The Best Time to Visit Manchester, England

Manchester, U.K.
Manchester, U.K.

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Manchester, England, boasts a mild climate, with moderate temperatures for most of the year. Travelers should consider school holidays, winter rain, and potential crowds when planning a trip, but it's a less crowded city than London or Edinburgh and can make for a great experience in any season. That said, the best times to visit Manchester are April through June when the weather is good, and September and October for fewer crowds.

The Weather in Manchester

Many travelers assume England will be rainy all the time, but that's not completely accurate. Like the rest of the country, Manchester has plenty of dry, sunny days every year, with June through September being the warmest months. Because the climate in Manchester is mild, it doesn't get extremely hot or extremely cold (although there are rare exceptions). The average annual temperature is around 50 degrees F.

The winter hits around 40 degrees F, with January as the coldest month, and the summer averages 65 degrees F, although it occasionally gets much hotter. Rain and thunderstorms can be anticipated all year, but there is rarely snow in Manchester. It's typically cooler than London since the city is further north, so bring layers when packing for your trip.

Peak Season in Manchester

Like the rest of England, Manchester is less busy during the colder months, especially from January through March. The city becomes lively in the spring and summer, and many travelers opt to experience the area when there's nice weather since Manchester is so close to outdoor destinations like the Peak District.

British school holidays can mean some crowds in Manchester, although many local tourists may opt to visit London or a seaside locale instead. School holidays occur during summer, from July through September, and again at half-term, which takes place at the end of October and in mid-February. Note that schools are off around the Christmas and Easter holidays as well, the former being a particularly bustling time in British cities. Consider scheduling your trip when kids are in school if crowds are a concern.


Pack a jacket and head to Manchester in January. It can be chilly and rainy, but it's worth it to visit less packed museums, experience shorter lines, and score better restaurant reservations.

Events to check out:

  • Push Festival, held at the HOME Manchester arts venue, celebrates the artistic talents of the North West each year in January.
  • Taste test a range of brews and ciders at the annual Manchester Beer and Cider Festival, a three-day event with beer showcases, food, and performances.


February has a similar vibe to January, with chilly, wet weather and smaller crowds (although keep in mind that the British school's half-term takes place mid-month, so the city could see extra travelers). It's a good month to hunker down in the city's many museums, most of which are free for visitors.

Events to check out:

  • Book a cool restaurant or theatre event for Valentine's Day, which is enthusiastically celebrated across the U.K.


Spring is on the horizon in March, a month that varies drastically in its temperature and rain. Cross your fingers for sun on St. Patrick's Day, when everyone comes out for the annual parade and drinks in pubs all over the city.

Events to check out:


The flowers are blooming and the sun is (hopefully) out in April. This is a great time to plan a visit to Manchester, especially if you hope to take advantage of nearby hikes and walking trails. To avoid crowds, plan around the Easter school holiday, which takes up a long weekend in the spring.

Events to check out:

  • Manchester hosts the U.K.'s second biggest marathon, the Greater Manchester Marathon, every April. Pre-register for the race well in advance if you plan to test your endurance.


May is an ideal time to travel to Manchester. The weather is getting warmer and sunnier, and because students are still in school, there are fewer crowds around town.

Events to check out:

  • Manchester Jazz Festival, the city's longest running music festival, kicks off each May for four days of live performances and events.
  • Those who enjoy a good stroll should attend the Greater Manchester Walking Festival, a month-long event that encourages residents and visitors to seek out new walking routes around the area.


International tourists start heading to England during June, when the weather is nice and there are lots of opportunities to get outside. This is one of the best times to visit if you're planning on a day trip to the nearby Peak or Lake Districts.

Events to check out:

  • Join in the revelries at Manchester’s King Street Festival, held over two days with live music and outdoor dining.
  • Manchester Histories Festival looks back on the past each June with an annual theme and lots of city-wide events.
  • With a focus on community and local arts, Manchester Day features an annual parade and celebration in the heart of the city center. The exact dates vary year to year.


School is out and tourists are filling the cities around England in July, so avoid big attractions in the city center if you want to stay away from crowds. Still, the weather should be sunny and warm, and there are lots of great festivals happening around town.

Events to check out:

  • Sounds of the City Festival, a series of headlined music concerts, fills up Castlefield Bowl each summer. Look for internationally-renowned acts and book tickets early.
  • Manchester International Festival is a biennial international arts festival with exhibitions, events, and performances across venues big and small.


Manchester Pride takes place in August, adding to the busyness of the height of summer. The last Monday of the month is an annual bank holiday.

Events to check out:

  • Let your rainbow flag fly at Manchester Pride, a vibrant celebration of the LGBTQIA+ community that includes a parade, a festival, and a candlelight vigil.


This is an ideal time to visit Manchester, as the crowds are beginning to ease and the weather typically stays warm.

Events to check out:

  • Established in 1998, the Manchester Food & Drink Festival showcases the best of Manchester's culinary offerings, often featuring appearances from celebrity chefs like Jamie Oliver and Gordon Ramsey.
  • Manchester's most notable music festival is Parklife Festival, which hosts global acts in Heaton Park.


The weather may be getting cooler and you can expect some rain, but October is also a good time to be in the city thanks to its many events.

Events to check out:


Brave the chill in November to take advantage of a packed social calendar. Note that England doesn't celebrate Thanksgiving, so you needn't worry about museums or other attractions closing down when planning your trip.

Events to check out:


The English love the holiday season and Manchester is no exception. The city is filled with Christmas lights and bustling stores, and it's a great time to visit to experience the holiday spirit. There are usually special events and theatre performances, including "A Christmas Carol." Pack a good coat and an umbrella, but don't let the wintry weather deter you.

Events to check out:

  • Venture outside Manchester to the Bolton Winter Festival, a family-friendly event celebrating all things snow and winter.
  • Boxing Day, which takes place December 26, is an annual holiday in the U.K., and is known for its big sales. Expect lots of deals on shopping around town (although not everything will be open).
Frequently Asked Questions
  • What is the best time to visit Manchester?

    The best time to visit Manchester to balance good weather with fewer crowds is in the shoulder seasons of spring or fall. May to early June and mid-September to October experience mild temperatures with non-peak prices.

  • What is the cheapest time to visit Manchester?

    Prices are at their lowest in Manchester in the cold winter months. The days are wet and gloomy, as with most of England, but snow isn't common.

  • What is the hottest month in Manchester?

    The hottest months in Manchester are July and August, when the days are consistently sunny and warm but rarely get uncomfortably hot. Since this coincides with school holidays, it's also the peak season for tourism.

Article Sources
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  1. Weather Spark. "Average Weather in Manchester, UK, Year Round." Retrieved Jan. 30, 2021.