GDI students share their favourite spots around Manchester

by | Apr 13, 2022 | Geography and Global Development, Postgraduate, Undergraduate | 0 comments

However you prefer to spend your free time, Manchester has something on offer for everyone. Read on to learn more about our current GDI students’ favourite spots around the city.

Erzhena Dashieva – MSc Management and Implementation of Development Projects student from Russia

New Islington Marina:

A great city spot on the channels with a concentration of nice cafes, living barges and a little park turning into a sunbathing area as soon as the sky gets clear from the clouds. The famous Pollen bakery, one of the best brunch places in the city, is located here, on the edge of the channel. It is an ideal place for a relaxing weekend walk.

Ancoats Coffee at the Royal Mill:

This coffee shop is located in the neighbourhood of the same name in the iconic redbrick building of the old cotton mill. The mill, a heritage of Mancunian industrial past, was recently renovated but keeps the remarkable historic atmosphere. Visit the place to drink good coffee while observing the sky through the glass ceiling of the futuristic atrium in the former inner courtyard.

The Spirit of Manchester Distillery:

The scene of the local Mancunian gin production can be discovered by those who are curious about how the main component of the famous British Gin and Tonic cocktail is created. Great tasting experience available (book in advance). Also, a good restaurant Three Little Words with an outstanding cocktail menu and decent Sunday roast is located in the same place. Kind of pricy, but totally worth it.

Rista Monica Giarno Putri – MSc Human Resource Management (International Development) from Indonesia

Living and studying in Manchester is one of the most exciting experiences in my life as international student. The city offers compelling mix of culture, entertainment, art, food, industrial heritage, sport, and a lot more to explore. Many interesting attractions can be reached through various transportation options, such as both free and commercial bus within greater area of Manchester, tram which enable us to transport by light railway to popular venues, train which provide inter-city links, or bicycle in which the city provides cycle lanes making it as bike-friendly city. Here, I would love to share my top four favourite places in Manchester.

Heaton Park:

Heaton Park is a large park in the city that has more than just a stunning view, but also many areas for interesting activities, including play areas, cafes, animal center, tram museum, golf course, boating lake, Heaton Hall’s. In addition, as my bias toward my current favorite sport cycling, the park provides incredible cycling routes making great experience for cyclist. However, the park is not just limited to cycling, we can also have a walk, jogging, horse riding, or simply enjoying the meal.

Salford Quays:

We can find vibrant modern area of Manchester in Salford Quays which consist of business, cultural and residential area, combined with the unique waterfront which add attractive view. It is also famous with Media City UK, and completes with the bars, cafes, restaurants, television studios like BBC, ITV, imperial war museum, and other leisure facilities. I have been there to experience the vibe in the morning, where we can also see beautiful birds flying and feeding them in the edge of waterfront.


Fancy for brunch, experiencing English teatime, or enjoying night life in another vibrant destination? I personally would recommend Spinningfields. It has dishes from around the world in one sitting, with various bars, restaurants, and shops making this as impressive commercial district. Either we are shopper, foodies, or partygoers, it is nice place to hang out. Two remarkable visits for me in Spinningfields were The Oast House; rustic-style pub with appealing beer garden, and The John Rylands Library that pretty much look alike Harry Potter Hogwarts School.

Old Trafford Stadium:

Fan of football will be happy to visit this area, as Old Trafford Stadium is an iconic and historic home for Manchester United; one of the biggest clubs which is based in Manchester. Personally, I enjoyed the time of having Manchester United stadium and museum tour. We can walk through history and stories of the football club, sit in the dugout, walk crossing the tunnel, stopover in dressing room as if we put ourselves in the shoes of premier league player. And if you are a huge fan, I believe enjoying match live will be more intriguing.