The other week one of my longest best pals and I decided to go on a spontaneous trip to Manchester. We came up with the idea at the start of the month and initially said we would go for two nights, and three full days. That said, I figured that wouldn’t work well with me in terms of my job, as I didn’t want to put it as a ‘holiday’ and so decided to just work with my two days off.
Hazel found a great deal on Expedia.com when we’d figured our idea of a plan, and we got return flights from Dublin to Manchester and one night at the Holiday Inn Express (with breakfast included) for €90 each.
We got the airport bus up to Dublin from Limerick early Thursday morning. Eireagle charged us €30 each for a return bus. I had never used the Eireagle company prior to this, and if I’m being brutally honest I wouldn’t be running back to them either. Though, €30 is still an amazing price I’m almost certain that the Dublin Bus is a bit cheaper.
I found the seats on the bus lacked any type of comfort. Being up the walls working for 8 days straight leading up to going away, and also working two super long shifts the day we returned I did want to try and steal all the sleep possible but woke up in a lot of pain from the chairs. Lastly, Eireagle doesn’t run very regularly. There was a bus departing Dublin at 10pm, and the next one wasn’t until 12.30pm, so we had to wait an hour and a half for the bus, as we had come into Dublin by 11pm. Though the time didn’t exactly drag waiting it would’ve been nicer to get home that bit earlier. Again, I can almost swear that Dublin Bus run hourly through the night.
As I said we flew from Dublin; our flight was at 7am on the Thursday, and we were in Manchester Airport, and off the plane by 8am. We were going to get an Uber from the airport to the city centre, but then figured we should chance trying to navigate our own way in through public transport- and that we did. It wasn’t much more than £5 for a train ticket to reasonably close to the city centre. We figured though check-in wasn’t until noon we would get to the hotel and simply explore the area around there.
Our first stop was Greggs- neither of us had ever been and so it was inevitable. I honestly think I’m obsessed with Greggs now. I got a bacon and sausage roll and coffee for not much more than two pound fifty, and they were delicious.
From there we browsed around, and accidentally stumbled across Primark, so went in to check out the infamous Friends themed café in the store. The Friends café is AMAZING. We were both in absolute awe. I was surprised that we got in straight away, though not long after there was a queue forming. I guess the early bird really does catch the worm!
We chilled at Picadilly Gardens, and browsed through some of the Supermarkets in search of the Kopparberg Gin we’d read so much online about. We also popped down to Oldham Street and visited the Affleck Centre to spy out some cool vintage pieces.
As it happened we’d actually went to the wrong hotel, and didn’t realize until we were at the desk asking to check in. Bit embarrassing but at least we weren’t too far away from the right hotel.
After checking in, we went for a power nap and then got ourselves sorted for our night out in Manchester. We had initially planned on going to the Junkyard Golfclub but decided to leave that until Friday.
We had dinner at the Foundry, also known as the happiest place in Manchester. Though the waiter did tell us the Foundry was more of a premium spot, and therefore a little pricier I found the pricing of dinner to not be too bad at all! There was a two for one deal on pizzas- entitling us to two pizzas for £10! We also started the evening as we meant to go on and ordered some fantastic cocktails to accompany dinner. The staff in the Foundry were so lovely and were very helpful when they realized we weren’t local giving us recommendations of cheap, student-friendly places to visit.
From the Foundry we went to the Cane & Grain, which was a pub had been recommended by the staff in the Foundry, we didn’t stay long but long enough to soak up the amazing underground-esque feel of the venue (even though it wasn’t underground). There was a beer garden and inside the door there was a bin of blankets and ponchos free to use out in the beer garden which I thought was a really cool touch.
Turtle Bay was our next stop, located on Oxford Street. The inside interior was so cool, fairly lights and LED lights and the whole works. Happy Hour was still running, so we availed and got two rum punches for the price of one. The upstairs area of Turtle Bay was complete with games such as Connect 4 as well as foosball.
We were home early enough, following an unsuccessful trip to Archies.
Second and last day of our little trip started off with an amazing breakfast at the hotel, I can’t believe we got breakfast included for the ridiculously cheap price we paid for the trip, and the breakfast was so yummy also. Really set us up for the day ahead.
Check-out was at 11, and we decided we’d go to the Junkyard Golf Club in Deansgate to start our day off. We actually stopped at the wonderful Manchester Museum, which we stumbled across by chance. I love museums and galleries, and this was no exception.
Junkyard Golf was the best experience- it was so much fun! Neither of us had a clue how to play golf, so we just made up our own rules for the sake of the game! The cocktails in the Junkyard Golf Club was a major thing that had pulled us into wanting to go there, and so we got some amazing cocktails also. I ordered the Fairway to Heaven first, and it was amazing.
From the Junkyard Golf Club we further explored Deansgate, we made an attempt at going to Cloud23, but after some thought and consideration realized that Cloud23 was alot fancier than we’d anticipated so squashed that idea.
After some wandering around we figured it was lunch/ dinner time and found a fabulous place on maps called Revolution. The lunch deal was one of the mains and a drink for less than £7 and as well as that it was Happy Hour, so two cocktails for the price of one.
After dinner we further explored Manchester Centre, we chilled in Picadilly Gardens for awhile. The weather was fabulous and there was a great atmosphere around also, as the place was so busy, and there was also a busker known as Manchester Drummer; he was amazing.
Even though it was such a short trip it was still so amazing, and such a nice catch-up with Hazel!