10 Manchester Venues that the Locals Love

In recent years, in the cracks between the vast attractions that Manchester offers, a collection of brilliant venues have blossomed. Independent, unexpected and mesmerising, these unknown heroes have the makings of an amazing trip to Manchester. Such little-known locales are often elbowed out of the way by their noisy neighbours, so we’ve gathered them up to give you one of the greatest days out Manchester can offer. Store these up and maybe even share them – but only with your closest confidantes, of course.

Expect The Unexpected

If you’re expecting the unexpected, then why not start with a flying visit. That is, a visit where you can fly. At the IFly indoor skydive you can float on a cushion of air simulating the experience of freefall skydiving for a unique, memory-making experience.

Once you’ve got your feet back on the ground it might be time to take on some ballast, just to ensure they stay there. So head off to Northern Quarter and the Black Milk Cafe where you can indulge – and we mean indulge – in some of the most decadent desserts known to humankind. If you think that’s a lofty claim then look at their Triple Oreo Cheesecake and now study the menu. Start making your choices now, because if you try to decide while you’re in the cafe it could take a while.

As you’re here in the fêted Northern Quarter, why not head around the corner from the cafe to Oi Polli for one of the city’s best-known little-known stores. Here you can get kitted out in amazing fashion, buy an underground magazine, and then you’re all sorted for a wander around the rest of this hipster hamlet. There’s amazing music to be discovered at Piccadilly Records and Vinyl Revival, and great indie shopping at Afflecks Palace. In fact in this tiny space around Oldham Street, there are enough quirks and kooks to keep any independent spirit busy for a whole morning.

OK. So you’ve had activity and you’re loaded up with clothes, music, carbs and street credentials – now it’s time to excite your grey matter. Across the city is The Whitworth, a captivating gallery filled with glorious views by Lowry, Hockney, van Gogh, Picasso and more. It hosts year-round events and is the sort of space that allows you to drift out of the city and explore the vast open reaches of inspired minds. It’s also one of the city’s most-loved venues.

Teatime Is The Right Time

If you’re in Manchester and dusk is approaching it’s time for tea… by which we mean an evening meal. Over at the Corn Exchange, you have a choice of dining experiences all under one roof, from Byron Burger to Wahaca. But if you fancy something a little more decadent, then head to Menagerie where the decor is like a gilded aviary and the food is similarly sumptuous.

If you’re still going, then another local favourite is the Deaf Institute. Live acts and events, a bar and vegan kitchen make this a must-visit destination that seldom makes it into the tourist brochures. Just don’t go blabbing.

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