Come along as our Account Manager Andrew Murphy (internally better known as the one and only Murph), Mancunian through and through, takes you on a trip to get to know ‘his’ city if all you have is 24 hours (like that TV show, only less dangerous – maybe).
Whether you’ve lived here for a day, a year, or have never been here before at all – this Ode to Manchester will definitely want to make you go and explore (anew).
Now then… have your Mancunian Dictionary at the ready (you may very well need it), and tag along for the ride.
Close your eyes and picture the scene: you walk out of Piccadilly train station, the sky is beautifully grey, the rain falls at a constant, and you can just see the locals smile from under their umbrellas. You’ve made it to Manchester; the home of United and City, The Smiths and Oasis, Emily Pankhurst and Alan Turing, to name but a few. But, perhaps, most importantly, more pubs, bars, clubs, restaurants, galleries and museums than you could visit in a week!
By day, the city oozes culture and working class endeavour, both served up with a dose of northern hospitality – it’s the people who make the place, as they say. But as the sun sets through the clouds and the drizzle lingers on, the city really comes alive, with a variety as such there really is something for everyone. On this occasion, however, you’ll join me on a day in this mint city…
So, we’re off the train, checked in and ready to hit the streets. It’s brunch time (because is there ever not a good time for brunch?!), so we’ll head to the Northern Quarter, where the many cafes serve up all our eggy needs. There’s plenty of choice, but I insist on dragging you down Oldham street to The Koffee Pot to try out their new menu and give ourselves a boost with a couple of flat whites.
One of the great things about Manchester is that you can walk everywhere you need to be in the city centre in about 15 minutes, taking in the sites as you go. So, what are we waiting for, let’s get the cheque and head through town. I should warn you though, the 15-minute-rule can tend to stretch, and we’d be foolish not to spend some time in Affleck’s Palace perusing through the record stores, vintage clothes shops and pretty much anything else crazy you can think of! My favourite place is S.w.a.l.k presents, where you can find artwork and prints from all local artists. While I could easily keep on browsing here, time’s of the essence so let’s crack on down the road to the Manchester Art Gallery. There’s a great exhibition on at the minute by photographer Shirley Baker, documenting life for the women and children of Salford and Manchester through the slum clearances of the 60s and 70s, as well as some classics and a lovely cafe if we fancy some sweet treats!
Time to move (did I mention it’s leg day today? Who needs the gym anyway)! Let’s stroll for the two squares in the south of town, St Peter’s and Albert, taking in the town hall and the cenotaph. Why are we heading this way you ask? Well, it wouldn’t be a Manchurian tour without taking some time to pay homage to our industrial heritage, and with that, but a stone’s throw from Albert Square is The Museum of Science and Industry. This place really gives you a sense of how big a role Manchester played in the industrialisation of not just the UK but the entire world. It really is dead fascinating stuff. My granddad and uncle are printers, so I particularly like the printing area of the museum, and since you’re stuck with me for the day I likely drag you along for that. Don’t worry though, there will be a reward for patience in form of northern soul grilled cheese at some point, maybe while lying on the grass in Piccadilly Gardens to rest those legs?
After all this walking, cultural and intellectual ingestion and general excitement, I sure am hungry (and gaggin’ for a drink), so let’s head back to our digs, scrub up and get ready for the night ahead. I know you’re annoyed you missed out on The National Football Museum, The Whitworth Art Gallery, the Manchester United Stadium tour and all the other things you’ve read about, but like I said, we only have 24 hours! For now, let’s focus on this evening, I guess you’ll just have to visit again…
Stay tuned for part two of 24 hours in Murph’s Manchester as the sun sets and we hit the town.