Hiya. We’re just back all refreshed and happy after a few days in Manchester. I know it’s not the most traditional of destinations for a holiday, but it was really good.
We stayed in a Holiday Inn Express in Denby Park area and used it as a base to go and see some of the things round and about the city.
I’m not going to tell you everything we did all at once, but will share some stories and some pics over the course of two or three blog posts.
We drove down on Monday into what turned out to be fantastic weather, arriving in Manchester in the late afternoon. We dumped our stuff in the hotel room – the hotel, by the way, was excellent (nice staff, welcoming, clean and decent rooms) – and headed for the Trafford Centre where the LEGOLAND Centre is.
Firstly, let me talk about the Trafford Centre. It’s the Las Vegas of North England. It’s huge, it’s very expensively built, it’s a little too over-the-top for my liking, but impressive none-the-less.
There are Roman-like influences throughout, fabby statues and a fountain…and that’s just the section where the LEGOLAND place was.
The kids really enjoyed the LEGOLAND centre and there were bits of it I enjoyed too, but I doubt I’d go back. It’s a fair bit of money for not terribly much. There was a couple of rides, a soft play area, a few Lego models and an area where the kids could drive LEGOLAND cars around a LEGOLAND set. There’s a café and a ride where you shoot the baddies with lasers, but it costs us more than £50 for all of us and I was a bit disappointed in ti. However, the 4D film showing Lego hero-types was a revelation. I didn’t know it was 4D before I went it, I just thought it would be 3D, so being sprayed with a fine mist of cold water and feeling the breeze on my hair was a bit of a surprise at first. I thought the film plot was good too. That was my favourite part of the visit.
After LEGOLAND, we decided to go and explore the shopping mall itself. I have no photos of this, I think I was so in awe of the place I forgot to take some, so I will illustrate it with some more pics of the area where LEGOLAND and SeaLife are.
Firstly, the shopping mall is HUGE and amazing. I’ve never been anywhere so big and so expensively built. There were tonnes of shops of all types – many of the expensive and designer-type – and several food halls, which were unbelievable. We wandered into one area looking for a place to eat…you walk through a corridor built to resemble the French Quarter of New Orleans into a huge food area the centre of which resembles the deck of an ocean going liner. It even has a pond in the middle of it. We were stunned by what we saw. I’ve never seen anything like it. A lot of thought and money has gone into it.
We had intended going back to explore the Chinese food mall, which I assume was just as impressive, but never did make it back.
Anyway, it had been a long day and we were all tired and ready for bed, so we returned to our hotel for an early night.
Our room had a double bed in it, which me and hubby slept in, and the kids slept in a pull-down bed. I thought they would find this to be a bit of an adventure, but they spent a lot of time kicking each other, giggling, fighting and pushing. We had to separate them and let them sleep top to tail. Eventually, we all nodded off and despite the police sirens during the night and the heat, managed to sleep.
Next morning, we got ready, floated downstairs to the breakfast area and soon found ourselves tucking into sausages, scrambled eggs and beans before heading out again…this time to somewhere that proved to be a huge hit with the kids. We needed the big breakfast for the big day ahead.