I was brought up in a small town just outside of Bath. I was surrounded by beautiful country side and the weather was pretty reliable, but I always felt like nothing ever happened!
So after I finished University, I had the opportunity to apply for a job in the heart of Manchester. It didn’t take me very long to say yes, ace the interview and accept the job offer!
I’ve been living in the city centre for over two years now and although I’m still a southerner at heart, there are a few things I’ve learned while living here.
1. There is so much to do in Manchester!
Unlike in Bath – where your options are pretty much a few clubs, a cinema and the Roman Baths – Manchester always has something to offer. Whether its Pride weekend, a food festival, or just a group of buskers in Piccadilly Gardens, you’re sure to forget what boredom feels like.
For example, last weekend I visited the only Cat Café in Manchester. It’s exactly as it sounds, a café full of moggies and kittens to make you feel better about the fact that your landlord refuses to let you adopt an animal. I had such a good time, and its brilliant to know what whatever the weather, you can always find something to do on a weekend in Manchester.
2. It rains here. All. The. Time.
When I moved up North, I didn’t realise that I’d spend the majority of my time with an umbrella glued to my hand, constantly checking the Met Office to see if I was going to get soaked on the way home. Thanks to the weather here, I’ve learned that you should carry sunglasses AND an umbrella at the same time, always check the weather before you leave the house, and don’t wear canvas shoes if the sky looks at all grey!
The upside to the weather, however, is that everything in the North is green. The Lake District, the Pennines, even Tatton Park wouldn’t be as beautiful without the rain.
3. You can have a great time in a city on a budget.
The first thing people said when I told them I was moving to the city was ‘oh my gosh, how can you afford that?!’. While at first things can seem a little expensive, there in plenty to do in Manchester when your two days away from pay day.
For example, the Manchester Museum is full of Egyptian displays, history lessons and even a Dinosaur skeleton, all for free. If you’ve got a car you can drive out to Tatton Park for the day, which has a huge kids play park, a petting farm, an enormous BBQ patch and a gorgeous manor house. It’s just six pound per car, and you could easily spend all day there!
4. You have to pick a side
In Manchester, the greatest thing (apart from the city’s contribution to music) is football. I’ve been a Man City fan since I met my other half, four years ago, but even if you know nothing about football you can get involved.
On Derby day, the city is awash with blue and red shirts and the pubs are busier than Krispy Kreme when the free doughnut stunt is on. It’s great to get involved with the local rivalry – it makes me feel like I’ve been a Mancunian my whole life!
5. Everyone is lovely!
As I said before, I’m a southerner originally. Down South, we’re famous for being a big hurry all the time and, unfortunately, for being a little bit rude. When I used to live near Bath, people were nice, but it’s nothing like it is up North.
In Manchester, the local postie always wishes me a good day, the man who leaves my apartment block at the same time always holds the door for me, and if you say thank you to someone they don’t stare at you like you’ve gone mad!
Manchester has so much to offer, especially for a young professional like me. It has just the right balance of urban and rural scenery, and the people are some of the nicest I’ve ever met.
Have you ever been to Manchester? What did you think? Let us know about your experiences in the Capital of the North in the comments below!