundant hills and mountains, any maybe even spot some of the area’s wildlife. With in-depth audio commentary on board all their tours, passengers are in the very best hands, with over 150 years of experience of boat tours on the lakes.

Tour details

Min – Max capacity: 1 – 30
Frequency: At least three departures daily from Glenridding Pier (Please check timetable for departure times)
Private tours:  Available year-round on request
Contact:  enquiries@ullswater-steamers.co.uk
FIT or Groups: FIT & Groups
Translation: Audio commentary available in Chinese, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Spanish, Welsh via downloadable app

Book on the Visit Britain shops

Ullswater ‘Steamers’

Mountain Goat Tours

Mountain Goat Tours have a well-deserved reputation for providing excellent tours of the Lake District. Founded 40 years ago, they offer a wide range of tours to suit all interests, time available and group size. For those who fancy a whistle-stop tour of this stunning National Park, we recommend the Six Lakes in a Morning tour, or the Ten Lakes Spectacular. Or for those with more literary interests, the Beatrix Potter tour and the Ullswater and Inspired Landscapes tours promise to delight. With such a wide range, and expert driver guides (who allow plenty of time for photo stops!), one of these tours is a fantastic introduction to this stunning corner of Britain.

Tour details

Min – Max capacity: 1 – 16
Frequency: Six Lakes in a Morning
Daily (March 24th 2018 to October 28th 2018) 9:30am-1:30pm
Beatrix Potter Favourite Countryside
Daily (February 10th 2018 to October 28th 2018) 12.00pm-4.30pm
Private tours:  Available on request
Contact: tours@mountain-goat.com
FIT or Groups: FIT & Groups
Translation: Not available

Website: Mountain Goat Tours

Lakes Distillery Tour

People the world over know of Scottish whisky, but visitors to the Lake District need travel no further to explore a working distillery. Once a Victorian cattle farm, the Lakes Distillery offers tours which include the stillroom and cask warehouse and tastings of some of its spirits – most notably whisky, but gin and vodka too. This distillery has won a wide range of awards for both its visitor experience and its produce, and has truly earned its title “one of the best new distilleries in the world” (Time Out, New York) since opening in 2014.

Tour details

Min – Max capacity: 1 – 20
Frequency: Daily every hour – first tour 10:00, last tour 16:00
Private tours: Available on request on the half hour
Contact: events@lakesdistillery.com
FIT or Groups: FIT & Groups
Translation: Translation sheets available in Mandarin, German, Dutch, French and Spanish.

Website: Lakes Distillery

Britrail Pass

For those exploring Britain by train, a BritRail Pass is the easiest and most cost-effective way to travel. For a single fixed price, pass holders can make unlimited train journeys around the whole country or a region of their choice. BritRail tickets are exclusive to overseas visitors so they will need to buy their ticket before they arrive in the UK.

Book on the Visit Britain shop