Things to do in Salford Quays
As we launch ELSA at the Quays, we are talking about everything Salford and Manchester this month. Salford Quays has transformed beyond recognition over the years from a busy industrial port to where culture, history and football all come together.
Here we pick out just a few of the many activities that you will keep you entertained in the area, whether you are lucky enough to live in the area or are just visiting:
Salford Lads Club
For any Smiths or Morrissey fans Salford Lads Club has become something of a pilgrimage, with people traveling across the globe to have their photo taken outside and visit the infamous Morrissey room inside.
From music fans to a Taste of Honey and Coronation Street, the club today is a major tourist attraction. Described by visitors as like a “Tardis” where you enter into an Edwardian world of concert halls, billiards rooms and sports gyms. A century on and the club continues to provide opportunities for local young people in sports and arts. It was an exemplar of its time in 1903 and it is now listed as “the best example of this rare form of social provision in England”
Helly Handsen Watersports Centre
A state of the art watersports and outdoor activities centre located on the waterfront. The centre offers a wide programme of youth and adult activities and courses including sailing, windsurfing, kayaking, canoeing, climbing, raftbuilding, bellboating, wakeboarding, open water swimming and powerboating.
15 The Quays
The Lowry Arts Centre
The Lowry Centre (the arts centre rather than the neighboring outlet centre) first opening its doors in 2000, designed by James Stirling and Michael Wilford, The Lowry is reminiscent of a ship, making reference to the area’s earlier incarnation as a busy working dock.
The centre includes three theatres, from the intimate 150 seater studio to its 1,730-seat Lyric Theatre, Contemporary in design, with fixed tiered seating designed by Ferrari no less.
It partners with some of the most respected names in the country including Birmingham Royal Ballet, National Theatre, Opera North and Rambert. It has a varied programme through the year which includes drama, opera, ballet, dance, musicals, music and comedy, as well as fun family shows throughout the year.
The main gallery shows a large collection of artworks by artist LS Lowry, which the building is named after. Additionally the galleries present a changing programme of contemporary art.
The centre is also his home to a restaurant, bar and gift shop and visitors can get creative at one of many workshops taking them through from script writing to acting masterclasses. Families can messy in one of the weekly creative workshops inspired by the shows and exhibitions, and for young people The Lowry is one of only a few venues nationally to offer professional training in dance and performance.
Pier 8, Salford Quays
Be on the audience or tour around the BBC
The BBC’s new home in the North of England is one of the most ambitious projects in the BBC's history. It is home to a host of BBC channels and programmes including Match Of The Day, Blue Peter, A Question Of Sport, Mastermind, BBC Breakfast, Radio 5 Live, CBBC, BBC Sport and the BBC Philharmonic Orchestra, to name just a few.
General tours of the studios are available throughout the year, and there is also a special cbeebies tour for children. Audience tickets are also available for a variety of shows recorded at the studio here: http://www.bbc.co.uk/showsandtours/shows
There is water, water everywhere at Salford Quays, the area is Britain's largest inland waterway, with the Manchester Ship Canal providing all the water. Built as a port to compete with local rivals Liverpool, The Quays was once an important dock for ships transporting goods as far afield as Canada. The docks are now gone, but today, after massive regeneration, which created this unmissable waterside leisure location, the water is cleaner and more accessible than ever.
For waterside walks you can try the Salford Heritage Trail: The Lowry Centre, blue flag waters, postmodern architecture, Canadian connections, moving bridges... A three mile self-guided walk discovering Salford Quays past and present can be download here: http://www.visitsalford.info/documents/quays.pdf
Imperial War Museum North (IWM North)
Visit the award-winning IWM North to discover powerful stories that reveal how war shapes lives, from a soldier's last letter home to the twisted steel of New York City's World Trade Center. Housed in Daniel Libeskind's iconic building representing a globe torn about by conflict, IWM North offers a free day out like no other.
Don't miss the Big Picture Show, the 360-degree audio-visual show, unique to IWM North. Themed shows run throughout the day bringing to life people's experiences of war.
The beautiful waterfront building houses a permanent collection, special exhibitions and events that consider the many ways conflict shapes society.
This may split half of you, but for those that support the Reds, or just like football in general, you can catch a game at the Theatre of Dreams, visit the museum or even book a tour.
At the Old Trafford Museum & Tour Centre can you see the stadium through the eyes of Manchester United greats themselves. Get even closer to the world of Manchester United and share 130 years of football in the Museum. The Museum also offers a range of education programmes for students of all ages.
Directly across the road from our ELSA homes is the wonderfully restored Victorian Ordsall Park.
The park was first opened in 1876 and is the second oldest park in Salford. Ordsall park's open areas of grassland provide excellent opportunities for many types of leisure activities and include a bowling green, astro turf, football pitches, outdoor gym equipment and a picnic area.
The Friends of Ordsall Park are a local community group who are actively involved in the future development of the park.
Get scared at Ordsall Hall
Ordsall Hall was first recorded in 1177. Since then, it has been home to medieval gentry, Tudor nobility, Catholics loyal to the crown, butchers, farmers, an Earl, an artist, priests, scout troops, mill workers, cows and several ghosts!
Today, it is an engaging heritage site open to visitors five days a week throughout the year. Surrounded by landscaped grounds, it boasts hands on exhibitions, immersive room settings and a small cafe. The Hall re-opened in May 2011 following a two year £6.5 million restoration project.
Explore the hall and discover what life was like in Tudor Salford. See the Radclyffe Bed, check out one of the exhibitions, bring a picnic to eat in the orchard, stroll around the gardens and keep your eyes peeled for the famous ghosts.
Aside from all the many activities above, don’t forget that Manchester City Centre is around a ten minute tram journey from Salford Quays and Ordsall. The Metrolink runs straight through the area, so you are generally always close to a tram stop. From our ELSA homes on Hulton Street, Salford Quays Metrolink stop is a short walk away, which will take you to Deansgate-Castlefield within nine minutes.