A Postcard From Manchester

Tuesday, September 28

The second part of our August summer holiday took us to Manchester, again without much of a plan. We thought we could explore the city for two days from our base at The Hilton Doubletree at Piccadilly. Conveniently located right beside the train station so when we arrived from Liverpool just after lunch we could drop our bags before exploring. 
After ditching our bags we headed out for a wander around the city centre and went into a few shops before finding a pub for a couple of pints. I love Uniqlo so I was delighted to find that they have a shop in Manchester. 

On our way back from the pub (slightly tipsy) I insisted I could remember the way back to the hotel without google maps. We ended up going a very long detour but we did get there eventually... oops!

For dinner my boyfriend booked Sangam because he loves an Indian and it didn't disappoint. The food was delicious, the service really attentive and the decor really fun and colourful. 

On the morning of our full day in the city we jumped on the Metrolink to the Etihad Stadium because we had booked a tour of Man Cities home just the day before. Chester Zoo was the thing I was really looking forward to on this trip to I indulged my boyfriend on this one... 

We had a really great tour guide who was obviously a lifelong City fan and doing his dream job which really showed in the way he talked throughout the tour. It made it all the more enjoyable for me! The tour went round all the backstage areas including the dressing rooms, press rooms before heading through the hospitality and onto the pitch. 

While I'm not that interested in football and not a Man City fan I really enjoy seeing behind the scenes and how things work so I really enjoyed the tour (especially of somewhere I've watched on TV a lot). The highlight of the trip was sitting in Pep's chair beside the pitch - I can't explain why but he has long been my favourite premier league manager.  

After the tour we decided to walk back to the city center and picked up the canal half way there. It wasn't the most scenic walk but the sun was shinning and we enjoy seeing a city by foot. Our next destination was the John Rylands Library.

If you're planning a trip to the John Rylands Library it might be worth checking if you can pre-book tickets in advance because we ended up having to wait 10/15 minutes for a walk in visit. However, this amazing library building caught my eye online because of the beautiful Hogwarts vibes it gives and it didn't disappoint. 

Interestingly, it took took ten years to build and opened on 1st January 1900. In total we only spent about 30 minutes walking through the library (and taking lots of photos) but it was worth the visit to see the building for yourself. The photos really don't do it justice.

After a busy day walking we decided where we really wanted to eat was the Hard Rock café - I've been to loads around the world now so it only felt fair we ticked Manchester off our list. The food was delicious as always and I also ordered the loaded fries because my boyfriend did and I didn't want to miss out. 

Our train home wasn't until 4pm on the Friday so we had almost a full day to explore more of the city. After leaving our bags at hotel reception we walked along the canal to where my brother (who used to live in Manchester) promised was the best part and he wasn't wrong. The Wharf is really everything you'd hope from a canal and we even saw a barge going through the lock. 
Our final destination was the Science and Industry Museum - we didn't have much hope of getting in because we hasn't pre-booked tickets (a common theme) but they must have still had capacity when we walked up. 

I didn't end up taking many photos but it was really interesting and their 'Top Secret' exhibition about the world of codebreaking, ciphers and secret communication from war times to present day was right up our street. 

Our holiday finished just the same way as it started with a few pints in the pub before heading to get snacks for the train ride home. We saw and did a lot in just four days and it felt like a proper get away for the first time since the pandemic. 

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