8 unusual ways to spend a day in Manchester
When I first came up with the idea of starting a travel blog I thought I’d write about exotic destinations, like Bali, Australia or Thailand. Manchester, the city I live in, didn’t cross my mind as one of the places I’d write about. Yet here I am.
Manchester is an amazing city. I know I’m biased because I live here, but I wasn’t born in Manchester so there was definitely something that persuaded me to move.
Let me help you get to know my city a little bit more.
8 unusual ways to spend a day in Manchester:
Calling all cat lovers, when you’re in Manchester city centre, you have to visit the Cat Cafe.
The Cat Cafe is home to 12 beautiful cats, most of which have been living together since they were kittens. Each cat has been chosen because of its breed and personality. You’ll find fluffy cats, sleek cats, ginger cats, Bengal cats, cuddly cats and friendly cats; all the cats!
I love visiting the cafe because I can’t have a cat of my own, so it gives me the chance to interact with cats I wouldn’t normally get to meet.
They have their own bunk beds, with their names on, and loads of toys to play with and special places to sleep and hide. There’s a large wooden shelf which runs along the top of the room, where you’ll find some of the nosier cats watching (judging) you from above.
Although they are happy to have people in their home, remember they are still cats, so it’s not guaranteed that you’ll have one purring on your lap during your visit.
Regardless of the outcome, the relaxing atmosphere, comfy sofas, and good coffee and snacks make it a joyful experience.
Visit the Cat Cafe’s site for more info.
Do you remember watching this game show on TV in the 90s? Now you can play it for real in Manchester. You’ll get to participate in physical and mental challenges as a group (if there’s a small number of you they will ask you to join strangers to make up a group) and see if you have what it takes to beat the maze.
View the Crystal Maze website for more details.
Japanese tea ceremony
Take part in an authentic Japanese tea ceremony, seconds away from one of the busiest roads in Manchester. Cha-ology is a Japanese tea house in Ancoats (a five minute stroll from the Northern Quarter) where you can soak up the tranquil atmosphere as you sip a green matcha tea and enjoy a delicate sponge roll.
It’s worth noting that you must book in advance and will be asked to respect the rules of the tea house, by speaking quietly and taking off your shoes, so please don’t go if you’re after a noisy gossip with your friends.
You can find more info on Cha-ology’s website.
Gig at Albert hall/ Cathedral
Have you ever seen a band perform in a cathedral? Watch a gig at either the Albert Hall or Manchester Cathedral and you’ll see just how spectacular it is. The acoustics are amazing and watching the lights reflect from the stained glass windows is magical.
View the Albert Hall calendar to browse upcoming events.
Have cereal for dinner at Black milk cafe
Guess what? It’s acceptable to eat cereal any time of the day!
Manchester has it’s very own cereal cafe, Black Milk, in the heart of the Northern Quarter.
You’ll have a hard time choosing which cereal you want to munch, these guys have stocked up on all your old favourites, plus American specialities.
Plus, they don’t just serve cereal, you can get homemade pancakes, waffles, ice cream and the most incredible milkshakes. Their food looks like works of art, plus the cafe has a vintage theme which I love.
Alice in wonderland afternoon tea
You can experience the Mad Hatter’s tea party for yourself at Richmond Tea rooms, an award winning afternoon tea room, close to Manchester’s gay village (canal street). There is so much attention to detail, the service is friendly and efficient and the food is delicious.
Look at the amazing decor, as seen on their website.
For an alternative shopping trip, look no further than Afflecks Palace. You’ll find clothes to suit goths, emos, punks, vintage rockabillys, retro lovers and even cosplay queens in this three storey high retail wonderland. If shopping isn’t your thing, you can also get pierced and tattooed there.
Victoria baths is a window into the past. Classic architecture, vintage signage and historical vibes.
It was once a swimming pool, but it’s been restored and is used for unique events. I’ve been to a gin festival there, and watched the classic film, ’10 things I hate about you’ at a Valentine’s film festival (very cute cinema experience by the way).
Recognise the decor? That’s because it’s also been shown in Peaky Blinders twice, (once as a racehorse auction and then as the location of the boxing match).
Even if there isn’t an event on, it’s worth checking out this quirky building.
Find more info and whether there are any events on via their website.
Do you have any other unusual haunts in Manchester that I’ve missed? Let me know in the comments 🙂