Adventures around Manchesterwith PlusBus

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The PlusBus ticket for Greater Manchester is amazing value. You can travel nearly forty miles west to east, from beyond Wigan to the edge of the Peak District. And 25 miles from the rugged Pennines north of Rochdale to villages on the border of Cheshire, south of Stockport. It's a huge area, packed with incredible things to see, do and enjoy. And all this for a small extra fee on top of your train ticket. This guide outlines just three of the thousands of possible adventures you can have with a PlusBus ticket in Greater Manchester: a fabulous new garden near Salford, an ancient library in the heart of the city and the biggest park in the North West of England. Ask for PlusBus when you buy your train ticket for unlimited travel around the area all day on the day you arrive or leave by train.

  • County: with PlusBus
  • Great for: architecture | art | culture | history | parks and gardens |
  • Refreshments: lots of fabulous restaurants, pubs and cafes
  • Please note: researched/updated in December 2023. If anything’s changed or you have more tips to share, do get in touch:
  1. 3. Heaton park

    Manchester is surrounded by some really great countryside. There are all kinds of parks and nature reserves within the city itself too. One of the biggest and most popular is Heaton Park. There’s masses to do here, from bee-keeping to star-gazing and a network of trails leads through wooded parkland past historic buildings.

    • There are lots of ways to get to Heaton Park by bus. Here’s one that gives you a scenic walk in between two regular bus routes. Bus 135 runs frequently from Piccadilly Gardens (Stop E) to the west side of Heaton Park.
    • Follow signs through the park to Heaton Hall (designed by James Wyatt in 1772) and then to the Tram Museum, where you can ride on a restored heritage tram at the weekends in season. The boating lake is nearby and the old facade from Manchester’s original town hall. Only the colonnade is left from a building that was knocked down in 1912 with this bit being moved to the park.
    • Leaving the park onto busy Middleton Road, you can choose whether to turn a few steps left for a longer walk through Blackley Forest or right a few steps to the bus stop where bus 59 runs back to Piccadilly Gardens.
    • Walking through, Blackley Forest follow the paths and steps that keep the river on your right without crossing it. Look out for wildlife. The friends of Blackley Forest have even produced a list of all the birds, animals and insects you might spot, from a tiny shrew to a great spotted woodpecker!
    • Arriving on New Blackley Road, turn right, finally crossing the river and right again onto Middleton Road to find the bus stop (no need to cross any roads) and pick up bus 59 back to Piccadilly Gardens.
    • This stroll is part of a 63-mile long distance route called Manchester’s Green Trail that link the city’s parks and woodlands.
    • There are lots and lots of other places in Manchester that you can get to by bus, like the Museum of Transport (see Good Journey’s directions) and vibrant Salford Quays (bus 50 from the Art Gallery). The Quays are home to Media City UK as well as museums, theatres and a hidden Elizabethan gem, Ordsall Hall. Happy exploring!