Finding somewhere to eat with your beloved pet can be tricky, but one of Manchester’s grandest buildings is surprisingly dog-friendly.
The Corn Exchange is a landmark building in the city centre, which over the years has operated as a merchant building, a shopping centre, and now in its current guise as a food and drink hotspot.
With more than a dozen restaurants and cafes under one roof, there’s something to suit every appetite, from curries to pasta to kebabs.
And perhaps surprisingly, a massive chunk of the businesses based here in the Corn Exchange welcome you bringing your dog along with you.
With three of our five office dogs in tow (yeah, we love dogs at The Manc), we went to explore exactly how dog-friendly the Corn Exchange is – and it was Mowgli we had in our sights.
The Indian street food restaurant, founded by barrister-turned-chef Nisha Katona, has been a staple of the Corn Exchange for almost a decade.
With its signature monkey logo plastered all over the walls, it’s no great surprise that they’re animal friendly here – but what we didn’t expect was the staff to be such animal lovers.
Bringing your pooch into Mowgli is a delightful way to spend a lunchtime. The restaurant is super accommodating for all guests, whether they have four legs or two.
Our unruly trio of hounds are given a bowl of water and a treat as soon as we arrive, and the staff barely blink an eye when the watchful eyes of a very hungry young Staffie stare at them every time another dish is brought over.
When one of our mutts climbs up on the restaurant’s signature swing seats (then immediately panics about his choices), the staff again don’t even flinch.
Their friendly approach means that both dogs and humans can relax and enjoy our lunchtime feast of chilli cheese toast, paneer curry, rhubarb dahl and perfectly puffed-up puri breads.
And if you don’t fancy a curry, here are all the dog-friendly restaurants inside Manchester’s Corn Exchange.
This huge, colourful bar, famed for its crowd-pleasing menu and its cocktail happy hour, will welcome pooches.
Dogs are allowed in certain areas of the bar – just ask a member of the team for help and they’ll steer you in the right direction, and give your four-legged friend a water bowl too.
The Cosy Club
Beloved Corn Exchange bar The Cosy Club is well-loved locally for its cosy interior, with oil paintings all over the walls and a balcony facing out over the atrium for prime people-watching.
Well-behaved dogs are welcome in the bar area, which is filled on a first-come first-served basis.
This little business based in the Corn Exchange serves up a massive range of bubble teas, as well as Hong Kong sweet treats like Taiyaki (fish-shaped cakes with different fillings), bubble waffles, macarons, and milkshakes.
They’re totally dog-friendly – the only rule is that they want to see photos of your pooch enjoying the cafe on Instagram.
Manchester’s ‘sky park’ Castlefield Viaduct to become sparkling grotto as night falls
Castlefield Viaduct in Manchester, the lush National Trust site built up on a disused railway viaduct, has announced plans of night time activity this winter.
The beautiful parkin the sky will be inviting visitors to see the urban green space by nightfall.
There’ll be a free Lantern Lates series where the park will transform into a ‘magical, sparkling grotto’.
Visitors can climb up to Castlefield Viaduct, the huge industrial landmark that has views right across Manchester city centre, and savour the winter wonderland created for the coming season.
It’s before the National Trust project closes for a few weeks in the new year for work to refresh the gardens for spring and summer.
The viaduct itself has been abandoned since 1969, until the charity revealed plans to turn it into a sky park similar to New York’s High Line.
The temporary urban garden has attracted thousands of visitors and the National Trust is now fundraising to secure a permanent future for the project, which is currently closing in September 2024.
Along with the Lantern Lates series, Castlefield Viaduct’s other night time events will include a Winter Garden Tour, where guides will explain the stories behind winter plants like holly, ivy and mistletoe.
And at the end of it all there’ll be a Cosy Corner, a relaxing spot with books, boardgames and crafts.
The Cosy Corner will be built at the far end of the Castlefield Viaduct park, where huge windows look across the overgrown and untouched section of the old railway bridge.
Castlefield Viaduct is the ideal spot to escape all the madness of the silly season and non-stop parties going on in the city below.
It’s open all the way through winter until Saturday 2 January (except Christmas Day and Boxing Day), with free entry. You can book morning tours on Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays, or take a wander after 12.30pm on those days or any time on Wednesdays, weekends and bank holidays.
Lantern Lates at Castlefield Viaduct
17 November 2023 – 1 January 2024, 3.30pm – 5pm | Free – Drop-in
As the nights draw in Castlefield Viaduct transforms into a magical, sparkling grotto.
From 3.30pm to 5pm every day, drop in to wander along the light trail and visit the garden in the sky in a different way. It’s the perfect time for a moment of rest above the busy city, take in Greater Manchester’s 21st century skyline and maybe even spot a bat or two.
Get out of the busy city streets and join Castlefield Viaduct for a tour around some festive flora.
Nature has long associations with this time of the year from holly and ivy to mistletoe and chestnuts. Your guide will tell you the stories behind some of the winter plants on the viaduct and introduce the beauty of winter in the garden.
11 December 2023 – 1 January 2024, daily | Free – Drop-in
Warm up and chill out… After a walk through the winter garden take some time out in the Castlefield Viaduct Cosy Corner.
This December the visitor building will be transformed into a relaxing spot with books, board games and easy crafts plus the spectacular views of the wild viaduct and Castlefield below. Take a break from the rush, settle in with a good read or simply watch nature go by.
The viaduct is a temporary project from the National Trust and due to permanently close after summer 2024. To help secure a future for the project and help the garden grow, you can make a donation or give one as a gift? Click here to give direct to Castlefield Viaduct.