Although I've visited Manchester just about a bazillion times, I've never actually written anything about it. So despite last weeks trip not being too eventful, I thought it might be good to start somewhere.
Manchester and Liverpool are the two biggest cities near to where I live and considering Preston is so teeny tiny, they're also the most popular shopping destinations for all of us who are from there. Last week I headed home for a few days to visit the fam, enjoy some homely northern cuisine and celebrate my little brother's birthday. However with most of my friends living away from home now and my family having lives that don't solely revolve around me visiting (an outrage, I know), I decided to go do the friend-seeing tour of the north.
I started in Manchester, visiting these wonderful human beings who have put up with me for longer than anyone should have to.
Richard, me, Dan and Will, high school/youth group friends.
I've known this lot from my early teen years and they now all study various complicated sciencey- technological things that I don't understand (smarty pantses). Anyway, I don't see them half as much as I would like any more so it was lovely to have a couple of hours catch up and wander round the more studenty bit of Manc.
As we are all massive nerds, it seemed only right to visit the newly refurbished Manchester Central Library, which had just had it's grand re-opening. I just love love LOVE books and history and the like. Whilst on the outside it looked like your classic oldly worldy Roman style pillars and fancy looking arches, inside they've managed to successfully blend in the modern in a pretty seamless fashion. Although the cinema booths and countless interactive exhibits they've installed clearly contrast from it's almost 100 year old exterior, somehow is doesn't feel disjointed or out of place. We didn't get to stay too long but I'd highly recommend a visit if you're looking for something free to do on a day out in the area.
For lunch Dan took us to a pub called the Garratt, hidden away down a road leading off from the old BBC Studio car park and across the road from 5th Avenue (a nightclub which I would also recommend for a night out!). If you're after somewhere cheap and cheerful to eat when visiting Manchester, I literally cannot recommend this place enough. Perhaps this is some of my londonisation shining through, but when a menu says £2.50 a meal with student discount on top of that, I feel you'd have to be completely stupid to turn it down. And the food wasn't half bad! Nothing special, but what more do you want than a sizeable helping of your classic English Breakfast of Sausage, Egg, Bacon, Toast, Tomato and Beans? The price is genuinely as good as it seems.
Apart from lots of catching up and general banter, we didn't really get around much more of Manchester. There are lots of places that I have previously visited, which I will supply linkage for at the bottom of this post. However, I know for a fact it won't be long until my next visit anyway, so I can share a lot more info with you then.
My Manchester Highlights:
Afflecks Palace (Alternative/Indie Shopping)
Canal Street (LGBT Clubbing)
Christmas Markets (Seasonal)
Manchester Academy (Small gigs)
Museum of Science and Industry (Interactive Museum)
Palace Theatre (Musicals and Plays)
Trafford Centre (High Street Shopping)