Ah, Manchester. The proud home of The Sportsman is known throughout the world for its music, sport and culture. And this week The Ashes have come to town, as Old Trafford hosts the fourth test between two of the oldest rivals in sport. But our home city’s also known for something else - rain. Lots of it.
In our defence, the reputation is worse than the reality. According to bp-tools, it is in fact only the 14th rainiest city in the UK, with Glasgow taking top spot. Take that John Barrowman.
However, that said, it doesn’t mean the wet stuff isn’t common around Cottonopolis, and showers are expected again over the weekend. You and I know rain doesn’t go well with cricket. Ever.
So what’s there to do around town when the cricket is rained off? Here’s five just for starters...
The National Football Museum
You’re here for the cricket, so obviously a sports fan, then there are some perfect indoor activities you can enjoy around town. The National Football Museum is packed full of famous shirts, balls, medals and more as well as famous National Museum Hall of Fame featuring the greatest names from our sport.
It really is a must-visit place for any football fan and it is incredibly accessible from Victoria train station. Once you have whittled away a couple of hours there you can wander along Deansgate to the Classic Football Shirts shop, one of only two in the country and a treasure trove for any football fan. This is a trip down memory lane with classic shirts from the Premier League and all around the world, with some absolute gems in store. You can lose track of time in the shop but it is well worth a visit if you are in town.
Manchester Music Tour
If you’re a music lover then you know what this city has to offer. From Oasis to The Smiths to The Stone Roses and Joy Division, some of the best music in the world has come from our patch and there are some gems to be seen around the city.
The best way to see them all in an afternoon is to go on the Manchester Music Story Tour, a two or four-hour journey that takes in some of the most legendary music venues in the city, including the site of Hacienda, The Ritz Ballroom and Salford Lads club, a shrine for fans of The Smiths.
Walk The Famous Cobbles Of Coronation Street
Okay so we’ve slightly cheated with this one and you may need your umbrella, but Manchester also boasts the world’s longest-running soap opera.
Forget Neighbours and Home and Away, Coronation Street is the real deal. At one stage it was actually more popular in Australia than the UK. On this tour you get to walk the hallowed cobbled streets of this TV institution that first aired on ITV in 1960. Alongside Rita’s Corner Shop and Roy’s Rolls, you can pop into the famous Rovers Return, which has seen more rows and scandals than Betty made hot-pots.
Tour Old Trafford And The Etihad
Our city boasts two of the most famous football teams in the world, one of which is actually brilliant at football. If you’re not lucky enough to take in a Manchester City or United game, then head down to the grounds and go on the stadium tour, where you’ll get to explore for yourself.
Old Trafford is phenomenal. The largest club ground in English football has bagfuls of history and the trophy room is a sight to behold. The Etihad may not boast the same collection of silverware (but they’re working on it) yet the tour of a remarkable stadium is still worth it as you’re allowed into the dressing room and can experience walking up the tunnel.
And this weekend, City’s Women host United in a hotly-anticipated derby at the Etihad with more than 20,000 spectators expected after the success of the Lionesses at the World Cup. It’s sure to be a fascinating game and you can still buy tickets here.
Give Up And Grab A Drink At The Brotherhood
Manchester boasts many fantastic pubs but located bang in the centre of the city, the Brotherhood of Pursuits & Pastimes is one of the best all-rounders. Spread out over three differing floors, there’s even a sun-drenched seating area outside for when the big ball in the sky pays a visit to these parts.
The ground floor, complete with sizeable screens, is always a blast while the upstairs ‘library’ provides a more intimate setting, however downstairs is where all the real action is. We’re talking darts, ping pong, foosball, and pool, plus booths with private screens for your viewing pleasure. The walls are decked out in sports posters, and while football is the focus, there’s late-night NFL, boxing, and even screenings of Game of Thrones.
It’s not just about the entertainment, the Brotherhood also offers a wide selection of craft ales, lagers and spirits for you to try to accompany a remarkable food menu. An all-round winner for all ages.