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Photo: University of Manchester

Manchester’s hidden treasures

Whether you’re nearing the end of your university journey or the end of your year of being a fresher, there’s no doubt you’ll have gotten to know by now that Manchester is a pretty weird and wonderful place to live. From restaurants to museums, the city caters to all tastes. Off the beaten track of the Northern Quarter’s streets however, Manchester has a treasure trove of hidden gems just crying out to be discovered.

One particularly exquisite gem is the Manchester Jewish Museum (main image). This former Spanish synagogue on Cheetham Hill Road is a unique window into Jewish culture and history. With events running all year round, you can even invest in an annual membership or choose to pay a small fraction of the price with a student discount.

Cost: £

Photo: Elizabeth Gaskell's House

Photo: Elizabeth Gaskell’s House

Our next jewel is the Elizabeth Gaskell’s House on Plymouth Grove. For those of you who don’t already know, Gaskell was a Victorian novelist, praised by Dickens himself. A short walk from Oxford Road, there really is no excuse to miss this insight into the life of one of England’s most prized writers. Once you’ve strolled around the house and gardens, there’s a cute little café where you can sip tea and emulate Elizabeth herself.

Cost: £



The Centre for Chinese Contemporary Art is celebrating its 30th anniversary this year and is a great place to check out the latest Eastern artwork. With a lively and innovative programme of exhibitions, this attraction provides a unique insight into this oriental culture. From graffiti to portraits, there is no shortage of diversity, so go and have a gander.

Check out the exhibitions here.

Cost: £

Photo: Gallery of Costume's website

Photo: Gallery of Costume’s website

Although on the surface Fallowfield may seem like a studentville, littered with takeaways and average student bars, it also harbours some culture if you look a little further afield. The Gallery of Costume in Plattfield’s Park hosts centuries of fashion and innovation, all in one place. With free entry, the gallery makes for a great outing when you’re strapped for cash. With pop-up shops and cafés, you might even leave with more than a little inspiration for your next trend of choice.

Cost: £

Serene and peaceful outings aside, Breakout Manchester offers a live escape room experience, where you have minutes to complete challenges in teams. A fab little gem and something a little bit different to do with your mates. Prepare to have your bonds tested in this high pressure but thrilling escapade.

Book your places now!

Cost: £

Photo: Craft and Design Centre's website

Photo: Craft and Design Centre’s website


To get your creative juices flowing, why not head down to the Northern Quarter’s Manchester’s Craft and Design Centre. As they’re currently celebrating their 30th anniversary, now is the ideal time to visit. Whether you want to acquire a new skill at one of their workshops or simply admire the labours of talented craftsmen, this is a hub for inspiration.

Cost: £ 

Photo: Manchester Astronomical Society's website

Photo: Manchester Astronomical Society’s website

Everybody’s starry-eyed! For a night-time treasure, the university’s Godlee Observatory offers the opportunity to see a completely different aspect of Manchester. Whether you’re after a romantic alternative or simply a chance to see the skies at night, the Observatory is probably the shiniest of these hidden gems. What’s more, it’s absolutely free!

Cost: £


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Tags: breakout, Elizabeth Gaskell, hidden gems, Manchester Jewish Museum, the centre for chinese contemporary art

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