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    First Published: Before August 2002
       This is an OutUK Archive Item and so some of the links and information may be out of date.
OutUK correspondent Adrian Gillan hits Manchester and can't resist where else but Canal Street, arguably the gayest street on Earth - amidst arguably Earth’s most perfectly-proportioned queer quarter!

SIGHTS

But first, on arrival - before all-things-gay - do take a quick look around! Browse Manchester Cathedral, Manchester Town Hall and the City Art Gallery; or jump a tram to renovated Salford Quays for The Lowry arts centre and Imperial War Museum North.

Catch a play or show at the Royal Exchange Theatre or Palace Theatre. Definitely hear a concert at the state-of-the-art Bridgewater Hall, home to the world-renowned Halle Orchestra, oft under the baton of Sir Mark Elder, and offering an eclectic programme to suit all tastes, all year round. Shop at the mammoth Arndale Centre; or down some grub in China Town.

Imperial War Museum North
Imperial War Museum North at Salford Quays.
Courtesy: Marketing Manchester
Enjoy the Manchester United Museum & Tour and National Football Museum). Then, wait for it boys: that world-famous scene!

SCENE

Here are some top tips to check-out, although – rest assured – there is quite a bit else besides!

The New Union (111 Princess Street; T: 0161 228 1492), of Queer As Folk fame, is an earthy punters’ pub which has strived more recently to revert to its former gay glory days so crowds of come-and-be-cool hens aren’t bumping the froth off your beer! An equally established option is the Rembrandt (33 Sackville Street; T: 0161 236 1311) just along the canal – now all modern with a spacious bar.

Those happiest to just sip-and-stare-and-sip in a comfy local can safely hang out in Paddy’s Goose (29 Bloom Street; T: 0161 236 1246) or even Thompson’s Arms (23 Sackville Street; 0161 237 5919). Catering to more dragged-up glitzy, cheesy tastes, check out friendly New York, New York (94 Bloom Street; T: 0161 236 6556). Via (28-30 Canal Street; T: 0161 236 6523), boasts a busy, sprawling Gothic-themed wooden interior.

And so we move onto the style set. Mixed Manto (46 Canal Street; T: 0161 236 2667) on the main canal drag is where latest labels set off pretty faces.

Ditto swish and vibrant Queer (4 Canal Street; T: 0161 228 1360); and G-A-Y (10 Canal Street; T: 0161 228 6201), rising over three floors.

Canal Street Manchester
Canal Street. Courtesy: Marketing Manchester
Just off “The Street”, Baa-Bar (27 Sackville Street; T: 0161 247 7997) is a bright ‘n fun “shooter bar” with mirrors, glitter balls and lots of pink neon glows!

All that’s enough to set you dancing? Cruz 101 (Princess Street; T: 0161 950 0101) is Manchester's longest-running gay club - a real stalwart, arts ‘n all, busy all-week-round. On Tuesdays and Saturdays Poptastic (@ Alter Ego, 105-107 Princess Street) serves up fine indie trash nights with ultra cheap booze for boys and girls in its crammed sweaty basement lair.

For food, try fab-value Villaggio (44 Canal Street; T: 0161 244 5222), or tad more Bohemian ‘n swish Velvet (2 Canal Street; T: 0161 236 9003).

Clone Zone (36-38 Sackville Street; T: 0161 236 1398) started right here! Also check out the H2O Sauna (36-38 Sackville Street; T: 0161 236 3876); or steamy Basement Complex (18 Tarriff Street; T: 0161 236 8131).

STAY

Adrian stayed at the stylish, modern 4-star Novotel Manchester Centre (21 Dickinson Street, Manchester M1 4LX; T: 0161 619 9003), slap-bang in the middle of Manchester, near all scene and sights.
All 164 modern rooms have wifi and satellite TV, and maybe even treat yourself to an executive room or suite for added perks!

Relax in the fitness centre, complete with sauna and Hamam steam room. Gorge at the Elements Restaurant; or chill in the adjoining bar - perfect for coffee or cocktails.

Novotel Manchester City Centre
Novotel Manchester City Centre. Courtesy: Novotel
There is a wide choice of accommodation including both hotels and apartments in the city centre and you can get the best prices at our hotel partners Booking.com.

For general info on Manchester: www.visitmanchester.com
Manchester Pride runs every year, late August: www.manchesterpride.com
Manchester Piccadilly is just 2 hours away from London Euston, and even closer from other major UK cities, by Virgin Trains: www.virgintrains.co.uk

Updated January 2013

 

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