Over Thanksgiving, Cole and I decided to skip the American traditions and take advantage of the time off from work to travel. Unfortunately, a lot of the flights were full so our options were limited and we wanted to go somewhere we have never been before. That led us to flying into Manchester, England! While it may not sound very exciting, it was a surprisingly fun trip and we enjoyed exploring the city.
1) Walk around Albert Dock
- Albert dock is a complex of old warehouses and docks that line the Mersey river. It was built in the 1800s, but today houses museums, restaurants, and shops. The Titanic was constructed in Liverpool, so be sure to check out the Maritime Museum to learn more or the famous “Beatles Story” museum.
2) Stop into The Cavern Club and other local pubs
- The Beatles are from Liverpool and therefore a lot of the city is dedicated to remembering their talent and music. They got their start at the Cavern Club and the same underground nightclub exists today. They have cover bands playing Beatles songs all hours of the day and it’s well worth a visit. In my opinion, the infrastructure of the club attributes to why listening to music is so special here – the club actually sits a couple of stories below ground so the brick and arches allow the music to vibrate and fill the entire space. It’s hard to explain, but I promise it is worth it!
3) Explore Liverpool One
- While I try to avoid malls and commercial shops while we are traveling, Liverpool One is an exception. This huge open-air development was built in the late 2000s and houses a ton of retail shops, restaurants and bars (fun fact: it’s actually the largest open air shopping center in the United Kingdom!). We had a delicious dinner and enjoyed spending the evening walking the streets and window shopping.
4) Wine & Dine at the Christmas Markets
- One of my favorite things about Europe is the invasion of the Christmas Markets in the winter. If you don’t know what I am talking about, in the winter for the four weeks before Christmas most European cities (although it’s very popular in Germany and Eastern Europe) construct these little huts that serve hot wine, local food and sell Christmas knickknacks. Both Liverpool and Manchester had some set up, although Manchester had significantly more. We took advantage of the delicious food and picked up some incredible lunch at one in Manchester.
5) Breakout Manchester
- While researching things to do in Manchester, we stumbled upon a unique game experience that we thought we would try. Supposedly, this is a new and popular phenomenon spreading throughout England. The premise is that you are locked in a room and there are a series of puzzles and mysteries you need to solve within an hour in order to “escape”.
- Breakout Manchester is one of the places where you can play along (however, it is extremely popular we bought our tickets in advance and only had one time to choose from so make sure to plan ahead). We chose the room that was set up like a laboratory and were supposed to find the cure to a deadly virus outbreak that was sweeping the world. Unfortunately, we ran out of time and were about 5 minutes away from being able to successfully escape, but it was still a lot of fun!
6) Get some laughs at the Comedy Store
- We made our way over to Deansgate Locks to see a stand-up comedy show. Before the show, we had a delicious Indian meal at a restaurant nearby (I wish I remembered the name) and then got to the show early to pick some good seats. The show was really good – although the Brits were very raunchy! My favorite comedian was actually the MC who had me in tears.
7) Here are a few other photos from our day exploring the streets of Manchester…
8) Making it back to Atlanta to spend the weekend with our families 🙂
- Since it was Thanksgiving, we had family that came into town so we decided to head back home to be able to spend the weekend with everyone. Saturday we went to the Georgia-Georgia Tech football game which finished with a heartbreaking loss in OT.
- That evening, we went to my mom’s house to have a mock Thanksgiving meal with my family. My brother’s wife Kimberly introduced us to this amazing drinking game which we proceeded to play on our dining room table prior to dinner 🙂
- Sunday, we spent the day outside enjoying the weather and company at Sweetwater Brewery.
1) Never seeing the sun
- While we were only there for two days, the English weather was in full force and while it wasn’t very cold, it was definitely dreary. We never managed to see the sun, but at least the rain held off for the most part.
2) If we stayed much longer in either city, I am not sure what we would have done to keep ourselves entertained. So if you find yourself ever in Manchester or Liverpool, don’t plan to spend too long seeing the sights.
Until our next trip…