Manchester

What to do when no-one wants to do anything

If your birthday's in January, you've probably had a struggle to make plans

Through no fault of your own, you were born in January, and now all your birthday presents are wrapped in leftover Christmas paper and no-one wants to come out to play. Here are some free things your friends can’t possibly bail on

Altrincham Markets

Tabletop shop

Window-shopping is not fun, in any way. It’s all the stressful parts of shopping without the reward of taking home something pretty. But strolling round a buzzy market chatting to the vendors about their craft? Much more fun. Altrincham is obviously a good call, but so too are Royal Mills markets, and the various sites of the Makers Market.

Nailmakers house on the Worsley circular walk

Take a walk

Some of the UK’s most striking landscapes are right on our doorstep. Within half an hour’s drive of the city centre there’s the circular route at Worsley village or the gorgeous Etherow Country Park and, a little further afield, the entire Peak District is your oyster. Fill up a flask with coffee (or something stronger) and force your pals out of their nests into the fresh air.

Lululemon Manchester's run club

Move it

In January, we’re all about health, so your mates can’t possibly duck out of birthday plans that centre around a sweat session, especially a free one. Lululemon host a running club every Wednesday and yoga on a Saturday, but many gyms and crossfit centres offer a free day pass – Crossfit Central Manchester have taster sessions. Stick candles in bliss balls instead of cake.

The animal centre at Heaton Park

Alright, pet?

We have a few friends who ‘aren’t animal people’. We consider them to be wrong. However, most people you know probably love a day spent surrounded by animals. At Heaton Park’s Animal Centre you can say hello to alpacas, chickens, cows, goats, guinea pigs, peacocks, and sheep, all for free. You could also head out to the stunning Tatton Park to see their deer.

The Midland Hotel in Manchester

Smarten up

When you visit a new city, you explore. But have you ever thought to properly get to know the city you call home? On a guided walking tour of Manchester (it’s free, but works on a tip basis), you’ll be surprised to learn how many noteworthy buildings you’ve strolled past without noticing their significance. For example, did you know the Midland was where David and Victoria Beckham had their first date?

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