Thursday, November 4, 2010

Manchester ... look what I missed!

I'd lived near Manchester for over thirty years, yet had never been inside the town hall.  Sure, I've seen the outside ... the grand old building you see in the first image in the post.  I'd even sat in the square outside the town hall, but I'd never actually walked through the doors and into the building to see the treasures inside ... and let me tell you, visual treasures aplenty are inside Manchester's town hall.

The exterior is impressive anyway, and it's well worth looking at the statues and carvings on the exterior prior to entering the building, but once inside ... well ... the idea of a bland and bleak building is soon shattered as you walk down gloriously high vaulted ceiling passage ways and admire the colours, paintings, tapestries and mosaics.  I was amazed with what I saw on the visit and so disappointed that whilst living in the Manchester area I'd never taken the trouble to step inside this wonderful treasure of a building.  It makes you question just how many other people are unaware of just what there is around them.

 Visiting England now as a tourist makes things that were once familiar seem special.  The very efficient and regular light rail service, the impressive Salford Quays, the historic areas of Ordsall Hall as well the excellent shops, museums and galleries.

Impressed with the place?  You bet.  Take a ride up to the top of the Hilton at the end of Deansgate to get a view over the city whilst enjoying a coffee ... 23 floors high affords great views.  Haha!  Take your binoculars and you may even catch some of the Coronation Street stars strutting their stuff outside the Rovers Return ;-)

I'll close this post with a couple more images from inside the town hall.  If you're in Manchester ... or close to it I strongly encourage you to visit ... you won't be disappointed.  Let me know what you think, and give me some tips of other places I may have missed and should visit on my next trip back to the UK.

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