Holidays Manchester Student-made

Places to visit if you’re staying in Manchester over Christmas

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Staying in Manchester over Christmas and looking for places to escape the buzzing but busy markets? After having lived in and around the city of Manchester, I have discovered a few little oasis’ that I have enjoyed escaping to for a break. These places are great to just t or there’s a few places to nip into for a wander a quick beverage or mooch around.

Castlefield Bowl

One of my all-time favourite places to visit. This is such a wonderful part of the city that is often very tranquil but can also have a nice low-key buzz of other people taking a break by the canals. I have spent so many moments sat here with a coffee or bubble tea and a book. Definitely a bit colder over the winter months but very cosy if you wrap up and watch the trains go past along the railway bridge. It’s also lovely to be there in the evening with the lights reflecting onto the water and the subdued party buzz atmosphere in the background from surrounding bars and pubs. If you get the chance, visiting The Wharf is a great stop for a chill and cosy drink too.


So many hidden gems around this part of the city including many historic buildings now converted into residential flats and offices. Ancoats for me is a great place to just have a wander and seek out restaurants, cute streets and other businesses open to the public. It does not take too long to walk around between the canals and up to the Green Quarter area. I found it has been somewhere different to escape the busy crowds yet still being very central to things in the city. There’s definitely a good amount of hidden gems in terms of food places if you want to stop off. All round a lovely place which is a continuation of the canals from Castlefield on the other side of the city centre.

Salford Quays and Media City areas

The Quays have been a lovely hotspot for me, even with the blustering winds from the water during autumn and winter months. I wish I would visit there more to be honest because I find the area around Media City and the Lowry Gallery/Theatre to be a good place to take a break and just be somewhere not too far from the city centre but still a similar vibe with things to do. It might even be worth looking to see if there are any television shows you can sit in the audience for at MediaCity (these are usually free). I even find taking the tram to the quays something different and a bit dystopian travelling in between multiple tall buildings both new and old.


While this post is generally about places just to wander around, I wanted to include this wonder that is unique to Manchester. Though it is comprised of lots of independent shops, you can just wander round it too. If you have never been, Afflecks is situated in the heat of the Northern Quarter and home to lodes of buzzing small businesses. Whether you are looking to get a small gift for someone or yourself or not, the emporium is a fantastic place to look around for a break and inspiration too.

So there are some (low budget) suggestions for you to have a think about visiting if you are staying in Manchester over the holiday period. Great places to visit time and time again and great places to wander when you fancy a day out somewhere local and not wanting to make specific plans.

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