Weekends Away: Manchester
I am originally from Manchester which means a lot of my family still lives there. Even though I have been many times to visit, most of those trips consisted of seeing family or heading out of town on day trips away. It has only been in the past year or so that I have finally been exploring Manchester and all the great things it has to offer! Just to think, I could’ve gone through all my major life milestones in Manchester…passing my school exams, turning eighteen and driving lessons!
I do think Manchester has a bit of a bad rep, but the council are putting a lot of money into regenerating the centre and surrounds. A weekend away here is a great, wallet friendly option!
The best way to get to Manchester is the train – Virgin runs about 5 trains an hour between London and Manchester and they take at the most 2 hours. It is by far the comfiest and least stressful option! The prices for the train can rise pretty heavily, especially around peak times but if you book far enough in advance and can be a bit more flexible in times then it can be affordable.
Other travel options are driving – which takes forever and involves a lot of sitting in traffic, or the bus which like driving takes about 5-6 hours in total!
Things to do:
As this has been several weekends away in Manchester rather than just one, I thought I would run through my top favourite places to visit – then pick and choose depending on the amount of time you have!
Manchester City Centre and Town Hall
The centre of Manchester has changed so much since I was little! It now how it’s own distinct areas like the gay village. This is arguably where if you were gay you could feel free to speak your mind without any fear back in a more homophobic era. Moreover, you could head down to Deansgate, the northern quarter – and they all deserve a visit! When we were there they had some Manchester guides with maps who guided us to a walk along the canal which was very enjoyable. I recommend finding the town hall as well as it is a beautiful building and there is usually some events on!
Museum of Science and Industry
This museum is a gem in Manchester – not only is it free but it will keep you entertained all day. This is a huge museum which focuses on manchesters role in science and industry through the years. They have two huge warehouses, one dedicated to engines and trains and one dedicated to flight. These along with a lovely and cheap cafe make it a really nice day or afternoon out in the city.
John Rylands Library
This library is tucked away on deansgate and from the outside you wouldn’t guess the amazing interior. I was honestly so impressed with this library, it is one of the most beautiful building I have been in. It has a couple of exhibits of old and rare books and drawings but the main draw card is the central reading room. This is a huge gothic library straight from a hundred years ago. It has such mystique and as soon as I entered it made me feel as though I could have been living all those years ago. This library is open for all, not just visitors but those who want to study or read. If I was studying in Manchester then I don’t think I would ever leave! I took a few pictures but it was hard to catch the true beauty because of the light!
Lowry was one of manchesters famous artists who I think is fantastic. Here you can see a huge collection of his work which even though I am not the biggest fan of art galleries, enjoyed a wander around.
This Christmas markets in Manchester are famous and rightly so! They are huge, filled to the brim with little chalets of goodies and presents. I ate chocolate donuts and drank warm cider whilst wandering about. This market has real atmosphere and it gets me so excited for Christmas! I know it is still a long way away but if you have chance to go to these markets then I really recommend it!
There are my top places to visit in Manchester! I’m also a big fan of a lot of the stately homes in the area – chatsworth, Dunham Massey, Tatum park etc but I think they are deserving of their own post!
Have you been to Manchester? What would you recommend? 🙂
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