The Quays will play host to a number of must-see events and attractions this summer, including the launch of Quays Festival, featuring international artists Umbrellium with Mini Burble; a fascinating new exhibition in partnership with Horrible Histories and an art co-commission, involving Mersey Ferries, by one of the major figures of British pop art. There will also be acclaimed theatre productions, a host of cricket fixtures, monthly artisan food and craft markets and the ‘dock to dock’ Great Manchester Swim.
The Quays is Greater Manchester’s stunning waterfront destination and home to some of the most spectacular attractions and iconic buildings in the UK. It’s one of the Northwest’s best cultural, sporting and leisure destinations, where you’ll discover a whole host of exciting places and activities to see and do. Housed within one square mile, all of its attractions are within easy walking distance, making it the ideal location for a day out or weekend break. The Quays is a one-stop destination for entertainment, dining out, arts, culture and shopping!
Experience the award-winning IWM North, part of Imperial War Museums, with its range of compelling exhibitions, tours and family activities. On July 11, a major new exhibition launches in partnership with Horrible Histories. Blitzed Brits, is a FREE entry exhibition, which marks the 75th anniversary of the Blitz during the Second World War, visitors can discover how people lived through one of the most challenging times in British history. Objects, photographs, art, film and sound recordings reveal personal stories – some on display for the first time – from IWM’s unrivalled collections, narrated with the words of Horrible Histories author Terry Deary and new animations by illustrator Martin Brown and packed with horrible activities. During the summer holidays families can join in with storytelling, object handling, dramatic performances and creative activities.
This summer, Mersey Ferries will be part of an exciting new art co-commission. Liverpool Biennial, 14-18 NOW WW1 Centenary Art Commissions and Tate Liverpool have commissioned one of the major figures of British pop art, Sir Peter Blake, to ‘dazzle’ a Mersey Ferry in partnership with Merseytravel and National Museums Liverpool. This is the third in the series of Dazzle Ship commissions; Sir Peter’s design entitled Everybody Razzle Dazzle will cover the Mersey Ferry Snowdrop, surrounding the passenger vessel with a distinctive pattern that can be seen for the next two years. Mersey Ferries offer a fascinating six-hour trip where you will travel along the canal to Liverpool enjoying spectacular scenery and lively commentary along the way. At the end of the cruise you are returned to your point of departure by a dedicated coach transfer.
Quays Culture launch Quays Festival, from July 14-18, featuring international artists Umbrellium; a world-class, UK-based group of talent, fresh from the Barbican’s Digital Revolution exhibition and the annual Nuit Blanche event in Paris 2014. Umbrellium bring their unique brand of innovation and mass-public art experiences to The Quays with their latest technology incarnation of Mini Burble – a seven-story high, shape-shifting digital sculpture that uses the latest LED technology alongside traditional scientific structures. Over the five days, The Quays will be animated by this immense structure, which rises up twice daily. There will also be mass-dance hip hop participation performance, which will be choreographed by uber cool London-based dance organisation Boy Blue, who were involved in the 2012 Olympics Opening Ceremony and have created work for popular musical artists. To launch the festival the Honour Choir will be performing on July 14; bringing together hundreds of Greater Manchester residents for the return of last year’s legacy project on the waterfront.
A spectacular waterside venue housing theatres, galleries, a restaurant, cafe and bar, The Lowry offers visitors the chance to enjoy the very best in visual art and performance. And this season is no exception as this summer the critically acclaimed production Wicked is flying to the stage from June 3 – July 25. This magical production, winner of 100 international awards, is the re-imagining of the characters created by L.Frank Baum in The Wonderful Wizard of Oz and tells the tale of a profound friendship between two sorcery students. It’s sure to leave audiences, both young and old, spellbound.
The Lowry Outlet’s family-friendly, monthly Waterside Food & Craft Market will transform The Quays into a bustling market place. Spanning the Lowry Outlet’s Plaza, the open-air market will host over 30 stalls offering the finest seasonal produce and handmade gifts from around the county and further afield. Over the summer the market will run on June 13-14, July 11-12 and August 15-16.
Set sail, as visitors can take a boat ride along Manchester’s historic ship canal and explore the city’s stunning scenery with City Centre Cruises, which offer a range of cruise attractions, including a Sunday Lunch Cruise that can be booked now and throughout the summer months. City Centre Cruises also offer match-day cruises to and from Manchester United Football ground.
For sports lovers, the Great Manchester Swim will make a splash in the area, on July 4, with its unique ‘dock to dock’ course. Taking place in the open water, the course begins in Dock 9 near The Lowry and MediaCityUK, crosses Mariner’s Canal and finishes one mile away at Dock 8 beside Helly Hansen Watersports Centre. What’s more, the iconic Salford Triathlon is back on July 26, where triathletes of all abilities race on fast, flat courses around the MediaCityUK.
Emirates Old Trafford will play host to a series of LCCC fixtures over the summer months, plus the NatWest International T20 (June 23), which will see England take on New Zealand. Not only the home of cricket, Emirates Old Trafford is an award winning events venue, licensed for weddings and civil partnerships. With five suites to choose from, all boasting awe-inspiring panoramic pitch views, and the capacity to cater for 30 to 1,200, the venue offers a unique setting to make your special day one to remember.
With too much to see for just a day trip, take the opportunity to rest your head at one of the top-quality, yet affordable 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 and packages available to suit, 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, to create a break that’s tailored to you! Extras include champagne, chocolates, flowers and dinner! And new to the area is Hotel Football, the world’s first football hotel, located opposite 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, business users and tourists. Over summer there is special offers to be had at the hotel’s rooftop pitch, Heaven; guests can enjoy nibbles and Prosecco from £25 per person.