UMASS Blog

All Things New: Three Things to Do in Manchester

Your time at university is all about the new: a new chapter in life, a new learning environment, and perhaps even an entirely new subject of study or a new city. It’s an all-round perfect time for self-discovery and exploration and Manchester is not starved for opportunities for adventure! So, here are three of many things to do in Manchester:

1.    Chill at Chill FactorE

Last year, one of the Student Ambassador socials was a trip to Chill FactorE in Trafford, Manchester. It was by far one of the best experiences I’ve had during my time at university. I’m still unsure as to whether I had ever seen an actual snowboard in real life before then. I am sure however that I had never decided to deliberately slide (skid) down a snowy slope before. Yet I am so happy I did! As it was a taster session, we were not on the big slope (it’s massive!), but the beginners slope was enough fun for me. I did get a few comments on my photos asking where I had been on holiday – but in actual fact, I hadn’t left Manchester which is home to the longest indoor ski slope in the UK! So, if you get a chance to study in Manchester, don’t throw that graduation cap in the air without having landed on your backside a few times in manmade snow! Remember to wrap up extra warm, though, gloves and all. Manchester is chilly on its own, but Chill FactorE is a mini Switzerland – speaking of which, the surrounding shopping area is designed to look like a lovely Alpine village. So, when you’ve had your snow fill, you can warm up afterward with a latte at Costa, or grab a bite at Nando’s – whatever suits your fancy!

2.    Learn to Ride with TfGM

If you are as I was, one of the last ever humans on Earth who do not know how to ride a bike, fear not! Transport for Greater Manchester offer a number of ongoing free training opportunities in and around Greater Manchester. Even if you are part of the majority who already know how to ride a bike, TfGM provides sessions for cycling on roads, as well as bike maintenance. There’s something for everyone! Thanks to TfGM, I learned how to cycle in about an hour, and for free! I got a high visibility vest and a route map too, which will come in handy should I choose in future to make cycling my main form of transportation. This is a good way to strike two birds with one stone, in that I will both save money and become an environmentally-friendly commuter.

3.    Jazz it up at Matt & Phred’s

With its amazing live music, tasty pizzas and drinks, Matt & Phred’s makes for a great alternative night out. Located on Tib Street in the Northern Quarter, this snazzy jazz club is perfect for winding down or catching up with friends while enjoying themed music nights and the outstanding talent that graces the stages of M&P’s. The first time I visited, I went with my flatmates. It was a good night of bonding over good music. It also turned out that one of my coursemates was playing a set there with his band. You never know who you are sitting amidst in lectures (unless you talk to them, so talk to them!).

All in all, aside from joining societies, meeting new people, and going on weekend trips away with coursemates, Manchester offers plenty to do for those who are keen on trying new things.