I’ve been visiting Manchester for 8 months now and have grown fond of the place.
Coming from London, the first thing I have to say I like is that the city centre is so small. I know that Greater Manchester is huge but the city seems tiny in comparison with my home town and has a much more personal, human feel to it.
At first, I was surprised it wasn’t bigger, being such an important city and I discovered this on my early morning runs before work.
The next thing I like is the people. They have a lot more time for you than in London, although at first it took a while for me to change and understand that “just chatting” is OK and part of the culture. You have to slow down a bit at work though, otherwise people can get a bit offended by what they see as brusqueness.
My next favourite thing is the history. Yes really!
Manchester used to be a massive centre for textiles, heavy industry and innovation and it’s great to look at some of the older buildings around town and realise they used to be mighty cotton mills.
I’m fascinated too, by the huge, Manchester-built Ferranti computers you can see in the local museum. As my business is very much involved in IT training, I find these old machines very interesting.
And there are lots of canal bridges made from ornate ironwork which are sort of beautiful and ugly at the same time.
There’s a terrific art gallery on Mosley Street, packed with fascinating and absorbing exhibits and I love to spend my lunch hour there, drinking in the fantastic pieces on display. It looks like it is good fun for kids, too.
Being a visitor rather than a resident means I haven’t sampled any of the nightlife yet but from the look of all the students queuing up to get into venues all over the city, it looks very diverse!
I found another interesting facet of the city the other day with which I was rather taken and that’s the canalside paths, which are great if you’re out running on a rare sunny evening. It’s another statement of Manchester’s great heritage.
Speaking of heritage, I also like the Roman Garden. It’s a shame there’s not more of it but it’s a lovely thing to see.
I guess you can see from these words that I have really taken a shine to Manchester. I think the only thing I would change is the weather. It rains so often here!