Start at the Town Hall, a symbol of civic pride and industrial might, and see its grand interior. Visit the Central Library with its great circular reading room. Pass the Midland Hotel where Rolls first met Royce, on your way to Manchester Central – an old station with a new use. See the Bridgewater Hall before strolling beside the Rochdale Canal and passing the site of the former Hacienda nightclub.
Feel the new beat of the city at Deansgate Locks, in the shadow of Beetham Tower and hear how Britain’s first canals accelerated the city’s development. Visit the site of Manchester’s Roman Fort. The next stop on your Walk Talk Tour is the Museum of Science and Industry where you will hear of many scientific and industrial firsts which put Manchester on the world map.
Pass Granada Studios, home to the Coronation Street soap opera and follow your Walk Talk Tour plan to John Rylands Library. Then stumble upon the Hidden Gem tucked away in Mulberry Street.
Return to Albert Square, site of civic celebrations and hub of the annual Christmas Market. Head along Cross Street, to pedestrianised King Street, and emerge by St Ann’s Church. Stroll through St Ann’s Square and pause at the Royal Exchange Theatre – once the Royal Exchange, hub of the world’s textile trade. Learn how an IRA bomb, in 1996, precipitated exciting redevelopment.
Walk down New Cathedral Street and into Exchange Square, site of the Manchester Wheel and the Old Shambles. Discover how several colourful characters left their marks on the city around the corner at Manchester Cathedral. The Then & Now tour ends in nearby Cathedral Gardens where the world’s oldest free library, Chetham’s, sits opposite Urbis.
Allow at least two hours to complete this tour.