Manchester and Leeds

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Well after our relatively disappointing day at the travel show, it was up bright and early to explore the city of Manchester. Our first stop was the town hall, now in case you are wondering what on earth would be of interest in a town or city’s town hall, well firstly a lot of our Town Hall’s in the UK are magnificent buildings and excellent pieces of architecture and probably get overlooked as tourist attractions, and secondly not many people know that many of them allow visitors to wander through their halls and chambers, and entrance to these is normally free. So after consulting my trusty Tripadvisor app on my phone and learning that the cities town hall was in the top 10 places to see we decided to give it a look, and we were not disappointed. Manchester Town Hall is a very large and imposing Victorian building built-in 1877 and designed by the architect Alfred Waterhouse, unfortunately the day we visited the main staircase and grand hall upstairs was closed due to meetings but what we did see was very impressive indeed. After our walk around the town hall it was time for a coffee and onto our next stop the John Rylands Library, as this too was on the list of must see attractions in Manchester. John Rylands Library is another impressive Victorian building, it was opened to the public in 1900 and like the town hall entrance is free. There are 4 or 5 levels, with plenty to exhibitions to peruse through, a must see if you are in the city. One thing not to miss if you visit the library is the toilet, strange you may think especially if you don’t need to go, but I did need to go and was amazed on entering the said loo (at the bottom of the grand staircase). it was like being transported back in time, seems like nothing had changed in over 100 years, apart from the cleaning thankfully so give them a look.

Well after a full day it was time to move onto our next stop on our mini trip and that was the City of Leeds. We had booked a hotel on the outskirts of Leeds, so after a very nice evening meal and a good nights sleep it was up bright and early for our next full day touring the city of Leeds. Now like Manchester I consulted my trusty Trip Advisor app and our first port of call was the cities Corn Exchange, but before we moved onto the Corn Exchange, where we had parked we had to walk through the city’s Kirkgate Market, which as it turned out was very pleasant surprise indeed, the market is another grand Victorian building, first opened in 1822 as an open air market and was later covered between 1850 to 1875. The structure is well worth the walk through to view the workmanship and excellent architecture. After walking through the market we turned the corner and we were confronted by the Corn Exchange building which was built-in 1862. the corn exchange is now occupied by shops and restaurants, and has been restored to its former beauty I must add very well indeed, well worth the visit.

After the Corn Exchange our next stop was the amazingly restored Victorian Quarter  shopping arcade, another piece of excellent Victorian architecture. Now I know there are a lot of very good, modern architectural wonders today but considering the lack of technology and machinery in those days you can’t help but marvel at the workmanship. Our final stop on our day tour of Leeds was the Royal Armoury now even if weapons and conflict are not your thing I have to say the Armoury is well worth the visit just for the amazing workmanship that went into the making of the many suits of armour and weaponry, even my travelling companions both women found it interesting and were glad they went. So a great couple of days were had by all, as always. Next trip our big one to Thailand, Cambodia & Vietnam. So stay safe, keep well and keep following

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