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Five Places to Hide From the Rain in Manchester

Home > Manchester > Art | Indoor | Lists | Rainy Day
by Rachael McIntyre (subscribe)
I'm a freelance writer working in Manchester.
Published April 1st 2017
Because sometimes you just don't want to get wet
Yes, it rains a lot in Manchester – it's no hidden secret. It rains so much that we have several words for the wet stuff, and to be honest, someone should come up with some more. Drizzle is the constant fine rain that seems to fall from the clouds that are always floating over our fabulous city. A shower is a quick heavy burst of rain which finishes almost as soon as its stops, whereas if it's considered to be "chucking it down," you probably need to run for cover.

It's safe to say, Mancunians are well versed in rain. Most rain we can handle; the brollies will come out, and we'll happily carry on our way. However, when it's that awful torrential downpour, combined with wind that leads to umbrella's being blown inside out, sometimes even the bravest of us need to admit defeat. If you're a visitor to our fair city, you might not be quite prepared to get so wet. So if you find yourself caught short in Manchester, here are the best places to duck inside and stay dry –you'll probably be glad you did too!


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Explore the interior of the Royal Exchange



The Royal Exchange, St Ann's Square

This splendid building has a wonderful history. Once used as an exchange to trade the price of cotton, this stunning theatre was destroyed in the I.R.A. bomb back in 1996 and temporarily relocated whilst it was lovingly put back together again. It now stands as proud as ever, and is one of the must-see buildings in Manchester.

If you visit the Royal Exchange when there is no show on, it can be a very peaceful place to visit, and it provides the perfect opportunity to admire the interior. There's a cafe and a craft shop selling all kinds of lovely gift ideas and cards which are both open daily. So have a mooch, then grab a coffee and settle down to peruse their season brochure and get your theatre tickets booked at the same time.



Manchester Art Gallery, Mosley Street


There's always some interesting exhibition on in Manchester Art Gallery; it's the perfect place to duck inside when the driving rain and wind being channelled down Mosley Street proves too much. The building dates back to 1824 and can be easily spotted by the Greek-style columns at its entrance.

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Head to Manchester Art Gallery to discover all kinds of fine arts


There are fine arts galore to enjoy, including paintings, sculptures, watercolours and photographs. If you have children with you, they will love exploring the Clore Studio where there are plenty of things to touch and get involved with. The theme changes to reflect the current exhibitions, meaning it never gets boring. The cafe is pretty special too, offering some tasty hot food, and delicious cakes.

To find out details of current exhibitions, visit Manchester Art Gallery's website here.



People's History Museum, Spinningfields

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Educate yourself on politics, protest and discrimination at the People's History Museum


If you're around Spinningfields, head to the People's History Museum. Not as well known as Manchester Museum or the Museum of Science and Industry, the People's History Museum tends to be a bit quieter, but don't let that put you off. It offers a unique historical perspective, examining the people-power of trade unions and protests, of how different political parties have affected our country, and the various symbols that are used in banners and propaganda and what they mean. It offers a diverse look at culture in our country. At the time of writing, there is an intriguing exhibition looking at gay rights, called Never Going Underground which is well worth a visit. It's on until 7th September 2017.

Like most museums, it's brilliant for children too. There's a great space where children can dress up, and play in a traditional shop, weighing and fetching foods. Afterwards, there is a cafe situated on the Left Bank where you can relax and reflect.

Find out more about what is going on at the People's History Museum here.


Manchester Town Hall, Albert's Square

Manchester Town Hall is a stunning building that many people only usually view from the outside from Albert's Square. Well don't miss the opportunity. Step inside and admire the gorgeous architecture, and grand spaces.

Manchester Town Hall, Sculpture Hall, Manchester, architecture, explore manchester, albert's square
Duck inside Manchester Town Hall


When you first enter, the Sculpture Hall is located to the right, where you will see various sculptures from Manchester's influential past, including conductor Sir Charles Halle and anti-corn LAW League campaigners Richard Cobden and John Bright. There's a cafe, where you can sit watching commuters and tourists rushing by, or peruse the sculptures which include
Make sure you wander up the staircases too (there are seven in total), and several are beautiful.

The building's gothic appearance has tempted many a filmmaker- Manchester Town Hall has been used in films such as Sherlock Homes (starring Robert Downey Junior and Jude Law), The Iron Lady (starring Meryl Streep) and Victor Frankenstein (starring James McAvoy and Daniel Radcliffe).


Manchester Arndale Centre


If you're a shopaholic, head to the Manchester Arndale Centre. Usually I'm a lover of the independent shops to be found in the Northern Quarter, but sometimes you just don't want to get wet. Manchester Arndale has expanded plenty in the last decade, and you'll find all the usual retailers including LUSH, Waterstones, Next, Apple. Newer shops to the centre include Australian retailers Lovisa and Smiggle which are well worth a visit. There are plenty of eateries on offer too (most recently Five Guys has been added to the mix) and an indoor food market. It is also worth pointing out that M&S can be reached via a bridge, and from there you can access Selfridges, so there really is no need to get wet.
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Why? When its raining
Your Comment
A great idea for an article Rachael.
by Gayle Beveridge (score: 3|5676) 170 days ago
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