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Manchester Activity Ideas & Things to Do

Things to Do & Activities for groups in Manchester

Things to Do in Manchester, Indoor & Outdoor Activities

Greater Manchester
Manchester Day Activities
Manchester Night Activities

Manchester Activities & Things To Do

Often referred to as the capital of the north, Manchester is famous for three things across the world…, music and Coronation Street. Why not visit Media Centre UK and take a stroll down the cobbles for yourself as you follow the Corrie set tour.

Aside from this, it is credited as the birthplace of the industrial revolution and even Top of the Pops! For the shopaholic in you there’s the UK’s largest shopping mall, the Trafford Centre, just outside of town. Manchester is also one of England’s most vibrant, multi-cultural cities.

Although historically Manchester is well known for its brass bands, that’s not the music which springs to mind nowadays…

“Madchester” is the hometown of some the UKs biggest ever bands and produced the soundtrack to a generation. From The Smiths, Joy Division and New Order in the 1980s to The Stone Roses, The Happy Mondays, James and The Charlatans of the 1990s, Manchester changed the face of the British music scene. No one contributed to this more so than Oasis, their string of hits and controversial antics outside of the studio sealed Manchester’s place in the hall of fame of British music cities.

You can take a number of music tours around the city, see the birthplaces of these famed musicians, their schools, studios and all the places in between which inspired them to make the music which inspired us.

Getting there

By rail Manchester is easy to access via one of its four major train stations, Manchester Picadilly being the largest of these. There are regular trains every 20 minutes to London. Manchester airport is accessed by trains every 10 minutes from the city centre or by taxi. By road Manchester is serviced by the M60 motorway and its own ring road network.

Manchester is synonymous with football, home town to the world’s most famous football club, Manchester United as well as Manchester City, the upstarts from the other side of town who, armed with enormous financial backing and their own versions of “the Galacticos”, have turned their fortunes around in recent seasons. Old Trafford, the home of Manchester United, is almost an icon of culture itself, worth a visit even if you aren’t a football fan, it also houses the Manchester United museum. The stadium is situated roughly 15 minutes outside of the city centre. Take a tour of the Theatre of Dreams and see where superstars from the world of football have played some of the most artistic gameplay ever seen. A word of caution though, the stadium itself is not in the nicest part of town and apart from the surrounding hotels you won’t want to hang around too long.

Any festivals

Manchester International Festival is described as, “an artist-led, commissioning festival presenting new works from across the spectrum of performing arts, visual arts and popular culture,” which occurs biennially.

Things to do at night

Much like our main big cities in England, Manchester has something to offer everyone in terms of nightlife. The large student population is served by drinking holes and clubs catering to all music tastes, these are mostly found in the Fallowfields area.

The Deansgate area is where you will find the swankiest bars, fit for footballers and WAGs with impressive prices!

Canal Street in the gay village is home to Manchester’s scene for the LGBT community with a longstanding history of varied entertainments and tolerance. The area plays host to the Manchester Pride events.

Trafford Activities & Things to Do

A borough in Greater Manchester, Trafford has a population of around 211,000 and has been a metropolitan borough for around 40 years. The River Mersey splits Trafford into North and South Trafford. It’s got a history that draws back to the Neolithic era, though, so if you want to see somewhere historical then Trafford is a good place to get started.

As the name might suggest, Trafford is where you’ll find Manchester United located. Whether or not that puts you off or spurs you on to come here is entirely up to you however! Allegiances aside, Trafford is a nice place to be and it’s great to visit if you want to get away from the usual suspects that crop up when you and the lads decide to go for an event.

Getting to Trafford

The Metrolink runs through the north and south of Trafford, so getting around is extremely easy. You can get to Manchester from just about any main city in the UK via bus or train, and then you can get public transport around Manchester to get to Trafford. Alternatively, you could get a ride arranged to take you straight to Trafford from where you arrive, making getting straight to where you want to go.

What’s on & Where to Go

If you are after a bit of retail therapy then the Trafford Center is probably one of the best places to go in the whole of the UK! It’s got plenty of Grade 1 and 2 buildings to and visit if you want to see some of the biggest landmarks and coolest architecture that the area has to offer. There are plenty of open spaces as well if you want to just relax in the area as well, with plenty of public parks to pick from (21+ square miles to be exact!) so you don’t need to spend your day camped in the pub.

You could always make a trip to Old Trafford if you want. Visiting the stadium is a great experience for any football fan, as it’s one of the most historic and well run stadiums in the entire world. Just remember to bring your prawn sandwiches!

After Dark

While you might be better served heading into actual Manchester for concerts and gigs, there’s enough to do in the area to keep you content. The Horse and Jockey is a popular pub with a lot of locals, while Elektrik sells plenty of nice burgers and other pub food arrangements to keep you full on a night out.

Totties is one of the more commonly used nightclubs in the area, but you are better off hitting the bigger cities if you want to really enjoy a night out. There’s much more choice in Manchester itself, which can make your life much easier in general. You’re better off visiting Trafford if you want to try and dodge the big nightlife hotspots in the UK. It makes a good retreat after a mad night out, right enough! 


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