With the historical heart of the city conquered on day one, it’s time to move onward and outward. Start using the Metrolink on day two and get out to some of the natural spaces and the suburbs full of character that ring the city center. Here’s the best way to spend your second day in Manchester.
Manchester is fairly short on hills but the monument at the summit of Heaton Park offers an excellent place to look back at the city as it comes to life. Take the tram from Victoria Station to Heaton Park and get a fresh start to your day with a walk (or a jog if you’re so inclined) through Manchester’s biggest green space.
If you’ve worked up an appetite then head back to town and visit Dishoom for an Indian-inspired brunch of naan sandwiches and coffee from the Malabar Coast. Alternatively, if you don’t mind a bit of a queue, aim for New Islington Marina for some of the most sumptuous pastries and bread in town at Pollen bakery.
A tram from the city center will shuttle you west to Trafford (alight at Trafford Bar), where you can check out two of Manchester’s most well-known sporting venues, Old Trafford football ground (home of Manchester United), and, perhaps confusingly, Old Trafford cricket ground (home of Lancashire Cricket Club). A tour of the football ground and its museum will set you back about $15.
Another tram journey from Trafford Bar to Chorlton will put you at the heart of a bohemian enclave of coffee shops and leafy streets. Take a walk up Beech Road and enjoy the wide array of independent shops and hip bars. Pause to enjoy the classic English village scene of Chorlton Green before making your way further out to the wilder environs of Chorlton Ees, a waterside wilderness full of flowers and fresh air.
Lunch at The Creameries is a wise move for any Chorlton visitor. It’s a bright, welcoming space inside an old dairy building that still retains its original tiling on the outside. There are plenty of options for lunch, all of them based on modern British cooking of passionately selected local produce. Don’t miss the exceptional breads and brioche.
If you hotfoot it back to town then you have time for a stopover at the Science and Industry Museum. Steam trains and mechanical inventions are just the start of the exhibitions there, and the interactive history of the city is a great visit for adults and children alike. The location of the museum, in Castlefield, is also something to be enjoyed, as it’s one of the city’s most notable conservation areas. Although there isn’t much left of it now, the Roman fort near the museum is the site of a first-century occupation, from when the city was called Mancunium.
A quick change into appropriate evening wear and it’s time to explore the south side of the city. Start with cocktails and snacks in the twinkly winter garden area of The Refuge, before moving inside the restaurant for some choice morsels in an intimate atmosphere.
If you want to keep things on the more casual end, there are a few bars to explore nearby. The Temple is a tiny spot with a lively and sociable atmosphere, especially notable because the entire place is a converted Victorian public toilet. On the bigger side, but still just as animated, is Gorilla, one of Manchester’s most popular live music and club venues. If you’re determined to live the high life, then make your way to Deansgate for the panoramic views offered at Cloud 23. You’ll need to book (and bring extra cash), but this sophisticated bar on the 23rd floor of the Hilton hotel may be that Champagne moment you’ve been waiting for. Challenging Cloud 23 for dominance of the skyline is newcomer 20 Stories, with an outdoor terrace that’s hard to beat.