Despite living a 25 minute train ride away from, and working in Manchester, never until last weekend had I explored the city with Amber!
I came across an MEN article published on National Dog Day 2016 which outlines the 20 best dog friendly places in Manchester and almost instantly decided a trip was in order. So we hopped on the train on a Saturday afternoon and set of on our adventure to Manchester. Notice how I said we took the train, not the car… parking is RIDICULOUSLY expensive! Luckily, I have recently written a blog post on traveling by train with your dog, so you can take a look at that for some tips.
Once departing from the train, we decided to go for a late lunch. I consulted my list and found a lovely little cafe just under 10 minutes walk from Piccadilly train station – Ezra & Gil! Now it’s time for Ellie’s travel complaints, the section of my blog where I spend two minutes complaining about the fact I got lost. Yes, it happened again! When will I learn that following your phone sat nav isn’t the best way of getting around? Anyhow, after a few technical difficulties we made it to the cafe and I have to say I was very impressed! The first thing I saw before even entering the cafe was an AstroTurfed entrance with a couple of dog bowls outside – that was Amber sorted.
Upon entering the premises it was so full that there were no free tables – a promising sign but highly irritating after our stressful journey finding the place (no, I’m still not over that). After waiting a couple of minutes we managed to find a table and get seated. The atmosphere was great however the room and decor were pretty dark, which looked amazing, but it’s a right pain when you want to photograph your dog!
So came the time to order food – I was very impressed by the amount of vegetarian friendly food they had on the menu! I ordered a veggie breakfast (yes, I had breakfast for lunch) and a latte. Both very nice, my only complaint is that it was a little pricey – but then where isn’t when you’re in a city?
When ordering my food I came across a free dog treats jar on the window ledge, Amber was very pleased! Although she did embarrass me by barking at me because she knew I had another treat in my hand, there’s not tricking her when it comes to food.
After a lovely first dog friendly lunch in Manchester, we ventured out to see what else we could find to do. Unfortunately all of the dog friendly places on the list I found were food related, which is great for an hour or so… but no one wants to spend the whole afternoon sat in a cafe (apart from Amber, sitting is her favourite pass time). Luckily I found something fun to do following a meal in one of the many dog friendly eateries in Manchester – Piccadilly gardens. Now, I’m not quite sure if you’re meant to do this, but everyone seems to do it anyway and it’s great fun – walking on the fountain!
This provides hours of entertainment for both kids and dogs… and even adults… I think I enjoyed it more than Amber did (but she’s not much of a water dog). After quite a while of playing in the fountain, we went for a walk around the rest of the gardens (which are tiny) then for a walk around some of the streets of Manchester. Since there were Chinese New Year celebrations going on, we were limited as to where we could go because big crowds and small dogs don’t mix well.
After walking enough to tire myself, Amber and Katy (the little sister & photography assistant/ model) out, we headed back to the station and hopped on the train home!
There are 20 more places to eat in the dog friendly Manchester article that I read, so no doubt this will be the first of many afternoon/ days out to Manchester as well as many other nearby city’s! Who knows, we could be in Liverpool or Chester next weekend.
If you live near Manchester, I’d definitely recommend a dog friendly day out there! If not, take a look and see what dog friendly things there are to do in your local city – you might be surprised by how many places allow dogs – I know I was!