Manchester – An Alternative Family Day Out

29th March 2017

Morgana Loze-Doyle, the author of Coffee, Work, Sleep, Repeat, explores Manchester with her family.

Northern Quarter

No city centre trip to Manchester is complete without a trip to the wonderfully eclectic Northern Quarter. A short walk from Piccadilly and tucked behind the main highstreet you’ll find loads of fantastic places to eat and independent shops. One of our favourites is the gift store Oklahoma, it is packed with brightly coloured, fun home wares and gift ideas. With so many places to eat you are bound to find something you fancy, from afternoon tea, to burgers and so much more. It’s a must if you want to get away from high street restaurant and fast food chains and try something a little different. If you're travelling by rail, the nearest train station is Manchester Piccadilly.


Manchester Art Gallery

We love a good gallery and museum, and my girls always judge them on how interactive they are. When they were met with a tool belt, hard hat and magnifying glass they knew they were on to a winner. Based just 10 minutes’ walk from Manchester Piccadilly Station it’s an ideal place to visit if you’ve caught the train in. It’s a beautiful gallery and we spent a couple of hours in there, browsing the collections and discovering art work we hadn’t seen before. I love their collection of Pre-Raphaelite paintings, whereas my husband preferred the photography exhibition. My youngest enjoyed using the interactive tool belt and puzzles, like matching a photo to where it was taken. If you're travelling by rail, the nearest train station is Manchester Oxford Road.


Yard and Coop

For lunch we tried out Yard and Coop, a speciality fried chicken joint. We loved the look of the restaurant with its fun barn yard feel! My eldest daughter is lactose intolerant which can make eating out a bit tricky at times, but a quick chat with the wait staff and they worked out what she could have and put together a meal just for her. The food was delicious and suited each of us down to the ground. We will definitely be stopping in there again on our next trip to Manchester. If you're travelling by rail, the nearest train station is Manchester Piccadilly.


Sugar Junction

Again based in the NQ, this tiny tea room is so beautiful. Sadly they had no cakes that were suitable for my eldest but they did make her a mean vegan hot chocolate with extra marshmallows. My youngest girl and I shared a hot brownie with ice cream and it was divine! This is a lovely place to stop into for a cup of tea and cake or even to sample their afternoon tea. If you want to make a special trip there then I suggest booking a table. It can get very busy, we came in off the street, so to speak, and had to wait 15 minutes for a table to be available. If you're travelling by rail, the nearest train station is Manchester Piccadilly.


Afflecks Palace

I can’t talk about the NQ without mentioning Afflecks Palace, the alternative department store full of independents. As a teen my friends and I would spend hours in this place, picking up vintage clothes, new jewellery and spending a fortune on beads in the bead store. Now as a thirty something I am so pleased that Afflecks is still going strong and that I can introduce my girls to it. They loved how different it was, from choosing handfuls of beads (the very same store that I went to!) to finding special My Little Pony figures there was lots to keep them busy! If you're travelling by rail, the nearest train station is Manchester Piccadilly.


By Morgana Loze-Doyle

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