Travelling and Poking About

A quick trip to Manchester

April 29, 2015

Men named Mark must always get a photograph in front of any sign that vaguely mentions them…


Me, posing with bars… and a canal

Just over a month ago I embarked upon a whirlwind trip to Manchester with my husband. We went in order to attend a friend’s wedding, but we had a bit of free time to spend mooshing around the streets.

I had never visited Manchester before and neither had Mark. This is quite an achievement as it’s getting rather difficult to find a city of interest that Mark hasn’t previously visited. We asked around for tips, and people jokingly told us to visit the “gay village”. I thought this would turn out to be a rather old fashioned term for a quaint part of town. Think Enid Blyton gay. Nope. It’s actually full on homosexual gay and it’s one of the most interesting parts of the city, with bright murals, lively nightlife and amusing signage.



Nightclub advertising

The-Mayfairy-Manchester-Gay-Village-3 The-Mayfairy-Manchester-Gay-Village-4The-Mayfairy-Manchester-Oscar

The other thing that people told us about the North was that folk were ultra friendly. We discovered this be true upon immediately entering the Premier Inn and being greeted by the world’s friendliest beardy guy named Tim, and entering into a lively conversation with the rest of the staff at reception about who would and would not like to shag Lenny Henry. One woman only works there as there’s a small chance she’ll get to meet him and be offered the opportunity to climb on. Good to know. Suitably cheered by the staff demeanour we ended up having dinner there. Well, we ended up having chicken wings (with four different sauces!) at the hotel bar and eating burgers and pizzas in bed later on. We were drunk, it seemed logical.




Chicken burger


Chicken wings with FOUR different sauces!

The-Mayfairy-Manchester-Chicken-wings-2 The-Mayfairy-Manchester-Pizza

I have to confess, we were so startled by the bubbly customer service that Mark started treating Tim like a close personal friend, and not like a man who’s being paid to be civil to ridiculous drunk people on holiday. Having run out of his own stack of business cards, Mark went through my bag to grab one of my blog cards to give to Tim so he could keep in touch. In the cold, sober light of day embarrassment feels rather tingly.

The morning before the wedding we went into town on a photography mission. We found pigeons and historical buildings eager to be photographed. We also found a big wheel. Not as big as the London Eye, but still rather large. I’ve never been on the London Eye; I’m afraid I’ll need to pee half way around and wet myself. This is a smaller ferris wheel with cable car like capsules. I’ve done cable cars plenty of times, and I was willing to bet that Manchester might be a little more interesting from above. Not to shit on Manchester, but it wasn’t all that different looking to the the boring parts of London. Maybe up high we’d see some canals or a landscape feature or something. Unfortunately, it remained rather grey. But we got a few pics.

The-Mayfairy-Manchester-Pigeons-2 The-Mayfairy-Manchester-Mark-3 The-Mayfairy-Manchester-Pigeons The-Mayfairy-Manchester-Wheel-1 The-Mayfairy-Manchester-Wheel-2ย ย  The-Mayfairy-Manchester-Wheel-6

This is the ticket you get to go on the wheel. I shit you not.

This is the ticket you get to go on the wheel. I shit you not.

If you forget that you're afraid of heights, you can call God with this handy ceiling communication device

If you forget that you’re afraid of heights, you can call God with this handy ceiling communication device


Stickers advising how not to die in a cable car


The-Mayfairy-Manchester-Wheel-8The-Mayfairy-Manchester-Mark-2 This sign is overly optimistic

We didn’t have a lot time and we didn’t get to really explore the little nitty gritty corners, but I think we got the feel for the place. We chatted to lovely, friendly, random strangers. We enjoyed the thrill of a big city that’s actually walkable. We ate some brilliant, simple food. I even discovered what a “barm” is at a little breakfast spot! Kind of a breakfast bun. A bacon sandwich that’s more hamburgery than your usual sandwich. Go to Manchester, try one.

And if you do, definitely stay at the Premier Inn. You’re guaranteed great Lenny Henry based conversation. Just try not to get to drunk and make an arse of yourself.


This is a barm! It’s fabulous

The-Mayfairy-Manchester-War-Memorial The-Mayfairy-Manchester-Phone-Boxes The-Mayfairy-Manchester-Coffee The-Mayfairy-Manchester-Full-English The-Mayfairy-Manchester-Buildings-2 The-Mayfairy-Manchester-Buildings-1

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  • K SRSLY THO what is it with ‘Marks’ needing those pictures?! My Dad, (unsurprisingly also named Mark) did exactly the same as we walked down St Mark’s Place in NYC. And found it comedy gold everytime.

    That is some gentle comedy right there Dad.


    • I thought of you when I wrote that! Haha, they just think the world revolves around them because their name is everywhere ๐Ÿ˜‰

  • I love Manchester and Northern hospitality, I have friends and family that live there so we visit at least a couple of times a year. If you are planning on heading back I have some great food recommendations!

    • Doubt I’ll be heading back to Manchester, but I definitely want to go north again!

  • I’ve been to Manchester lots as my bestie is from there and Mr S went to uni there so we often go back to visit his friends. Next time get a drink at the bar at the top of the Hilton ๐Ÿ™‚
    Lots of love,

    • The wedding reception was actually in the Hilton! That thing looks like a bloody cheese grater…

  • adales8

    I’ve been North because Sam’s from Yorkshire, but I’ve never made it over to Manchester! x

    • I do want to explore around the north, I have family from around up there somewhere..

  • Gabrielle

    Those chicken wings look delicious! On a different note, I haven’t visited Manchester in about a year and only ever at night so it’s nice to see a different side of the place. I really like your photos of the pigeons by the way.. and I’m not sure why that looks so weird typed out. Regardless of how weird it sounds though, your photos of the pigeons really are very impressive!

    Gabrielle | A Glass Of Ice


    • Haha, my husband and I have a thing about pigeon photography. We have far too many pics!

  • That corner with the two phone booths and the tunnel is the cleanest, most architectural corner I’ve ever seen. And that last photo is magic. I’ve been contemplating a trip to Manchester. Glad you did the dirty work before I bought a ticket ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Thank you. It’s all a big mish mash of pics from all our cameras. Some Mark took, some I took. The last pic is definitely a Mark one. I can tell ๐Ÿ˜‰

  • LondonKiwiEmma

    Now THAT sounds like a good weekend away! (Ps lovely photos!! I assume they were pre-hangover ;))

    • Oh, we don’t do hangovers. We’re lightweights. May have even fallen asleep with a bottle of cider left in the bathroom (the logical place to leave it when you don’t have a fridge) ๐Ÿ˜‰

  • I really like Manchester the people are very friendly. The city has good shopping, food and things to do Lucy X