We’re all becoming more conscious about our impact on the planet. Whether we’re buying pre-loved items, taking public transport or walking more, there’s a rise in people making conscious choices to benefit the environment.

Greater Manchester is a city-region passionate about sustainability and protecting the world around us. We have a target to become net zero by 2038 and are working to reduce the region's carbon footprint every day. It’s one of our core priorities as a city and we know our residents and visitors also care about how they can help.

If you’re looking for things to do across Greater Manchester that won’t leave you feeling guilty about the impact on the environment, we have some suggestions for you. From pre-loved shopping to gorgeous green spaces, a great day out in Manchester doesn’t mean you have to hurt the planet.

Worn Again at Selfridges

You are invited to a season of shopping, swapping, upcycling and repairing as sustainable fashion is taking over. Selfridges is inviting its customers to shop second-hand, swap their old clothing, and prioritise repairs and upcycling through a storewide takeover called Worn Again. A continuation of Selfridges sustainability commitments, Worn Again is about celebrating secondhand rather than new, and inspiring customers to rethink their wardrobes, how they shop, and whether they can extend the life of their favourite things. Helping to eliminate clothing waste and the damage it causes to the planet, Selfridges Worn Again takeover features a series of Swap Shops, “The Edit” a curation of second-hand clothing and accessories as well as “Reselfridges,” a portfolio of circular initiatives, all focused on imagining what the near future of shopping will look like.

In the Trafford store, there is also a concession from Manchester vintage favourites We Are Cow and Kid’s Collective and a trainers ER, a cleaning and restoration service. Learn more about the events at the Manchester Exchange and Trafford Centre stores.

Sneakers laundry

Stay the night at Yotel – an eco-friendly hotel

If you’re looking for a place to stay that’s eco-friendly, look no further than the Yotel Manchester Deansgate. Right in the heart of the city, close to all of your favourite shops, bars and attractions, staying at Yotel Manchester Deansgate means that everything is within walking distance, or just a short hop away on Manchester’s sustainable Metrolink and bus service. Decked out with vibrant colours, stylish interiors and innovative design, Yotel Manchester makes a glamorous city centre hideaway. Not only is this hotel incredibly stylish, but its sustainability credentials are second to none. Yotel Manchester uses pre-loved furniture, organic toiletries and sustainably made mattresses throughout. No waste is sent to landfill and the hotel generates enough electricity to run 10 family homes from its own rooftop solar farm, ensuring that your stay has very little impact on our planet.

Didsbury Bicycle Hire

Explore Greater Manchester’s green spaces in a planet-friendly by hiring a bike through Didsbury Bicycle Hire, a community-based bicycle hire company. Pedal your way around the famous South Manchester parklands on a retro-styled Pashley bicycle with a locally-sourced picnic hamper, soft woollen picnic basket and even a Roberts Revival portable radio, for the perfect picnic. This is a unique activity that will provide a memorable, and social-media-worthy day out without impacting the environment. Perhaps you’ll take in the stunning Fletcher Moss Botanical Gardens or relax in Fog Lane Park. Didsbury Bicycle Hire offers free delivery and collection across the North West, so no cars are needed from you.

The Vegetarian Society Manchester – Cookery School

To help you eat more sustainably, why not take some time to learn some new veggie and vegan recipes with help from The Vegetarian Society Cookery School? The Altrincham-based school is home to experienced, friendly tutors who can teach you a whole range of international cuisines and a whole host of tips and tricks to use in the kitchen. Their courses and workshops will fill you with eco-friendly dish inspiration that can not only satisfy your tastebuds but also impress your friends too. The tutors also offer free courses to community groups and help people build life skills and introduce good-quality vegetarian food to new audiences, so every course you sign up for will allow them to continue their good work.

Cooking Class

GM Ringway

Explore the entire city-region in a sustainable way that will also keep you fit and healthy with the GM Ringway. Greater Manchester’s newest walking trail explores the green spaces, waterways and countryside of all ten boroughs through one beautiful 300km route. The low-impact trail allows communities to access every borough’s stunning landscapes and heritage, giving you a new appreciation for Greater Manchester’s scenery. Best of all, all stages of the trail are designed to be reached by public transport making it an even more sustainable day out. For accessibility, the route can be broken down into shorter walks that make the most of public transport options and alternative routes will be available where the landscape isn’t suitable for walkers of all abilities.  

Manchester Walking Tours

If exploring the countryside isn’t really for you, there are a wealth of experienced tour guides willing to take you on a walking tour of Manchester. Explore the city sights and let the experts share their wisdom, with no vehicles involved you won’t be harming the planet in the process. There are themed tours which focus on Manchester’s musical heritage, political history, culture and street art. Some tours visit local restaurants, breweries and pubs to add another element of fun. But there are also generic Manchester walking tours that show you the best of the city on foot, each with an expert guide that is sure to add their own personality to your day out.

Manchester Taxi Tours

A taxi tour may not sound like a very eco-friendly way to see the city, but this is a taxi tour with a difference. Manchester Taxi Tours with John Consterdine, the city’s only Green Badge Tour Guide and Taxi Driver, take place in a fully electric taxi. John offers unique sightseeing tours from the comfort of his low-emissions electric car which can be tailored to ensure you see all the landmarks you’ve been wanting to check off your list. There are special themed tours around music, sports, history and culture, or if you want to make it extra special you can add a locally sourced afternoon tea to make a day of it.

Visit Mayfield Park

We can’t mention an environmentally friendly day out in Manchester without talking about the first public park to open in the city in the last 100 years. Mayfield Park is a 6.5-acre park right next to Piccadilly Station, so no cars are necessary. It’s home to over 142 trees, 120,000 plants and a kid's play zone. It’s the perfect park to entertain the entire family with green spaces for relaxing or sports, play areas, quiet spaces and a stunning natural environment. Woven around the beautiful and historic River Medlock, the park has provided a huge clean-up effort and is nurturing biodiversity in the area, helping local species to return and thrive. Using floodable meadows and ecological areas beside the river, this park is bringing nature back to Manchester.

Castlefield Viaduct

If outdoor spaces are your thing, then Castlefield Viaduct is an idyllic environmentally friendly day out. Dubbed Manchester’s Sky Park, the National Trust has converted a Grade II listed railway viaduct to increase access to nature in the centre of Manchester. Learn about the structure's heritage as well as the city’s relationship with plants and trees. You may even pick up some urban gardening tips. There are a whole range of planting displays to take in and unrivalled views of the city, making it an attractive day out throughout all seasons. What’s more, it’s right next to Deansgate Castlefield Metrolink stop, so it’s a public-transport friendly day out.

RHS Garden Bridgewater

Sticking to the green space theme, Salford’s RHS Garden Bridgewater is one of the largest gardening projects in Europe and provides a stunningly natural day out. There is a shuttle bus which runs between Manchester Piccadilly train station and RHS Garden Bridgewater stopping at Salford Crescent and Walkden train station, so accessing the garden in a low-carbon way is easy. Once you’re there, you can take in the various gardens, plants and wildlife that are all thriving on the former site of Worsley New Hall. There are often events at the Gardens including school holiday fun, dog walking days, sustainable arts and crafts and gardening workshops to help you work better with plants in your garden.

Northern Roots

Taking gardening to the next level is Northern Roots in Oldham. The UK’s largest urban farm and eco-park is already open for exploration, with a new visitor centre, shop, café, learning space, swimming pond, natural amphitheatre and large market garden all set to open later this year. Northern Roots is helping the people of Oldham get back to nature, in this glorious 160-acre site just 30 minutes from Manchester City Centre. This community project is harnessing urban green space to benefit people, the planet and the place. Visitors can grow crops, learn about bee-keeping and animal husbandry, and enjoy mountain biking, plus there will be outdoor events to keep everyone entertained throughout the year.

Northern Roots

Chester Zoo

While it’s not strictly in Manchester, Chester Zoo is one of the biggest attractions in the North West, if not the UK and it’s a champion of sustainability. Home to over 27,000 endangered animals and 128 acres of award-winning zoological gardens a day at Chester Zoo is always one full of adventure where you’ll feel empowered and inspired to create a better world for wildlife. The whole family can learn all about wonderful species and the zoo’s conservation efforts as well as their commitment to sustainability.

Take a train journey

As a region, Greater Manchester is well connected. So, if you’re looking for an eco-friendly day out, why not head to one of our many train stations and get out of the city on a low-carbon train? Travelling by train is a more sustainable way to get from A to B than driving alone in a private car. Rail is a low-carbon mode of transport that can help you see the rest of the country and create wonderful memories. Northern Rail, for example, has a strong commitment to the environment, so you can explore the stunning North of England with a guilt-free conscience. Not only do they recognise that rail travel can play a key role in minimising carbon impacts, but they’re also working to integrate their transport offer with bus services and improving cycling facilities to decrease the need for cars. They’re working to create more eco-friendly trains and minimise energy use. 

For more inspiration for activities to keep the whole family entertained in Greater Manchester, read our latest blog and make sure you're following us on TikTok.

To learn more about events taking place across the region, view our What's On page.