AD- I received spending money in exchange for this blog post. All opinions and pictures my own.
Last week I headed on the early morning train from Harrogate to Manchester to spend the day wandering around and seeing what I could get up to. Having moved up North 3 years ago, I have been to Manchester more times in recent years than I have ever done in my previous life, but when it's only a 2 hour train ride away, it really is convenient. But if you were looking to perhaps stay over (which I normally do), then perhaps serviced apartments Manchester may be the way to go?
By the same token, I kind of have my know my way around and have a few favoured spots which were definitely on my list to visit this time around. I also did a bit of research about where was good to visit that I hadn't yet so that I was doing new things too - it's such a big city that there's always something on and new places to visit each time you go!
A few of the places on my list included:
The Town Hall
St Ann's Square
Royal Exchange Arcade
Manchester Art Gallery
John Rylands Library
Pot Kettle Black Coffee Shop
Quite a list there, just goes to show that Manchester offers up something different for every kind of mood, time frame, budget and agenda. The weather was reporting rain all day when I visited, but thankfully when I got there, it was beautifully sunny and stayed all day so that kind of changed my plans slightly but it definitely made it better because there's nothing worse than trying to negotiate a new place in the pouring rain!
Pot Kettle Black
14, Barton Arcade, Deansgate, Manchester M3 2BW
Quite simply, PKB do amazing coffee and food. Served in stunning surroundings with a smile and a bit of a chat. They pride themselves on using the finest ingredients with an attention to detail and passion for what they do.
This was actually my first stop once I'd arrived as I knew it was somewhere I had to visit. I tried their Matcha Latte and boy was it good! I'm a big fan of this green drink and have it almost every time I go out so I like to think I'm something of an aficionado on it.
The Barton Arcade location is just beautiful and definitely worth a visit next time you're in the city, it was busy during the morning with locals and tourists alike taking their morning coffee!
National Football Museum
Urbis Building Cathedral Gardens, Todd St, Manchester M4 3BG
I have been here before and if it had been raining I would have gone inside to see what had changed and to shelter from it. But alas I passed by this time but if you're interested in football then it's definitely worth a visit as there's so much to see and do inside!
Admission is £10 for adults and £5 for children aged 5-15 years, a family ticket (2 adults & 2 children) is £25.
It is packed to the brim with football memorabilia, photos, events, videos from memorable football games. There's even a games area where for an extra fee you can have a go at shooting a penalty, saving one and many other exciting things which I found I was quite useless at!
It's a great venue for the football fan in your life - or even yourself if you're that way inclined! It's the world's biggest and best football museum and something not to miss if you find yourself in the city!
Victoria St, Manchester M3 1SX
Located just to the right of the Football Museum is Manchester Cathedral and definitely somewhere worth visiting. It is visually stunning inside and makes for a good place to shelter from the rain should the weather take a turn for the worse.
The gateway to the Medieval Quarter, the 1421 Hanging Bridge was always the hub of Mancunian life, today it's the showpiece of Manchester Cathedral Visitor Centre, a remnant of ancient origins amidst a bustling, modern metropolis.
There is a busy calendar of events which includes community events, art and heritage exhibitions, book launches and comedy nights at Proper Tea.
I would highly recommened a visit to this beautiful Cathedral if for nothing more than to take in its absolute beauty and admire the architecture of the building itself. I am in no way religious but I do find myself drawn to churches/cathedrals whenever I visit a new place; they're a hub for community life and can give you an insight into what life was like when the church itself was built. They can offer an insight into the city you're visiting which you may not be able to get elsewhere.
John Rylands Library
150 Deansgate, Manchester M3 3EH
One of the places which kept coming up when I was researching places to visit was John Rylands Library. It is the most gothic library that I've ever seen and was built by Enriqueta Rylands in loving memory of her husband John. It was designed by the artist Basil Champneys in 1889, it took 10 years to build and was opened to the public on January 1st 1900.
It became part of the University of Manchester in 1972 and is the third largest academic library in the United Kingdom and the Deansgate building now holds over 250,000 printed volumes and well over a million manuscripts and archival items.
This library has been noted as the best example of neo-Gothic architecture in Europe and is indisputably one of the finest libraries in the world.
Four diverse elements combine to complement each other here: Cumbrain sandstone known as 'shawk' which ranges in colour from grey to rose pink; the best Polish oak from the region of Gdansk; white moulded plasterwork; and bronze cast in the nouveau style of light fittings, radiator grilles and other metalwork.
I can see why most people who visit it's grand stonework and Gothic archways say it wouldn't look out of place in Hogwarts. It's just beautiful and you can definitely see the love which went into building it.
People's History Museum
New Ct St, Manchester M3 3ER
The PHM is the national museum of democracy telling the story of its development in Britain: past, present and future.
The museum provides opportunities for all people to learn about, be inspired by and get involved in ideas worth fighting for; ideas such as equality, social justice, co-operation and a fair world for all.
PHM's year long programme for 2019 explores the past, present and future of protest, marking 200 years since the Peterloo Massacre; a major event in Manchester's history, and a defining moment for Britain's democracy.
I really enjoy visiting museums whenever I'm in a new place, I find them fascinating and full of information about the city I'm in. They offer shelter when the weather isn't good and a break from the sun when it's out in full force. I can really connect more when I'm finding out about the history and what took place in the past.
I particularly liked the Peterloo exhibition Disrupt which tells the story of 16 Aug 1819 when 60,000 people marched to (the area now known as Greater Manchester) St Peter's Field to demand more political representation at a time when only wealthy landowners could vote.
It was a peaceful protest to begin with but it soon turned bloody when Manchester magistrates ordered a private militia paid for by rich locals storm the crowds with sabres.
An estimated 18 people died and more than 650 were injured.
It was a powerful story and one which was also on display at John Rylands Library.
25 Church St, Manchester, M4 1PE
One of my absolute favourite areas of Manchester is the Northern Quarter. It's a trendy neighbourhood, with vibrant street art, bohemian bars and independent record shops. It's home to buzzy restaurants and some of the city's liveliest music venues, which host up-and-coming indie bands and established acts.
Cultural attractions include the artist's studios at Manchester Craft and Design Centre and rotating exhibits at the Centre for Chinese Contemporary Art.
There's always so much street art around the northern quarter that I couldn't not have a wander and see what was new: