Student Life in Manchester

Manchester Overview

Manchester is a city best known for its football and music, but there is so much more the city has to offer and by spending one day here, you will soon realise that this is where you want to live and study. Unlike most cities in the UK, Manchester doesn’t really have a rich history and that is because it hasn’t always been as populous a city as it is now. Manchester started its move towards a city during the industrial revolution in the early 19th century when Richard Arkwright’s steam-powered spinning machines revolutionised the cotton production. Another reason for Manchester’s push into becoming a major city was when a rail line linked the city to Liverpool which happened in 1830, the next step was the creation of the Manchester ship canal that was completed in 1894. Both of these events proved to be a major part in the history of such a great and powerful city that it is today.

One building that is a detriment to the city of Manchester is the Town Hall which unfortunately has been closed until 2024. The Town Hall has been closed so that it can be restored to its former glory, the motto for the restoration project is “Our Town Hall” and that is because it belongs to the people of Manchester which really shows a great community of people, and a great relationship between the council and the people. Manchester is a very diverse city, an example of this is Manchester’s Chinatown which is the third largest in Europe, this part of the city is full of authentic restaurants, bakeries and shops. The Chinese New Year is an event in Manchester’s calendar that shouldn’t be missed, the atmosphere is fantastic with the parade and dancing dragons.

Shopping options in Manchester are countless, with a number of shopping centres each with a wide range of independent, department and franchises are complimented by the food courts and occasional busker or street performer. For those who enjoy something different when they go shopping then Affleck’s Palace is the place for you. Affleck’s Palace is an “emporium of eclecticism, a totem of indie commerce”, in other words you will find a range of independent shops from up and coming designers from the city. It also has second-hand stalls and tattooist’s and so much more, it gives you that sense of creativity and love for the arts whilst you shop.

And the University allows you to live in the middle of it all!

Things to do in Manchester

Manchester has a fantastic range of museums and galleries, the main gallery is the Manchester Art Gallery situated on Mosley Street, the gallery was built in 1824 and can be easily seen due to its towering columns. The gallery is free to everyone and is open until 9pm on the first Wednesday of every month, which for those of you who are doing an art degree and need some last-minute inspiration this will be perfect for you. After visiting the Gallery, you will be able to get a true feel for Manchester by joining one of the blue badge guided tours that are only £8, on this tour you will discover great architecture, local history, landmarks and historic events. One of the best things about the blue badge guided tours are they run every day and you do not have to book, you are able to meet them outside the Central Library at 11am.

The Bridgewater Hall is one of the country’s finest concert halls due to its incredible acoustics and a central-basin layout to reflect its myriad lights. Bridgewater Hall is the home of the BBC Philharmonic Orchestra and Halle Orchestra and Choir; the venue also hosts the Ministry of Sound – The Annual Classical which is great as it has a modern twist on classical music. If you need help with your studies, then the John Rylands Library will be able to aid you in your studies. The Neo-Gothic late Victorian library opened to the public in 1900 and it boasts a fantastic range of books, the library merged with the library of the university of Manchester and is now run by the university but open to the public.

If you are by the dock at fancy doing something a little bit different, you may want to give the Coronation Street Tour a go. Coronation street is the UK’s longest running soap with its first episode airing in 1960, the show is still running today with six episodes being aired every week. The tour is £35 and during this tour you will be able to go to each of the different sets and see the famous Rovers Return Inn. Another activity you can do in Manchester is visit the Seal Life centre where you will find some of the coolest aquatic creatures whilst learning all about the efforts to preserve their habitats and stop them from becoming extinct.

Nightlife in Manchester

Manchester is famed for its nightlife, you will find anything and everything with something that suits you, from cocktails bars, clubs, pubs and restaurants. The Warehouse Project is one of Manchester’s biggest series of club nights, the Warehouse Project has a limited seasonal approach as a pose to running all year round, with events running from September to new years day with the occasional bank holiday event. 42’s and Fifth are two clubs that are very popular with students due to their cheap drink prices and closeness to the university campus, they also have different music for different nights. For those of you who prefer a quiet drink, there are loads of pubs and bars dotted around the city meaning you wont struggle to find a place that suits you.

Sport in Manchester

Manchester has a rich history of sport, it is home to one of the biggest football teams in the world, Manchester United. With the two powerhouses of the premier league located in the same city it makes for a great atmosphere in the streets on derby day. Old Trafford has a capacity of 74,994 and is the second biggest in the UK whereas, Manchester City’s stadium the Etihad is the fifth largest in the country with a capacity of 55,097. The Belle Vue Greyhound stadium is also a great venue where you will be able to place bets, have a drink and socialise with your friends. With other 20 leisure centres in and around the city you will have no excuse for not staying healthy whilst you are studying at university.

Escape Manchester

If you want to get out of Manchester for a day or a weekend there are plenty of options for you, if you head west you will come to Liverpool which is similar to Manchester in terms of size and culture. To the east of the city is the Peak District National Park which adorns beautiful views and a great place to escape the bustling city life. Similarly, to the Peak District, if you head north to the Yorkshire Dales you will also find beautiful scenery with fantastic paths to walk, cycle or run down. All of these areas can be accessed via public transport or by car.

Transport in Manchester

There are two major train stations in Manchester, one is the Manchester Piccadilly where you are able to get a direct train to London in just over two hours. The other station is Manchester Victoria where you will be able to get direct trains to; Wales, Scotland, Liverpool and Leeds. Manchester also boasts a tram service which will help you get around the city easily and at not too much expense. The motorway links in and around Manchester are also very good, if you travel to the M6 you will be able to get the to M1 which travels almost the entire way from London to Scotland. Just a short 25-minute drive from the city is Manchester Airport where you will find flights to most destinations across Europe.

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