08 November 2016
The joys of Manchester are well documented. We’ve previously written this guide to things to do in Manchester. But as the avid explorer that you are, you probably want something a little further off the beaten track. And that’s what you’ll find here. The unusual and unexpected is hidden no more. Join us.
On the first stop of our tour we drop into a bar. It has an uninspiring name, uninspiring website and entirely unnoticeable front entrance. But this secret bar packs a punch, and so do its unique cocktails and wide array of craft beer options. Its interior is a closely guarded secret, so it’s one that really needs to be experienced, trust us it’s worth it. You won’t be disappointed.
Stargaze at Godlee Ovservatory
The Godlee Observatory sits atop the Manchester Astronomical Society, which was founded in 1892. Atop the stunning red brick building sits a dome that to the casual observer would not look like an interstellar observation post. But that’s exactly what it is. The society promotes amateur and popular astronomy and every Thursday invites visitors into the observatory from 7pm. Any scheduled talks will take place at 8pm and if the weather plays ball observations will take place using the society’s telescopes.
Dusk til Pawn
This bar is also chasing after that elusive title of, Best Secret Bar in Manchester. It’s quite the thing in the city. This one hides in plain sight. Dressed up to look just like a pawn shop, this bar disguises itself with neon, tat and the famous three ball sign of a pawn shop. Go through the door and you’ll be astounded with what you find. The bar used to be a fortune teller’s venue and you can still expect some of that mystic charm. It can be found in the Northern Quarter.
This isn’t your run-of-the-mill local library with a smattering of thrillers and the crumpled pages of yesterday’s paper. No this is Chetham’s Library. And it was founded in 1653, which makes it the oldest library in the English-speaking world. Founded by philanthropist Humphrey Chetham for the education of “the sons of honest, industrious and painful parents”. The building it is situated in is stunning, and on entering the library itself it feels as though you’re entering into the past. The smell of old books coupled with the darkened wood interior lend it a historic feel. Visitors can look around from Monday to Friday. Check the site for timings. If you wish to go to read from the collection, appointments will need to be made in advance.
Peep along the Ancoats Canal
The Ancoats area of Manchester was a hub of production, back when the cotton trade brought industrialisation to Manchester. It was an area dominated by factories and canals. Much of this is now gone, there are still a few relics of the warehouses that once stood but on the whole it is just a rather charming walk around a canal network. But keep an eye out for the peeps. These are set into the walls of the buildings you will walk past. They are small brass eyepieces that will give an interesting look inside the building. Part art exhibition, part look back into the industrial past of the area.
While looking around the unusual sites of the city, perhaps consider a super budget hotel to rest your head. The easyHotel is just that place, we have cheap rooms in Manchester waiting for you. Book today to complete your tour of the city.