Trains to Manchester

The city of Manchester boomed with the Victorian textile industry. Now the former cotton mills, where Friedrich Engels studied the woeful conditions of the English working classes, have been converted into chic clubs and designer studios. Mancunians are rightly proud of their city’s history and heritage; woe betide anyone who suggests that Manchester is not the capital of the North.

The dockland area of the city has been imaginatively redeveloped. Today it is called Salford Quays – or simply The Quays. That’s where you’ll find the Lowry Arts Centre. Head back into town for Manchester Art Gallery, much talk of football and some of the most seductive shopping around. Once you are done with retail therapy, make the most of Manchester’s legendary club scene.

Modern trams make it easy to get around Manchester. There is also an excellent network of suburban trains serving Greater Manchester and nearby areas of Lancashire and Cheshire. Head to Manchester Piccadilly station for fast regional trains to Leeds, Sheffield and Liverpool – all less than an hour away. Piccadilly is also the departure point for regular direct trains to Edinburgh, Glasgow, the Lake District, Newcastle, Birmingham and London. The very fastest trains speed to the capital in just two hours.

There are a number of other city-centre stations in Manchester, notably Oxford Road and Victoria. Both have direct services to Leeds and Liverpool.

If you bore of urban life, part of Manchester's real appeal is that it's easy to escape the city and head for the nearby hills. Our favourite excursion is to Glossop in Derbyshire (just 30 to 40 mins by local train from Piccadilly) for easy access to the Peak District National Park. Another great day trip is to the small Yorkshire town of Hebden Bridge (about 40 mins by local train from Manchester Victoria).

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Child and youth passengers

The definition of "Child" and "Youth" varies by country and operator. This is why we ask for the age of young passengers.

Sometimes children below a certain age can travel without a seat for free. If you want to guarantee a seat for child passengers, enter '6' as the age of the child.

Read more about child and youth passenger ages. See also youth discounts and railcards.