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Manchester, U.K. Travel Guide

Chinatown in Manchester

Manchester, United Kingdom was not part of the original travel plans when my hubby and I decided to go travel around Spain.  We take layovers depending where the travel points take us which is what brought us to Manchester.  (*let me know if anyone is interested in my husband doing a post all about travel points*)  We had a jet lagged but busy 36 hour layover in this industrial city where we did a ton of exploring.  I was shocked by all the allergy friendly options available in all of the cafes.  Milk choices were much more than the typical soy and regular cows milk that we have in the U.S. Instead there were a plethora of options like homemade oat, coconut, soy and almond milk.  A FODMAPPERs dream!

But seriously, love Manchester

But seriously, love Manchester

Stay:

We stayed at Light ApartHotel which is right off of the very popular Northern Quarter, a super hipster and funky part of Manchester.  The rooms were large with a full kitchen, separate bathroom outside of the bedroom (which I love) and a living room with a great view looking over the city.  The staff was okay, not the most hospitable but for $100 it was perfectly fine.View from our hotel

View from our hotel

Do:

  • Explore the Northern Quarter where you will stumble upon quaint coffee shops, vintage clothing stores, record stores and live music venues.
  • Don’t miss out on seeing the cathedral and town hall.  We stumbled upon live music and a food festival when we were in town as well as a couple getting married outside of the steps of the cathedral.
  • Piccadilly Records – one of the most renown independent record stores in Manchester.  A fun store to walk around and explore new artists.
  • The John Rylands Library – The architecture is absolutely stunning and is still an active library with over 200,000 books including a huge collection of first editions.  Admission is free and the gift shop is beautiful!
Picadilly Records, Manchester

Picadilly Records, Manchester

Inside the John Rylands Library

Inside the John Rylands Library

Inside the John Rylands Library

Inside the John Rylands Library

Manchester Town Hall

Manchester Town Hall

Eat:

  • Chinatown wraps blocks around the city and is comprised of restaurants, markets and bakeries with a beautiful gate welcoming you into the center.  I wanted to try Yuzu, a Japanese restaurant but they were closed on Monday so instead we ate delicious pho restaurant that we stumbled upon.
  • Takk – A hipster coffee shop located in the Northern Quarter.  Perfect place to people watch while eating a delicious and healthy meal.
  • Fig + Sparrow – This adorable cafe/gift store is the perfect place for a healthy bite to eat for breakfast or lunch.  I loved this place so much I came back for a gluten free dark chocolate & orange brownie as well as a salad to bring for the plane.
  • Thaikhun – delicious Thai food we ordered takeout from.  The pad thai and sticky rice were some of the best I’ve had.  The perfect amount of sweetness.
Delicious Pho in Chinatown

Delicious Pho in Chinatown

Takk Coffee Shop: coconut yogurt and gluten free granola with coffee

Takk Coffee Shop: coconut yogurt and gluten free granola with coffee

Takk Coffee Shop: scrambled eggs over sourdough bread

Takk Coffee Shop: scrambled eggs over sourdough bread

Fig + Sparrow-adorable cafe & gift shop

Fig + Sparrow-adorable cafe & gift shop

Fig + Sparrow: carb loading: gluten free granola with almond milk & sourdough toast

Fig + Sparrow: carb loading: gluten free granola with almond milk & sourdough toast

Thaikhun: Pad Thai Takeout

Thaikhun: Pad Thai Takeout

Seeing Hugh Grant in Manchester even with major jet lag and no sleep was MAJOR!  We saw a camera crew and after a few minutes Hugh Grant came outside and walked to his car.  Love his smile!

Hugh Grant Sighting!!

Hugh Grant Sighting!!

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