Albert Square, home of Manchester's wonderful Town Hall, has several interesting buildings (all of which, I think, date from Victorian times or later).
See if you can spot the little head of Prince Albert, with its 'wig' of green algae.
There are dragons and lions, mock-Medieval window frames, columns and decorated capitals... and more heads of ?gods and goddesses?, sticking out of their pediment and gazing over the surrounding streets.
It's definitely worthwhile spending a few minutes exploring the building exteriors in Albert Square.
Piccadilly Gardens (also called Victoria Gardens as far as I know) are the centre of the city, or that was how it felt to me. There is a big plaza with some pretty waterworks, a monument of Queen Victoria, and many benches and small walls to sit down. Next to Piccadilly Gardens there is the tourist information and also the traveline office. There are a number of restaurants and cafés, and of course Piccadilly train and bus station.
I found that Piccadilly is a meeting point for the people of the city, you will see many people sitting here and chatting to their friends, people having a break from their shopping on one of the benches, teenagers hanging around and meeting each other, and tourists taking pictures and enjoying the atmosphere. Especially in sunshine it is a nice place!
Experiencing these folks gathering and hanging out at the city center's park at Market Street, for an event called "Rats Race", shows how vibrant and exciting Manchester actually is. There's a great number of restaurants, shops, pubs, stores and many tourists attractions.
The Old Wellington is a traditional Tudor style pub dating back to 1550. It's a Grade Two listed building & one of the oldest buildings in Manchester.
After the 1996 bombing of Manchester the pub was painstakingly dismantled & rebuilt 100 metres closer to the city centre.
The pub has a selection of pub food & real ales. Located close to the Cathedral, it's a great place to relax & have a drink.
The City Center of Manchester is full of lots of attractions... lots of wonderful restaurants, cafes, pubs, shopping....We did not spend a whole lot of time here, but from what I saw, I liked this area. It was a bit chilly when we were there, so we did not walk around very much, but on my next visit to Manchester, i hope to spend more time here.
Chapel Walks is a tiny paved area just off Cross Street. I have no idea why it is called Chapel Walks. If I find out I'll update this tip. However, the name is irrelevant as it's not chapels here, it's bars and restaurants. This tiny pedestrian area has a row of excellent bars and eateries all next to each other, and is a pretty little place with tables on the pavement and old buildings.
The oldest established place here is a Manchester institution - Sam's Chop House. For traditional old English food, with massive portions, and a lively atmosphere. Next we have Grinch which has been here for many years and serves good food - Pizzas, European and English dishes, with lovely friendly staff.
Chaopraya is a Thai restaurant and Bar which won the City Life food and drink's newcomer award this year. It is very large and the food is good.
Bacchanalia I haven't tried yet but is a bar and restaurant.
Blue sky ! -- it doesn't always rain .....
Piccadilly is the heart of Manchester really -- just a couple of minutes from Piccadilly train station and Manchester Central bus station, it marks the beginning of the main shopping thoroughfare, Market Street.
100 years ago Manchester Infirmary stood on this site before it moved in 1907 to its present location on Oxford Road.
After that, the hollow ground that was left became Piccadilly Gardens and pretty much stayed that way until 2002 when extensive work was undertaken in the city for the Commonwealth Games.
Part of the refurbishment saw rather a lot of white concrete appear in Piccadilly and some water fountains that don't always work -- coupled with a new office development at one end of the 'gardens' the area has taken on a new look altogether. However, I think it's beginning to settle down and when the trees mature and the surrounding shops are open I hope it will return to being the focal point that the city deserves.
From the outside of the buildings which are beautiful and well kept -to the inside which are even more impressive and so much history and amazing paintings and it is free admission to see these wonders. If you are religios you must see the 'ST JOHN FRAGMENT" The oldest writings from the bible dating from 2nd century C.E.
Redesigned and reconstructed in recent years, Piccadilly gardens, right in the centre of the city, has moved on from it's somewhat sleazy past when alcoholics and junkies frequented the place. Now it is a neat green open space, and has an array of fountains that in summer provide great relief from the blazing Manchester heat.
This set of trendy bars and clubs is situated under the arches adds on to one of the few new nightspots in Manchester. A fantastic collection of canal side bars. The ones i frequent are Loaf and Baa and Revolution. Check out my nightlife page for personally reviews of some bars here.
I love it during Christmas when the make-shift markets start appearing. There will be one in St Ann's Sq and another in Albert Sq just in front of the town hall. They sell all sorts of ***e like candles, chocalates, christmas trees and blah blah blah...Don't forget to have ur cup of malt wine before leaving! It's freezing!
On Canal Street (on the opposite side of the canal from the bars) is The Beacon Of Hope. A modern art monument to the fight against aids, it's poignantly set in the heart of Manchester's "Gay Village".
Once a small park set sunk down into a traffic roundabout in the middle of Picadilly, it has now been raised to street level and pedestrianised. There is a bus/tram interchange on two sides of it, but other than that it's traffic free.
Kids have fun playing around the fountain, trying to dodge the jets of water (most fail) ;-)
Not really a garden, more of a square. Bordered on every side by somthing "interesting" - Urbis, the Cathedral, Printworks, Selfridges...
In this picture Selfridges is dead ahead, and the (unfinished) building to the right of that will be Harvey Nicols.
The square is laid out a little like an ampitheatre and has a nice modern fountain (next pic)
I can't recommend this enough, it was a fascinating walk with a very entertaining guide. The guide was full of interesting information about each pub and the history of the area and various characters associated with each pub. We were supposed to do 4 pubs but only made it to 3 before time ran out. The guide, Jonathon Schofield, then gave us a quiz about all the info he'd been telling us for the past two hours. Our group of 3 only got one wrong! See, we didn't just drink the whole time, we actually listened, lol! We then all ended up at the pub which was supposed to be the 4th one of the night. The walk is done by Blue Badge Guides and starts at the Town Hall. The cost was £4. And yes you do drink up at the pubs, at your expense however.
The pub shown is Sir Ralph Abercromby Inn, the 2nd pub on the tour.
My drinking cohorts of the night, Dave and Gareth, highly recommend this tour as well ;-)
I see from my pamphlet that the Pub Tour is only about once a month. But hey, Schofield was quoted in National Geographic Traveler, obviously he's the man for the job!