Wednesday, 7 May 2014

A Trip to Manchester: the Museum, the Library & the Town Hall

Time for part two of my Manchester trip! You can read part one here, and part three will be posted at the weekend.

On my third day in the city I decided to walk to Manchester Museum. This seemed like a great idea at the time as it was a lovely sunny morning but actually I ended up doing so much walking during the day that looking back I really should have taken the bus (my feet would have thanked me!).

I did enjoy my walk up Oxford Road though, admiring the interesting buildings along the way...


... and popping into the University's Holden Gallery, to see the Wundercamera exhibition which was themed around galleries and museums, their collections, displays, spaces and visitors. I thoroughly enjoyed this, and since I'd not planned on visiting the gallery until the minute I walked past the building and saw the sign for the exhibition it was an unexpected treat.

I had a cuppa and a tasty cake in the Museum cafe when I arrived, then slowly explored the building and its collections.

There's a great mix of displays here, from Ancient Egyptian artefacts to archery equipment, from zoological collections to minerals, meteorites and gemstones.

The collections are housed in a mix of modern and Victorian gallery spaces (the main building was designed by the same architect who designed the Natural History Museum in London). I loved the inclusion of some objects that referenced the museum's history like Victorian cabinets filled with slides, collections displayed in drawers with their original hand-written labels, etc.

Particularly delightful is the Vivarium which is kind of like an aquarium but with lizards and frogs... some of which are very tricky to spot :)

After visiting the museum I walked back into town and popped into the Central Library which is quite striking both inside and out. It had only just re-opened when I visited and was buzzing with people exploring the refurbished space. What a wonderful place to have as your local library!

Just next door to the Library is the famous Midland Hotel, which is a delicious great lump of a building.

After having some lunch nearby, I walked across town....


... via the Roman Ruins which it turns out are much more extensive than I realised when I visited them (oops). I'm not sure what the connection is between Roman ruins and a statue of some sheep but it was a nice statue!


Just across the road from the ruins is the Museum of Science & Industry. After realising just how huge it was I decided to explore MOSI another day but couldn't resist having a look round the Textiles Gallery and seeing all the looms, etc (Amazing). Next time I visit the city I must go back at one of the times when they operate the machinery!


I walked back into the centre...


... stopped for a cuppa and cake in a cafe and then visited the Town Hall on my way back to my hotel.

Manchester's Town Hall is another wonderful building. Most of it was closed to the public when I visited as they were preparing for an event but one of the staff kindly let me sneak upstairs for a quick look around (so kind!) which was great (though it was a shame not to be able to see the famous murals up close) and a lovely end to the day.


Lilyshaw said...

Great photographs of my home town, I have really enjoyed reading this post, it has inspired me to re-explore some of our beautiful buildings. Thank you for sharing your trip!

Girl_Industries said...

Thank you for the virtual trip around my home town! I'm due back for a visit at the end of the month and I am really looking forward to it now :)

Bugs and Fishes said...

Lilyshaw - Thanks, I'm so glad you enjoyed it & delighted it's inspired you to revisit some of your local treasures. It's all too easy to neglect the great stuff on your doorstep, isn't it?

Girl_Industries - I hope you'll have fun on your trip home :)