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Slow Travel in Greater Manchester

Manchester’s visitor numbers are rising yearly by approximately 10 to 15 per cent. According to the statistics of VisitBritain, around one million people from all over the world are coming to check out the city’s attractions every year. As a result, Manchester became Britain’s third most popular destination, closing the gap to Edinburgh which sees around 1.3m visits every year.

Sadly, many visitors are rushing through Manchester’s top visitor attractions such as The Lowry, the MOSI (Museum of Science and Industry) or the Manchester Art Gallery in just 24 or 48 hours and missing out on the spirit of the city. However, increasingly more tourists are aiming to discover the flair of a place within the framework of a ‘slow tourism’ movement.

Similar to the slow food trend in Europe, which set a contrast to the fast food industry, slow travel encourages tourists take their time between visitor attractions. ‘Slow travellers’ have started to increasingly self-organise travels with the help of travel social networks and online services such as couchsurfing.org, triptrotting.com, airbnb.com and wayn.com.

By turning away from package holidays, they are able to discover authentic places and to experience real tourists-locals-hosts encounters. For instance, the service ‘Couchsurfing’ provides a platform where travellers can connect and arrange their stays at the private flat of a host anywhere in the world for free, providing the opportunity to look at a place from the locals’ point of view.

However, international tourists who prefer to stay at a hotel or a nice B&B and want to get to know the character of Manchester and its inhabitants, only need a visit to the likes of ICE plc. Travel Money for some currency, some insider tips and eclectic information of the area.

Northern Quarter

The Northern Quarter, although very close to Piccadilly Gardens and Market Street, possesses its very own unique flair and charm which cannot be found anywhere else in Greater Manchester. This area has a creative and alternative touch and is home to many independent fashion stores, bars, cafés, restaurants and most importantly vintage and record stores. As a consequence, the place is ideal for a night out or for attending one of the many gigs featuring talented Manchester musicians; these taking place in the Northern Quarter’s bars.

The local shopping emporium ‘Affleck’s’ is known worldwide for its affordable products with a twist and its service providers who offer tattoos, piercings or tarot readings. The Northern Quarter’s inspirational and creative environment is highlighted by the Manchester Craft and Design Centre, where 35 artists, craftspeople and designers sell their creations and products such as jewellery, ceramics, paintings and tiles at six days per week. Therefore, tourists may come here to discover unique souvenirs and gifts. This centre, which is housed in a former Victorian fish and poultry market building, also offers workshops, a café and accommodates numerous events.

The Curry Mile

Arab communities arrived in Manchester in the early nineteenth century, and have etched their influence in to the spirit of the city. To encounter the Middle Eastern culture, a visit of the ‘Curry Mile’ may be worthwhile, which is situated on Wilmslow Road in Rushholme. Most visitors are attracted to the place by the high density and wide range of Middle Eastern, South Asian restaurants such as Pakistani, Bangladeshi, Turkish Indian or Sri Lankan.

However, the place also offers great Shisha bars such as the ‘Antalya’ where one can smoke fruity tasting shisha and drink freshly squeezed juices and non-alcoholic cocktails: a great experience even for non-smokers.


Chorlton is located approximately four miles from the city centre and can be easily reached by bus. The town attracts due to its location and amenities such as the Chorlton Park and the Chorlton Water Park, with many families taking trips to these locations. Those who have a love of nature can have a stroll around the lake of Chorlton Water Park in the Mersey Valley, and may even be able to spot wildflowers and animals. Sportsmen are able to fish and to do water sports there as well. Especially popular are dinghy sailing, canoeing and windsurfing in the natural reserve.

Above that, Chorlton’s ‘Beech Road’ can be recommended to tourists, as it invites them to shop or to have some coffee and lunch. The small shops specialise in homeware and accessories which may not be able to be bought anywhere on the conventional high street. Some art-based coffee houses such as the ‘Craftelicious’ even offer activities such as pottery to go with your coffee and cake; ceramic painting and decopatchare also available.

Finally, Chorlton is known for its huge vegetarian community. Consequently, many shops and cafés offer wholesome, vegetarian and ethical products of all kind which may be a good opportunity to try something new.

Jacqueline is a writer for ICE plc. who offer travel money and foreign currency exchange for those travelling abroad. Click Here for more information on their services.

One Response to Slow Travel in Greater Manchester

  1. Dollie Reply

    May 9, 2017 at 8:49 pm

    I have a 12 week old female english bull terrier and we’re trying to get a head start by training her at home. She’s enrolled in a wonderful private dog training facility but she do7ne&#821s;t start until she’s 16wo. She’s very food motivated but I feed her high quality dog food (taste of the wild bison), and I don’t want to just give her any old treat. What are some brand names of high quality treats that are easy to give to puppies when training? TIA

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