10 Alternative Activities in Manchester

So, you've visited all Manchester's impressive museums, admired the galleries and photographed some of the most bizarre landmarks. And you've tried all the trampoline park features that we have at our Manchester arena? What now?

Think outside the box

Think outside the box, as we explore some of the most alternative activities the city has to offer:

Go vintage

Love retro retailers? With an eye for everything you can imagine, from timeless fashion to vintage furniture, the desire to become more like our parents (or grandparents, given that tweed is now stylish - apparently) seems to be going strong. Manchester is well catered for when it comes to vintage shopping, with Afflecks Palace leading the pack for affordable second-hand clothing. Why not call into Oxfam Originals or the Northern Quarters Retro Rehab? They offer a range of alternative styles. But, it's not just the clothing retailers that are getting a makeover, with the rise in tearooms reflecting an classic but totally understandable love of baked goods, china patterns and not forgetting Britain's favourite, the Victoria Sponge.

Explore the countryside

Manchester isn't just a bustling city centre? Surprise, surprise, it has much more to offer; the surrounding areas are the place to escape and explore acres of stunning countryside. Why not visit the Peak District for breath-taking views and fantastic opportunities for pastimes such as cycling, walking and wildlife watching. The greener side of the city definitely isn't to be missed.

Get to Grillstock

Go to the city's massive summer BBQ festival. It's hardly surprising with the amount of grill restaurants dotted across Manchester that the city likes its meat. The festival is centred around two days of partying, non-stop drinking and plenty of (meat) eating competitions. The festival is to make a grand return this May for more organised chaos - make sure to buy your tickets.

You've got to get to Chinatown

This is the largest of its kind in Europe with its bars, restaurants, supermarkets and grocery stores all packaged together. It's easily signposted - you can't miss it - with a beautiful Chinese style gate marking the entrance. This is a great area to visit any time of the year, but in recent years the Chinese New Year has become such a big part of the city's cultural celebrations. With the variety of places to eat and drink, it's not to be missed and whilst there are other opportunities to experience the culture, this area of Manchester is a classic.

Go underground

Yes, you read it right. We're not suggesting anything too mysterious - honest. We literally mean, go underneath the city centre, and through Myriad tunnels for a peek into what makes the city tick. This is not just an opportunity to grovel beneath the city streets but to get a different perspective on its history; you'll walk along the very place where thousands sheltered in World War 2 during the Blitz. Most of it is long since active and bordered up, increasingly dark, dank and miserable. There are tours beginning with the age-old tales about what happened all those years ago. However, you are warned not to go wandering off on your own as you could get lost.


You guessed it, we're talking about the beautiful game: football. Where would the city be without it? No matter where you are in the world, if you let on you live in Manchester, football is the first thing anyone will mention. But, with two rival teams (with armies of fans) and the attraction of the National Football Museum opening its doors, it's hardly surprising people travel miles to admire its prestigious football community. Another attraction for tourists is the backstage tour of both City and United's grounds and lavish facilities - perfect for those football fanatics looking to indulge their passion.

Quiet please

If you like to get lost in the pages of a good book, you've come to the right place. The oldest serving public library is located in Chetham; it's an extraordinary little hideaway with ancient books, wooden beamed rooms and corridors adding a touch of character. But wait, there's more... Chethams isn't the only public library to wow its visitors, with the grand Central Library recently re-opening after years of its closure. And, don't miss out on an opportunity to visit the wonderful Portico Library which could be so easily missed given it's located above a pub - definitely a hidden gem.

Gay Pride

With Manchester's Gay village on the up again, the LGBT people should be overjoyed about the village being a major tourist attraction - right? Well, there seems to be mixed reviews on that front. The place has been given a facelift, with brightened buildings and hanging baskets along the streets; the Village Business Association (VBA) has introduced a campaign making sure the village is a safer place to live, rather than condoning the anti-social behaviour currently impacting the gay village.

The music scene

This is not to be underestimated in Manchester; the list of singers, songwriters and producers staging in the city is endless. But, the city is not limited, so there's room for others on the live music front and it's all located in some fantastic venues. Take your pick from the Phones 4U arena - a large scale venue that's hosted the likes of Dolly Parton - to well-known venues such as, the O2 Apollo and The Ritz. There's plenty to offer.


Who doesn't love a looking up at the stars? - exactly! So, why not make your way to the Godlee Observatory at The University of Manchester for a truly unforgettable experience gazing through their telescope - weather permitting (of course). And, if the weather doesn't allow it at least you got a good view of the city.

Of course you can always come to us, no matter the weather!

Published by Jump Nation on March 10, 2015 at 12:00 PM

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