The Best Things to do in Ancoats
Manchester Ancoats | © Henry Hemming / Flickr
Last year Ancoats gained fame worldwide, as several publications named the Manchester neighbourhood as one of the hippest spots in the entire world. Located just a couple minutes’ walk away from the equally hip Northern Quarter, Ancoats is a vibrant area that seems to be constantly growing. New bars and restaurants seem to be popping up every week and the neighbourhood is becoming more and more interesting. Here are some of the best things to do if visiting Ancoats.
Eat the best pizza in Manchester
There are several Neapolitan pizzerias around the city but Rudy’s in Ancoats is without any doubt the best of the bunch. Expect to queue to secure a seat in this incredibly popular pizza joint, but the wait is worth it. Pizzas start from just £5 and are light and delicious with a choice of traditional toppings. Rumour has it that several other branches are opening around the city, but we’d recommend visiting the original.
Rudy’s, 9 Cotton St, Manchester +44 7931 162059
Visit an independent theatre
There are plenty of big budget productions in Manchester’s many theatres, but if you fancy something a little different, pay a visit to Hope Mill Theatre. Located in an old mill building in the heart of Ancoats, Hope Mill aims to bring fresh and exciting performances to the city, focusing on providing a platform for local theatre companies and northern writers. Expect completely original productions as well as unique perspectives on well-known plays, such as a version of Romeo & Juliet with an all-female cast.
Hope Mill Theatre, 113 Pollard St, Manchester +44 161 275 9141
Shop at the city’s hippest grocery store
Ancoats General Store isn’t your typical corner shop. Referencing American hipster general stores, you’ll find everything from freshly baked bread to obscure bottles of beer in this hipster haven. There’s a focus on supporting local businesses, meaning that much of the produce on display is sourced locally. The store also boasts a cafe and regularly hosts quiz nights.
Ancoats General Store, 57 Great Ancoats Street, Manchester +44 161 236 7897
Take some time to stroll around and admire the colourful works of art that adorn many walls in the area. The street art in Ancoats rivals that in the nearby Northern Quarter and while the gigantic bird that covered the entire side of a building on Great Ancoats Street may have vanished, there are still many gems to discover.
Visit Manchester’s most famous comedy club
Located on the edge of both Ancoats and the Northern Quarter, the Frog & Bucket is legendary on the comedy circuits. Huge names such as Peter Kay and Johnny Vegas have graced the popular club and many of the comedians who visit go on to become household names. The club is open four nights a week, with Thursdays providing a slower pace than the raucous weekends and Monday night’s Beat the Frog entertainment.
Frog & Bucket, 102 Oldham Street, Manchester +44 161 236 9805
When you wander around Ancoats, you may spot a series of brass eyepieces built into the walls of the buildings. Take a look through the peeps to glimpse a snapshot of what life was like in the neighbourhood’s past, allowing a glimpse inside unused buildings. There are around a dozen peeps to discover around the neighbourhood and a handy illustrated map can help you to locate them all.
Companio Bakery supplies Ancoats with freshly baked bread made without additives and processing aids, selling their loaves at Victorian train station on Tuesdays and Thursdays. The only ingredients you’ll find in their delicious bread are flour, water, yeast and salt, and all extra flavouring is supplied by natural ingredients such as nuts, fruits and vegetables. Experienced artisan baker Russell Goodwin also runs courses teaching the basics of bread-making with plenty of freshly baked goods to enjoy as you learn.