OK, we love a date[/trackLink], and if you have the person you want to spend your spare time with, why not? But many, whether single or just fancying a bit of time alone, would prefer experiences for one, and there are plenty of opportunities for that in Manchester. From activities and enjoying one of many arts in the city, to treating yourself to a pamper or a bit of relaxation, there are so many ways to have a lovely bit of ‘you time’ in Manchester; here’s our run-down of the best solo dates to try in Manchester.
1. Catch the latest releases with a cinema ticket for one
An absolute classic when it comes to dating, why not see the newest (or even a classic) flick at one of Manchester’s many cinemas? Whether you’re a thriller fan, a sucker for a rom-com or all-in for a superhero flick, you’re bound to find something up your street at Vue Printworks or Odeon Great Northern or Trafford Centre, for which you can get at a discounted price on. If you’re really wanting to treat yourself, check out the Everyman Cinema on Quay Street to sit back, relax and enjoy a glass of something amongst the luxurious interiors and plush sofas. Solo dates to the cinema can be the most empowering and enjoyable experience, so give it a try in Manchester whether it’s your first or 100th time.
2. Take yourself on a coffee shop date
Manchester has some of the best coffee shops around, so why not explore them on your own? Go wherever the wind takes you, testing different grinds, strengths and locations, all over town. Whether it’s Federal, Just Between Friends, Chapter One or Bold Street Coffee, there’s a coffee shop for every taste at every turn in Manchester – we’re pretty lucky. Take a book, download a podcast, or simply take in your surroundings whilst filling your boots with java – getting coffee is one of the simplest and easiest solo dates you could take yourself on in Manchester, and it won’t break the bank.
3. Treat yourself to a pamper or beauty treatment
Give yourself the care and attention you deserve with a good old pamper day in Manchester, one of the most indulgent solo dates you could imagine. There are plenty of spas around the city, offering massages, facials and the use of facilities like saunas and pools, alongside a wide selection of salons and treatment spaces where you can get your nails done, have specialist treatments, or whatever you fancy. There’s also so much creativity going on in the city with freelancers raring to work alongside clients to create what they want, so it’s totally up to you.
4. Take a walk around our parks and green spaces
It might sound like nothing special, but a fresh walk around local green spaces can really clear your head, and what could be kinder to yourself than that? As solo dates go, a walk in the park is pretty lowkey, but Manchester boasts some magnificent green spaces including RHS Garden Bridgewater in Worsley, introducing you to wildlife you never knew existed. Whether you pay to enter a beautiful garden space such as this, or just take a stroll in your local public park, taking time for yourself is always a good idea for a solo date.
5. Take some time out with a long countryside walk
In the same vein, you may want to go further afield for a solo date, getting out of the city and into the countryside around Manchester. We’re so lucky to be surrounded by National Parks like the Lake District and Peak District, and beauty spots in the Pennines, North Wales and the Merseyside and Lancashire coast, so the world is really your oyster. Breathe deep and give yourself a reset outside of Manchester with one of the more freeing solo dates we recommend.
6. Get in touch with your creative side at a painting class
Even if you’re no Van Gogh, getting creative at a painting class can be really fun and you may even realise a talent you never knew you had. Solo dates like this are perfect, because there’s no one with you to judge – just see what flows out! Plus, there are a fair few options for painting in Manchester, including the unique Paint in the Dark experience, making this one of the most accessible solo dates we can recommend.
7. Take yourself to a gig
Solo dates can be hard, so if you’re a gig-goer, you can’t do much better on your own in Manchester than go to a gig. Sing, dance and enjoy yourself, whether you go to see one of you all-time favourites, or a brand new band. The gig solo date is one of the best if you’re worried about ‘looking weird’ (not that you need to be) as everyone is focused on the performer, and many a friend has been made in concert crowds. More than this, the whole crowd will be as one, all there for the same reason, and there’s no better place to feel part of something even when you’re completely on your own.
8. Dine out for one
Who says a romantic dinner has to be for two? Take yourself for a gorgeous meal and experience the tastes, smells and vibes of enjoying your own company. Whether you’re a foodie or just enjoy a lovely environment and perhaps pushing yourself out of your comfort zone, there’s so much variety to choose from in Manchester. Solo dates don’t necessarily have to be a self-improving exercise, and here in Manchester you can indulge in fine dining at The Sparrows or The Edinburgh Castle, or street food from the likes of Mackie Mayor and Society – whatever floats your boat!
9. See your favourite theatre show
We can be very Evangelical about our favourite theatre shows, and sometimes having company in these instances can actually be more of a pain than anything. Why not pick out one of your favourite shows coming to the theatre in Manchester, or perhaps a new one you like the look of, and have a lovely civilised evening taking it all in? Musical fanatics and play purists alike will probably relate, and solo dates like this in Manchester, whether at the Palace, Opera House, Contact or any of the many more theatres in town, could be a great excuse if you just want something for you.
10. Check out an intriguing exhibition
We do exhibitions of art and cultural displays extremely well in Manchester, and whether you’re intrigued by the past or love your fine art, you’re bound to find something up your street. Solo dates to exhibitions are great because you’re free to wander around at your own pace, take in what you personally love, and really get under the skin of Manchester through a cultural and artistic lens. What’s more, you’ll be supporting local culture, and what’s better than that?
11. Have a vintage shopping day
We love a good shopping day, and although we’re not short of shops in Manchester, we’re specifically talking about vintage shopping, and those we have in buckets, too. Take yourself on a solo date to find as many vintage gems as you can, and with most of our great vintage store being in the Northern Quarter, you can hop between the likes of COW, Blue Rinse and Pop Boutique pretty easily. Further afield we have Charity Super.Mkt in Salford Quays (until the end of January), and Top of the Town Vintage in Stockport to get stuck into, so you can really cater the solo date to what’s best for you – and shop sustainably in the process.