Salford Quays is an area of Greater Manchester that’s been regenerated in recent years and is arguably more known for its commercial uses and plethora of modern flats rather than for things to do, but it is also home to a number of visitor attractions. From a theatre to a historical hall to studios for some well-known media companies, there’s a variety of ways to keep yourself occupied in and around Salford Quays and here’s a look at some of them.
IWM North tells the story of conflict from World War One onward, showing how war impacts on people’s lives with a range of objects to tell their stories. The distinctive building has a large, main exhibition space with other spaces used for temporary events. The main space is split into separate areas covering different conflicts of the 20th century and has picture shows a few times a day which use images portrayed on the walls and sound to tell the real stories of war. There’s also a large tower which provides wide-ranging views across Salford and Manchester – this requires a small additional payment and is not open in poorer weather.
Trafford Wharf Road, The Quays. Closest Metrolink stop: MediaCityUK.
See where some of your favourite TV shows are made
MediaCity is home to BBC North and ITV’s main regional base in the North West as well as studios used by independent production companies. Match of the Day, Mastermind, Blue Peter and a Question of Sport are just some of the shows filmed at MediaCity and the BBC run tours of their buildings at the site which you need to book online in advance.
Across the way from the BBC’s buildings is the location for the new Coronation Street set which has recently opened for tours and if you fancy being in the audience for a show, you can get free tickets from various websites including the BBC and ITV.
Closest Metrolink stop: MediaCityUK
The Lowry is the place for culture at Salford Quays and hosts various theatre productions, comedy shows and exhibitions. A permanent exhibition featuring the works of the building’s namesake LS Lowry is free to visit and there are also often temporary displays to visit too. If it’s a show you want to see, a run down of what’s on can be found on their website.
The Lowry, Pier 8, The Quays. Closest Metrolink stop: MediaCityUK.
A short distance away from the ultra-modern MediaCity you can head back in time – to a grade I-listed building that has parts that are more than 750 years old. Much of Ordsall Hall dates back to the 1500s although the site traces its history back much further than that. The hall has a number of areas open to visitors including the large great hall, bedrooms and the kitchens as well as its beautiful gardens. Ordsall Hall is free to visit and is open to the public every day except Friday and Saturday.
322 Ordsall Lane. Closest Metrolink stop: Exchange Quay.
Check out the indie food and drink on offer
Although MediaCity appears to be dominated by chain operators, there are also a few indies worth checking out. For your caffeine fix visit Grindsmith (Unit 5&6, The Garage) which sells artisan coffee alongside a menu of breakfast, brunch and lunch options; for lunch visit Pokusevski’s (Unit 2, Bridge House) which is a deli and restaurant offering Spanish and Mediterranean style dishes or street food space Cargo which has an ever-changing roster of traders, and for drinks Dockyard (Dock House) serves beer, wine and spirits and also has a beer garden for those sunny days. If you’re visiting on the final weekend of the month, check out the Makers’ Market held outside The Lowry which has plenty of food producers.