THE INS AND OUTS OF MANCHESTER
Manchester is an exciting city full of wonderful things to do and see. And these things are forever developing and changing and so we can only provide a rough guide to help you get acquainted with your new home. As time goes on you will discover you own favourite places, however for the first few weeks this information will help you understand where to go and what to do. To find out the most up to date information about Manchester, please visit: http://www.visitmanchester.com/
The City of Manchester
Understanding whereabouts you are and what each area can offer will help you get around the city more easily and quickly. These are just some of the areas you might hear others talking about:
Northern Quarter – The Northern Quarter is popular for its numerous bars and cafes, as well as its mix of music and clothes shops. Amongst these is Affleck’s Palace, a former department store which has been turned into a multi-storey bazaar for alternative clothing and knick-knacks.
Spinningfields – This is Manchester’s Business district, home to 35% of Manchester’s prime office spaces. However, it is also home to some very fancy restaurants and retail spaces, including Armani, Mulberry and T.M. Lewin.
Deansgate – You will hear many people talking about Deansgate. When they refer to this, they are referring to the area around the street of the same name which contains many restaurants and bars. It also connects, at its most northern point, to the Arndale Shopping Centre and Manchester Central Retail District including Piccadilly Gardens.
Castlefield – Castlefield is a great area of industrial character and is the only Urban Heritage Park in the United Kingdom. It is marked by its mercantile 19th warehouses and adjoining wharfs which were used to transport goods from Manchester during the Manchester’s industrial era. Today, Castlefield is quiet and noted for its waterside bars and pubs. Notable structures include Manchester Liverpool Road station which was the first inter-city railway station on the opening of the Liverpool and Manchester Railway in 1830.
Ancoats – Historically in Lancashire, Ancoats became a cradle of the Industrial Revolution and has been called “the world’s first industrial suburb”. Since the 1990s Ancoats’ industrial heritage has been recognised and its proximity to the city centre has led to investment and substantial regeneration. The southern region of the suburb is branded as New Islington, by UK property developers Urban Splash, while the north retains the Ancoats name, with redevelopment centred on the Daily Express Building.
Chinatown – Chinatown is an area to the south of Piccadilly Gardens with many oriental restaurants and other facilities of a far eastern character. It is the second largest Chinatown in the United Kingdom and the third largest in Europe.
Gay Village – Canal Street, often known as the Gay Village, is a part of the centre east of Portland Street and west of Whitworth Street through which runs the Rochdale Canal; it contains many bars, clubs and other facilities – many of which are focused towards the gay community.
Salford – Salford is a whole different city which connects almost seamlessly with Manchester. It is home to the University of Salford and contains places of interests such as MediaCityUK.
Manchester has a very safe and reliable Public Transport system. You can almost go anywhere in the Manchester and Greater Manchester Area with public transport, no need to buy a car quite yet! There are a few different forms of transport which you need to get your head around:
Manchester has literally hundreds of different bus routes which can take you to all kinds of different places. We cannot list all the different routes; however you will be able to find the information you need online. If you’re a student then your University will also be able to tell you which buses are free to use for students, which you will be able to access using your student card.
One useful fact however is that Manchester City Centre has three free bus services. The Metroshuttle 1, 2 and 3 will get you around all the most important sites within the city centre and is totally free to use. You can find out more information about this particular service on: http://www.tfgm.com/buses/Pages/metroshuttle.aspx
Manchester also has a very well developed Tram system that runs through the City Centre and Greater Manchester. To find the nearest station to you or find out more about pricing them visit: http://www.metrolink.co.uk/Pages/default.aspx
Please note: You must buy a Metrolink Ticket before you enter the tram. You can buy these with card or cash at any station using the machines provided.
If you are looking to have a weekend away to explore the rest of the UK, then going by train is often the fastest and most reliable way. Manchester has four City Centre train stations.
Manchester Piccadilly Station
Manchester Victoria Station
Manchester Oxford Road Station
These stations will get you to a plethora of different destinations including London, York, Leeds, Liverpool and Edinburgh. To find out more information and buy tickets before you get on the train visit: http://www.nationalrail.co.uk/ You can also buy tickets at the station.
As some of you will be International Students or moving to England from abroad you will have already been introduced to Manchester Airport. Whether it’s to treat yourself to a well-deserved break from studying or if it’s just to go home and visit your friends and family, Manchester Airport can be reached through many different public transport routes. Trains, buses and even the Metrolink go there, so it’s best to look for the best route from your home using Google Maps.
There might be a time when you are not feeling very well. Use the following advice to get yourself better quickly.
For those of you in the UK for the first time the National Health Service is the health system here that entitles anyone registered to be treated for free at any NHS medical facility. If you are an EU or International citizen, you will have to register to your local medical facilities. You can find out more information about this on: http://www.nhs.uk/service-search
If you are a British Citizen and you are registered with a doctor already then you don’t have to change doctor, however if you are sick one day and need the doctor then you will have to make an appointment with this doctor and so we advise you get one close to your new home. Registering is a quick and easy process which usually consists of filling out a form and going for a general medical check at the GP of your choice. We advise you choose a GP nearest to your home. To find where this is then just type in your postcode into this NHS search service:
If what you have cannot be treated by a doctor or you need help outside of your GP opening hours, then you may go want to go to your local hospital for help. Manchester City Centre has its own hospital called:
Manchester Royal Infirmary
We would advise however to only use the Hospital in emergency situations where you cannot wait to see a GP when it is next open. Do not go to the A&E for a common cold!
If you have an emergency that needs an Ambulance, the police or the fire brigade then call 999
If your problem is not an emergency, then call 101
This is nationwide!
Often on the day you move you will not want to cook. You have had a busy day and most of your things are still in boxes. Save yourself the hassle and get a takeaway or you are also welcome to explore Manchester’s great eateries. There are many to choose from however many of you might be on a budget, you did just move house which is never a cheap expenditure, so here are a few money saving options.
Crazy Pedros – If you are craving Pizza or Nachos, Happy Hour is at 5pm – 9pm Sunday to Friday when you can get a slice of pizza for £2!
Slug and Lettuce – On Mondays they have half price on all the food on their menu!
Almost famous – The tastiest burgers in town!
The Footage Bar – Not only can you eat here but you also get free Wi-Fi and you can use their printer for free too!
Pancho Burritos – For cheap Mexican food! Their Burritos are not just delicious but filling too so you won’t leave feeling hungry.
This is by no means an exhaustive list. Other locals will know exactly where to go for more great food and great deals! Don’t be scared to chat to your neighbours about it, we are a friendly bunch up north!
Museums, Libraries and Touristic Attractions
Manchester is full of exceptional attractions where you can learn more about the city, it’s industrial past and football mad culture. And best of all, most of these attractions are free to visit. Here are a few suggestions:
People’s History Museum, Left Bank, Manchester, Lancashire M3 3ER
Imperial War Museum North, Quay West, Trafford Wharf Rd, Manchester M17 1TZ
Manchester Museum, The University of Manchester, Oxford Rd, Manchester M13 9PL
Museum of Science and Industry, Liverpool Rd, Manchester M3 4FP
John Ryland Library, 150 Deansgate, Manchester M3 3EH
Central Library, St Peter’s Square, Manchester M2 5PD
National Football Museum, Urbis Building, Cathedral Gardens, Todd St, Manchester M4 3BG
Old Trafford Stadium, Sir Matt Busby Way, Manchester M16 0RA
Etihad Stadium, Ashton New Rd, Manchester M11 3FF
Sea Life, The Trafford Centre, Barton Dock Rd, Manchester M17 8AS
Student Nights Out
If you’re a student, you can relax after a hard day studying at these Students nights and clubs!
Every Tuesday – Tiger Tiger Student Night
Every Wednesday – Bird Cage Student Night
Every Thursday – Factory Student Night
Every Saturday – Deansgate Locks
Also make sure you visit one of the world’s most active and vibrant Gay Scenes on Canal Street. Or Party hard at Warehouse Project which is only open on certain dates, so check before you go.
There are many different Local Events which you can be part of or at least join in on during the year. Here are a few which might interest you:
January – New Years Celebrations
February – Chinese New Year Celebrations
March – International Women’s Days Events
May – Great Manchester Run
July – Greater Manchester Fringe Festival
August – Manchester Gay Pride
December – Christmas Markets
As you have probably already read, Manchester is a bustling and exciting city to call home and we are proud to be based here. We know that moving to a new place can be daunting so take your time and use this as a guide to get you going these next few weeks. Plus, this advice is in no way the be-all-and-end-all of what Manchester has to offer. There are thousands of things beside what I have pointed out here which I am sure will tickle your fancy. If you feel like I have missed out something crucial or if you have any further questions, then please feel free to contact Thornley Groves at any time. We would love to hear your suggestions!