5 alternative things to do in Manchester

PUBLISHED: 09:00 15 September 2014

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When you think of Manchester, you probably think shopping, eating and theatres. A pretty standard city experience, when all's said and done. But Manchester has so much more to offer…here are some ideas for a slightly different Manchester visit.

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1. Get goosebumps at Greater Manchester Police Museum

Policing has come a long way since Victorian times, but here you can travel back to the dark days of alleyways, cotton mills and men with big sticks…! Located in the historic Northern Quarter of Manchester, the Museum was one of the city’s earliest police stations and has been lovingly restored to reflect the reality of policing in the late 1800’s and bring you right up to date with current approaches. Take note however, it’s only open on Tuesdays!


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2. Relax over afternoon tea at Tea 42.

A firm favourite with local Foodies, Tea 42 offers an extensive and imaginative menu, with more than 60 gluten-free goodies and 27 hand-blended teas. Yum.


3. Admire Victorian style at Victoria Baths

When it opened in 1906, Victoria Baths was described as ‘the most splendid municipal bathing institution in the country.’ Not only did the building provide spacious and extensive facilities for swimming, bathing and leisure, it was built of the highest quality materials with many period decorative features- stained glass, terracotta, tiles and mosaic floors, all of which remain in their full glory today. Closed in 1993, a restoration project is currently in process, and visitors can admire the glorious tiling and surroundings deemed suitable for ‘the common folk’ over 100 years ago, putting current council facilities to shame!

4. Sip a cocktail, or two, at The Alchemist

Widely regarded as Manchester’s best cocktail bar, The Alchemist can be found in Spinningfields, just behind The Opera House. Cocktails are carefully crafted using a variety of molecular drinks-making techniques that are every bit as much about the presentation as their extraordinary taste. Be prepared to taxi home!

5. Go East…in China Town

While Manchester’s China Town may be teeny tiny in comparison to San Fransisco’s or New York’s, it’s still one of the biggest in the world outside China! Enjoy dim sum, browse the arts and crafts centre, go mad in the supermarkets, admire the Chinese gate and dine like an Eastern potentate in any of many Chinese, Vietnamese, Thai and Japanese restaurants. Definitely a place to be during Chinese New Year!

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