Romantic Things To Do In Manchester
Manchester may not be the obvious choice for a romantic break, however, there are lots of ways to have a great time with your loved one in this vibrant city.
There are art galleries and museums for culture vulture couples, and lots of adrenaline-fuelled activities for thrill-seekers!
With a vibrant nightlife and many opportunities for a quiet cup of afternoon tea, a romantic dinner or a lively night out, we think you'll find plenty to do in Manchester, even if the traditional rain does fall!
Here are just a few ideas for romantic things to do in Manchester:
A romantic stroll around the streets of Manchester will allow you to admire the grand architecture from the Industrial Revolution and Victorian eras - the circular Manchester Central Library in St Peter's Square, the impressive gothic Manchester Town Hall in Albert Square, Manchester Art Gallery, many churches, and the converted warehouses which are now smart city pads!
Don't forget the modern architecture too - together you can admire Beetham Tower on Deansgate, explore the theatre and shops at the Lowry Centre, wander among the pubs and restaurants of Castlefield on the Bridgewater Canal, or visit the shops and restaurants of Spinningfields.
A visit to an art gallery has always been a traditional romantic destination for couples, and the art galleries in Manchester will not disappoint.
Manchester Art Gallery
The Manchester Art Gallery was designed by the famous architect Sir Charles Barry, and has a great imposing entrance.
Inside you'll find a lovely collection of romantic pre-raphaelite paintings to peruse - paintings telling stories of seduction and Victorian morality.
You'll see work by all the famous pre-raphaelites such as Ford Madox Brown, Millais and Holman Hunt.
Alternatively, you may prefer the work of the earlier period of romanticism displayed in the Early 19th Century gallery - with paintings by Turner, Constable and Blake.
Whitworth Art Gallery
The Whitworth Art Gallery, part of Manchester University, is famous for its romantic 19th Century watercolours by artists such as Blake, Turner and Richard Parkes Bonington.
The Gallery also has a large collection of modern art - including major works by Bacon and Freud - famous from 1950s London.
The Whitworth likes to feature contemporary art, so who knows which up and coming artists you might discover together in one of their regular temporary exhibitions?
Ordsall HallIf you need an excuse to cuddle close, how about a trip to haunted Ordsall Hall?
Just a short way from the centre of Manchester (right next to Salford Quays), this 600-year-old Elizabethan manor-house is steeped in history and ghosts!
Together you can try to find the identity of the mysterious White Lady, or catch a glimpse of the young girl seen fleetingly on the stairs.
Will you have the nerve to enter the Star Chamber - the most haunted room in the house?
Out And About
Discover Manchester Walk
It's always good to wander around historic streets with your loved one, and you can be guided around Manchester by a knowledgeable expert from Manchester Guided Tours, on the Discover Manchester Walk.
Meeting at the Manchester Central Library, your guide will show you round the major landmarks of the city, such as the Grade 1 listed Town Hall and the Royal Exchange Theatre.
Alternatively, you can take your own tour around the canal centre of Manchester - Castlefield. You can take a leisurely walk together by the canal, and call in at one of the lively pubs and restaurants, especially in the summer when there is live music on the canal-side.
There's even a reconstructed Roman fort to explore in Castlefield!
It's well worth the trip to Heaton Park, to show your loved one all the romance of the biggest municipal park in Europe!
There's a lovely lake for a romantic boating experience, an animal farm with lots of cute animals to admire, and beautiful countryside and open landscapes to wander through hand in hand.
It's easy to get there from the city centre by car or bus - you could even catch a tram!
Ribble Steam Railway
You can re-create the romance of travelling by steam on the Ribble Steam Railway. It is a little further afield, but it is well worth the journey for a fantastic day out.
Each weekend between May and September you'll be able to ride behind a steam train along the banks of the River Ribble and cross the unique dock swing bridge.
Your Day Ticket will allow you to visit the railway's museum, and travel on as many steam rides as you like during the day!
If you both like a bit of a mental workout why not go along to Breakout Manchester?
You'll work together to escape from one of their uniquely themed rooms (within a 60-minute time limit) by finding clues and solving problems.
There are seven different rooms, so you can choose your own story...
For the more adventurous, you can take your loved one flying at Airkix Manchester - sky-diving without the inconvenience of travelling to an airfield or going up in a plane!
It really is like flying without wings!
Where To Eat And Drink
It's always romantic to dine up in the clouds, looking down at the spectacular view below, and Cloud 23 is no exception.
Cloud 23 is situated on the 23rd floor of the Beetham Tower. It is a decadent cocktail bar where you can sip exotic cocktails, or where you can enjoy an indulgent afternoon tea (with or without champagne), all accompanied by fantastic panoramic views of Manchester through the floor to ceiling windows.
If you're looking for a romantic bar meal, Cloud 23 has an extensive range of "sharing plates" which you can enjoy together.
Dimitri's Greek Taverna And Bar
Visiting Dimitri's Taverna and Bar, at the top of Deansgate, is said to be like going on a romantic mini Greek holiday! The atmosphere is relaxed and fun, and the food is delicious.
Their outside Victorian Arcade is very popular with couples, and Dimitri's say they have witnessed quite a few marriage proposals over the years!
The food ranges from platters and mezes to full meals, so you're bound to find something you fancy. Don't forget about the Mega Meze - a banquet where the dishes go on and on...
Castlefield Area Bars
Just round the corner from Dimitri's, in Castlefield, you'll find various bars and restaurants suitable for a great evening out together.
Dukes 92, (named after the nearby Lock 92 on the Rochdale Canal), The Wharf and Barcas are all examples of the dynamic and buzzing Castlefield Bars.
A Night Out At The Theatre
A night out at the theatre is always a great way to treat the one you love. Manchester has some great theatres, so you're bound to find something to suit your tastes.
The Palace Theatre, The Royal Exchange Theatre, The Lowry Theatre, The Opera House, The Dancehouse and Bridgewater Hall are some of the main ones you can investigate.
Royal Exchange Theatre
The Royal Exchange Theatre on St Ann's Square has an interesting past. It has been built as a theatre in the round inside the Great Hall of the Old Royal Exchange building, which is grade 2 listed.
The seven-sided theatre (which resembles a lunar module!) is suspended from 4 enormous columns, and only the stage and the ground level seating actually rest on the floor of the Great Hall.
There's always something going on in the Great Hall, and even if you don't have tickets for the current production, you can always nip in for a coffee in the cafe and to admire the fantastic theatre structure!
Even if you have visited Manchester before, there's always something new and romantic to do in this exciting city. We hope you're inspired to try something different (or visit an old favourite haunt) with your loved one next time you're here.
Check out our other articles on Manchester:
For more great information about what to do in Manchester, check out our main Things to do in Manchester page.
If you're travelling on a budget, our Best Free Things to do in Manchester has lots of ideas for things to do that won't cost a penny.
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