6 must-do's in Manchester

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6 must-do's in Manchester

When looking at city break destinations from Southampton Airport Manchester probably wouldn’t be the first place that springs to mind but as I found out there is more than enough to do there to fill a weekend.

View of green pitch and seating inside Manchester United stadium1. Behind the scenes at Old Trafford

No trip to Manchester would be complete without visiting one of the stadiums and I opted for the bigger of the two. Even as a non Man U fan I really enjoyed the tour.  We learnt about the history of the stadium and saw the only remaining original part following it’s bombing in the Second World War as well as the VIP bar, press and changing rooms. Arrive early so you have time to look around the museum.

Platter of meat and sides with glass of rose and sauces in background2. Chow down at Red’s True Barbeque

If you’re a lover of all things barbequed (like me) then you have to try Red’s True Barbeque. After much deliberation I opted for the beef long rib washed down with a smoked Manhattan cocktail. It was delicious, although I couldn’t manage all of it. But don’t worry, they’ve got doggy bags at the ready!

People inside building with marble floor and tree3. Stretch your legs and see the sites on a walking tour

At only £7 a walking tour is a bargain and a great way to see the city. You’ll discover the importance of buildings that you’d otherwise just walk past and learn some really interesting (and quirky) facts. My tour guide, Barbara was excellent and taught us about the history of Manchester as well as letting us have a sneaky peak inside the famous Midland Hotel and the beautiful town hall.

Dinosaur skeleton display in building4. T-Rex and mummies at Manchester Museum

The Manchester Museum is completely free to enter and worth the trek to the other side of town. It houses a great display of ancient Egyptian artefacts and a large natural history exhibition with numerous stuffed animals (and some vivariums housing snakes and frogs if you want to see some alive ones too). The highlight had to be the T-Rex skeleton located downstairs. 

Metal turnstile with football poster behind5. Learn all about the beautiful game at the National Football Museum

Whether a football fan or not, the National Football Museum is certainly worth a visit. Covering a history of football from its humble beginnings to the present day there’s a great selection of memorabilia on display including old footballs, original Wembley turnstiles and trophies. Plus it’s completely free to enter.

Old fashioned wooden table and chairs in room with bookcases6. Admire the architecture at John Rylands library

If you’re a fan of historic literature then John Rylands library will be right up your street with one of the finest collections of rare books and manuscripts in the world, including a fragment of the bible. But if this doesn’t appeal to you then it’s worth a visit just for the building itself. The historic reading room looked just like something off the set of Harry Potter!

Tips for travelling around the city

  • It’s really easy to get from the airport to the centre of Manchester with frequent trains which only take 15 minutes
  • Manchester is really easy to walk around, and it’s the best way to see the city but there are also free metro shuttle buses which run throughout the city centre every 10 minutes