Your Perfect Weekend - Manchester

Football histories, vintage treasures and Mexican feasts – the diverse pleasures of this wonderful city…

Day one

First TransPennine Express now calling at two stations in the city centre. The new direct service from Liverpool to Newcastle calls at Manchester Victoria (currently undergoing a transformation)and what a great place to start your weekend adventure... Kick off at the National Football Museum. It boasts the world’s finest collection of football artefacts and archives. Heading over to the Northern Quarter, grab some Fair Trade refreshment at vegetarian café and juice bar, Earth. Or, on nearby Oldham Street, you’ll find Fig + Sparrow, a wonderful coffee shop, that also stocks a bunch of locally designed homewear. Nearby, Retro Rehab stocks a huge array of fabulous vintage fashion and they repair and rework garments giving them a real second life. Café Pop and Oklahoma offer more quirky, bazaar-style experiences. It’s time for a Mexican lunch at Luck, Lust, Liquor and Burn. Try the Alabama Slammer (it’s a burrito with pulled pork, peppers, blue cheese, lettuce and bacon).
Fancy 
checking out some arty crafts in a swanky environment? Head to the Manchester Craft and Design Centre. It’s home to loads of different hand-made products – fabrics, paintings, pottery and sculpture. After all that, start the evening early at Soup Kitchen. It’s a bar, restaurant and music venue, with a great wine list and superb cask ales. Check out indie bands like The Mighty Oaks, We Were Evergreen and White Lung during October and November.

Day two

Your second day should take you across town to Spinningfields. Home to posh shopping, spas and art galleries, come early November, it’ll also offer an ice skating rink till the end of the year. We recommend a saunter over to New Wakefield Street and a spot of lunch at Black Dog NWS. It’s one of three Black Dog eateries in Manchester and offers flame-grilled burgers, gourmet pizzas and great smoothies. Alternatively, over on nearby Deansgate get a different perspective on the city by travelling to the 23rd floor of the Hilton and enjoying the panoramic views – there’s even an oval plate of glass in the floor so you can see straight down. Before bidding farewell to the city, why not stroll around to 15 Whitworth Street – the former home of the Hacienda nightclub. It’s long been converted into flats now, but not all that long ago, this spot was the very epicentre of a global youth culture revolution. Surely that’s got to be worth a visit?

Cultural Gems

Beyond the vintage shops and trendy bars lie the city’s cultural treasures

Town Hall Clock Tower
A tour of the magnificent clock tower takes visitors from the base to the highest point. You get to see the giant bell, how the clock itself works and fabulous views of the city. Click here for more information

The Hidden Gem Church
The church is hidden away on Mulberry Street. It was first consecrated in 1794 and it’s unusual name is due to its place off the beaten track. The funeral of former Factory Records boss, Tony Wilson, was held here. For more information about this hidden gem, click here 

Piccadilly Records
Populated by knowledgeable but anti-elitist staff, this is an essential visit for music fans. First opening in 1978, this store is considered by many to be a lynchpin of the Manchester music scene. Visit piccadilly records here

Portico Library
This is the second oldest library in the city. There is a fee for membership, but you can visit the gallery for free. Events and exhibitions run throughout the year, which are open to the public too. The building itself is remarkable. Check it out here  

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