With the start of Semester 2 and the end of those dreaded exams and deadlines, many of you might find yourself with a lot of time on your hands again, or at least your weekends are library-free! If you find yourself bored and in need of a little outing, my guide will provide you with some ideas of where to go and what to do and you don’t even need to leave Greater Manchester.
Take the 143 bus to… West Didsbury
Get off the bus by the tram stop and take a right and you’ll find yourself on the happening Burton Road. Filled with littles bars and some great restaurants there’s lots of places to keep you entertained from day to night. Check out Pomegranate for some delish Persian food or Greens for locally sourced vegetarian/vegan food.
Take the 142 bus to… East Didsbury/Didsbury Village
If you follow the Wimslow Road from Fallowfield you’ll find yourself in East Didsbury, a well-established high street with lots of great charity shops, pubs, butchers and deli. There’s even an M&S, Aldi and Boots for all your shopping needs. If you walk further down the road you’ll come across the beautiful Fletcher Moss Park, which makes a great place for walking and summer BBQs.
Take the 42 bus to… Stockport
Take the bus to the end of the line and you’ll be in Stockport which makes an alternative shopping destination if you don’t feel like heading to town. While you’re there check out the art deco theatre and cinema ‘The Plaza’ or take a tour round the old air raid shelter. Don’t forget to visit the Hat Works with its diverse collections of hats, whose chimney many of you would have seen from the train going into Manchester.
Take the 85 bus to… Chorlton
Bohemian Chorlton is filled with independent shops, pubs and bars. Try Beech Road for some cool pubs and shops, pop into Unicorn Groceries for some locally sourced and organic produce, or maybe take a stroll in Chorlton Water Park. Also, check out the beautiful (yes beautiful!) JD Wetherspoon housed in a grade II listed building with an impressive wooden arched roof.
Take the Purple or Green Tram Line to Altrincham
An old market town on the outskirts of Manchester, this town has turned its original market house into trendy establishment filled with craft beer, wine shops, eateries and an amazing chocolate shop. In the summer you’ll find people sitting outside in the square. Be warned though, you can’t book a table, so you may find yourself prowling the edges of the hall for a seat!
Take the Orange or Light Blue Tram Line to Media City
Media City is the location of the Lowry and the Imperial War Museum North. At the Lowry you’ll find a variety of shows on; from pantos at Christmas, to National Theatre productions and comedy. There is also a gallery currently showing Lowry and the Pre-Raphaelite, which is free! Over the water you’ll find the war museum which also has a permanent collection totally free all year round. Special exhibits take place throughout the year which are also free or at a discounted price for students.
Take the Yellow or Green Tram Line to Heaton Park
In need of some green space? Heaton Park, which houses the infamous Parklife festival, is an impressive 247 hectares of green space which makes it one of the largest civic parks in Europe! There are often running races taking place (there’s a half marathon in March if you’re feeling up for it) and an Easter funfair over the three weeks of the Easter break.
Take the Dark Blue Line to Sale Water Park
Not quite as big as Heaton Park, Sale Water Park is still a lovely and peaceful space to visit both in the winter and summer. Next to the lake is a restaurant, café and a sports centre where you can hire canoes and kayaks or try out sailing or windsurfing with an instructor.