And naturally so, it’s a pretty big place – filled with tons of hidden gems boasting the ability to transport you to all corners of the globe. From old-worldly escapes to flavours of the Far East, here’s our guide to some of the most beautiful hidden gems you need to visit in Manchester.
1. Chetham’s Library
A wander around Chetham’s Library is like stepping into a bygone era – with decor that would be right at home in a Harry Potter movie. In fact, it was once considered as a filming location for one of the earlier movies. Dating back to the 1600s, the timewarp library is the oldest in Britain, retaining much of its original features and making for the perfect escape from the outside world.
2. Northern Quarter
There’s a reason that the Northern Quarter has become a Hollywood favourite, and that’s its old-worldly resemblance to New York City. Think old fashioned fire escapes, street art aplenty, and tons of grand art deco era architecture. It might be a popular area of the city, but next stroll you’re strolling around, be sure to take in some of the impressive buildings.
3. The Chinese Garden at RHS Bridgewater
A number of RHS Bridgewater’s stunning gardens are like entering a different continent, namely, their beautiful Chinese Streamside Garden. Boasting classically inspired Chinese structures and an overarching theme of the four seasons, the gardens offers “an iconic expression of Chinese culture and design”, and quite frankly, is an incredibly peaceful spot to roam.
4. Levenshulme’s Secret Lake
Extraordinary due to its hidden nature, Levenshulme’s Secret Lake offers some of the most stunning sunsets – so stunning, in fact, that we’d go to the extremes of comparing it to the pink-hued sunsets of the East Coast’s marshes. Hidden behind a waste site, the water spot is difficult to find, but so worth it for the candy floss reflections come dusk.
5. China Town
From Piccadilly Gardens to Shanghai, Manchester’s Chinatown is one of the more obvious places to visit, but we love it, all the same. Consisting of a stunning Chinese arch that frames the city centre quarter, the location is packed full of the flavours of Asia, with tons of bustling Chinese, Thai and Vietnamese restaurants (among others), karaoke bars and more. During January and February, the location really comes alive, with stunning red lanterns hanging from the lamposts in celebration of Lunar New Year.
6. John Ryland’s Library
A late-Victorian library that absolutely oozes beauty, it’s hard to believe something so grand could be nestled right in the city centre. But it is. And it’s called the John Rylands Library. Inspired by neo-Gothic architecture, the unique building’s entrance alone looks like it leads into Dumbledore’s office, with plenty more grandeur reserved for the library itself.