World-class art displays, stirring wartime exhibitions and boat cruises on the Manchester Ship Canal among highlights
Whether you’re looking for an action-packed day out with the family or a cultural weekend retreat, Manchester’s stunning waterfront destination The Quays has plenty to offer this autumn.
Visitors will find everything from art and history to shopping and watersports, with the digital hub of MediaCityUK, home to BBC and ITV North, also on the doorstep. Housed within one square mile, all of its attractions are within easy walking distance, making it easy to discover some of the UK’s most spectacular attractions.
Imperial War Museum North’s autumn-winter exhibition ‘Mixing It’ explores the changing faces of wartime Britain through a poignant collection of specially recorded oral histories, presented alongside archive material. The must-see show reveals the forgotten histories of service personnel and civilians who came to Britain during the Second World War – a time when the national and ethnic diversity of the population was unprecedented. Families visiting over October half term will have the chance to join in with storytelling, object handling and dramatic performances.
At The Lowry, a spectacular waterside venue housing theatres and galleries, as well as a café, bar and restaurant, visitors can enjoy the very best in performance and visual art. Three theatre spaces offer everything from big West End shows and contemporary dance to comedy gigs and family shows. Highlights for autumn include Olivier Award-winning production, The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night Time (17-21 November), and straight from the West End, family hit Dinosaur Zoo, which brings awesome prehistoric creatures to life as you’ve never seen them before.
In the galleries, visitors will find the world’s largest collection of paintings and drawings by LS Lowry. Contemporary art exhibitions include ‘ExtraORDINARY’, which explores how artists have been turning everyday objects into incredible works of art over the past 100 years (open until 18 October). Opening 14 November is new show ‘Right Here, Right Now’, a collection of digitally-influenced work which seeks to challenge perceptions of what art can be.
Head to the Lowry Outlet’s Waterside Food & Craft Market on the weekend of 10 and 11 October, where in its open air Plaza you’ll find everything from artisan breads, handmade chocolates and local cheeses to award-winning sausages and traditional ales. There’s also an abundance of craft stalls selling handmade gifts, homewares and jewellery. Inside the Outlet are stores including Molton Brown, Yankee Candle, The Body Shop and Gap, all with up to 70% off RRP.
Visitors can also enjoy an autumn boat trip along Manchester’s ship canal and explore the city’s stunning architecture and scenery with City Centre Cruises. Sunday Lunch cruises run until 15 November, with special Afternoon Tea cruises sailing on 20 September and 18 October.
Those looking to make a weekend of it can stay overnight at one of the top-quality hotels in the area, including The Old Trafford Lodge at Emirates Old Trafford, home of Lancashire County Cricket Club, and the Copthorne Hotel Manchester, which has a range of special offers including its ‘My Break’ bespoke stay package – book a two night stay with breakfast and take your pick from a selection of treats and extras, including champagne, chocolates, flowers and an evening meal.
New to the area is Hotel Football, the world’s first football hotel, located on the doorstep Manchester United’s OId Trafford stadium. Offering match day hospitality and a rooftop football pitch, the four-star 133-bedroom hotel is the go-to destination for fans, families and tourists.
For more information on these events, visit www.thequays.org.uk
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About The Quays
The Quays is Greater Manchester’s stunning waterfront destination and is home to some of the most spectacular attractions and iconic buildings in the UK. Within just one square mile visitors will find culture, history, heritage and sport interwoven throughout our venues; The Lowry, IWM North, part of Imperial War Museums, Mersey Ferries, Emirates Old Trafford, home of Lancashire County Cricket Club, and City Centre Cruises. And affordable & relaxing shopping experience is on offer at the Lowry Outlet Shopping Centre as well as a range of accommodation provided by Hotel Football, The Old Trafford Lodge and The Copthorne Manchester.
Over 7 million people visit The Quays every year – making it one of the most popular destinations in the North West (and even more visited than then British Museum in London) and it generates a staggering £187M to the local economy annually.
MediaCityUK – developed by The Peel Group – is the home for the BBC, ITV, Coronation Street, the University of Salford and more than 60 commercial businesses. Located at Salford Quays on the banks of Manchester ship canal, MediaCityUK has been designed around the specific needs of the media and creative industries. This bespoke community features one of the biggest HD studio complexes in Europe; commercial offices; 378 apartments; a brand new hotel and a spectacular waterfront public piazza.
The Quays Marketing Partnership promotes The Quays as a tourism destination. Its membership is comprised of the leisure and business venues from across The Quays highlighted above, Salford & Trafford Councils and the Manchester Tourist Board/Marketing Manchester.
The Quays: www.quays.org.uk
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