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Here’s The Best Free Things To See and Explore In Manchester

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Whether you’re saving those pennies or just don’t want to blow your most recent pay cheque, don’t stress: there’s lots of free things to see and do in Manchester.

Here’s our pick of the best free things to do in Manchester, from galleries and libraries to museums and more…

1. John Rylands 

One of the most majestic libraries in the world and it’s open to the public for free. Take a tour around the wonderful architecture or pretend your Harry Potter wandering around the castle, it’s up to you. 

2. Whitworth Gallery

Get all cultured at the Whitworth Gallery with exhibits here that you won’t see anywhere else. Have a stroll through the gallery and then weather permitting enjoy Whitworth Park right next door 

3. Chetham’s Library

Astonishingly, Chetham’s Library was founded in 1653, therefore it is the oldest public library in the English speaking world. And, it is still providing public access to over 100,000 books free of charge, right in the middle of Manchester.

As you can imagine, it’s a real special place, seeping in history. And it’s completely free to check out. 

4. Fletcher Moss  

Get out of the city centre and become one with nature. Going for a walk in Fletcher Moss is like getting lost in another world.

5. Castlefield 

Explore the canals of Castlefield, described as one of the most peaceful places in Manchester. Have a walk to Castlefield Gallery or visit some of the unique pubs and bars in the area. 

It’s home to some pretty canal ships and lovely grassland areas, set amongst the cobbles.

6. Museum Of Science And Industry In Manchester

This inspiring museum explores how science, innovation and industry have created modern society and continue to shape it. It’s a popular one for families and couples , and even though is may sound dull, It really isn’t.

For starters, MOSI is within Liverpool Street Station, the Manchester terminus for the very first purpose-built passenger railway in the world, making it the world’s oldest railway station. Special temporary exhibitions have proven popular too, ranging from ‘Dr Who – Up Close’ to ‘Body Worlds’.

If you want to do some learning along with exploring, pop in for the day! 

7. The National Football Museum 

The world’s biggest and best football museum is located right in the heart of Manchester. There’s exhibitions like Pelé: Art, Life, Football and free football skills workshops. 

8. Imperial War Museum North

Architect Daniel Libeskind’s astonishing building is an aluminium-clad landmark on the banks of the Manchester ship canal – a stunning building to walk around and take photos of.

However, it’s also home to some amazing exhibitions, artwork and galleries. It features sloping floors and obtuse angles inside, which are a deliberately disorientating attack on the senses. 

9. The Lowry

LS Lowry described himself as ‘a simple man’ so it would have come as a huge surprise to him to see The Lowry.

Like a huge glass and steel ship rising out of the once derelict docks of Salford Quays, The Lowry opened in April 2000 as the Millennium Project for the Arts and has gone from strength to strength, recently announcing a £1 million private donation to secure plans for further development.

Of course there are loads of other free places to go in Manchester in the new year, but hopefully these suggestions will help get you started. 

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