The final stop on our tour of the North with TransPennine Express was to magical Manchester!

Honest Mum travels with TransPennine Express Trains

Before the tour kicked off, I asked my followers on social media for their recommendations of what to do and where to eat in York, Glasgow, Newcastle and Manchester and we visited the places suggested. Thanks guys!

A vibrant, busy and of course, super famous city, home to many a star and the world-famous Man U of course, my respect for this city runs deep.

A cultural melting pot, every cuisine imaginable can be consumed here- with the city offering visitors the perfect mix of culture, history and food in one vibrant place…Just don’t forget your umbrella as it always seems to rain there!



Here’s the lowdown of what we got up to in this buzzing city:

What to do:

The National Football Museum is fascinating whether you’re a fan of football or not. I personally love the beautiful game myself and relished every minute of the nostalgic trip through the history of football at the museum.

I also loved having the opportunity to lift the Premier League trophy (won by Chelsea)  despite the fact that I support Arsenal (holding a tangible piece of football history is pretty special whomever you back), and the visual memoir of Pelés life in the exhibition: Pele, Art, Life, Football, dazzled us all.

The kids had a ball too (get it-ball #soz), playing both outside in the play area outside the museum, and within on the retro football amusement games we all quickly became addicted to.

It’s definitely a place we’ll be sure to visit again, soon.

Football Museum

Football Museum

kids play outside the Football Museum

chasing pigeons

cute child

Ralph Lauren polo for kids

child plays in the playground

Ralph Lauren Kids

Manchester outside the Football Museum

National Football Museum

National Football Museum

Premiere League Cup


Lifting the Cup

I love Manchester

National Football Museum in Manchester

child at the National Football Museum in Manchester

find the world cup game at the National Football Museum in Manchester

Trophies at the National Football Museum in Manchester

games at the Football Museum

The Marathon Cycle Race

retro games at the National Football Museum

retro games at the National Football Museum

Pele Exhibition at the National Football Museum

National Football Museum

models at the National Football Museum

After all that sporting excitement, we popped for a bite to eat in The Corn Exchange, a grade II listed building which housed popular restaurants under one roof.

The Corn Exchange

Corn Exchange, Manchester

Next up was Manchester Cathedral, a second’s walk away. A stunning cathedral in the city centre, we wandered around it, said a prayer, lit a candle and felt completely peace in this haven nestled within the busy city centre.

Manchester Cathedral

Manchester Cathedral

stained glass window at Manchester Cathedral

Manchester Cathedral

Candle with flowers at Manchester Cathedral

candles flickering at Manchester Cathedral

Manchester Art Gallery

Next stop was Manchester Art Gallery with an interactive, engaging area for kids where they can draw, play abstract musical instruments and play in relaxed surroundings (as well as look around the exhibitions of course), this place is the perfect introduction to art, for little ones and as art-lovers we could have spent all day there.

Manchester art gallery

Manchester art gallery

Manchester art gallery

Manchester art gallery

Manchester art gallery


kids drawing in the children's area at the Manchester art gallery

child draws at the Manchester art gallery

kids' drawings hang up at the Manchester art gallery

children's area at the Manchester art gallery

play area at the Manchester art gallery

soft cushions on the floor of the play area at the Manchester art gallery

Where to Eat:

The Makers Market hits the Northern Quarter on the second Sunday of the month and there you’ll find artwork, clothes, cakes, bakes, hot dog vans and antiques galore… and more. Don’t miss it!

graffiti art in Manchester

Makers Market, Manchester

sweet treats at the Makers Market

savoury treats at the Makers Market in the Northern Quarter in Manchester

For a sit-down meal head to Home Sweet Home, a vintage food haven with two venues in Manchester. Bursting with classic American food and famous Cake Shakes which are basically a meal in themselves- milk plus cake makes a cakeshake, we fell head over heels in love with this place.

The relaxed retro aesthetic (we visited the Great Northern branch which is the biggest) is THE place to go for lazy brunch or lunch so you can scoff serious comfort food and over-the-top indulgent treats to your heart’s content.

That’s my kind of home!

Home Sweet Home

Home Sweet Home Restaurant

Home Sweet Home Restaurant

Home Sweet Home's cakes

Cake shake at Home Sweet Home Restaurant

Stunning birthday cake shake at Home Sweet Home

Honest Mum enjoys a cake shake at Home Sweet Home

cake shake freak shake at Home Sweet Home

Get Cake Homie sign at Home Sweet Home

Fish and chips for Oliver, veggie and beef burgers for the rest of us!

child eats fish and chips at Home Sweet Home

burger at Home Sweet Home

kids' hamburger at Home Sweet Home

Another favourite was North Tea Power:  a cool, industrial style coffee shop and restaurant in the Northern Quarter with an extensive, tea, coffee and brunch and snack menu using delicious, local ingredients. Insta-cool and oh-so welcoming pop by with the Sunday papers and enjoy some herbal tea with a hallumi avo salad.


North Tea Power

North Tea Power sign

North Tea Power interior

selection of teas at North Tea Power

pretty rose at North Tea Power

Sausage sandwiches a-go!

sausage sandwich

sausage sandwich at North Tea Power

Peppermint tea for me!

peppermint tea

Espresso for Peter.


hallumi and avocado salad

orange, cranberry and pistachio cake at North Tea Power

For dinner and something a little bit special, celebrity-favourite San Carlo is what you need. With an extensive menu bursting with authentic Italian food, eat, drink and enjoy star-gazing the glitterati of Manchester in this hot spot that has expanded to other cities too.

Perfect for families in the daytime or for an early evening meal as well as a romantic date night venue or bite and cocktails with the girls.

tomatoes at San Carlo Restaurant

shellfish at San Carlo Restaurant

 San Carlo Restaurant

pizza bread at San Carlo Restaurant

meat and pastrami at San Carlo Restaurant

The beef carpaccio with caramelised onions and capers was divine.

beef carpaccio

Bolognese for the bambini was devoured!

bolognese at San Carlo Restaurant

Salmon in a peppercorn sauce with my favourite fried zucchino!

salmon in a peppercorn sauce

zucchini at San Carlo Restaurant

Grilled avo was surprisingly flavoursome and a culinary first for me.

grilled avocado at San Carlo Restaurant

The boys were so hungry from all the walking round Manchester, they ordered extra pasta too! Impressive!

kids eat pasta at San Carlo Restaurant

 San Carlo Restaurant

So, there you have it, the final city in our glorious month touring the UK with TransPennine Express.

What a trip! There’s so many wonderful cities on the line. We had so much fun, we’re going to do it all again this summer!

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A Family Guide to Manchester with TransPennine Express

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8 Responses

  1. Léa - Mon Siège Auto Bébé

    You seems to have a great time to Manchester. I had never heard of the football museum before. My husband and my son will like it. All I have to do now is plan a visit from France.
    Léa – Mon Siège Auto Bébé recently posted…Quel Groupe de Siège Auto Choisir pour votre Enfant ?My Profile

  2. Louise Sikora

    What fun! It looks a lovely place to visit. I never knew Manchester is such a nice place. Great post and photos. Keep up the good posting, Vicki.

  3. Li

    Nice pictures! I never knew Manchester is such a nice place to visit. I will add it on my to go list. Thank!

  4. Natalie

    I love tea so much and always try new teas when we travel. They can be so different! We travel with the kids, too, and love showing them cultures from around the world. We need to add Manchester to the list of place we want to visit!

  5. Smith

    Wow! Your sons are so cute! You are really lucky to have these kids! Also, I loved the guide you provided. I will try to follow the guide next time when I go to Manchester.
    Smith recently posted…Best Jogging Strollers for 2017 Reviews & GuideMy Profile

  6. Lisa Smith

    The addition of an outhouse to any homestead will not only save money and offer a lot of convenience but they don’t need to stink or be unpleasant at all, in fact, they can also be quite comfortable and even pretty!


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