Manchester’s canal network is intricate to say the least. Spidering out from one waterway to another right across the city and beyond, the city-region has been left with ample waterside views – which, while not exactly on par with Venice, provide a pretty scenic backdrop for us Mancs to enjoy when the sun rears its head. From beautiful cocktail bars to cosy, traditional pubs overlooking the water, here’s our pick of the best waterside bars and restaurants to enjoy in and around Manchester.
1. Roby 1844, Gay Village
Adding to the list of Manchester waterside bars reopening as the warmer weather starts to bloom is Roby 1844, where customers can enjoy any sunny weather sat on the banks of the Rochdale Canal. The terrace below the Holiday Inn near Piccadilly now also benefits from the sights of Kampus just down the canal, offering wonderful views of their tropical courtyard garden that springs into life with nice weather. Roby 1844 offers a menu of American classics, locally-made brews, live music and more. If that wasn’t all, the venue also boasts an outdoor bar, as well as a stop for boats and barges to pull into to grab a pint while out on the water. Roby 1844, 25 Aytoun St, M1 3AE.
2. The Wharf, Castlefield
Located within one of Manchester’s most popular water spots, Castlefield, The Wharf offers a sun-soaked outdoor terrace right by the canal – with gorgeous views, cold pints, and a menu of Med-meets-Manchester dishes to enjoy. If that wasn’t all, guests can also get stuck into their collection of over sixty gins, as well as enjoy live music, covered areas, and a large indoor space with a variety of nooks and crannies to sit in. The Wharf, 6 Slate Wharf, M15 4ST.
3. Cromptons at the Waterside, Monton
Located right by the canal in Monton, Cromptons is a cosy spot that can be enjoyed whatever the weather, with not only waterside seating outdoors, but indoors next to bi-folding doors, too. Boasting a traditional pub vibe with a modern twist, the versatile menu offers an array of British, Mediterranean and Asian dishes, with both the fans and owners recommending their ‘Facebook Famous’ cheesecakes for dessert. The Waterside Monton, 1 Parrin Ln, Eccles, M30 8AN.
4. The River Restaurant at The Lowry Hotel
A fine-dining bar and restaurant overlooking the river, The River Restaurant at The Lowry Hotel received a plush makeover just last year, adding a light and airy vibe to complement the peaceful views. Consisting of different zones throughout, including restaurant seating, casual bar seating, a live music space and seating by the large glass panes that face the river, the restaurant offers AA Rosette awarded food, with a huge bar menu stocked full of wines, champagnes, cocktails and more. The Lowry Hotel, 50 Dearmans Pl, Salford, M3 5LH.
5. The Wine Press, Hollingworth Lake
Overlooking the vast Hollingworth Lake, The Wine Press is the perfect place for a pint after a lovely lakeside walk. Boasting a tasty British menu and ample lakeside seating, the San Rocco restaurant really is an idyllic spot – and even features ample seating indoors for those looking to retreat from any typical North West rain showers. As suggested in the name, the venue specialises in an array of global wines, with white, rose, red and sparkling on the menu. The Wine Press, 93 Hollingworth Rd, Littleborough, OL15 0AZ.
6. Dukes 92
Situated right by the canal in Castlefield, Dukes 92 is one of the most popular spots and waterside bars in Manchester – particularly in the summer. The beer garden is absolutely massive and has a great social vibe to it when the bar hosts sports screenings. Head on over for a cold pint, or park yourself by the water for a burger, deli board, or pizza next time you’re feeling peckish on the sesh. Dukes 92, 18 – 25 Castle St, M3 4LZ.
7. The Old Pint Pot, Salford
A quirky pub championing the traditional British pub vibe, The Old Pint Pot overlooks the River Irwell, with an outdoor terrace to take advantage of during the warmer days. It’s become quite the hotspot for students of Salford Uni over the years, too, with regular open mic nights, comedy clubs and more taking place at the venue. On the menu, the pub serves an array of beers on tap and your typical pub tipples, as well as proper pub fare and a number of ‘grazers’. The Old Pint Pot, Adelphi St, Salford, M3 6EN.
8. Rain Bar
A former warehouse that’s been transformed into a drinking destination, Rain Bar can be found right on the edge of the Bridgewater Canal, with ample outdoor seating that’s perfect for the warmer days. Guests can be found spilling across the canal banks socialising with friends when the sun rears its head, supping cold pints, ciders, wines and bubbles. The bar also serves your typical pub grub, as well as a selection of starters and sides to nibble on during beer garden sessions. Rain Bar, 80 Great Bridgewater St, M1 5JG.
9. The Alchemist, MediaCityUK
The Alchemist in MediaCityUK is a really gorgeous spot to enjoy – whatever the weather, thanks to its covered, heated terrace that overlooks the water. Serving up their iconic, Instagrammable cocktails – always with a side of theatre – the venue is the perfect place for Friday night drinks, with a contemporary menu of Asian-fusion dishes including bao buns, gyozas, dumplings and more. The Alchemist, The Bund, The Quays, MediaCityUK, Salford, M50 3AB.
10. The Beeswing, Kampus
Opening up within the Kampus garden neighbourhood, Manchester’s latest al fresco bar comes complete with a sun-soaked wine terrace. The Beeswing – an indie wine bar and kitchen – is serving up an exquisite wine selection alongside a wide variety of delicious pinchos, small plates, as well as cheese and charcuterie platters. Situated on the first floor above the much-loved pizza spot Nell’s, The Beeswing is a friendly hangout for lovers of wine and great food. Pair their delicious food and drink offerings with an absolute suntrap of a terrace overlooking the lush gardens and Rochdale Canal and you have a perfect summer spot- no flights needed. The Beeswing, KAMPUS, 24a Minshull Street, M1 3EF
11. Three Little Words, Kampus
Another Kampus spot that is sure to brighten up your spring and summer is a pop-up canal-side terrace bar from Manchester cocktail connoisseurs Three Little Words. Open from May 5, it’s one of the only waterside terrace bars in Manchester that serves its very own spirits, which are created right in the heart of the city. Guests can expect delicious spirits, spritzes and cocktails all made up from their portfolio of multi award-winning spirits from The Spirit of Manchester Distillery such as Manchester Gin, One-Eyed Rebel Spiced Rum and Sphere Vodka. Feel free to lounge in the sunshine along the canal and order drinks such as Rum Spritz (described as “summer in a glass”), featuring One-Eyed Rebel Passionfruit & Coconut Rum and Passoa, straight from their bespoke cocktail van. Three Little Words Terrace Bar, KAMPUS, 24a Minshull Street, M1 3EF.