Are you one of those who spend all your savings to make the trip of the century? Of those who spend all the time uploading photos of alternative spaces and hidden corners? Do you like art and pop culture? If the answer is yes, then you can’t miss this craft shopping guide in Manchester.
Located two hours by train from London, Manchester hides some of the best creative spaces in England. It is not a city known for its craftsmanship, but rather for being the cradle of the Industrial Revolution and an important football capital. But among its red brick buildings and the latest generation skyscrapers, we have selected 5 spaces that you can’t miss. All are located in the centre of the city and you can visit them without having to take the car.
Northern Quarter: must see
The Northern Quarter opens next to the huge Arndale shopping center. Considered the most alternative neighbourhood in Manchester, here you will find all the shops we have selected. Even if you do not intend to buy, it is worth walking through its streets. Street art and pop music have left their mark on most of its buildings, developing a culture that goes beyond pubs.
Without a doubt, it is one of the most iconic spaces in the city. Afflecks is a small universe in itself, in which it is possible to find almost everything. From second-hand vintage clothes to collector’s toys, handmade jewellery or vinyl and posters of mythical bands. It is distributed over 3 floors and has a coffee on the top floor, ideal to rest and meditate our future purchase.
Very close to Afflecks, just a 2 minute walk away, is the Fred Aldous stationery. Recommended for the most creative minds, this store offers the widest variety of paintings, papers and gadgets in the city. It has an underground floor, where there is also a small bookshop with some of the best titles in the maker world.
It probably takes a long time to look at everything. For this reason, you may be interested to know that Sundays are also open to the public. And if you do not find what you’re looking for, you can always take a souvenir photo in your mythical Photomaton.
Richard Goodall Gallery
On the same street is the Richard Goodall Gallery. It is one of the most popular art galleries in Manchester. Far from the pomp and frivolity of most contemporary art galleries, it offers a closer and more relaxed atmosphere. Here you can see works by local authors, many of them young promises, and know the latest trends in painting and illustration.
Manchester Craft & Design Centre
In this list could not miss the Manchester Craft & Design Center. Main market of the local crafts, is also one of the main poles of makers of England. It is located in an old market of fresh products, now converted into a spectacular coworking. Distributed in two levels, we find small workshop-shops where it is possible to meet the artisans who work there. In addition, the center has a cafeteria and outdoor terrace.
In Manchester Craft & Design there are also exhibitions of international handicraft works, being a perfect setting to be known. If you work professionally to produce handmade products, you can rent one of their spaces or workshops (£ 60 / month).
We finished our selection with one of the funniest shops in Manchester: Oklahoma. Located near the Arndale Mall, this gift shop is a special space. Inside, you will find decorative objects of all kinds, as well as jewellery, toys and gadgets for the most geeks. Its young and colourful atmosphere is most inspiring.
So far our selection. We encourage you to discover Manchester and these fantastic shops, which of course, will not leave you indifferent;)
See you in the next post!