Manchester. It’s not a city of beauty. Not a place that you see and think, “Wow!” Instead it feels cold, dirty and bland. Which is probably why it took me so long to love the place. I would almost describe Manchester as wearing a disguise. It’s boring, brown industrial walls lead you to believe that there’s no beauty within. But it’s when you find the hidden treasures beneath that you really start to enjoy what the place has to offer.
Locals kept telling me, “you’re in the greatest city! Manchester is just the best!” I simply couldn’t understand. How could they possibly love this place? During my second week I took myself on a walking tour. There had to be something I was missing. Perhaps another side of town I hadn’t yet stumbled across. But no… The tour pretty much showed me what I had already seen. So I continued to remain confused and unimpressed.
But Kids here’s the life lesson of today’s blog: Never judge a book by it’s cover.
Manchester is the perfect example of why not to. On a first glance it’s easy to be deceived by the hundreds of homeless people lining the streets begging for money in a jungle of gloomy, dark warehouses. But in my last few weeks I began to stumble across the hidden gems of the city. Treasures that lie below the surface. Cute little cafes with incredible food and coffee. The Northern Quarter where you can jump from bar to bar, each one completely unique and offering a great night. I devoured amazing food in Manchester’s own China town. I poured through cute vintage stores. Ate lunch in front of the stunning town hall and stood in awe within the John Ryland Library. I was now beginning to see why people loved Manchester.
With nine weeks in this city a lot has happened. Instead of boring you with the details, here’s a few of my favourite highlights…
I saw Passenger live at the O2 Apollo.
I visited the Peak district with new friends and climbed Shivering Mountain.
I took myself to a new theatre show; Sweet Charity.
I practiced my yoga.
Strolled through the famous Christmas markets.
Enjoyed the festivities of the Billy Christmas party.
Ventured North to the Lake District for Christmas.
Flew to Prague to surprise my friends on New Years Eve.
Escaped a Lucardo escape room with absolutely no clues!
Fell back in love with knitting.
And lastly, I was spoilt with a visit from a bunch of 12 who all ventured from London to spend the weekend with me.
Manchester. It certainly wasn’t love at first sight. But my God you’ve created a lasting impression. Thanks for the memories.