For a more leisurely experience, you can even rent yourself an electric bike and cruise through the Peaks.
Our pick for cycle hire would be Hassop Station, where you can grab one of the best fish fingers sandwiches of all time to refuel after your advernture.
Featured image: Pixabay / Flickr
Things To Do
The best things to do in Greater Manchester this week | 5 – 11 December 2022
We’re into our second week of December now, and we just can’t get over how festive everything feels across Greater Manchester.
With Christmas cheer having now been firmly spread right across the region, and the big day itself just a matter of weeks away, everyone is getting suitably in the festive spirit and the events calendar is, once again, absolutely jam-packed with plenty to be getting up to, so we’ve cherry-picked a few of the best bits for another edition of our ‘what’s on‘ guide.
As always, some of the events we’re going to mention are completely free, while others will set you back a few pounds, and many will need to be booked in advance.
Here’s our top picks.
Manchester Christmas Markets 2022
Manchester City Centre
Monday 5 – Thursday 22 December
Manchester Christmas Markets 2022 are in full swing.
The iconic annual event – which draws in visitors from all across the globe each year, and has been voted the best Christmas markets in the UK for 2022 – are here once again to spread some cheer right across the city centre.
Open every day until Thursday 22 December, the the main market hubs in will be in Exchange Square, St Ann’s Square, King Street, and Market Street.
Other zones, however, are set to open after Christmas Day and run into the New Year.
You can find out everything you need to know here.
Monday 5 December – onwards
Lightopia has made a return to Heaton Park this year.
Once again lighting up Manchester and captivating audiences for the fourth year in a row, award-winning illuminations event Lightopia is promising to bring the magic of Christmas back to the grounds of Heaton Park from this Thursday – with a brand-new immersive experience set to take over the park until January.
Through brand-new and unseen audiovisual displays, this year’s festival is a “once-in-a-lifetime adventure” for the all the family to enjoy.
Find out more about Lightopia 2022 and grab tickets here.
Monday 5 December – onwards
Did you see that Manchester’s newest cinema on the roof of Depot Mayfield has a whole host of Christmas films on the agenda over the next few weeks?
Backyard Cinema brings its immersive movie going experience to the north for the ever first time, and features way more than a cosy purpose-built cinema room, as it comes complete with an Enchanted Forest, two bars, street food trucks, and a live music stage to boot.
The highly-anticipated and long-awaited exhibit is currently showcasing 145 iconic Banksy pieces all amassed from private collections across the globe to create the world’s largest touring collection of Banksy artworks.
Visitors will have the chance to experience the infamous artist’s most well-known works alongside those rarely seen by the public, all on loan from private collectors.
Proper festive fun for all the family, the Christmas with Paddington grotto experience – which is curated by award-winning experiential events company Bakehouse Factory – includes fun photo opportunities for all ages, the chance to travel through snowy festive trees and scenic street scenes, and so much more.
The FIFA World Cup 2022 is well underway, and Mancs are right to be wondering where to watch the World Cup in Manchester.
International tournaments are always a special occasion we eagerly await to come around and while we’re sure you could walk into any old pub and enjoy yourself, there are some seriously good venues showing Qatar 2022 this winter – so, with that in mind, we thought we’d put together a list of the best places to watch in our city.
Read our round-up list here, and browse for Love Factory tickets here.
Skate Manchester 2022
Monday 5 December- onwards
What’s a festive season in the city without Skate Manchester?
Back once again for 2022 with twinkling lights, the smell of gingerbread, and Christmas songs playing on repeat, Skate Manchester’s stunning outdoor ice rink is in the heart of the city at Cathedral Gardens until 2 January 2023.
With covered rink having a roof to allow everyone to enjoy the ice, whatever the weather, this year, there’s also a brand-new ice path allowing you to skate around the beautiful Christmas tree centre.
Escape to Freight Island has brought its highly-popular Winter Island back to Manchester, just in time to get you in the mood for the festive season.
Having landed at Depot Mayfield‘s premier event space and cargo park, this year’s Winter Island is promising visitors everything from DJs, live entertainment, and Massaoke, to Christmas workshops, pop-up markets, and all the festive food you could hope for.
Food and drink to be scoffed from some of the best local and independent traders.
From Manchester favourites like Northern Soul grilled cheese and the award-winning Great North Pie Co. to Ancoats chocolatiers Cocoa Cabana, who will be letting you create your own boozy hot chocolate (the best kind), there’s so much to tickle your festive fancies.
Popular après-ski village Bar Hütte is officially back in the city centre.
After what was an undeniably successful run in 2021 and the plenty of years prior, Bar Hütte is better than ever this year, with 15 cosy Alpine cabins dotted across the Great Northern square courtyard to bring a lively, festive, and vibrant atmosphere.
Inspired by some of the coolest après ski bars in Europe, there’s everything from live music and free-flowing festive drinks, to the chance to try out the bar’s legendary ‘shot skis’, as well sing-along to all of your favourite tunes inside a private wooden karaoke cabin that’s festooned with twinkling tights.
Cheshire Oaks’ beloved grotto looks a little different to usual as Santa and his trusty elves are taking to the skies and inviting you on a fantastical festive adventure on the outlet’s all-new Big Wheel.
The Santa in the Sky experience is the perfect way to celebrate Christmas as a family this winter, and make memories to last a lifetime.
Open every weekend throughout December, with 10-minutes flights taking place from 10am-1pm, included in the ticket price is four spaces on the Big Wheel flight with Santa and his elves, and you’ll also get to sip on a mulled wine or hot chocolate and enjoy a festive cookie, as well as get a little gift to take home with you from Santa.
Manchester City is set to host the Barclays Women’s Super League Manchester derby at the Etihad Stadium this week.
Thousands of fans will descend on the stadium to watch their two big local women’s team face off, marking only the third time the Manchester City women’s team have played at the ground.
Family tickets start from just £18 for a family of four, or £8 for adults and from £1 for under-18s, and you can get them on the Manchester City website here.
Things To Do
The New Didsbury Dozen: the definitive list of boozers on this legendary pub crawl
Whether you’re a born and bred Manc or simply visiting, ‘The Didsbury Dozen’ is an absolute institution of the Manchester drinking scene.
However, the sad reality of going out post-pandemic is that not every watering hole survived and, unfortunately, some of the original Didsbury Dozen didn’t make it through lockdown. Rest in peace, The Stoker’s Arms (now Dockyard), The Sanctuary (now Head of Steam), The Slug and more.
That being said, while we will certainly miss them, they say every ending is a new beginning; as one door shuts, another one opens — and when we say door, we of course mean the door to a pub.
So, without further ado, we decided to formalise The NEW Didsbury Dozen. At least one drink in each, those are the rules. You can argue all you like, this is the definitive list from here on out, so you’ll just have to deal with it.
1. The Didsbury
Where else to start but the beginning? Lucky for us, the consensus has always been that a pub crawl called The Didsbury Dozen should obviously start at The Didsbury. Kicking off the crawl on the curved corner of Wilmslow Road, this traditional pub offers little surprise but signals the start of a great night.
2. Ye Olde Cock Inn
The best part about the opening two pubs on this list is that not only have they remained literal cornerstones of this crawl but they are genuinely spitting distance from each other. As in you just walk five yards. Another ‘olde’ English pub that offers the same as next door plus a ping pong table. Easy.
3. The Famous Crown
Ok, so now you’ve had a couple pints, you’re ready for the short walk down the road as you begin the first mobile part of The Dozen toward The Famous Crown. What’s it famous for? Coming back from the dead with solid beer, a cosy interior and some mint food to line your stomach for the bulk of the boozing.
4. The Royal Oak
Had some pub grub or at least a butty from the Co-op up the road? Good. Sod that ‘eating is cheating’ nonsense, this is a long old night and we don’t need any heroes — you’ll all be heroes at the end. Next up, another non-nonsense boozer: The Royal Oak. Small and cosy; beer, wine and the rest of it. Simple.
5. Fletcher Moss
Now we move on to one of our favourites and arguably one of the best bars in Didsbury, let alone on The Dozen, Fletcher Moss. Just 75 yards off the Village high street and offering up live sports, craft beers, plus the beloved beer garden, this hidden gem is just as pretty in the winter as it is in the summer. Iconic.
6. The Nelson
Back toward the high street now; just on the corner of Barlow Moor Road, you’ll find The Nelson. Yes, named after the Admiral and yes, another no-frills boozer owned by Craft Union Pubs. Often serving up Moorhouse beer as its guest and playing host to the local darts league, it’s everything you’d expect.
7. The Dog and Partridge
Ok, halfway there and we’re definitely into the busy section now: pubs every couple of yards and, before you ask, yes we’re skipping The Botanist (formerly Pitcher & Piano) there’s loads of ’em. We’re moving on to The Dog and Partridge for some classic ale, Pieminister pies, cheese plates and more. Oh yes.
8. The Dockyard (formerly O’Neills, The Stoker’s Arms)
If you’ve been around Spinningfields or Media City in the last decade, you’ll recognise the name The Dockyard and if you’ve been in one, you’ll know you won’t be disappointed. Serving up pizza, burgers, wings, great beer, live sport and a
” target=”_blank” rel=”noreferrer noopener”>wonderful back patio complete with wooden huts, it’s a winner.
9. The Station
Hopefully, you’ve soaked up the alcohol with some well-earned carbs as we’re now at a crucial juncture where many bow out. Make sure you’ve got all your belongings as we pull into The Station. This popular Irish pub has sport, live music three nights a week and a serious love of Guinness. Say no more.
10. The Woodstock Arms
Still standing? Good, cos we’re entering the final third of this drunken journey and you’ve gotta walk again. The fresh air might do you good. When you do stop you’ll arrive at The Woodstock: a beautiful establishment with lots of room and lots of booze. If anything, it’s too nice for your raucous rabble.
11. The Metropolitan
The penultimate stop on our alcohol-fuelled trip through Didsbury is The Metropolitan, or as it’s commonly known, ‘The Met’. Once a grand Victorian railway hotel, it’s now a massive bar and restaurant plating up banging Sunday Roasts and hangover-curing breakfasts. But you’re on a mission, concentrate.
12. The Railway
You’ve made it. One more drink and you’ve smashed The Didsbury Dozen. Starting in the Village and ending the night in East Dids, head over the road to The Railway, a simple, British, cask ale tavern, much loved by locals. We don’t need to sell it, you’ll love it too — that’s if you can remember it, of course.
Better still, you’re only stumbling distance from Burton Road tram stop. You’re welcome.