MTT Travel: Manchester

My home town at the moment is Milton Keynes. Now, I really love where I live. Its proximity to London balanced with value for money can’t be beaten and the amenities are pretty amazing – the shopping, the indoor skiing, the entertainment district, the health club, the WAITROSE. Boy do I love my Waitrose.

But I’ve always known, in my heart of hearts, that I belong by the sea. There is something so completely special you get from being by the ocean that you don’t get anywhere else. I adore it and I can’t wait until there’s a time in my life where I’m able to spend more time at the coast. But for now the odd summer weekend will have to do, or evening the odd man-made seaside resort!

One of the great things about England is that we’re never more than approximately 70 miles from the sea, wherever we are in the country. MK is a town that can dubiously claim to be about this distance from a coast, with our nearest beach being a muddy one in Kent. I have never ever been.


My favourite beach is Boscombe in Bournemouth (I was born just down the road! Represent!) but DID YOU KNOW… you can get pretty good beach action a little further north? Let me explain…

Manchester, one of the most exciting cities North of Watford, is actually only about 30 minutes from some of the loveliest beaches you could hope to come across. Extend that drive to two hours and you have even more available to you. Magic, right?! But even better – right now at Heaton Park to the north of the city you can find Come To The Beach – the biggest mobile beach in the North West! Hours in the car not necessary.

Entry is free and you will find deck chairs, buckets and spades and a seaside fun park complete with rides like crazy cards and the fun house. It’s all the fun of the beach with none of the hassle.

I spent a couple of nights in Manchester recently… here’s what I got up to:

Manchester by night


I stayed at the Hilton Hotel on Deansgate which had one of the most incredible views of any hotel I’ve ever seen. The room was everything you’d expect from a Hilton – comfortable with all the necessary amenities – but the floor to ceiling windows made it something really special. There’s also the fantastic Cloud 23 cocktail bar which is situated on 23rd floor of the building and was a really super place to enjoy a couple of late night martinis.


The weekend I was in Manchester the man friend fancied a good old steak so we plumped for Gaucho. Much like its London counterparts the restaurant is housed in a beautiful building on St Mary’s Street and offers a fantastic Argentine-inspired menu of steaks and sides. And wines! (And my choice – a v delicious Dirty Martini!).


If you’re looking for something a little more casual I have it on excellent authority that Almost Famous is THE place to go: brilliant burgers and booze are found here. And for some restaurant recommendations from those who’ve probably eaten at every single establishment at the city I suggest you speak to Helen or Ellie ;)


I spent some time at the Museum of Science and Industry (MOSI) which was an absolutely wonderful place to spend a day with the family, but aside from the summer fun mentioned above there are many more wonderful ways to spend your time up North! Why not head to the Imperial War Museum North, take a tour of Coronation Street or flex your credit card at the Trafford Center? Whether you’re taking an adults-only trip or bringing the kids along there are plenty of things you can get up to in Manchester.

What are your favourite things to do in Manchester?

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  1. Jenny wrote:

    I didn’t even know that and I live in Manchester. haha Learn something new everyday will have to check it out with the kids when I get back. If the weather permits. Next time you are up you must give me a ring. Hotel sounds great too! Stayed there before too. I love Manchester city! And gauchos is my favorite restaurant we go every year for my birthday! Love it. Great post.

    Posted 8.12.14 Reply
  2. My parents live right next to Boscombe Beach – isn’t it fab? Eliza loves it (and the pier). I really like Manchester too but haven’t been in years; must go again soon x

    Posted 8.13.14 Reply
  3. Snap, I’m talking about Manchester today too. It’s where I went to uni and only a couple of hours away but it has so much good stuff to offer. I love the bars, restaurants and indie shops in the Northern Quarter. I hadn’t even considered the beaches so thanks for the tips!

    Posted 8.13.14 Reply
  4. I spent a few years living near to Milton Keynes when I was about 10, I can still remember how amazing the shopping centre was! And I love Waitrose too x

    Posted 8.13.14 Reply
  5. gotta love the beach! i’m interested in this mosi place ..i love a good museum.

    Posted 8.14.14 Reply
  6. Katie Haydock wrote:

    I live exactly half way between Manchester and Liverpool and I much prefer Liverpool I have to say.
    I don’t know what it is about Manchester, I’ve just never felt a connection with it… plus the beaches, art, music and museums in Merseyside greatly rival those in Manchester. Have you ever been?

    Posted 8.14.14 Reply
  7. Lori wrote:

    This looks fab for a weekend away and I would definitely love to try the burgers at Almost Famous. I’m a bit of a sea lover myself. X

    Posted 8.15.14 Reply
  8. Fritha wrote:

    My little sister just got into Manchester uni so I’m excited to go visit her and explore the city. We went up when she was looking at it and visited MOSI which was brilliant! x

    Posted 8.15.14 Reply
  9. Laura wrote:

    I have to agree my heart also lies near the sea – I feel more free near the seaside and almost get claustrophobic if I live too far inland. Looks like you had a great time in Manchester btw – an amazing city

    Laura x

    Posted 8.16.14 Reply
  10. I’m going to make it my mission to go on more overnight trips with the girls in the next year. Cocktails, bars, shopping! Manchester is such a good place for it too. Thanks for the inspiration!

    Posted 8.21.14 Reply
  11. Patricia wrote:

    Manchester is fab. Hands down Almost Famous beats Gaucho for dinner. The Trailer Trash Fries are to die for!

    Posted 9.2.14 Reply