It would be a shame to have come this far and not visit Mr. M’s favorite football club, Manchester United. So we decided to do it the day before we leave i.e. day 5. Our first stop was at the stadium. Mr. M rejected my offers of doing a stadium tour (he wasn’t interested in that), but we went around the place and there were so many things to see around the various stands themselves. He was just happy to have been there at least once and tick the stadium from his bucket list 🙂
After that, we headed straight to the city center (or as close as we could get to it for parking). Manchester was also an hour’s drive from Hough, where we were staying, so by the time we finished the stadium (which is away from the city itself) and then headed back to the city, it was time for our lunch. We found a place called Tiffin Room at First Street and boy, am I glad we found that place 🙂 It was a typical south Indian restaurant and I was glad to have some Madras Coffee and Mysore Dosa 😉 It was very yummy and the restaurant also has a very good atmosphere and friendly staff. After our lunch, we decided to just go around and see what the city offers.
It is a huge city, unlike Chester or Nantwich and there is a big mix of old and the new. Reminded me of Liverpool a bit, but for some reason, I enjoyed Liverpool more. You can see that this city has more industrial background, which is evident from the various buildings and the remains of it all. The Central station looks very dashing and new and on the other hand, the midlands hotel, which is so so huge (almost covers all 4 streets on all the sides) is so old.
You can see such contrasts all through. Buildings like the town hall are so huge and have a very historic aspect to them. We walked all the way to the Cathedral and had a quick view inside as most of it was closed to the public for some event that was being held there. The city itself was buzzing with people. Since it was close to the bank holiday there were a lot of events going on before the kids were back in school and parents have to also go back to work. So it felt like everyone wanted to take advantage of the good weather and the last week of the holidays to enjoy as much as they can.
We spend a while trying to get an idea of the city by walking around it. This is a more functional city from the looks of it, so I am not sure what it can offer for a person on a holiday. But for us it was good as we were there to explore the city which had a huge historical impact in the history of Britain, and also for me personally, I come from a place which is called the Manchester of South India and that link made me want to get to know the city too 🙂
After a long day of exploring, we headed back to the car park by around 4 pm or so and back to our cottage. We were glad that we could cover the ManU stadium and the city that day as we were heading back the next day. We had been to Birmingham once, so with Liverpool and Manchester covered it felt like we have seen some of the major cities in England.
We were also glad that we could cover as much as we can as part of our 5-day trip and also enjoy some time off in between to ensure that we cover the vacation part of the holidays too by relaxing now and then.
The next day we checked out and started our long drive back to Swansea. We did a quick stop at Llandrindod Wells for our lunch (where we ended up seeing a Victorian Themed fair with people dressed up in Victorian-era regalia and having tea parties etc.). All in all, we had a rough plan of places we wanted to cover as part of our midlands tour and we managed to cover all of them. I am glad that we did this because that is one part of the UK that I had been wanting to cover a bit and haven’t found the time to do so. The only parts of England left to cover are the North and the South (Devon and Cornwall mostly). Let’s see how much of it I can cover in the coming year 🙂