How to Make the Most of Your Manchester Layover

The Waterside Hotel is perfectly situated just a 30-minute train ride or a 10-minute car journey Manchester Airport, making it the ideal hotel for a layover either side of your holiday. Layovers can be really dull; you’re in a city you don’t know, just waiting to move on to somewhere hot and glamorous. Well, that doesn’t have to be the case! Not only does the Waterside make the perfect Manchester Airport Hotel, it is only a stone’s throw away from the hustle and bustle of central Manchester. So don’t wallow in your layover- make the most of it! We’ve suggested a little route that you could take for a day trip into Manchester that will keep you busy on your day in the city…

The first stop on your Manchester adventure is going to be Fletcher Moss Park and Parsonage Gardens, which is just a 7-minute drive from the Waterside Hotel. There are three delightful and distinct areas of this established park;

  1. Fletcher Moss Park and the Botanical Gardens
  2. Parsonage Gardens
  3. The Nature Reserve of Stenner Woods, Millgate Fields and the River Mersey

We’d recommend taking a leisurely stroll through the botanical and parsonage gardens and take in the interesting planting and wildlife before hopping in the car and heading off to…

… Levenshulme Market, just 14 minutes down the road. The market takes place every Saturday from March-December, so if you find yourself in Manchester on another day of the week, just skip this pit stop. But if you are in Manchester on a Saturday, lucky you! Levenshulme Market is a community run event that invests in a diverse range of artisan producers and makers. It’s the perfect place to find high-quality local produce, street food, plants, gifts, vintage clothing, homeware and more! Once you’ve had a gander at the amazing things on offer at the Levy Market, it’s time to jump back in the car and make the 20-minute drive to Castlefield Urban Heritage Park.

Not a park in the traditional sense, but lovely just the same, Castlefield Urban Heritage Park is possibly the most tranquil part of the city. It is the ancient heart of Manchester where the Romans first settled and is home to the canals and cobbles (now protected) synonymous with the old city. It’s the perfect spot to sit back, relax and have a spot of lunch. Either on the handy picnic benches or at one of the many surrounding cafes and restaurants.

Also found in this delightful area of the city, and home to the aforementioned picnic benches, is the Museum of Science and Industry. Here, with free entry, you can explore Britain’s industrial history with numerous interactive and interesting exhibits. After filling your head with scientific knowledge, why not continue the academic feel and take the short 10-minute walk to the John Rylands Library.

The library belongs to the University of Manchester and is an absolutely stunning building. The breath-taking gothic library was designed in 1889 by architect Basil Champneys, but was so complex in design that it was not completed until 1900. Even if books aren’t your thing, the architecture of the library is absolutely incredible. Keep your eyes peeled for sweeping staircases and stained glass windows. Then it’s an 11-minute stroll to your next stop…

Manchester is home to the National Football Museum, a fantastic opportunity to learn all about the history of the game. The National Football Museum “exists to explain how and why football has become ‘the people’s game’, a key part of England’s heritage and way of life”. Wandering around the museum, you will be able to see such wonders as the match ball form the 1930 World Cup; Picasso’s ‘Footballeur’ sculpture; Diego Maradona’s 1986 Argentina shirt; and much more!

You can then make the leisurely 8-minute walk to the Manchester Craft and Design Centre. Described as a “hidden gem” in the heart of Manchester’s thriving Northern Quarter, this is the place to be for quirky, beautifully crafted gifts and bits and bobs. There are 18 studios that play host to some of the region’s most talented artists, designers and makers creating textiles, jewellery, ceramics, prints, fine art, sculpture and more.

Phew! That’s a pretty chock-a-block day, and that’s only a tiny fraction of what Manchester has to offer. Luckily it’s only a 25-minute drive from the centre of Manchester back to the Waterside Hotel. As you can see, a layover before or after your flight doesn’t have to be boring, and the Waterside’s close proximity to Manchester Airport means that you’re never more than a few minutes away from something fun to do. The Waterside Hotel makes the perfect pit stop on your way to or from somewhere exotic, so book direct for our best guaranteed rates, or call us today on 0161 971 7000 to enquire.