Next up in our beta series is Roisin Joyce. Roisin is, naturally, a keen climber, and works for HOME, a popular and vibrant multi-arts centre right in the heart of Manchester which seems to be right at the top of everyone's ticklist. Here's her take on Manchester...
HEATON MERSEY, STOCKPORT
Rudy's Pizzeria, Ancoats: The best pizza in Manchester by far. Their pizza with Italian sausage and wild broccoli is amazing.
Coriander, Chorlton: Bangladeshi restaurant in Chorlton (about 10 mins drive from the Depot). The food is light and delicious, and the waiters are friendly. They do an amazing pumpkin curry.
The Beagle, Chorlton: Good food and drink, open all day at the weekends. Amazing breakfasts, good burgers, and a good vibe. Child-friendly too.
Don’t try and stay too close to the Depot because it’s in a HUGE industrial estate! The closest hotel is Hotel Football, but it is RIGHT NEXT to Old Trafford and a main road, so not the nicest spot! If you want to be in the city centre, head for the Northern Quarter where there are lots of accommodation options and really good food and drink and stuff to do. If you want to be out of the city centre and closer to the Depot, it would be worth looking at options in Salford, Old Trafford or Chorlton.
A POST WCS DRINK:
There aren’t many decent pubs that close to the Depot unfortunately. So I would usually head into Chorlton - the main road has lots of bars which are open late, as does Chorlton Green (bit more upmarket).
Trad: I’m just starting out in trad, so tend to go to the easier crags within striking distance of Manchester. Windgather and Castle Naze are great spots for beginners, as is Birchen, further east. Otherwise, it's Stanage all the way! (only about 1 hr/1 hr 15 from Manchester).
Bouldering: Wimberry is probably the closest decent area for bouldering – a boulder field below a crag, there is a good mix of grades, good landings and in a really nice peaceful spot. It’s out towards the Saddleworth Moors, and takes about 30 mins to get there from Manchester. On a sunny day, parking can be problematic (a lot of people go there to walk their dogs), so I would suggest getting down there earlier. If you’re lucky, there will be an ice-cream van! There are some interesting areas North of Manchester too – I like Brownstones and Black Stone Edge.
IN CASE OF WET WEATHER:
Manchester’s outdoors shops are all based along Deansgate in central Manchester - Cotswold in my view is the best of the bunch, they are really knowledgeable. There is also a big GoOutdoors in the Northern Quarter/Ancoats if you’re looking for some bargains. Personally, if it’s a rainy day and I want to get excited about gear, I drive to Outside in Hathersage, have a cup of tea and spend some time browsing!
Awesome Walls in Stockport. Set in an old factory, it has a 23.5 metre wall in the chimney, and a really great range of routes.
Place to get a brew:
Tea Hive, Chorlton: LOTS of fancy teas, and good breakfasts too. And good cake.
Manchester has a big independent coffee scene. Some good places to check out include Mancoco (a roasters with a small café attached) and Grindsmith with locations in Deansgate, Media City and a Pod in Greengate Square.
Jump Nation! Not far from the Depot is an enormous trampolining centre. They do big aerobics classes on trampolines for a couple of hundred people at a time. It is insane and really fun – worth trying out, even just once.
HOME – arthouse cinema, good bar and restaurant and good wifi (I work here so am biased, but it really is a fun place to be). Students get cheap tickets too.
If you missed our first guide, you can find it here, and keep an eye out for our other Manchester Beta guides coming later this week!