Iconic Manchester building named among best free UK attractions families should visit this summer

A well-deserved title.

Emily Sergeant Emily Sergeant - 11th July 2024

One of Manchester’s most iconic buildings has been named among the best UK attractions families can visit for free.

With the summer break right around the corner now, plenty of parents, carers, and guardians across Greater Manchester will likely be looking for a ways to keep the kids entertained and educated while schools are out for six full weeks, and without having to break the bank too – especially if this classic rainy Manchester weather continues.

In fact, internet searches for ‘free tourist attractions near me’ are said to have risen by +5000% over the past 30 days, according to new research carried out by Village Hotels.

This is why the hospitality company has decided to trawl through TripAdvisor to find attractions with the highest percentage of five-star reviews in the UK to help families keep costs low – and one legendary Manchester building has made the cut.

That’s right, merely months after it was announced that the green light had been given for an impressive £7.6 million transformation of the city centre building, John Rylands Library has just earned itself a place in the top 10 attractions that families should consider visiting when schools across the North West break up.


The Grade-I listed icon has claimed the coveted fourth spot on the list.

The historic building on Deansgate in the heart of the city centre houses one of the UK’s most unique collections of books and manuscripts, and was found to have an average five-star TripAdvisor rating of 75.2%, according to the study – with visitors describing it as “definitely worth the visit”.


Top 10 best free UK attractions to visit this summer

  1. The Potter Trail
  2. Royal Air Force Museum Cosford
  3. Durham Cathedral
  4. John Rylands Library
  5. Lady Lever Art Gallery
  6. Farnborough Air Sciences Trust Museum
  7. St. Fagans National Museum of History
  8. Kelvingrove Art Gallery And Museum
  9. National Railway Museum
  10. British Museum
The Grade I-listed building has claimed a coveted spot on the top 10 list / Credit: UoM

Other Northern attractions having claimed spots in the seasonal ranking are Durham Cathedral, Lady Lever Art Gallery on the Wirral, and the National Railway Museum in York.

The Potter Trail in Edinburgh was the attraction to claim the number one title.

“With the summer holidays coming up, many UK families will be looking to spend quality time together,” a spokesperson from Village Hotels commented on the research carried out and the top 10 the company compiled.


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“There’s so many great places to explore up and down the UK, and we wanted to share some of the best days out that don’t cost an arm and a leg.”

Featured Image – UoM