Although most famous for its football teams, Manchester United and Manchester City, there’s a lot more to the city than simply sports. While not as distinguished as other towns in the area historically, Manchester grew rapidly over the course of the Industrial Revolution, and so its identity is strongly rooted in a Victorian working-class ethic.
It’s the site of some of the most important political revolutions of British history, from its stalwart support for Parliament during the Civil War, to its tragic sacrifices for civic rights in the Waterloo Massacre, to its active involvement in the British labour movement.
If you’re taking your grandparents or an elderly client out to Manchester for a day or two, don’t overlook some of its most promising cultural centres and masterpieces.
Find your Muse at the Manchester Art Gallery
Nothing quite says culture like an art gallery, and the Manchester Art Gallery is no exception. It was built in 1826 as a repository for pieces being collected by the well-to-do population of the city. With a growing middle class eager to see fine works of art, the gallery began to host regular art exhibitions shortly after its establishment.
Today the gallery is free to enter every day of the week. It contains nearly 20,000 pieces that are available to be viewed by the public. Disabled parking is available, and the structure is fully accessible to wheelchairs and buggies. In addition, large-print and regularly hosted audio-descriptive guides are available for the seeing impaired.
Relax at the Shambles Square
The Shambles is an historic city square, famous for its pubs and preserved Tudor inns and formerly the sight for a butchers’ market. The word “shambles” comes from the old Middle English word schamel, which referred to tables on which butchers would display their meat.
After its restoration in 1999, the Shambles offer some of most timeless views in the city, as well as some fantastic historic pubs and high-class restaurants. Located right next to the train station, it’s a perfect first or final stop within the city, or a place to enjoy a hearty lunch.
Enjoy some music at the BBC Philharmonic
The BBC Philharmonic is one of the most famous and distinguished orchestras in the world, attracting acclaim from all corners. Whether it’s performing high-cultured classics, movie soundtracks, or more esoteric melodies, the BBC Philharmonic holds hundreds of concerts throughout the year. It also serves to support young talent in the North-West of England, working alongside the Salford City Council and the Royal Northern College of Music.
Tickets can be applied for on the BBC Philharmonics website, although naturally they are highly sought after. Don’t be too disappointed if you can’t immediately get tickets – there are plenty of concerts on the schedule.
Visit Manchester Town Hall
As one of the most iconic buildings within the city, and a fantastic example of Victorian neo-gothic architecture, the Manchester Town Hall is the centrepiece of the city. Constructed in 1877, it’s now one of the most important Grade-1-listed buildings in the country. It’s open for visitors, who are free to explore the centre of local government within Manchester, and see how democracy within the city had developed over the centuries.
As well as offering free entry, the Town Hall welcomes tens of thousands of guests each year, although certain parts may not be accessible to all. The stairs have been specially designed to be easy to use for fine Victorian ladies in elaborate dresses, which handily makes them easier for elderly visitors to use. Further, facilities are available for seeing and hearing-impaired guests.
Currently the town hall has restricted entry due to renovations taking place, however it plans to reopen in 2024.
Admire the architecture of Manchester Cathedral
Forming the spiritual heart of the city, Manchester Cathedral is one of the oldest buildings in the city, with its foundations first being laid sometime during the Roman occupation of Britain and lasting through the early middle ages. At the behest of the local baron, a church was constructed in 1421, which formed the core of today’s cathedral.
The Cathedral welcomes visitors from across the country and the world, and does its best to provide a welcoming atmosphere for all. Services are held frequently throughout the week, and those more interested in history than religion can take tours about the structure to see how the cathedral helped shape life in historic Manchester.
Due to the old structure of the cathedral, not all parts are accessible to visitors with mobility issues. There is a permanent ramp to the main entrance of the cathedral, and level access to the quire, the Cathedral nave, and the Fraser chapel. A hearing loop is provided in said nave, and some of the staff and volunteers have disability awareness training.
Admission is free, however the Cathedral recommends a donation of £4 to help maintain the structure and its activities.
Are you looking for home care in Manchester? At SuperCarers we can help you find the best solution, whether you need support only during the day or are looking for live-in care in Manchester. Give us a call on 020 8629 1030 to find out more about home care options near you.
You may also be interested in our top five things to do in Manchester.