Guest Blogger

The vibrant and bustling city of Manchester has so much to offer and with regular trains, you can literally be immersed in the culture in just over 2 hours. Let Anoushka Loves provide you with all you need to get the most out of the Northern gem.

Using Virgin Trains is a much more convenient way to travel into the Capital of the North. Not only can you travel in comfort, but you’ll also avoid city centre traffic and parking.

History & Heritage

Manchester is very well known for its football teams and indie bands, but did you know that Manchester has a huge history behind it? Walking around the city centre, you’ll see the Manchester worker bee adorning planters and lampposts, as integral designs of the masonry on buildings and even included in the mosaic floor of the town hall. The worker bee symbolises Manchester’s industrial heritage and hard-working ethic, as well as being a symbol of the hive like community. Once you’ve started to notice the bees, you will see them everywhere.

Sights to Behold

In Manchester, you will find some of the most beautiful architecture next to the sleekness of the modern buildings. Manchester is home to several stunning buildings including Manchester Cathedral, the Town Hall and the church in St Anns Square. You will also find the World Famous German Christmas Markets taking up residency in these areas from mid November onwards. Whilst Manchester Town Hall is closed for refurbishment until 2024, it is definitely worth a walk around just to see the beauty of the building. Head down to Manchester Cathedral where you can venture inside and pop into Proper Tea in the Cathedral grounds for a traditional ‘proper’ afternoon tea.

Manchester

Fun for the Family

There are many family orientated experiences in Manchester including The Crystal Maze experience. Head back to your childhood and see how many crystals you can gather as you race around the maze, solving those tasks that you have seen on the TV before heading into the Crystal Dome. If you love to be creative, head to Manchester Craft and Design Centre to be wowed by the art installations and exhibitions, contemporary art studios and a hands on approach to crafting. Perfect for all the family and a great day out.

The travel network around Greater Manchester means that you can also visit places of interest outside of the city centre. Jump on the Metrolink where a return ticket on a weekend will cost just £5 for all travel. You can head into Bury, home of the world famous Bury Market, or stop off at Heaton Park, the largest park in Europe.

Food for Thought

There are so many places for you to take respite after a busy day of exploring but in true Manchester style, there are some hidden gems that cannot be missed. Why not head down to Mackie Mayor, where you can choose from ten different restaurants all under one roof. The bao buns are legendary.

Getting up early in the morning to head down to Pollen Bakery, under the arches at Piccadilly Station, is a real experience. Fresh baked sourdough loaves, pastries and cakes can be found, baked fresh from the onsite ovens. If you make it there early enough, you might be able to get the exclusive Cruffin; a hybrid croissant muffin delicacy which is simply divine.

A popular spot over the weekend is the outdoor Food Market at Piccadilly Gardens. You can try a traditional chicken curry or a Jamaican jerk chicken with rice, a Greek gyros or even French crepes. The smell is incredible but be warned, it gets busy.

Manchester's gay village sign

Hidden Gems

If you find yourself limited for time sometimes it’s just easier to explore different parts of the town to see what it has to offer. There are some really great areas of interest that have plenty to see and do. Jump on the tram from Piccadilly over to Media City. Home to the Lowry Outlet, BBC Studios and the Coronation Street set, you might find that you could be sat next to your favourite soap stars at lunchtime.

Spinningfields, off Deansgate is the glamorous side of town. Spot a Love Islander or Cheshire Housewife at one of the many cocktail bars during the evening, but be prepared for all the paparazzi!

Castlefield Locks are a stone’s throw away from Piccadilly and this vibrant location of Manchester plays a large part in socialising. When the sun is shining, the crowds gather to sit outside in the glorious weather whilst relaxing by the locks.


Pride of Manchester

Manchester has become synonymous with the Gay Village and there’s no wonder why. It’s a prosperous area that is growing from strength to strength. Whilst associated with crazy nights out for the LGBT community, it is becoming a more family friendly area with new restaurants, boutique hotels and new apartments being developed. The atmosphere and community spirit within the Gay Village is something to be seen and all are welcome.

Feeling inspired? Book your trip to Manchester and discover all this city has to offer.

Manchester Cathedral

More in this series

Explore more destinations through our insider's family guide to Manchester, foodie guide to Birmingham, cultural guide to Edinburgh and shopping guide to London.

Back to manchester

Related posts:

Useful things you do on the train back to uni

Manchester Street Art Tour

Further afield in 2019

Why Coventry shouldn't be overlooked