In the summer months Manchester comes alive, and 2019 is no exception. As the sun shines over Piccadilly Gardens, lighting up the murals of the Northern Quarter in the process, the streets and rooftop bars buzz with excitement and the surrounding countryside is filled with colour. From unforgettable cuisine to open-air concerts and the buzz of the Premier League kick off, you’ll soon see why it’s the perfect spot for a city break this summer.
Food in the great outdoors
Manchester’s parks and gardens spring into life ahead of the summer months and remain a hive of activity all summer long. Heaton Park is the biggest park in the north west. When it’s not busy hosting Parklife Festival and other big music events, its home to the UK’s largest mobile beach (July to September) while its lush grasses and woodland are picturesque spots for laying out a blanket and tucking into some mouth-watering picnic food. For adrenaline junkies, the park is also home to Treetop Trek, a heart-racing high ropes journey through the treetops involving zip wires and jaw-dropping aerial challenges, as well as incredible views of the city!
A taste for heights
Manchester’s industrial tower blocks are home to an array of cutting edge bars and roof terraces serving everything from artisanal cocktails to the latest creations from the city’s craft breweries. In the heart of swanky Spinningfields is 20 Stories, a swish rooftop terrace where you can sip cocktails outdoors under a canopy of trees. Or you could climb to the 23rd floor of the city’s iconic Beetham Tower to sample the new signature cocktail menu, fresh for the summer, at Cloud 23. Hidden away in the Northern Quarter is Terrace NQ, a picturesque terrace that’s a nod to Manchester’s rich industrial heritage, with a stripped-back aesthetic and plenty of guest beers to try. At the Roof Garden Playground you’ll find a south-facing rooftop garden complete with a hot tub, while the recently-renovated YES offers four storeys of live music, delicious grub and a cosy roof terrace. For a cocktail or two with a view, Manchester’s where it’s at.
Home to two of the country’s biggest football clubs, the buzz of Premier League kick-off weekend in Manchester is simply unmissable, and in summer 2019 you can be a part of it. From taking a seat in the stands when the first ball is kicked to immersing yourself in the history of the beautiful game at the National Football Museum, Manchester is a city that lives and breathes football. Go behind the scenes on a tour of City’s Etihad stadium or experience the spine-tingling feeling of walking out of the tunnel at Old Trafford, United’s iconic home ground. The city prides itself on its footballing heritage and with the return of the Premier League, it’s the only place to be for football fans!
Escape to the country
If wide open spaces are more your thing, you’ll find some of Britain’s most stunning scenery just a short train ride from Manchester. For fresh air and some seriously inspiring Instagram stories, head north and discover the Lake District National Park. Home to glistening lakes, tree-clad mountains and even secluded beaches, hire a bike, hike or jump in a rental boat and explore the biggest National Park in England - you can even go laser clay shooting or try your hand at archery. Alternatively, why not take a trip to the Peak District? Known for its natural springs, lush moorlands and sunlit valleys, discover the ancient summertime tradition of well dressing, savour regional cuisine in tiny local pubs or grab your hiking boots and soak up the scenery. With regular trains and buses running from Manchester and a journey time of just over an hour, it’s the perfect spot for a summer glamping getaway.
Pride in Manchester
Celebrated for its diversity and LGBTQ+ friendly culture, Manchester is a city to be proud in. And this is especially true during the Pride celebrations over the last weekend of August. Marking the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall riots that kick-started the modern LGBTQ+ movement, 2019 is a huge year for Pride. The celebrations will centre on the city’s world-renowned Gay Village and include the Manchester Pride Parade, when thousands of people light up the city with colourful costumes, cool floats and a serious party vibe. And if that’s not enough to fill you with excitement, a host of big name artists will join the celebrations at Manchester Pride Live at Mayfield.
Venture out to tuck in
Manchester is jam-packed with restaurants offering an abundance of culinary delights, but who says you need to sit down and eat in? Venture outdoors and discover a thriving street food scene. Tuck into cuisine from all over the globe at GRUB Food Fair every Friday and Saturday, the city’s biggest street food event, with banging beats and more flavours of craft beer than you’d care to count. It’s also home to Plant Powered Sundays, a celebration of all things vegan! Get a taste for halloumi fries and Yorkshire pudding wraps in the heart of Piccadilly Gardens. Pop into the shipping containers at Hatch on Oxford Road, which is tripling in size for the summer. Or try one of the many delights available at Mackie Mayor on the edge of Northern Quarter, where you’ll find vendors crammed into the spectacular Grade II listed former market building. For exhilarating flavours to accompany the summer, look no further than Manchester’s street food stalls.