Manchester was late to the yoga party. It’s had a number of classes for many years, but in the last two years, the scene has literally exploded with studios on industrial estates, in deserted buildings, and purpose built studios and gyms. In this short guide, we’ve tried to cover some of best studios in the suburbs– and to make a note of which clas
Manchester Jazz Festival The Manchester Jazz festival is unlike any other event on the jazz circuit. It features 10 days of contemporary jazz from not only the North West and the rest of the UK but also welcomes acts from all over the world, with many original pieces and international debuts taking place. Manchester Jazz Festival does however champ
Manchester’s Whitworth gallery has just reopened after a huge extension. The award-winning architecture studio, MUMA, were employed to extend the iconic Victorian art gallery to the rear and to transform the inside, expanding the space available to the public by nearly double. The theme of the changes is Manchester’s ‘gallery in the park’. So the c
Manchester has to be one of the most relaxed and open minded places to hang out in Europe if you are into the LGBT and gay scene. But as Morrissey sang of girls, some bars are bigger – or just better- than others, so we’ve compiled a guide to five venues that are particular favourites of LGBT women and their friends. We’ve included everything from
With a huge and diverse musical history Manchester unsurprisingly draws scores of musicians to its shores in order to make a name for themselves. Not everyone can, but the cream usually rises to the top, and playing in front of a live audience is key to progressing as a performer. Thankfully Manchester’s music scene is a
From travel stamps to statements of belief, there’s a tattoo for every mood. With hand-drawn tattoos, personal designs and the artist’s own work to choose from, a tattoo can be a rite of passage, an adornment or a million things in between. And if you need inspiration, there’s cool ink everywhere you look in Manchester. One of the most recommended
Given that Manchester is the UKs second city (sssh Birmingham we all know it's true) and considering its musical heritage, it should come as no surprise to find that Manchester is jam packed with live venues. Some of the more iconic ones are sadly no more – The Hacienda is now swanky apar
Dangers to Dry JanuaryAfter the excesses of the Christmas period it makes sense to have a little time off from liver punching amounts of booze and gout inducing foodstuffs. But the whole of January? Are you sure? That’s a lot of days. Thirty-one to be exact and we’re only just reaching the halfway mark. If you’re persevering with ‘Dry January’ or s
The Lowry: Jan & Feb picksThe beauty of The Lowry Theatre is that it’s actually several theatres. This allows them to showcase the talent of tomorrow as well as champion the stars of today. Especially so when it comes to comedy. We’ve rounded up some of the best shows coming up in the next few months on the Salford Quays.Sara Pascoe vs History, Sat
New Year’s Eve plansSo much emphasis is put on having the perfect New Year’s Eve that it can take a lot of the fun out of what is essentially a night out followed by a bank holiday. The vast array of options for where to go and who to choose for that midnight kiss can become a social minefield, where treading gently becomes a lot more difficult aft
A work Christmas party can turn even the cheeriest of people into Scrooge or the Grinch. So why not avoid the clichés and arrange your own? Here are some ideas to make sure yours goes with a bang and will ensure that you and your colleagues are left full of festive cheer.Christmas MarketsParagraphPerhaps not the most obvious party location but you
Once of a day in the centre of Manchester, football was frowned upon in the so called better pubs and bars of Manchester. A dirty little secret you had to get out of your system in some back alley dive that only sold cheese and onion crisps. Sure, bars would embrace World Cups and European Championships every other year for their own business sense
Manchester is home to a host of swimming pools. Many are open to the public, some are tucked away inside private gyms or out in the suburbs. There’s everything from health clubs and public baths to cool spots out of town places, and even outdoor heated pools, you just need to find your vibe.
With the likes of Kate Moss, Maxine Peake and Madonna regular practitioners, yoga has become part of the British exercise establishment. But for the novice yogi, the sheer number of classes, types and different teachers can seem really overwhelming. There’s good reason for this: some classes are aimed at those with more experience, while others are
Few things are better than a weekend stroll around one of Manchester’s bounty of fairs and markets, but the one that tops the list is in Levenshulme – known affectionately to punters as the Levy Market [http://www.levymarket.com/]. Taking place every Saturday, the eclectic collective of passionate local traders
Opening at the turn of the millennium, The Lowry has established itself as one of the most popular tourist attractions in Greater Manchester. In housing two separate theatres, The Lyric and the Quays, as well as a drama studio in its wings, The Lowry offers a chance for comedy acts both big and not so big a venue within which to make humans laugh.
Manchester has always been well known for its music scene, steeped in world-renowned music history it's no surprise that the city is awash with fantastic venues in various guises and sizes. One of the firm favourites is the Manchester Apollo, a popular venue on both the music scene and comedy circuit for many years.The venue itself is slightly out
Everyone loves to laugh but a night out at a comedy club sometimes has a price tag that’s more likely to make you cry. With that in mind, we’ve rounded up some of the more cost effective comedy nights in the city. Something to tickle your funny bone without costing you an arm and a leg.The Kings ArmsThe Kings Arms is one of Salford’s finest ale hou
Manchester is almost totally flat, so why not hire bikes and get to know the city a bit better? The weather in Manchester is not famously great but as hordes of cyclists suggest, travelling by bike is one of the optimal ways to get about. Alleys and concrete flyovers become your personal driveways as you explore the city.Best for Bike HireThe only
With classic red bricked institutions sitting in harmony alongside shiny new restaurants and art galleries, the Manchester topography is both sprawling and varied – but thanks to its predominantly flat terrain and built up nature, it’s also not a city known for its great views.However, despite it being difficult to truly appreciate the cityscape we
There was a time, if you’ll indulge us for a moment, when if you couldn’t remember something, or queried something above your intelligence you might have to go home and look it up in the old Encyclopedia Britannica, or ring a loved one who you deemed a fountain of wisdom. It was a simpler time, arguably a better time. Now with the advent of the sma
The last of the bank holidays before Christmas is often a bittersweet affair, we rely on it to cap the summer whilst lamenting that you’re unlikely to get another free pass from work until Jesus has another birthday, hoping in vain to see it offer a bit of sun that Manchester so rarely offers. The good thing about this particular weekend in August is that Pride also takes place ensuring that rain or shine, a good time will be had. No matter what your gender or sexual proclivity, Pride is a chance to let go and enjoy life and embrace those around you. A weekend of acceptance, and also, some damn fine parties. We’ve rounded up some of the highlights of this weekend.
Looking for things to do in Manchester? Here are 5 things to do that will get you off the couch and out exploring you city.
The designer Peter Saville branded Manchester the “original, modern” city, but, fortunately, plenty of places missed the memo. These include concrete flyovers and pubs packed with memorabilia from Northern Soul’s heyday. Dive bars, tiled pools and dusty old shops are among the kind of places we’re thinking of, the kind of places that don’t really s
Matt Fenton is artistic director and CEO of Manchester’s cutting edge performance space, the Contact Theatre. He comes to the city from a long stint at Lancaster Institute for the Contemporary Arts, where he was involved in programming, commissioning, staffing and funding.His recent appointment was greeted with general approval across the city’s cu
When it comes to museums, big doesn’t always mean best. Manchester’s small but perfectly formed museums offer intriguing days out with something for young, old, arty, fashionable and more with something to please even the pickiest palate.Greater Manchester Police MuseumSmall and hard to find it may be, but the Greater Manchester Police Museum has t
Who doesn’t love bowling? OK, I must admit it’s not my absolute favourite pastime but that’s more to do with my personal rule of avoiding activities I'm not very good at. And thanks to poor hand-eye coordination I’m definitely not very good at bowling.
Home to the annual Pride Festival, TV series like Queer as Folk, and iconic figures like Alan Turing and Jeanette Winterson, Manchester is one of the country’s top destinations for LGBT culture and nightlife. The scene sprawls across many of the city’s districts - no longer are gay clubs and bars confined to Manchester’s showy Canal Street. Instead, you’ll find something for everyone from cool nights like Drunk at Vogue at Kraak in the Northern Quarter, to Salford’s wild and free-thinking art, music and club space, Islington Mill
Writers, poets and lyricists have pounded Manchester’s damp streets since Roman times. But this is a city which wears its heritage lightly.
The Anthony Burgess Foundation
Relaxed venues, like The Anthony Burgess Foundation
are a case in point.A diverse events programme means that IABF is as often home to musicians like Julia Holter, as it is to award-winning writers. The Clockwork Orange author’s archives and reading rooms are tucked away in the basement and, if you pop in for a coffee, you’ll find people browsing Burgess’ back catalogue, in the kind of contemporary urban surrounds (it used to be a fire station) that could have been lifted from the pages of one of his novels.
How long have you lived in the city without stopping to appreciate its best views? Step right this way, for our top three favourite views of the rainy city.
Like Vancouver and LA, Manchester has seen its fair share of famous faces. Chloe Sevigny and Daniel Radcliffe are just two bona fide stars to have filmed in Manchester’s streets over the last few years while Benedict Cumberbatch and Mat Horne studied drama at the University of Manchester. As you’d expect, its theatres are a hotbed of talent too, with something for every dramatic persuasion.
Manchester may be best known for its mills and industry (or shops and football, depending on your persuasion), but it is also remarkably rich in historic houses the most famous probably being Lyme Park. Here are three of our favourites – all within striking distance of Manchester city centre.
For 300 years the family home of the aristocratic Grey family (distantly related to that Lady Jane Grey), Dunham Massey
is far more than a grand country house. While its interiors meticulously document the sometimes tumultuous lives of the various Earls of Stamford who once called it home – the last earl gave the house to the National Trust in 1976 – Dunham is as well known for its formal gardens, expansive parkland (whose herd of fallow deer can be traced back to Norman times) and winter gardens. These latter gardens feature over 25,000 early flowering bulbs - snowdrops, crocuses, daffodils – whose effusive blooms are a cheery sight during those months when all else is bare. Recent developments include a shiny new visitor centre while the house, meanwhile, has been transformed into the Stamford Hospital. This is a recreation of the military hospital Dunham became during WWI and is a humbling reminder, timed to commemorate its 100th anniversary, of just how much the “war to end all wars” affected lives both ordinary and aristocratic. Free entry to parkland; charges apply to house and gardens (free for National Trust members).
While people are always talking about Manchester’s bands, they give less airtime to the the city’s venues. From churches to art galleries to bars, there are charismatic gig settings galore in which to take in what Manchester does best – so here’s a few ideas to get you started.
Manchester is full of seriously big attractions. From the Daniel Libeskind designed Imperial War Museum North to the neoclassical rotunda of the Central Library, Manchester has a spectrum of attractions and, if you take this list as a starting point, you can explore off the beaten track safe in the knowledge that you’ve not missed the major sights.
Manchester is a city that gives up its secrets to those who try that little bit harder. The wide selection of city tours range from map tours (see the Modernist Metro tour below), and underground expeditions of the city’s hidden-away spots, to tours of famous places featured on The Smiths’ record sleeves and in the songs of Morrissey (look out for the MozBus Smiths Tour
on the first Saturday of the month.
The name Salford might not be synonymous with art and culture, but things are changing in Manchester’s sister city. As the bold name suggests, MediaCityUK is Salford’s new, purpose-built ‘media village’ of production studios, offices and supporting facilities where some of the country’s biggest players have relocated. They join a network of landmark museums like the Imperial War Museum North and The Lowry as well as smaller artists’ studios like Islington Mill and Hot Bed Press, making it Greater Manchester’s largest hub of culture and creativity.
When designer and creative Peter Saville labelled Manchester the ‘original modern’ city, he was talking about our history, outlook and attitude. But it’s an ethos that extends across the board, with just about every small gallery, cafe and studio packed with original, modern art and prints made by people who live and work here.
Forget Market Street – sometimes the best and most interesting places to shop are found inside museums and galleries. Here are a few of our Manchester favourites.
MOSI, Manchester’s Museum of Science & Industry, does many things well: steam train rides, interactive exhibits and blockbuster shows that somehow manage to combine science, art and discovery in one heady mix. Its on-site shop is stacked with the sort of science-related goodies that make for unusual gifts. After a glow-in-the-dark solar system? Step right this way. How about an instant IQ test, retro train poster or book that explains How Nearly Everything Was Invented? You can get all of these items alongside the usual museum souvenirs, pocket money toys and vintage trinkets – but it’s for the science kits, books and toys that this shop really stands out.
Looking for the best place to see new and historic artworks? Here’s our three favourite galleries – plus mention of one other that has some exciting things planned for 2014.
Manchester Art Gallery
This is the grand dame of Manchester’s art scene, a neo-Classical gallery that sits slap-bang in the middle of the city centre. Its monumental frontage, Grade I-listed and designed by the celebrated Victorian architect, Charles Barry, signals that serious art is contained within. And, indeed, once you step through its Corinthian-columned entrance you’re met with a historic collection that boasts some 25,000 objects, paintings and sculptures, from world-renowned Pre-Raphaelite paintings by the likes of Millais and Rossetti to works by the 17th century Dutch masters. But, while it may have an impressive collection, this is one gallery that’s not all about the old. The building was extended in 2002, with a glass-roofed atrium connecting the Victorian building to newer gallery spaces. Now, alongside historic shows, it stages regular contemporary exhibitions, with work and new commissions from some of the biggest names in visual art. Turner Prize winner Jeremy Deller, for example, premiered his All That Is Solid Melts Into Air here in November 2013, while the Portuguese artist Joana Vasconcelos opens an exhibition of new, large-scale sculptural work in February 2014 (until June). The gallery also boasts a decent restaurant and café (with great homemade cakes), is open until 8pm every Thursday, offers hands-on activity packs and workshops for kids - and is our top tip for a calm, cultural respite from the city’s busy, traffic-clogged streets.
Tell us something about your city people usually don’t know?
It takes a while to get into Manchester. It's a bit like a really good record. You have to listen to it a few times before it becomes part of your soul.
What is the top place in Manchester people shouldn’t miss?
They change all the time but proper places like Sam and Tom's Chophouse remain at the top of my list as they make really good steak and kidney pies that everyone should try at least once in their life.
What advice would you give to someone who is thinking about starting their own blog
Just do it! I've met loads of people who want to be writers, but the only way to be a writer is to write. It doesn't matter if no one reads it. At least you can tell yourself that you are doing what you want to do and be proud of yourself. I really think that making stuff - even if its just a paragraph of text on the web - makes life a richer, more meaningful experience. Writing has got me out of loads of really dark places, plus, I believe that by covering small, independent businesses and events in Manchester, Manchester Wire is helping to get the word out there that Manchester is a great city to live in, and that you don't have to live in the capital to get involved in cultural stuff.
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