5 free things to do in... Manchester

Date Posted: 04/10/2012

Manchester - Ideal for Group Travel

Photo credit: Marketing Manchester

Continuing our series of free things for groups to do; we travel to the northern cultural hotspot of Manchester.

1. Finding your way around

If group travel organisers are new to Manchester, a good way of finding your way around is to download a free walking tour from Walk Talk Tours’ website.

The tour can be downloaded to an mp3 player or smart phone, and guides visitors from the Town Hall to Deansgate Locks, Bridgewater Hall and the cathedral amongst other attractions.

Manchester has a choice of parks and open spaces in and around the city centre offering an opportunity to escape the hustle and bustle of the city centre.

Heaton Park, for example, offers great views over the city – visit the animal centre, the historic hall, hire a rowing boat or simply wander around this vast, beautiful space.

2. Famous buildings

As you stroll around the city centre you’ll come across iconic landmarks.

The cathedral, a magnificent gothic building steeped in history, offers guided tours (although it is recommended to call ahead to arrange this if you are with a large group).

The John Rylands library building is another of Manchester’s gothic gems, and holds what it describes as one of the finest collections of rare books in the world. Tours and exhibitions are put on, or visitors can simply walk around by themselves.

3. Galleries and Museums

As well as famous architecture, Manchester boasts a plethora of museums, with a diverse range of collections for a group trip.

Imperial War Museum North (IWM), the Museum of Science and Industry (MOSI) and The People’s History Museum are good for learning about Manchester’s role in history and offer a variety of activities.

For football fans, the newly opened National Football Museum is a must. There are plenty of galleries, too – displaying anything from the traditional art on show in Manchester Art Gallery and the Whitworth Gallery, to some of the quirkier exhibitions that run in Cornerhouse.

National Football Museum - Perfect for Sports fanatics in Group Travel

The new National Football Museum is sure to be a hit with sport-loving groups. Photo credit: Marketing Manchester

4. MediaCityUK

Just outside the city centre, MediaCityUK is the new home of the BBC, ITV and Coronation Street.

Visitors can wander round the spectacular canal side piazza, and might even catch a glimpse of programmes being filmed through the glass-fronted buildings.

Pop your head into Salford University’s state of the art media centre, take in the great view of the quays from the Open Centre and even visit the famous Blue Peter Gardens.

5. Annual events

If you arrange a group travel holiday at the right time, you could catch one of Manchester’s free annual events.

The Christmas markets are a popular option, where you can enjoy browsing the colourful stalls and soaking up the festive atmosphere.

Another of Manchester’s regular events is the Rochdale Canal Festival which includes nature walks and boat trips. Manchester Pride puts on a carnival-like parade every year, whilst Manchester Day Parade celebrates diversity and creativity in Manchester.

For further group travel information visit www.visitmanchester.com.

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