Manchester in a Day

Friday, May 10, 2019

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People who live in Manchester say that it is the greatest city in the world!! Indeed in many ways it is true. It is not as huge or as popular as London but it is mighty in its own right. The only motivation for us to include Manchester in the itinerary was my husband's fan following towards Manchester United. We decided that we must watch a Premier league match of ManUtd in Old Trafford and so dedicated a day to this beautiful city.

So we had half a day to go around the city and then headed to the Old Trafford for the football match.
We reached Manchester in the morning - we were coming from London.
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How to Reach: 
There are regular trains from London Euston to Manchester Picadilly station. I booked my ticket from trainline.
London Euston --> Manchester Picadilly  : 2 hours - Normal ticket price is 148 GBP but booking in advance can get cheap rates - I  booked my tickets for 33GBP each from Trainline.

We took the 08.20 AM train and reached Manchester Picadilly at 10.30 AM.

Public Transport: 
We purchased a day-ticket which allows unlimited Tram connectivity within Manchester. There are different options, but since it was a week-end we purchased a Off-peak Day saver ticket which was for 4.8 GBP per ticket.
The Metro tram connectivity is very good and goes to most parts of the city. Tickets are available from the ticketing machines on the station and these machines accept cards or cash.
It is very easy to travel in a tram, google maps will also help you to find out which tram line to catch for which station. I am attaching a map here for reference.

Metrolink-Map-2019
Metro Map taken from the Manchester transport site
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Where we stayed: 
When I was researching for hotels, it was very difficult to find a reasonable rate. Most of the hotels were fully booked (probably because there was a premier league match in the city that day) and those which were available were super-expensive.
Finally we narrowed to a hotel called "The Victoria Hotel by Compass Hospitality"- this was a victorian styled old hotel which had a lot of positive reviews on the Internet and the price was around 85GBP per night including breakfast.
The hotel had a lovely garden and an overall rustic feel but honestly as Indian travellers we like modern hotels better. There was no lift, no phone in the room, no room service and an archaic bathroom. The nearest tram station was Hollinwood Avenue which was around 2 kms walking from the hotel - so I will not recommend it.

Sightseeing in the city:  Since we just had half a day and wanted to make the most of it, this is what we covered :

1. Castlefield :
These are the ruins of an old Roman era and forts. For this you need to get down on the Deansgate-Castlefield station. The destination is about 500mts from here and there are directions on the road.
It was nice and refreshing, there were ducks and birds and my kid enjoyed playing with them. Other than that, I am not a big fan of historical ruins, so I did not find much to see here. According to me it can be skipped.
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Feeding the ducks at Castlefield

2. Museum of Science and Industry: 
This is exactly opposite to Castlefield and is walkable from there. This is a very popular attraction but due to paucity of time, we skipped it.
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Piccadilly Gardens
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3. Piccadilly Gardens: 
I absolutely fell in love with this place. Catch the tram and come to Piccadilly Gardens stop, its beautiful fountains and pleasant atmosphere. There is a flea market where there are food stalls selling nice yummy stuff. We ate Kabab roll here and it was amazing. This place is the heart of the city so there are supermarkets, shopping areas and everything you need.
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National Football Museum

4. National Football Museum:
Manchester is home to 2 Europe's top football teams - ManCity and ManUtd - so Indeed the football museum is worth paying a visit. This is a huge 4 story building featuring various sports memorabilia, historical trophies, short movie shots and the history of football. This will take a good 1-2 hours if you want to do it well. The entry is free but they do ask for donations which are optional.
It is a 10 mins walk from the Piccadilly gardens or you can take a tram to nearest station Victoria.
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5. Manchester Cathedral: 
Absolutely stunning. This is right next to the Football museum, entry is free but they ask for voluntary donations. The gardens outside the Cathedral are also worth watching with different autumn colors and beautiful decor. Built in the 1500s, this has not lost its charm in the modern age
and has very peaceful vibrations.
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6. Old Trafford Football ground: 
If you are a football fan this is a place which you love to visit. The nearest tram stop is Old Trafford or Trafford bar. Both of them are around 1 kms walking from the stadium. This is also the best way to travel there because on days of the Football match, the roads are damn crowded and parking is impossible. Also the police will block some roads due to which Bus accessibility is also limited.

It was luckily a Match day when we visited there. I think that trip deserves a special blog because I want to write all about the craziness and madness called football in this city. Throngs of people will be travelling by tram (better to leave early else its super-crowded) they will sing the ManUtd anthem and keep moving. The atmosphere is magical and I think you can only truely feel the vibe when present there.
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All in all, it is indeed a beautiful city and I would love to live there if I get a chance.
Here was a my Full Trip schedule -
London --> Manchester --> Lake District --> Edinburgh --> Scottish Highlands --> Isle of Skye --> London --> Stonehenge --> Back to India

P.S : All pictures in this blog are original and clicked from my OnePlus6 Phone

Some more blogs from this trip that I have written :

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13 comments

  1. Amazing place. Thanks for the details post.
    Beautiful pics.

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  2. Beautiful photos and so much to explore in Manchester..

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  3. Manchester seems a happening place. Lucky you got to see a match. well worth the trip then. The cathedral is so beautiful.

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  4. I have not been to Manchester yet, but it does look like a great city. Neat you went to Old Trafford, I have not attended a football game in England either.

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  5. Manchester looks great in your pictures! I'd like to go there if I'm ever in London :)

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  6. Such a nicely written comprehensive guide for Manchester. If I've ever in that part of the world, I'll definitely refer to this.

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  7. Hey ! great blog. I went on Kedarkantha Trek when I visited India and have been visiting India for treks.Although I love Manchester also

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