Manchester’s Metrolink adventures
Words by Matthew Kliszcs
The yellow MetroLink station in St. Peter’s Square is more than meets the eye. As a quick more reliable alternative to buses, the Metro offers travel to both Manchester’s main and lesser-known attractions. So, if you’re feeling cooped up this summer in Manchester, here are the best trips you can take by tram!
Media City/ Salford Quays
Media city is a welcome breath of fresh air away from the city hubbub, great for when a stroll around Platt Fields just isn’t enough.
It offers activities such as tours around the area’s museums and media sets, and ‘water sports’ (aka frolicking about in a big bubble).
The landscape is an idyllic place to explore with walks along the scenic canal routes, where you will discover the town’s many shops and restaurants.
Not far from Media City is Salford Quays, offering the best of Manchester’s art world. For avid theatre-goers, Salford offers the chance to take in a broad range of performances at The Lowry Theatre, including dance, plays, musicals and even VR activities. The immersive exhibition Van Gogh Alive is also nearby, which uniquely animates his work, producing a new way to experience Van Gogh.
If you’re looking for a quaint wholesome trip, look no further than Altrincham. A quick 20-minute metro journey takes you from the city centre to the beautiful Altrincham market, where you can grab a slice of pizza from some of the finest local culinary talent. Once well-fed, peruse the charming knick-knacks of the market stalls.
Afterwards, step into the past at Dunham Massey Hall, a historic site filled with Victorian antiques. The gardens are gorgeous, filled not only with flowers, but a lily pond and a deer park. Plus, there are numerous picnic areas to take it all in. You can easily feel like you’re in Bridgerton or Downton Abbey, looking for your next suitor!
Shaw & Crompton
We all know the importance of well-being and we all know the best way to achieve it: nature. Escape the matrix of city life and enter the paradise that is Shaw and Crompton, famous for having the closest quarry to Manchester.
Although more of an excursion at a 40-minute tram journey followed by a 20-minute walk, the journey lands you in the midst of a hiking area with miles of woodland and reservoirs. Experience the sunset from a great height and breathe in the fresh air, and your mental health will thank you later.
The Trafford Centre
The Trafford Centre is now accessible by tram! With it offering considerably more shops than the Arndale centre and golden fountains (because why not), it’s well worth the tram ride.
The food court here does away with the basics and says hello to Italian, Thai and East Asian cuisine. There’s a whole range of fine restaurants which you can eat in as you watch the entertainment on the big screen.
Plus, who doesn’t love an aquarium? Submerge yourself in an underwater atmosphere at Sea World where you’ll see ocean life including jellyfish, sharks and turtles from just £19.95.
A classier night than Fallowfield, Didsbury prides itself on its many cocktail bars, including Slug and Lettuce and Barlow Croft. The selection of bars are handily all situated close to the tram station.
Prices are slightly above average, however, the costs are justified once you experience the charming ambiance and enjoy some of the finest cocktails ever tasted in Manchester. Because it’s a little more hidden, you’ll be sure to find a decent drinking spot. Happy travels, and enjoy avoiding the all too familiar smells, sights and lack of seats you’ll often find on the 142 night bus.
Have fun squeezing the most out of the hidden beauties that lie beneath the surface of Manchester’s outward appearance this summer.