What a week it’s been am I right? These next few days/weeks/months are unchartered territory with no one really having any firm answers as to what’s going to happen. Please, please PLEASE stay indoors as much as you physically can and if you’re outside, please obey all social distance as instructed by the government… Just keep thinking of the massive sash this country will have when we’re eventually allowed back into bars/pubs/clubs… Anyway, here’s my latest post on my trip to Manchester.
As you’ll have recently seen on my Instagram, I made my triumph return to one of my favourite cities in the world, Manchester! I decided to go back after last year as I had so much fun and made some amazing memories there. This time I decided to go back with friends I made in school as we met each other 10 years ago this year so it was a cute little trip as well as it being for my birthday!
**this post contains affiliate links that I may earn a small fee/reward for you using it. This will not change the price of anything you buy or view using the link. All links are marked with (AF) **
How we got there
As Ryanair are unpredictable in terms of whether they’ll be striking or not, we decided to fly with Are Lingus which is just a nicer, more relaxed airline to fly with. We flew out of Dublin Airport with priority boarding as we were only bringing hand luggage so wanted to make sure we got space for our bags. The flight from Dublin to Manchester takes a little over 35 minutes. Our accommodation was just under half an hour from Manchester Airport so we decided to take a train and then the tram and walk five minutes to the flat which probably wasn’t the best idea considering it didn’t stop raining for the whole weekend hahaha!
The beauty of cities that aren’t Dublin is that Uber works really well. We decided to get an Uber any time we went out as well as when we went to the Airport and I honestly couldn’t fault any time we used it. The drivers are nice and respectful and their cars are always clean, tidy and dont smell like the drivers been living in it for the past three days which can’t be said for some drivers in Dublin buy anywaaaay. An Uber from Manchester Airport to central Manchester works out at 32 euro which isn’t bad for a 28 minute trip considering a trip from Dublin city centre to Blanchardstown which is about a 20-25 minute trip costs about 30 euro.
If you’ve never used Uber before, honestly jump on the bandwagon! I’ve included a link here where you can sign up and get a discount on your first journey! (AF)
Where we stayed
With a lovely discount from Air BnB due to complications from last year, finding an apartment for four of us was a lot easier and not as stressful. After contacting numerous hosts we finally found Urbana. Urbana is situated on Edge Street which is in the middle of quite a fun, hipster area with a lovely mix of shops, cafes, restaurants and bars to choose from. it’s also minutes from the Arndale shopping district as well as the tram.
The apartment we stayed in was on the first floor serviced by a lift and was a two bedroom. Inside we found the apartment to be a little untidy in terms of the bedding looking a little dull and a little bit of wear and tear. However, when I brought these details to the hosts attention they not only came in and cleaned it, they also waived the thirty pound late checkout fee which was really nice of them.
The apartment has two bedrooms but can sleep six. The master bedroom has a double bed and an en-suite shower room while the second bedroom has two single beds. The living area had two sofas which could be turned into two beds depending on the amount of people you were staying with. If you go to book this, I would advise to bring your own shampoo and body wash as the flat didn’t provide toiletries which I have found is commonplace in most Air BnBs. The apartment is also above a restaurant with a beer garden and while the diners weren’t loud, we did find the early morning emptying of bottle bins a little distracting as the bedrooms look out over the beer garden. I’d advise bringing ear plugs especially if you’re a light sleeper.
Air B&B is the most easy to use site I’ve come across that tailors your needs perfectly whether it be accommodation for 25 people or a room for a night, Air B&b has you covered. If you’ve never used Air B&b before, feel free to click here to get a whopping FORTY ONE euro off your first trip! (AF)
Where we ate/drank
When we arrived, we got ready and found a local restaurant called Solita which was tucked away down a little lane. Solita are known for their burgers and meat dishes but also offer vegan dishes for customers. We then decided to stay local and went for drinks in a local hipster bar called The Foundry project. Situated on a corner, the open plan bar upstairs offers the choice for nice chill drinks or some dancing played by a DJ who has his decks down in a second bar in the basement which is perfect for chill, more relaxed drinks. The area has a host of cute bars, clubs and restaurants to take your pick from and is only a ten minute uber/15 minute walk from Manchester’s Gay Village which is endless fun!
For our second day, we decided to head to Cafe North which is right beside the Arndale for some brunch. Cafe North is lovely and relaxed dining atmosphere without any notions (the irony right??!). Later that night we decided to order in Ubereats which is great service that I don’t use enough at home haha! We then got ready and headed out to the Gay Village before calling it an early night as we didn’t want to be too hungover getting ready and travelling the next day.
For our last morning, we decided to stay local for brunch and went to a really cute place called Common. Common is designed with an industrial chic vibe with exposed concrete walls and polished concrete floors as well as exposed wooden furniture with mix and match chairs and sofas giving it a homely vibe despite the exposed concrete and big windows, They do lovely egg based brunches bits and the best part – THEY’RE DOG FRIENDLY!! I’d strongly advise going there and just soaking up the atmosphere.
What I packed
For such a short trip, I packed a ridiculous amount of clothes. I packed four shirts, a blazer, two t-shirts, two pairs of jeans, grey cropped trousers, two pairs of shoes and two pairs of jeans.
Naturally when I overpacked I decided to have a look around Zara to kill some time and bought a shirt haha! At least it saved me time doing washing when I got back! Click here to shop my shirt!
Since I was limited to what I could bring in my hand luggage, I decided to buy some skincare in the airport. Dublin Airport has recently introduced a drive for more Irish brands in Terminal two. The pharmacy stocks my favourite Darren Kennedy products which are perfect for travelling as they’re under 100mls so you can put them in the small plastic bags that airports require you to have.
I also brought a 100ml bottle of my fave tan , dripping gold with me in case I needed that extra bit of glow to add to my tan that I had done the night before. While in the airport, I decided to treat myself to a bottle of Jo Malone Cologne in the Myrrh & Tonka scent and I don’t think I’ve ever loved a smell more! But naturally I’m going to do the classic Irish thing and only use it for special special occasions such as events or family occasions haha!
My top travel tips
Travelling through airport security can be quite a stressful time for people especially since security measures have increased leading to longer queues and wait times. I found of all airports I’ve flown through, Manchesters security procedures are by far the most strict. I would advise you to take out all electrical items you may have packed in your bag regardless of size as I had a steamer and hair dryer in my bag which were fine through Dublin airport security but I was told to take them out and have them individually scanned. My friends also had their make up swabbed and were told that because it was water based it had to screened separately. Luckily my friend was able to keep her make up but had to put it in our other friends carrier bags or face having to bin expensive make up. It’s situations like this that can make travelling stressful so make sure you’re prepared for a stress free journey!
Once again, I would strongly recommend Manchester for a city break as there are loads of things to do and to see around the city which I hope to explore more of in time.
Don’t forget to use hand sanitiser and wash your hands with warm water for at least twenty seconds X
Til next time,