I asked on social media if you’d like a long post with all the details of our weekend in Manchester or just a snippet… and you all wanted a long post, so here we go! I have included all of the things we got up to, awesome places to shop and eat and also everything all my fellow disabled people will need to know! All thrown in with tons of photographs which I really enjoyed shooting!
I’d been to Manchester several times before because my sister went to dance college there, but I hadn’t been for ages and I was excited to find new places and be a bit of a tourist this time!
So of course, we started the weekend with a bit of shopping! The Trafford Centre is one of the most unique and exciting places to shop, the building itself is incredible and the range of shops only adds to how awesome it is!
They’ve also just opened a new Stradivarius store which is one of my favourite European shops, they have the most gorgeous clothing which is all reasonably priced, think New Look. I’d recommend going here if you’re in the Trafford Centre!
They also have a Selfridges which we stumbled in to because we spotted the food court (hah) and ended up spending about an hour in the store! They had Primark in there, H&M Home, Kikki K, Muji and the most delicious cakes ever (we were very good though and resisted!)
Everything I wanted to do in the Trafford Centre was accessible and we found it really easy to find lifts when we needed them. One of the main things for me is going to the toilet (skip this section if you don’t want to hear all about it!!) and when I am with my husband, I can only go to the loo using a ceiling or manual hoist. I have discovered in the past year or so the most amazing website called Changing Places. It shows you everywhere in the UK where you can find disabled toilets which are only opened with a Radar Key that have a ceiling hoist and changing bed if needed. It’s literally been a life changer!
Luckily they have them in pretty much every shopping centre in the UK which is perfect for a shopaholic like me! And they have one at the Trafford Centre.
We ate in La Tasca, one of around 40 different places to eat there! So you’ll never be stuck finding something to suit your taste. The food was delicious and the settings where you eat which are all decorated so you feel like you’re in Spain or America or China are an experience in themselves.
As you can see, we didn’t leave until it was dark but it was the perfect choice to spend the day there as it pretty much rained the whole of Saturday (typical Manchester!) and so we headed onto our hotel.
We stayed at the Travelodge Ancoats in the city centre, it was about 20 minute drive from the Trafford Centre. We use Travelodge’s a lot because the beds in the disabled rooms are always hollow underneath which allows access for my manual hoist and we don’t require bed risers etc.
I had contacted the hotel a few days before to request a wet room because they have different levels of accessible rooms. They have some rooms with a bath and some with wet rooms which are better suited if you use a manual hoist because obviously you can shower and there’s more room in the bathroom for hoisting onto the toilet.
When we got there we had a room with a bath which was so frustrating and when we spoke to reception, the hotel was full so there was no way we could change rooms. It meant as per most times in my life, we had to cope! And we did… my husband is a saint and has to put up with so much!
On Sunday we had a walk to Deansgate in the sunshine! Which took about 20 mins and found an adorable cafe for breakfast. It was called Home Sweet Home and when we went in (all flat) we discovered that there were 4 steps to the main eating area. They did have seating on the street level outside and inside the door but they were tall bar tables with stools. The staff were so helpful and informed us that they had ramps that they could put up; I was very sceptical because I’ve had bad experiences in the past, but they were very sturdy and easily took the weight of my wheelchair.
We had a delicious breakfast (if you want to see it then check out the photo on my instagram @fashionbellee) and then headed out ready to be tourists!
My husband told me about the Beetham tower which is the tallest building in Manchester and apparently the highest residential building in Europe! I’d never been to it before and Nathan told me that the views were to die for, so we travelled up 23 floors to Cloud 23 restaurant and politely asked if they would let us have a quick peak at the view! It was incredible, you could see around for miles and it was nice to see a different aspect of Manchester. I love the mix of old and new buildings, it’s such an interesting and unique city.
Right across from the Beetham tower is the Museum of Science and Industry which we visited afterwards. I wasn’t sure what to expect, but it was free to enter and we found it so interesting, I’d really recommend going there.
There were loads of interactive things to get involved with for small children and big ones like us!! It was in about 5 different building all in the same location and everything was accessible.
In true Sophie style, we finished the day by strolling back slowly through the city to find the Primark! And it’s one of the biggest I’ve been too!
We had a lovely time and I’d definitely recommend a visit to Manchester if you’re looking to go on a city break. There is so much more for me to see and I want to go back soon!
I hope you enjoyed reading all about my weekend and seeing all of the photos, thank you so much if you got all the way to the end!! If you have any feedback then I’d really appreciate it.