If you are anything like me you will probably be getting ready to make a 2020 travel wish list. My plans this year include spending more time seeing what the UK has to offer. If you are looking for a staycation then why not start in my home city of Manchester. I have been living here since 2012 and there is so much to see and do in this gorgeous northern city. So firstly get your serviced apartments Manchester booked and have a look at my top 10 places to visit.
Gino D’Acampo My Coffee & Deli, Manchester Arndale
Every morning needs to start with a good coffee and Gino’s is my favourite place to stop for a coffee. It is located on the ground floor of Next, and a short walk from Shudehill Interchange. The coffee & deli bar serve a range of Neapolitan coffees and the breakfast menu includes granola bowls, brioche breakfast buns and nutella croissants. There is also a delicious lunch menu, serving some delicious Italian favourites such as piadina, pizza and pastas. The man himself regularly visits his 3 on-site restaurants (he has a pizza & prosecco bar upstairs and a main restaurant across the street in the Corn Exchange), so there is a good chance of spotting him in the flesh!
If you’re in a large group and looking for somewhere to accommodate you for brunch then look no further than the Northern Quarter. I was familiar with the Northern Quarter even before I lived in Manchester as it is often used in movies to replicate New York and it is the norm to see film crews in the area. The Northern Quarter offers a relaxed indie vibe and here you will find a range of independent coffee shops, brunch spots and bars.
We actually came across Wilson’s Social by accident, which makes this recommendation even better. My daughter loves the street art on Stevenson Square and after admiring the street art we noticed a new restaurant/bar and as we were looking for a brunch spot we thought we would try it out. It turned out to be a great idea as the brunch was incredible. Wilson’s Social on Hilton Street, has been newly launched by Latin American brand Selina, and is named after Tony Wilson who was a much-loved Mancunian record company owner and television presenter.
The menu at Wilson’s Social is something special, offering a range of cultures with vegan and vegetarian options too. I ordered the banana bread with berry compote which was to-die for. Their full English breakfast which my partner had also looked great and was well portioned.
The Printworks is another favourite of mine and you can easily spend a day in here, especially with kids. There is everything from Adventure Golf, to a large Vue cinema which offers tickets for only £4.99. After your movie you can treat yourself to lunch at one of the many restaurants inside including Peachy Keens, Chiquito and Hard Rock Cafe. It is the perfect place to spend a rainy day.
The National Football Museum
Directly across from The Printworks is another family favourite- The National Football Museum. The museum offers memorabilia and important collections, along with a vast history of the wonderful game. Each floor offers something unique including games, football club history and a learning zone. There is also a souvenir shop and cafe. Also no visit to Manchester is complete without a visit to two of the biggest football clubs in the world, Manchester United and Manchester City.
If rugby is more your thing, then Manchester has that covered too. We have a premier league rugby club a short drive from the Trafford Centre. Sale Sharks offer a free shuttle bus from the Trafford Centre to their ground and back again at full-time. Keep an eye out on their social media pages for special ticket offers. Their Director of Rugby, Steve Diamond is passionate about welcoming families to the ground, and the club offer a great value family ticket.
Gino D’Acampo My Pizza and Prosecco Bar
If you are coming to Manchester then it is more than likely that you will be heading to a concert at Manchester Arena. My Pizza and Prosecco Bar is a popular choice as it is a short walk from Victoria station and the Arena and offers a family-friendly menu. Don’t be fooled by the name though, as well as pizza they offer a seasonal menu with some really great additions like this butternut squash which I recently tried from their autumn menu.
Make sure you try the prosecco too, and if you need some expert advice on what drink to order then Gino’s Head Sommelier, Giuseppe Bergonzi is usually on hand to offer his personal recommendations.
Spring Gardens in Manchester city centre which was formally the home of the north-west banking industry is now host to popular high end restaurants and bars such as Six by Nico, Rosso (owned by ex-Manchester United footballer, Rio Ferdinand) and Browns. In my opinion it is the perfect place for a special date night.
B Works/Virgin Money, Market Street
Manchester has a large freelance community and if you are in the city to host an event or network then Virgin Money owned B Works is the perfect choice. It offers a space for freelancers and content creators to work and connect, there is also the bonus of free tea and coffee while you work.
The space also has additional floors offering rooms for recording podcasts and photography.
I couldn’t write a Manchester recommendation without mentioning at least one of the many parks. Heaton Park is in the Prestwich area, a short tram ride from the city centre. On a day to day basis the park offers play areas, an animal centre, cafes and a boating lake. Heaton Park is also host to many events throughout the year, including the popular Manchester Eats festival in the summer. Also don’t forget to visit the stunning Heaton Hall while you are here.
Didsbury, South Manchester
Didsbury is a South Manchester suburb, home to the beautiful Fletcher Moss Botanical Gardens and Marie Louise Gardens. It is also the home of popular ITV show, Cold Feet. The Woodstock Pub, Wine and Wallop and Marie Louise Gardens, all in West Didsbury are regularly used as filming locations for Cold Feet.
Didsbury is also popular for it’s food scene including the recently opened, Mad Giant food hall in the centre of Didsbury village. The food hall offers artisan beers, burgers, Indian and Cambodian street food and great coffee. Well worth a visit if you want to venture out of the city centre.
So that’s my top 10 places to visit in Manchester and it wasn’t easy to just choose 10 when there is so much to see, do (and eat) here.
*This post is a collaboration with Hotels.com. The spending money was gifted by Hotels.com, but all views are my own.