I’m just back from Manchester, where I enjoyed a weekend hanging out in the real world with fellow travel bloggers at Travel Blogger’s Unite. I’ll be telling you what I got up to very soon but in the meantime I wanted to share some pictures from a previous visit, when I explored Manchester’s creative side as a guest of Creative Tourist, the online guide to all things artistic and creative in the city. These were my impressions of Manchester from that visit;
Manchester doesn’t do picturesque, it does a gritty industrial landscape that is full of canals, warehouses and cranes. Manchester made it’s money from mills and making things and now things have come full circle as those canals and warehouses that fell in to decline have been renovated and reinvented as smart apartments and areas for leisure. You’ll see this clearly if you take the metro line out to Salford Quays where we enjoyed visits to the Lowry Arts Centre and the Imperial War Museum that sit on opposite sides of the Manchester Ship Canal, linked by a metal bridge that rises from time to time to let the ships through.
LS Lowry at The Lowry Centre
It’s not every artist that has an arts centre named after him, and although you may not know much about LS Lowry, you’ll almost certainly have seen his pictures of matchstick figures hurrying with their collars turned up against the wind, on their way to the factory with smoke billowing from chimneys or hurrying to the football match. Lowry painted what he saw on the streets of Manchester and his work is on show at The Lowry Centre in Salford Quays.
Manchester’s Creative side
Manchester may be better known for football, nightlife and shopping, but we took the opportunity to explore some of the many free museums that are on offer in the city. At the Imperial War Museum we saw the thought provoking black and white war photography by Don McCullin at the Shaped by War exhibition and listened to the voices of children at war in the audio-visual presentation in the main exhibition hall.
At the Museum of Science and Industry or MOSI, we were able to press our noses up to the Mona Lisa without the usual crowds in the Louvre, including the unframed back view of the masterpiece with nail holes and scribbles from past curators. Of course, she wasn’t the real thing, but an extremely detailed photographic copy taken with a special camera that reacreated every tiny detail. Both of these exhibitions have moved on, but you’ll be sure to find other exhibitions to enjoy and plenty of information on the latest artistic happenings on the Creative Tourist Website.
Street art and Vintage in the Northern Quarter
The Travel Bloggers Unite Conference was being held in the Northern Quarter which is a real antedote to the sleek, modern designer labels that thrive in the Arndale Centre. Here you’ll find a street vibe of clubs, cafes, and vintage fashion peppered with street art like these tiled cars that we spotted down a side alley. It’s a great place for wandering around, checking out the most interesting and original that Manchester’s artistic community can come up with.
More Manchester memories
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