One way we’re here for you during your time with us is by providing supportive Mentors who know what it’s like to be at BIMM. Like all our Mentors, Miriam Rahimov is here to offer a friendly face and help you as you transition into BIMM life. Here, she tells us six places she can’t wait to go to in Manchester, once restrictions have eased.
The end is near – only weeks now lie between lockdown and sunny afternoons in the park with friends. Not long after that, we can finally return to the indoor spaces, which have been shut for months.
Whilst I gave up a long time ago, counting how many lockdown walks or Zoom calls I have done, I have been quietly compiling a list of places I can’t wait to visit once they reopen. The actual list? Much longer than this one. But the below picks are my top six – and you should consider visiting them, too. See you there?
1) Explore Manchester’s Rich Heritage at the Science and Industry Museum
Across multiple floors and buildings, the Museum of Science and Industry tells Manchester’s unique story as a great industrial and scientific development hub since the 19th century. I have lived here for many years now, but I still return to the museum at least once a year – either to take a visitor or see new exhibitions.
The site is packed with historical artefacts, such as old trains and trams, planes and cars, a replica of Manchester’s own ‘Baby’ (the first computer to store and run a programme), and an interactive area that is definitely not just for kids to try out.
To add to all the fantastic things on offer, the museum site houses the original Liverpool Road Station, which provided the first intercity train link between Manchester and Liverpool. Entry is free, so don’t delay your visit!
Visit the Science and Industry Museum site for updates and opening times.
2) For a Quick Study Break or Rainy Afternoon Activity – Manchester Art Gallery
Just a short walk away from the Bank Chambers building is the Manchester Art Gallery. Nestled between St. Peter’s Square and Piccadilly Gardens, it provides an oasis of calm in the middle of the city centre’s hustle and bustle. The gallery displays over 25,000 art and costume pieces in a stunning old building that you can explore for free!
I visited there shortly after starting my course at BIMM Institute, but it took me two whole years to realise that the gallery is not just a fun indoor activity when the usual grey weather and rain grace us. A stroll through the various rooms and exhibitions makes for a great study break. So, next time you feel a bit stuck working on an assessment, take a walk over to Manchester Art Gallery to recharge your batteries.
Visit the Manchester Art Gallery website for updates and opening times.
3) Get Everything in One Place at the Trafford Centre
One thing I cannot wait to do is visit the Trafford Centre via tram. Hear me out – previously, the only means of getting to one of Manchester’s biggest shopping centres was by car or bus. After years of construction (and some bad luck), the Metrolink line to the shopping centre completed just in time for the first national lockdown.
The Trafford Centre is packed with fashion, homeware and entertainment stores and a leisure complex that will provide you with a full day out. The building itself is known for its extravagant architecture and Greco-Roman design featuring glass domes, water fountains, sculptures and palm trees. If you are cost-conscious, sign up to websites such as Student Beans or UNiDAYS, as many stores and food joints offer student discounts.
Visit the Trafford Centre website for updates and opening times.
4) Get Lost in the Home of Independent Retail at Afflecks
Sometimes still referred to by its former name, ‘Afflecks Palace’, this indie legend lies right in the heart of the Northern Quarter. It is an indoor market filled with an eclectic selection of independent shops selling everything from Manchester-themed merch, prints, new and second-hand clothing, books, vinyl and much more.
Personally, I am itching to get back in there to visit Abacus. They stock an impressive selection of silver jewellery. Pop into the Manchester Vegan Cafe for a Falafel Salad Box and a slice of cake.
Visit the Afflecks website for updates and opening times.
5) Meet Your Friends for Music, Drink and Food at YES
The inconspicuous red brick building on Charles Street used to be an auction house in a former life. Now, it is home to one of Manchester’s best hangouts. YES is a live music venue and bar, which is only a stone’s throw away from BIMM’s Great Marlborough building.
There is always something happening – DJs spinning great tunes on the ground floor bar, artists playing live shows, or even Yoga classes taking place in the iconic Pink Room (really, it’s all pink.) I can’t wait to get back to YES to meet friends over a drink on the rooftop terrace and have a pizza slice from their in-house eatery Pepperoni Playboy, which offers half-price pizzas in the afternoon.
Visit the YES website for updates and opening times.
6) A Feast for Your Eyes and Taste Buds at Gooey & Native
This 2020 find quickly became a firm weekly ritual for me. Gooey is a bakery specialising in doughnuts and cookies, and when I say specialising, I mean it. On weekends, their delicious bakes often sell out early, so be warned.
While Gooey currently offers a takeaway service, I am looking forward to picking up a doughnut and coffee once indoor dining is allowed. The bakery kiosk is located at the entrance of Native, a hotel with a café and restaurant space. You can grab a doughnut and coffee deal for just £5–6 and eat in at Native while enjoying the very cool interior.
Visit the Gooey website for updates and opening times.
BIMM Mentors are just one of our many support systems in place to help you get the most out of your time at BIMM, no matter who you are. Find out more about Student Support or our new Access and Participation initiatives.