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My Top 10 Favourite Snapshots of Manchester

When you live somewhere for any length of time, you can become somewhat ‘blinded’ to some of the many beautiful places in the nooks and crannies of your favourite hang outs. I’m no exception. As I gaze out the window right now, it’s raining and hard to imagine Manchester as anything other than wet and grey. But as I scroll through my Instagram account, I see colour, character and history coming through the pictures of one of my favourite places in the world, my home.

Manchester at times isn’t pretty, glamorous or cosmopolitan (especially on a rainy day like today) but it is a city that is completely honest and is like nowhere else in the UK which is why I love it so much. I’ve captured the following moments from my day-to-day adventures over the last few years, all on my iPhone as I’ve been passing by places. I hope you enjoy them and all want to come visit me in Manchester afterwards :)

1) Castlefield Canel, Manchester City Centre


It’s hard to believe that such a beautiful place exists only 15 minutes walk away from the main shopping centre but the Castlefield Canal has been here since day dot. It was the site of the Roman era fort of Mamucium (or ‘Mancunium’) which gave its name to Manchester. It was the terminus of the Bridgewater Canal, the world’s first industrial canal built in 1764, with the oldest canal warehouse opening in 1779. Remains of the Roman era fort can still be seen today but the main canal area now is a series of plush apartment blocks and trendy cocktail and wine bars. It’s also a 5 minute walk away from my house and it’s a lovely autumn evening walk.

2) Ashton-under-Lyne, Greater Manchester


I love this picture because we hardly every get snow in Manchester but on this particular day in January, the snow just kept falling and this urban park became a white wonderland. I liked the fact that because it was covered in a blanket of snow, it felt like I was somewhere completely different. It took me half an hour to walk from the station to work when normally it only takes me 15 minutes; then when I got into the office they declared it a snow day and sent everyone home! Best. Morning. Ever.

3) Albert Square, Manchester City Centre

Christmas Markets from Top of Town Hall6

Taken from the top of Manchester Town Hall, this picture gives a unique perspective of the annual Christmas Markets in Albert Square that not many people get to see. Every year Manchester’s famous ‘Big Santa’ (or ‘Zippy’ as he’s lovingly referred to) looks down on everyone from the Town Hall and illuminates all the market stalls at night. It’s really pretty and people come from all over the UK to go Christmas shopping as well as enjoy some festive food and Mulled Wine.

4) Salford Central Station, Salford

Salford Central Station3

This picture is a somewhat playful nod to Manchester’s rainy reputation! I was walking home from work during winter and I loved the way that the light from the traffic reflected off the insane puddles that the rain had caused.

5) Heaton Park, Manchester

Heaton Park4

Heaton Park is the exception to the rule when it comes to greenery in Manchester. A short 15 minute tram journey from Manchester City Centre, Heaton Park is 600 acres of beautiful park grounds. It’s also home to a Grade I listed, neoclassical 18th century country house, which is where this picture was taken. I loved the way the sun was setting over the autumn trees, it’s one of my favourite pictures of the park.

6) Manchester Town Hall, Manchester City Centre

Worker Bee9

The worker bee was adopted as a motif for Manchester during the Industrial Revolution, at a time when Manchester was taking a leading role in new forms of mass production. Seven bees are included in the crest of the city’s arms which denotes Mancunians’ hard work during this era and is a metaphor for Manchester being a ‘hive’ of activity in the 19th century. The significance of the bee is something that the people of Manchester may not even know about but they are scattered all over Manchester within the architecture like hidden Mickey’s at Disneyland! This one is part of the floor tiling in the Town Hall that has been there since the early 1800s.

7) Market Street, Manchester City Centre

Smile Manchester2

There are several artists and performers that try and make a ‘quick quid’ down Manchester’s main shopping street but this sand monkey really did make me smile! It must of taken the artist a couple of hours at least to do and I certainly appreciated the gesture on a slow work day :)

8) Northern Quarter, Manchester City Centre

Northern Quarter10

The Northern Quarter is the sort of ‘hippy’ area of Manchester where you’ll find quirky boutiques, independent restaurants and a variety of trendy cocktail bars. It’s jam packed full of artists and musicians so it’s an inspiring place to sit and watch the world go by within the city. There is expressive graffiti on every corner telling different stories, this particular picture was of Edward Snowden which is one of the most well known muriel’s in the Northern Quarter.

9) St Anne’s Square, Manchester City Centre

St Anne's Square7

I took this a few years ago when I’d just discovered Instagram and after throwing a black and white filter over it, the smiley face really popped. The boulder I passed everyday on my way to work was normally dirty but after a night of rain someone had drawn a smiley face into the dirty rain water covering it to make it look like a smiley. They probably didn’t even realise the cool effect it made!

10) River Irwell Bridge, Salford

Spinningfield Bridge5

…and finally, number 10 and my absolute favourite. I was coming over the bridge (right in front of where picture number 4 was taken) and the sky was just on fire! What I love best about this picture is that it hasn’t been changed at all, there is no filter or photoshop, this is what the sky genuinely looked like and it was amazing. It completely caught me by surprise and is still to this day the most stunning sunset I have ever seen.

I think odd and unconnected pictures like this really show the different sides of a place, what do you think? If you fancy checking out more of my photos of Manchester why not follow me on Instagram? :)

Mel x

About the author

Hi, I’m Mel! The adventure-seeking vegan travel blogger behind Footsteps on the Globe. On this blog you'll find my latest adventures, travel inspiration as well as tips and tricks on how to be vegan around the world. You don’t have to give up being vegan to follow your travel dreams and I’m here to show you how!