Exploring Manchester (and North West England) in the Summer
Now that summer is approaching and the weather is starting to be unusually sunny and warm, there is no best reason to go out and explore Manchester! Even if it is just for a day or the weekend, there are many opportunities in Manchester and nearby areas to wander around!
As a nature lover, I would first introduce some of those places where you could get a bit closer to nature. To start this list, I could not mention the Peak District less than 1 hour away from Manchester. Although I mostly had the chance to go with societies or with my course peers, it is just so easy to go with friends (and the view is great)! Likewise, there are many excellent parks within Manchester as well which require fewer hiking skills, such as the Platt Fields, Heaton, Mayfield and Whitworth Park. However, for those that like a bit more biodiversity I would highly recommend the Fletcher Moss Park & Botanical Gardens!
Moreover, a bit further from Manchester, there are a couple of lovely cities within 1 or 2 hours train ride. I would like to highlight especially two – Liverpool and Chester. While both need at least a day to explore, you will noy regret it! Liverpool has many attractions, but my favourite part was the nearby Crosby Beach, which is especially good on a warm summer day. Chester is very similar, having beautiful historical landmarks and a very pretty town centre. Nevertheless, my favourite spot there had to be the Chester Zoo!
Going back to Manchester, there are various landmarks and museums that you can visit within a day. Also, the majority of these are free! A few of my favourites were the libraries, including the John Rylands Library, which gave off some Harry Potter vibes, and the Central Library which is stunning on the inside. For more historical value, you can also pay a visit to the Manchester Cathedral or explore the Manchester Museum or People’s History Museum. And if you are more into arts, there are numerous Galleries around!
Being a football fan, I had some amazing experiences visiting the nearby stadiums and having tours of the ones here in Manchester. So if you are the same as me, I could also recommend going to the National Football Museum where you can even get a free entry using your term-time address!
Lastly, you cannot explore Manchester without trying out the diverse set of cuisines you can find in the city or celebrating the end of the semester with some music. Be that in Chinatown or along Curry Mile where you try the food or have fun at the many concerts and festivals this summer, remember to treat yourself to some delicious food while you have a day out. And most importantly, relax as you very much deserve it after this exam season!
Written by Zsófi, current BSc Environmental Management student at The University of Manchester