Guess who’s back, back again. Brush up on your Northern accent (or just nod and smile and hope it goes well) as our Mancunian original Murph returns to take you along for the second part of his very own tour of Manchester – all in 24 hours.
Two weeks ago, Murph showed you around his favourite places during the day (catch up here if you’ve missed it), and now it’s time to hit the town for some evening shenanigans.
Hello again! I’m very glad to see that you stuck around and didn’t escape from me while I wasn’t looking.
So, as the sun is setting and the rain has subsided (one can still dream, right?), we’ve changed into our evening wear – smart casual of course, this is the North – and we’re ready to paint the town red (like United). The options are endless – the scene has been radiating greatness since the legendary Hacienda days in the 80s, but has really begun to explode in the last decade. Boom. Old industrial buildings now house a vast majority of the city’s bars and restaurants and create a fantastic atmosphere that only this incredible city can offer (can you tell I love it here much yet?).
To experience this a little further, we’re going to hop on the Met and head a little out of town to the suburb of Altrincham, where this particular gentleman earned his education. You really get a feel for the city on the tram, conversation flows and seats are regularly exchanged to those who need them more – a far cry from the faceless silence of the underground (no offence London readers)! We jump off at the end of the line in Altrincham and head to the Market House, once a bustling food market (as recently as in my youth) it’s now home to several great microbreweries and street food stalls, the novelty for which is still here in the North. So, we sit at one of the communal tables, which can be difficult to come by but we’ve managed to charm our way in (high five), and try a selection of local ales, pizza, steak and seafood – in other words: more than enough to prepare us for the big night ahead!
Fed and watered let’s get back into town where the real action is. A reasonably priced Uber and a more comfortable return is ours, and we even get to pass the iconic ‘Theatre of Dreams’, known to most as Old Trafford, the home of Manchester United, my team.
Before I can drift off into talking football, we’ve reached our next stop: the Northern Quarter, Manchester’s kind of affordable and friendly micro-Shoreditch. The variety and concentration of bars here is truly exceptional and does well to rival anywhere similar in the UK. We can catch some live jazz in the dingy, yet charismatic Matt & Phreds, grab a rum cocktail in one of three tiki bars, or just relax on the roof terrace of the Tib Street Tavern. This amount of choice can only meet one thing: bar crawl. Friendly, half-drunk locals and great tunes make for an interesting and ever changing vibe in every bar, and with all located in walking distance a little fresh air will do us good, so let’s sink a few and have a laugh!
Now, it’s getting close to midnight but don’t lose your glass shoe just yet – the evening’s antics are far from over, in fact, we’ve only just finished warming up. No trip to town would be complete without immersing ourselves in the city’s famed rave culture, and there’s no better place to do this than The Warehouse Project. After celebrating its tenth birthday last year, this has become one of the biggest club nights in the country, attracting the biggest DJs and MCs on the planet, year in year out. And what better place to find this dance music Mecca than… in a car park under Piccadilly station. The tunes are great and we dance to the early morning with thousands of like-minded ravers – it’s without doubt an inspirational experience and one I’d implore everyone to experience!
5am, the music’s off and the night’s over. Not to worry – simply follow the crowds up the ramp, to the station and join them as they head on their merry way back to whence they came from. No need for another night’s accommodation – if your train’s not for a while, get your head down in the station, trust me you won’t be the only one!
And that’s it, a full 24 hours in this great city, and I hope that you’ve seen enough to come back.
Take care, our kid.