Things to do in Manchester when it rains

Tuesday 28th August 2018

Is a downpour on the cards? Don’t let the wet weather keep you at home. Plan a trip to Manchester, where contrary to popular belief, it’s not that soggy up north! In fact, Manchester receives around 806.6mm of rainfall annually, compared with the UK average of 1,125mm.

Manchester is a vibrant city buzzing with shops, restaurants, architecture, arts and culture aplenty. Avoid the traffic and car-park fees with a train to Manchester that takes you right to the heart of the city centre. 

Here’s our guide to the best free things to do in Manchester when it’s raining as recommended by ITV Granada Weather’s Kerrie Gosney:

Manchester Art Gallery

From historical collections to international contemporary art, Manchester Art Gallery offers visitors fresh perspectives, encourages conversations and sparks debate. Manchester Art Gallery and The Gallery of Costume are home to more than 25,000 objects of fine art, decorative art and costume, curated over a period of 200 years.

Find out more about Manchester Art Gallery here


HOME is Manchester’s centre for contemporary culture and produces and presents a programme of interesting theatre, film, and visual art. Take a visit to the centre and you can discover new commissions and collaborations, with the emphasis on innovative visual storytelling.

Explore more information about HOME here


If you’re looking for things to do when it’s raining, a great option is the Museum of Science and Industry (MOSI). This huge museum is devoted to Manchester’s many achievements in these disciplines, with plenty of hands-on exhibits and impressive galleries to explore.

Head over to the Museum of Science and Industry website for more information

National Football Museum

Manchester is a city with an illustrious sporting history, past and present so why not make a visit to the National Football Museum, England’s national museum of football? Based in the Urbis building in Manchester city centre, visitors can relive classic clips and even have a go at commentating on Match of the Day!

Find out more about the National Football Museum here

Central Library

Grade II listed Manchester Central Library is the headquarters of the city’s library and information service. The library was designed by E Vincent Harris and constructed between 1930 and 1934. Here you can explore rare books and special collections or if you’re looking for fun things to do in Manchester, you can play the piano and guitar, and even DJ on the mixing desk for free at the Henry Watson Music Library.

Discover more information about the Central Library here

Northern Quarter

Great for things to do this weekend, this trendy Mancunian neighbourhood offers visitors street art, indie record shops and bohemian bars. It’s home to an array of restaurants and some of the city’s liveliest music venues, hosting a fabulous mix of up-and-coming indie bands alongside more established acts. Pay a visit to the artists’ studios at Manchester Craft and Design Centre or check out one of the exhibits at the Centre for Chinese Contemporary Art.

Further information on the Northern Quarter can be found here

Even if wet weather is forecast in Manchester, there’s always plenty of things to do for a low-cost day out and don’t forget that you can save more than 50% on your train fare if you book in advance.

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