I wanted my first post to be about a city that’s close to my heart, Manchester. I moved here 4 years ago and have never looked back. It’s a city full of character and excitement (and it’s completely true what they say, Northerners are more friendly than Southerners). Being from Kent, I’ve spent a lot of time in London and let me just say, the atmosphere is so much different here, it’s less chaotic, more sociable and more welcoming and the beer is cheaper! So in order to celebrate this vibrant city, I’ve compiled a list of my favourite things about Manchester, and why I choose to call it home:
The Northern Quarter.
Quite possibly my favourite part of Manchester is the Northern Quarter. Streets full of vintage clothes shops, independent book stores and bars, an abundance of Vinyl shops, and a quirky atmosphere whether it’s day or night. The best place to visit is Afflecks Palace, an independent emporium where you can buy anything from incense sticks, to fancy dress costumes, to badges and posters, there’s even a cereal cafe at the top. Also, there’s some cool graffiti in the Northern Quarter – it’s pretty much the Shoreditch of the North.
As someone who appreciates a good ol’ stroll in the park, Manchester never disappoints. In the summer, students flock to the parks with their disposable barbecues and their cans of Strongbow dark fruits and listen to (what they think is) music. There’s always a park close by, and if you manage to find a day where it’s not raining, then you should go for a walk in the nearest park.
THERE’S A DOG CAFE.
Yep that’s right, Central Bark is a beach dog cafe in Wythenshawe, whether you bring a dog or not you can pay £5 to go inside and play with loads (and I mean loads) of dogs for 20 minutes, or just grab something to eat or drink and pet the dogs that chill out in the cafe. It’s honestly a dream come true. If you’re having a bad day or week or if you just love dogs like I do, this will 100% brighten your day.
South of Manchester (about a 35-40 minute bus from the centre) you’ll find Withington and East and West Didsbury. There’s a plethora of pubs and quirky coffee shops, as well as multiple vegetarian cafes, it’s nice to get away from the big city vibe sometimes.
The Christmas Markets
Ahhhh it’s nearly that time of year again. The Manchester Christmas markets start in November and I might just start a countdown because I’m that excited. I buy nearly all my Christmas gifts from the markets because they sell so many different handcrafted gifts.
The Whitworth Gallery.
If you’re ever in Manchester and happen to be in the university area, be sure to go to the Whitworth – a small gallery with ever-changing exhibitions, and a nice park behind it. It’s about a 5 minute walk from the university and is free.
Ok, this is the best Indian restaurant I have ever been to (and I’ve been to India). Sanskruti is a vegetarian/vegan Indian restaurant in Fallowfield and fortunately a 2 minute walk away from my house. I’ve visited with plenty of non-vegetarians and they have all loved it, so meat-eaters don’t knock it til you try it.
There are so many awesome bars in Manchester: you’ve got hundreds of cocktail bars to choose from in the centre like Albert’s Schloss, the Alchemist, Cloud 23, the Washhouse (a bar disguised as a launderette), Cottonopolis, to name a few. There’s also Base Mcr, a baseball bar with batting cages where I have never actually been but I heard it’s fun.
It’s a diverse and welcoming city where there’s never a dull moment.