If your tastes are a bit more eclectic and you fancy visiting more unusual attractions in Manchester, then check out our Top 5 quirky locations to visit:
The Outhouse – once a public toilet and a real eyesore, the Outhouse in Manchester’s Northern Quarter is now a vibrant street art gallery. In 2010 two forward-thinking local artists, Ben Harrison and Tasha Whittle came up with the innovative idea of transforming the water closets into an urban art space. Every three months, new artists are invited to decorate the site with large scale artworks. To add to the community feel of the art project, local businesses donate art supplies and food and drink to the artists while they work!
Godlee Observatory – fancy a bit of star gazing? Then get yourself to the University of Manchester and check out Godlee Observatory, a tiny, historic observatory made only from wood and papier-mache. Donated to the university in the early 20th century by cotton baron Francis Godlee, this highly unusual observatory consists of an octagonal room that leads to a very ornate spiral staircase which gets you to the tiny observational dome which is made of papier-mache and houses a reflective telescope similar to the type that Sir Isaac Newton would have used.
Chetham’s Library – any visit to Manchester should include the wonderful John Rylands Library but remember to pay Chetham’s Library a visit as well. Steeped in history, Chetham’s Library was first established in 1653 and is famous for playing host to Karl Marx while he developed his economic philosophies with Friedrich Engels. Over 60,000 of the books date back to the early 1800s and some are even chained to the bookcases. If you’re looking for historic atmosphere and authenticity, this library is a must.
A monument to Vimto – yes that’s right, Vimto the drink. This very British monument marks the site where Vimto was invented back in 1908. Consisting of an over-sized Vimto bottle in a display featuring mock fruits and herbs this is one of the more unusual monuments you will witness. Frequently visited by loyal Vimto drinkers, this monument now sits on a college campus and is proudly protected by the students.
Alan Turing Memorial – another monument of a sort but this time to the extraordinary Alan Turing. Often referred to as the founder of modern computing, Alan Turing was a mathematician, cryptographer, computer scientist, visionary thinker and the genius behind cracking the Enigma Code and playing a huge part in the winning of the second world war. The bronze statue of Alan Turing adorns a public park bench in Manchester’s Sackville Park and is a moving tribute to the man’s troubled past and recognized genius.
Next time you’re in Manchester, step away from the well beaten track and explore these little gems.