It's been over 20 years since I've been to Manchester, and that also was for a trip to Coronation Street (or actually Granada Studios Tour as it was). I've been through Manchester many times, usually on my way to Wales or sometimes Chester Zoo.
We booked the trip for Rags' birthday but because it was booked up this was the first available date. It was an early entry slot so we'd need to be up and travelling at the crack of dawn.
The night before we watched the weather reports saying that snow was likely overnight which would potentially end our day out before it even started. To get to Manchester by road from our neck of the woods you only really have 2 options. Snake pass or Woodhead pass (you can go by motorway but that's a massive diversion). At the time we went to bed Snake pass was closed due to snow!
It was an early start and although there was a little wintry weather evident the drive across Woodhead pass there were no issues. We arrived without incident and managed to park directly outside.
The tour itself was different to my previous visit. It was all about behind the scenes production of a television show. You don't need to be a fan of Corrie (I'm a bit of a passive viewer) to appreciate the experience. The end of the tour, of course is the street itself. A 3/4 size purpose built fake street. It's a odd experience, very surreal.
After the tour was over we left, it was the final time we'd lay eyes on this street since the area is set to be redeveloped soon. We headed into town, I'd never been into Manchester City Centre before.
Manchester is a great city. To the outsider (me) it seemed to be doing it all right. The shops were good, busy and in the right places. In comparison, my home city seems to get it wrong, the city centre shopping is dying because of bad choices. Manchester was also hosting a magnificent Christmas market. The only downer on the day was the meal we had at a local Harvester, but it was the only place we could get a seat (Manchester was heaving today).