Manchester is a place which is quite dear to me. I have some family in Manchester so visited the city all throughout my childhood and a few years ago, I spent a month living there while I undertook a work placement with the BBC in Salford.
I have wanted to live in Manchester for many years, and although I am very happy being in Bristol currently, I still haven’t discounted the idea of one day maybe making Manchester my home. Two weekend’s ago, I travelled up to Manchester for much dancing and brunching which once again reignited my love of this Northern powerhouse.
Inspired by that, here is a non-exhaustive list of some of my favourite things to do while in Manchester.
Affleks is an indoor market in the Northern Quarter with loads of stalls selling clothing and accessories, homeware, art and everything in-between. There are plenty of alternative stalls if you are in search of something a bit unique, or if you just fancy a wander around you might even find something you love.
Another shopping tip I can offer is Thrift Shop, located just off Piccadilly Gardens. I visited this on my last trip to Manchester and found it had a great variety of second-hand clothing for really reasonable prices.
John Rylands Library
The John Rylands library is a beautiful Victorian era library which is open to visitors so they can enjoy it’s beautiful books and peaceful reading spaces. Ideal for both architecture lovers and book worms, it is equally enjoyable to roam around the library taking in the cavernous reading room and neo-gothic details as it is to pick up a book and hide away from the city outside for an hour or so.
I have had some of the best brunch experiences of my life in Manchester, so much so that one of my best friends wanted me to move to there so she would have an excuse to visit and eat all of the brunch. Federal is another recommendation off the back of my most recent visit to Manchester and it was suggested to us by actual Mancunians which is a double endorsement. It is a Australia/New Zealand themed cafe bar which was very popular as evidenced by our twenty minute wait for a table and the ever growing crowd queuing outside the door to be seated. I had the amazing Halloumi & Shrooms which I would definitely have again, although it was so salty I was thirsty for most of the rest of the day! To drink I had the ‘interesting’ Cold Milo and to eat my friend chose an omelette from the specials menu which she was also very happy with.
Imperial War Museum North
The Northern branch of the Imperial War Museum is an amazing building to take in before you even venture inside. Designed by Daniel Libeskind, who is also the architect of the Jewish Museum in Berlin, it is made up of three interlocking shards which seek to physically represent a world metaphorically shattered by the impact of conflict.
Inside, the museum itself is a very modern and very dramatic experience, as audiovisual projections on the walls bring to life the history of the museums many exhibits. I would highly recommend visiting IWM North if you get the opportunity!
Whilst you are at the museum, I would also suggest popping over the water to MediaCity and having a wander around there if you are at all interested in the media.
One of the things Manchester is known for is it’s club scene, especially back in the Madchester days of the ’90s, so I thought this list could really do with a clubbing recommendation, and since I have actually been clubbing in Manchester, all the better! Fifth, or 5th Avenue as it was called when I visited, was right up my street as it had a mix of indie music and a relaxed feel, but it was possibly the busiest club I have ever been in. Whichever kind of music you are into, though, Manchester is surely a great place for whatever kind of night out you prefer.
Have you been to Manchester? Are there any places you think I should visit next time I am up North?
J 🙂 x