The Arndale Shopping Centre. Love it or hate it?

Manchester’s Arndale centre is a marmite building. You either love it or hate it. I think most of us hate it but have at least some fond memories of how it was when we were younger.

It was built in phases between 1972 and 1979. At the official opening the Mayor of manchester, Dame Kathleen Olerenshaw said disappointingly, “I didn’t think it would look like that.”

During the 80’s a retail company called Arndale owned quite a few shopping centres around the UK. This was the biggest. In 1996 the IRA bomb was detonated right under the bridge that connected the Arndale to Marks and Spencers. Following this the centre was refurbished to look more like it does today.

Interestingly enough, in the 1970’s there was a plan to build an underground railway station in the Arndale. The council had a plan to link Piccadilly and Victoria train stations via an underground line. Nothing ever came of this and today we have the metrolink.

It’s not all bad, the food market is even on our food tour.

Manchester has an out of town shopping centre called The Trafford Centre. The Arndale however is still the busiest of the two.

We visit the Arndale centre on our food tour. In fact the best part of the Arndale is on our food tour. The food market is at the High street entrance, next to Shudehill. This is still a hidden gem in the heart of the city. When we were doing our food tour research we asked a lot of people if they knew this market existed. Suprisingly, a lot of local mancunians had no idea of its existence. Another great reason to take a food tour.

If you’d like to learn more about Manchester and especially the food scene, book a food tour with us.

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Manchester's Arndale Centre in the 1970s

The story of Manchester’s Town Hall.

Arguably one of the most famous buildings in Manchester is our town hall. The town hall was opened in 1877 and cost about a million pounds which is a huge amount of money. The architecture is Victorian, Neo-gothic style. At the moment the building is closed for renovations that aren’t due to be finished until 2024.

The centre of Manchester’s Industrial Revolution

The town hall is one of fifteen grade 1 listed buildings in the city. If you look to the very top of the bell tower you will see a spiky golden globe. This represents 2 things. The first is a ripe cotton seed. Manchester is of course famous for it’s cotton industry. The second representation is that of the sun. The sun never set on Manchester’s cotton empire. You can imagine back in the industrial revolution days, this was one of the world’s great seats of power.

The town hall is in the centre of Manchester. At the front of the hall is Albert Square. This has been the location for many of Manchester’s great celebrations such as Christmas light switch ons and Manchester United’s many trophy parties. We have also seen sadness here. Manchester gathered in Albert square the day after the 2017 Arena bombing to pay tribute to those who died.

Behind the town hall is St Peter’s square and our famous Central library.

Many of you might recognize Manchester’s town hall from TV and films. Due to it’s unique architecture and it’s proximity to media city it is often used for filming. Films such as Sherlock Holmes and the Iron lady were filmed here. Amongst the many TV shows that have filmed here include A very English scandal.

If you would like to learn more about Manchester and the people that make it tick book a food tour with us.