Feb 06

Manchester and Salford Top Ten if it rains!

by in Culture, Food & Drink, Top Tips, UK

Now for some of you that believe the bad press about Manchester, there may be a touch of scoffing and a muttered “IF…?” but I can assure you that it is very often beautifully sunny in this northern urban city, as those happily expatriated BBC staff will no doubt tell you ;-)

Manchester Town Hall and Memorial

However, there is the occasional day when the balmy zephyrs bring a slight drizzle and then – oh, what to do?  Manchester really does have loads to look at, taste, quaff, admire and glory in, whatever the weather;  there’s definitely more here than football and Coronation Street.

Manchester Art Gallery

Some of my top tips to keep you dry and entertained:

  1. Go shopping in the very quirky mecca for indie culture ‘Affleck’s Palace’ – where tattoo parlours cosy up to heavy metal  T-shirts, next to Tarot Cards alongside retro clothes stalls.
  2. Sample the most delicate Dim Sum at the very popular Yang Sing restaurant in China Town – not sure if they will have jelly fish tentacles but if you like the idea if fishy rubber bands …
  3. Escape the 24/7 city life in the splendid Victorian Gothic Rylands Library founded in 1890 by Enriqueta in memory of her husband John Rylands. It has a priceless collection of books and manuscripts and a beautiful interior.
  4. Check out Manchester Town Hall.  Another awesome example of Gothic revival, there’s very often a festival going on in Albert Square (the Christmas Market is brilliant) and you can grab a cuppa or a meal in the leather-sofa luxury of the Sculpture Hall Tea Ro0m.
  5. In the centenary of his birth (2012) discover the computer genius of Alan Turing. From 1948 until his death in 1954, Turing worked on the early computers at The University of Manchester, working in the building next door to The Manchester Museum. You can find him sitting in Sackville Gardens – lovely sculpture.
  6. Music of all genres runs through this city along with the canals and motorways – the MEN Arena hosts all the big names in pop & contemporary music.   For the best in classical and  opera the Bridgewater Hall has an eclectic and outstanding repertoire.
  7. Football fans are well-served with 3 stadiums and loads of shops selling footballing memorabilia. Experience the Old  Trafford Museum & Tour to get a sense of how this game has shaped the history of this city.
  8. There’s more to the Manchester Art Gallery than their famous Pre-Raphaelite collection.  There are over 25,000 objects of artworks, including an extensive costume collection from historic dress to contemporary fashion.
  9. In the flamboyant Northern Quarter there is always plenty going on, especially along Canal St, the gay centre of the city.  For a real taste of this fun scene, have a drink in the so very OTT Lammars , named in memory of the late drag queen, Foo Foo Lammar.
  10. Take the excellent MetroLink a short ride to Salford Quays. You could spend a whole day here visiting the renowned Lowry Art & Entertainment Centre, Imperial War Museum North and, of course, the brand spanking new Media City – watch out for those dispossessed BBC folk trying to get acclimatised!

Salford Quays

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7 Responses to “Manchester and Salford Top Ten if it rains!”

  1. From Zoë Dawes:

    Of course there are lots more things to do here – each time I visit I discover new places, restaurants, museums, pubs etc Another article I wrote for Argus Car Hire adds to the list :-)

    http://www.argusrentals.com/Europe/England/car-rental-car-hire-Manchester-Airport.html

    Feel free to add your own tips & suggestions …

    Posted on February 7, 2012 at 12:26 pm #
  2. From John McKeown:

    Great blog for half term. We took the kids to the museum at the University to see the Egyptian display among other things which was excellent. Don’t miss the big wheel before it goes in April to make way for Olympic events. The history of Manchester is incredible too. It’s a great city that’s on the rise. Can’t wait for my next fix.

    Posted on February 10, 2012 at 10:36 am #
  3. From Zoë Dawes:

    Cheers John. As you say, it’s a great place for kids too – we love the Museum too. Didn’t know the Wheel was going – be interested in seeing if they replace it with anything that is as impressive and fun!

    Posted on February 10, 2012 at 10:55 am #
  4. From Zoë Dawes:

    The big wheel in the photo has gone but the Arndale Centre hasn’t!

    Posted on May 15, 2013 at 12:43 pm #

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    […] Manchester was pivotal in the 18th century Industrial Revolution and its magnificent architecture is epitomised by the impressive grandeur of the Town Hall. With its stylish skyscrapers and sensitive restoration work, a fantastic night life and possibly the best shopping in the north, Manchester has moved far away from its ‘dour and grimy’ image. Wander along Canal Street and nearby Chinatown for a cosmpolitan flavour of this multi-cultural city. Superb classical music performed by the BBC Philharmonic and the Hallé Orchestra can be heard at the accoustically superb Bridgewater Hall. Take the tram over to Salford Quays, where the BBC has set up base in Media City. The Lowry has over 300 art works by the eponymous ‘stick-figure’ artist and the nearby Imperial War Museum tells the story of conflict – and peace – through the ages in sensitive and  fascinating displays. […]

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