Bolton, Bury, Manchester, Rochdale, Stockport, Salford, Tameside, Trafford, Wigan
Dunham Massey | Central Art Gallery | Legoland | Museum of The Manchester Regiment | Portland Basin Museum | Bramall Hall & Park | Heaton Park | The Lowry | Salford Museum & Art Gallery | Astley Cheetham Art Gallery | Hat Works Museum | Saddleworth Museum & Art Gallery | Wigon Pier | Wythenshawe Hall
Set in a vast 300 acre deer park and gardens. This fine 18th century Georgian house was home of the Earls of Stamford until 1976. The thirty roomed interior contains some very fine period furniture and silverware. The extensive landscaped gardens contain exquisitely stocked mixed borders, fine lawns and water features, including one of Britain's largest winter gardens - providing all year interest.
Opening times: House: 17 Mar - 28 Oct, 12-5 (11 Sun & BH Mon). Garden: 11-5.30 Admission Charge
Location: Altrincham, WA14 4SJ - Tel: 0161 9411025 Website
Set in a superb Victorian Gothic building. The Art Gallery has three temporary exhibition areas, providing a varied programme of works throughout the year. Covering a wide range of tastes and styles, with both group and solo exhibits of work by local and regional artists, including sculptures, paintings and textiles.
Opening times: all year, Tue, Wed & Fri 10-12.30 & 1-5; Thu 1-7.30 & Sat 9-12.30 & 1-4. Free Entry
Location: Central library Building, Old Street, Ashton-under-lyne, OL6 7SG - Tel: 0161 3422650 Website
Fun and exciting children's adventure centre based on the LEGO® (modeling bricks) theme. Attractions include a 4D cinema, LEGO® Racers, laser ride, Merlin's Apprentice, Forest Pursuit, Fire Academy LEGO® Construction Site, Master Model Builder and LEGO® MINILAND, where visitors can experience all of Manchester's top attractions made from LEGO bricks. A great day out for the family - aimed at children aged 3 to 10.
Opening times: all year, 10am - 7pm. Admission Charge (under 2's go free)
Location: Barton Square, The Trafford Centre, Manchester, M17 8AS - Tel: 0871 222 2662 Website
Tells the fascinating tale of the Manchester Regiment's long military past, from the 18th century onwards. Visitors can dress-up in military outfits and experience life in a First World War trench.
Opening times: all year, Man-Sat, 10-4. (Closed Sun). Free Entry
Location: The Town Hall, Market Place, Ashton-under-lyne, OL6 6Dl - Tel: 0161 3422812 / 3710
Located in part of the restored 1834 Ashton Canal Warehouse, the museum describes the social and industrial history of the canal system.
Opening times: all year, Tue-Sun 10-5. (Closed Man, ex BHs) Free Entry
Location: Portland Place, Ashton-under-lyne, Ol7 OQA - Tel: 0161 343 2878 Website
One of the largest and best preserved historic black-and-white manor houses in the north-west area. Home to the Davenport family for over 500 years. Parts of the house date from the 14th century and are built in the traditional local style. Most of the house is open to the public, where visitors can view its fine period decor and furniture, and rare 16th-century wall paintings. The house can also be book for private functions. Plays and open air concert events are run during the summer.
Opening times: Apr-Sep Sun-Thu 1-5, Fri & Sat 1-4, BH 11-5; Oct-Jan Tue-Sun 1-4, BH 11-4. Admission Charge
Location: Bramall, SK7 3NX - Tel: 0845 8330974 Website
Over 600 acres of extensive grounds and parkland on the edge of Manchester. A great place for all the family to enjoy. Facilities include sports pitches, stables, farm and animals centres, a Tram Museum and a horticultural centre.
The park's great hall, an art treasure in itself, was designed by James Wyatt in 1772. The interior is superbly decorated, with many period rooms, furnished with l8th and 19th century furniture. An original 1790s Samuel Green organ adorning the Music Room is still in working order. Other attractions include a unique circular room with Pompeian-style paintings.
Opening times: Apr-Oct, Wed-Sun & BH, 11am - 5.30pm Free Entry
Location: Heaton Park, Prestwich, M25 2SW - Tel: 0161 7731085
An award-winning modernistic water-side venue, in a prime location overlooking the Manchester Ship Canal. This major new attraction opened in 2000, with theatre shows, exhibitions, galleries, shops and places to eat. The Lowery's two theatres show everything from opera, musicals, comedians, ballet and live music. Built in the regenerated docklands area of Salford Quays, the large gallery area displays many of the famous works of L.S. Lowry alongside other changing contemporary exhibitions.
Opening times: Sun-Fri from 11am, Sat from 10am (closed 25 Dec). Free Entry
Location: Pier Eight, Salford Quays, Salford, M50 3AZ - Tel: 0870 787 5774 Website
The main feature of the museum is 'Lark Hill Place', an authentic Victorian street scene with reconstructed period buildings and shop fronts. The galleries on the upper floors show both temporary and permanent exhibitions of paintings, sculptures and ceramics.
Opening times: Mon-Fri 10-4.45, Sat & Sun 1-5. (Closed Good Fri, 25 & 26 Dec, 1 Jan) Free Entry
Location: Peel Park, Crescent, Salford, M5 4WU - Tel: 0161 7362649 Website
Originally built as a lecture theatre in 1901, by mill owner John Frederick Cheetham. After his death in 1916 the building was later converted into a gallery to house the Astley Cheetham Art Collection, which John bequeathed to the town. Among the the many fine works are British paintings by Burne-Jones and Cox, and several Italian paintings from the Renaissance period. More recent additions are works by Turner and local artist Harry Rutherford. The are also temporary exhibitions and special events throughout the year.
Opening times: Mon, Wed & Fri 10-12.30, 1-5; Sat 9-12.30, 1-4. Free Entry
Location: Trinity Street, Stalybridge, GK15 2BN - Tel: 0161 3386767 Website
Britain's only museum dedicated to the hatting industry. Located in an old mill containing a wide range of vintage Victorian millinery machinery, plus a showroom containing displays of over 300 different hat types. Tours are provided by expert guides who explain the unique story of the Hatter's profession over the centuries. Changing exhibitions and special events throughout the year.
Opening times: Mon-Fri 10-5, Sat, Sun & BHs 1-5. Free Entry
Location: Wellington Mill, Wellington Road, Stockport, SK3 OEU - Tel: 0845 8330975 Website
Located in an ancient mill alongside the Huddersfield canal. The museum covers the local and social history of the area and the importance of Saddleworth's past wool weaving industry. in the 18th-century Weaver's Cottage and the Victoria Mill Gallery. The textile machinery is run regularly by arrangement. The Art Gallery has regular exhibitions and museum exhibits change regularly throughout the year.
Opening times: Apr-Oct, Man-Sat 10-4.30; Sun 12-4; Nov-Mar, Mon-Sun 1-4. Admission Charge
Location: High Street, Uppermill (nr Oldham), OL3 6HS - Tel: 01457 874093 Website
Wigan Pier was once a coal loading docks on the Leeds - Liverpool Canal, located at the end of a narrow gauge railway from a nearby colliery. The colliery is now closed and the area has since been restored to become a heritage site, which is now part museum and part arts theatre, providing a mixture of both education and entertainment. The 100-year-old Trencherfield Mill Steam Engine, located at the heart of the development, can been seen in operation on Sundays. The Way We Were heritage centre, is currently closed due to the economic climate. However, boat cruises can still be enjoyed along the canal, all year round.
Opening times: Mon-Thu 10-5; Sun 11-5 (closed every Fri & Sat, 25-26 Dec & 1 Jan).
Location: Wallgate, Wigon, WN3 4EU - Tel: 01942 323666 Website
This fine Tudor house, once the seat of the Tatton family, is set in luxurious formal gardens. The building is of great architectural significance and parts of the house date from the early l6th century. It has a distinctive Tudor frontage, with herringbone patterned black-and-white half timber on its two projecting wings. English delft, Staffordshire and Royal Lancastrian pottery are amongst the exhibits within its many oak panelled rooms, along with l7th century period furniture, Elizabethan silver, oil paintings and medieval armour.
Opening times: June~Sept: Sat and Sun only, 11am to 5.30pm. Free Entry
Location: Wythenshawe Park, Northenden, Manchester, M23 0AB - Tel: 0161 9982331