Salford Quays and MediaCityUK

Salford Quays, Greater Manchester’s waterfront destination is situated just a 15 minute tram ride away from the centre of Manchester, our destination today.  An adult return from Piccadilly costs £3 see Metrolink for details and passengers need to take the Eccles line for MediaCityUK.  If you are planning on travelling by car there is a large car park at the Lowry Outlet.  We visited on a Saturday and our visit coincided with the local derby between Manchester United and Manchester City which was taking place at 12.30 pm a stone’s throw from here.  Our tram was crowded with football fans all dressed in the bright red United shirts.

The Lowry building, Salford Quays
The Lowry, Salford

Unfortunately, just as our tram was nearing MediaCityUK it began to rain.  Some people are of the opinion that it always rains in Manchester – that’s why cotton mills flourished in Manchester during the nineteenth century as cotton is less likely to snap in damp conditions.  Having grown up in this part of the country but also lived elsewhere I don’t believe it rains more in Manchester but it feels like it at the moment!

ITV Studios and Coronation Street sign, Salford Quays
ITV Studios

Umbrellas up, we started our walk around MediaCityUK, a gleaming digital destination on the banks of the Manchester Ship Canal.  It’s home to BBC North and ITV including the ever popular soap opera, Coronation Street whose fictional home Weatherfield is based on Salford.

Strolling around the various buildings we spotted studios for the children’s television programme Blue Peter and a signpost to the Blue Peter garden, and just as we arrived at the garden the rain showers ceased and some blue sky became visible through the clouds.

Blue Peter Garden sign, Media CityUK Salford Quays
Blue Peter Garden, Media CityUK Salford Quaysv

Next, we headed over to The Lowry, home to two theatres and an art gallery featuring the works of the local artist L.S. Lowry, famous for his paintings of urban landscapes with human figures.

Blue Peter Garden, MediaCityUK, Salford Quays
The Blue Peter Garden, MediaCityUK

The gallery, located on the upper floor contains the largest public collection of the artist’s work and admission is free.  Walking round, we admired his paintings, mostly of the local industrial districts of Pendlebury and Salford with his trademark ‘matchstick men’ figures.  Photography in the gallery is not permitted so I have included a photograph from the gift shop which hopefully might give an indication of his style of painting to those unfamiliar with his work – a style of which I’m very fond.

The Lowry gift shop, Salford Quays
Gift Shop, The Lowry

Feeling hungry, we wandered across the square to the Lowry Outlet which contains a variety of stores, restaurants and cafes.  The mall is quite small but does contain Marks & Spencer and Clarks Shoe outlets.

Exterior of the Imperial War Museum North, Salford Quays
Imperial War Museum North

Returning outdoors we crossed the bridge to visit IWM North, part of the Imperial War Museum housed in a distinctive steel building.  This iconic building represents a globe torn apart by conflict.  It was designed by Daniel Libeskind and admission to this museum is also free.  Touring the galleries is a moving experience as the powerful stories depict how war shapes lives, from reading a soldier’s last letter home to viewing a twisted piece of metal from New York City’s World Trade Centre – so sad but so real.

Old Trafford Stadium, Manchester United
Old Trafford, Manchester United Football Club

Rather than return on the tram from MediaCityUK, we walked along the tree lined canal promenade to the tram stop at Salford Quays.  Across the water we could see Old Trafford, the home of Manchester United Football Club since 1910.  It is often referred to as the ‘theatre of dreams’ and was given this nickname by the famous former player Sir Bobby Charlton.  By this time the football match was nearing its conclusion but we could clearly hear the ooh’s and aah’s of the spectators from within the stadium.  If you are a fan of Manchester United, a stadium tour and visit to the club museum may be of interest.

Canal, Salford Quays
Attractive landscaping of residential developments, Salford Quays

In recent years many apartment blocks have been built around the district and it is envisaged the area will grow further with the planned construction of more commercial and residential developments.

Open water swimming event, Salford Quays
Open Sea Swimming Tournament

An Open Sea swimming tournament was taking place along this stretch of water so we stopped to watch the swimmers for a few minutes bobbing along at a fast rate in the hopefully not too cold water.  There was more activity at the Salford Quays end where some members of the army were racing two dragon boats – the teams must have been extremely fit and strong as they were paddling at a phenomenal speed along the canal.

Dragon boat racing, Salford Quays
Dragon boat racing, Salford Quays

We took a tram to the city centre and spent some time looking round the shops before returning to our car.  We had left it in the central Piccadilly Gardens car park which offers an ‘early bird’ bargain price of £4.50 for up to 12 hours parking if the ticket is obtained before 9.00 am.  We actually arrived at 8.56 am which could be viewed as either perfect timing or cutting it fine but at least we found a parking place on such a busy day in the city centre.

Manchester City Hall
Manchester City Hall

MediaCityUK and Salford Quays have plenty of attractions for a full day out and combined with those in Manchester city centre, (you can view my previous Manchester post here for suggestions on what to do there) a pleasant weekend city break can be taken in this vibrant part of north west England.  Don’t be put off by the weather, whatever it’s like you’ll always receive a warm Mancunian welcome!

If you have enjoyed reading this post you may also be interested in the following:

BBC MediaCityUK Tour

Manchester Canal Walk

Christmas Manchester Style


50 thoughts on “Salford Quays and MediaCityUK

  1. Pingback: Christmas – Manchester Style – Love Travelling Blog

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  6. I’ve never been to Salford Quays but I was quite surprised to find a Lowry collection in the Winter Gardens museum in Sunderland last week. It included some of his very early work and I was joking that it was a pity nobody had discovered me at that stage of my life 🙂 🙂 Trouble is, I never improved!

    Liked by 2 people

  7. Ha ha! I check out your blog because you liked a post on mine (10000 miles and more) and find that your latest post is about my own home turf(ish)! I enjoyed reading your thoughts on it.
    Did you know that you can actually do a tour of the BBC, although you have to book in advance and it costs something like £10. Details are here: My mum has done it with the WI and they had fun.
    Also, if it’s a supermarket you’re looking for, can I give a shout out for the ever-wonderful Booths, near the Holiday Inn. Booths is like a northern Waitrose, only posher(!), and specialises in food that’s locally sourced, from small producers, that kind of thing. (Their Christmas book was once described – on Mumsnet, I think – as “food porn of the highest order”.)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Alison! We’ve actually taken the MediaCity tour and it was good. I’m a fan of Booths too. I’ve been in that branch but we also have one where we live, too so we can go often. Thanks for reading and commenting on my post.


    1. Thank you so much for taking the time to read my post Piia. Salford Quays is quite a new development just outside the city centre. It has grown rapidly especially since both BBC and ITV television companies decided to move many of their production studios out of London. Manchester City centre retains some beautiful old buildings and it’s one of my favourite cities in the U.K. Hopefully you will be able to visit for yourself sometime!


  8. We love strolling around here, I find it fascinating how much this whole area has changed over a relatively short period of time. There’s so much to see and do now – love the Lowry and his paintings too. Trams on football days though is something else!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. How lovely that you like be in this neighbourhood! It’s so nice, and you’ve got waterside walks, shopping, museums, theatres and easy access into the city centre. Who could ask for more! Thanks for reading and commenting on my post it’s very much appreciated.

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Pingback: Salford Quays and MediaCityUK — Love Travelling – NICE TRIP WORLD

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