Driving from London to Manchester

Driving from London to Manchester should take you less than four hours, from city centre to city centre. It’s a distance of roughly 200 miles (320kms), varying a little depending which route you take, but almost all of the drive is on motorways. The shortest route is by leaving London on the M1, exiting onto the M6 near Rugby, and then staying on the M6 till you see the exit signs for Manchester.

Manchester Town Hall, Photo (c) Donna Dailey

Manchester is a big city, surrounded by motorways which get very busy at peak times, so you need to be comfortable driving in city traffic if you’re going to drive from London to Manchester.

We would recommend an alternate route to avoid the M6, which in our experience always has traffic jams somewhere along the way. A much prettier route which is about the same distance (though it takes a little longer as it's on slower roads) is to stay on the M1 all the way to Chesterfield. Exit at Junction 29 and make your way through the Peak District National Park. It’s a beautiful drive, and won’t take you that much longer than if you stayed on the motorway the whole way.

Driving from London to Manchester: Car Hire

If you only plan to visit Manchester from London then going by train is the best option. However, if you want to do some exploring along the way then renting a car is a great idea. If you’re not too worried about the time it takes you to drive to Manchester from London, then you can choose between several scenic routes, including the Peak District National Park mentioned above.

You could also drive via Oxford and the Cotswolds before heading north. If you have time, then after visiting Manchester you could explore the rural areas of Lancashire, or go to either the Yorkshire Dales National Park or the Lake District National Park

Parking in Manchester

If you’re not staying at a hotel in Manchester with parking, you should check the Manchester City Council website and its page on Parking in Manchester.

Buy Our Best Day Trips from London Guide

The Ten Best Day Trips from London is a Kindle guide to the most popular attractions in England that can be easily reached and enjoyed in one day. It focuses on the practical information, telling you how to get to your destination by train, by coach, or by driving - and recommends the best choice to make.

For all ten destinations there are direct links to coach and bus timetables, the cheapest fares, and direct booking options for tickets. This travel guide also recommends the best things to see and do in each destination, with links to websites for opening hours and admission prices. 

The Kindle guide includes over 40 colour photos and 11 colour locator maps, showing you where every place is in relation to London.

Buy the guide at Amazon UK, Amazon USA or other Amazon stores worldwide.

Connect with Us on Google+

Recent Articles

  1. Floors Castle

    Dec 26, 16 03:03 AM

    Beyond London Travel visits Floors Castle near Kelso in the Scottish Borders, family home of the Duke of Roxburghe and one of VisitScotland's 5-star visitor attractions, a Scottish Downton Abbey.

    Read More

  2. Beyond London Travel Books

    Dec 04, 16 12:37 PM

    The Beyond London Travel Books page reviews guidebooks, history, mysteries and fiction to help readers enjoy their visits to England, the UK, France, and beyond.

    Read More

  3. Food Trails Book Review

    Dec 04, 16 12:20 PM

    Beyond London Travel reviews Food Trails, a new guidebook from Lonely Planet for the culinary traveller which helps you plan 52 Perfect Weekends in the world's tastiest destinations.

    Read More