Free Things To Do
There’s much more to spending a day in Trafford than the infamous Trafford Centre. The area is known for its lovely parks and great weekend markets, but it also has its very own budding art and culture scene that you can experience. We’ve put together our top 5 art and culture moments you can explore on your trip to Trafford.
Trafford Art & Culture Experience #1: Art with A Heart
Art with a Heart is the Arts and Heritage Centre for the Altrincham Community. It is the permanent home for the Heritage of the Altrincham Area display, where you can see maps from the 1700s alongside other artefacts and objects. They also have items on loan from South Trafford Archaeological Group and the Manchester Transport Museum, so you can get to know the Trafford area a little better.
The centre hosts free events, exhibitions and workshops all year round. Brush up your art skills and get involved in the Altrincham Open, which is hosted every July for any artist working with any medium. For the artistically inclined young’uns there’s the Trafford Schools Open for students studying visual arts at Trafford Schools.
Don’t forget to visit the gift shop and grab a memento on your way out. Not only will you get a bang up tea towel, but the money you spend will be reinvested into the community.
Trafford Art & Culture Experience #2: Frank Sidebottom Statue
This is some niche Trafford culture knowledge to impress your group chat with. Timplerly’s most famous export was guitarist and songwriter Chris Sievey who donned a giant papier-mache head to become Frank Sidebottom.
This became a stage character for performing, and Sievey would wear the papier-mache head for his shows. From Reading festival to a Bros gig at Wembley stadium to children’s television, his presence was felt across generations and audiences of all ages. The whacky comedy character rose to fame in the 80s and found a sort of cult status.
Now his statue stands in Timperley village’s main shopping street where dedicated visitors or passers by can visit to pay respects or take selfies with the Trafford legend.
Trafford Art & Culture Experience #3: Old Trafford Museum & Stadium Tour
It’s ‘the theatre of dreams’ according to former United midfielder Bobby Charlton. It’s the home of the city’s red jersey team, Manchester United. The stadium hosted its inaugural game in February 1910, with United playing Liverpool where the home side lost 4-3. But a journalist at the time called the stadium ‘the most remarkable arena I have ever seen’ and we like to think it’s still the best one out there.
On your visit to Trafford you can go on the Museum and Stadium Tour and take a behind the scenes look at one of the world’s most iconic stadiums. Live the Premier League life by walking through the players tunnel, find your favourite player’s seat in the dressing room and feel the power while sitting in the manager’s seat.
Trafford Art & Culture Experience #5: Coronation Street Tour
You couldn’t possibly visit the borough that’s home to the world’s most iconic cobbles without going to walk on them yourself, surely.
The show holds the Guinness World Record for being the world’s longest-running television soap opera. It’s aired over 10,000 episodes since its premier in 1960. In those 10,000 episodes there have been 130 weddings and 196 deaths in storylines that have kept the nation on the edge of their seats for over sixty years.
On the tour you can take a trip down the famous cobbled street and discover what happens behind the camera. Grab a selfie in front of the Rovers Return and listen to untold stories from the show’s history.
There’s plenty of art and culture to soak up whether you’re visiting Trafford or live around the corner. Don’t forget to make time for a refuel, and if you need a place to do that we’ve got some suggestions here.
Giant glowing slinky and fire sculptures to light up Salford in winter Lightwaves Festival