by Emma McCormack

As much as I love London, I am a self-proclaimed Manc-lover. What Manchester lacks in sophistication, it oozes in unapologetic northern charm. Plus you can’t really beat the northern humour (maybe I’m biased). So here’s a list of what makes Manchester great:

1. Manchester Christmas Markets

7 Reasons We <3 Manchester

Credit: @maybe2me___

Need I say more (but I will). If you haven’t experienced them first hand then pop them on the list for 2017. The mini Dutch pancakes drowning in Nutella are a personal favourite, but for those of you who don’t look for dishes that are likely to give you a heart attack… There are plenty of other options, from pizza, paella and hog roasts right through to gourmet cheese toasties. It’s also a great place to pick up one off Christmas gifts for your loved ones. If you haven’t seen the giant Santa splattered all over your Instagram feed then who are you following?

2. Spinningfields

7 Reasons We <3 Manchester

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Just because. Ignore the people who say Spinningfields is poncey. Admittedly, it can be. But in the daytime (preferably on a summer’s day), it’s a great place to be. My personal favourite spots are Neighbourhood, Australasia and sitting outside at The Oast House. Fazenda and Manchester House are on my must try list, so I’ll report back on these at a later date. Needless to say for a safe lunch the Alchemist or Comptoir Libanais never fail.

3. Junkyard Golf Club

7 Reasons We <3 Manchester

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So like most people I’m pretty competitive, but what better way to channel this that with inside crazy golf with a twist? Junkyard Gold Club is just a stones throw from Manchester Piccadilly and is the perfect place to spend an afternoon with friends or as a different date idea. Also, a great way to start a night out. You’re within hobbling distance of the Northern Quarter, so it would almost be rude not to. They have a range of cocktails and two courses to choose from.

4. Manchester Art Gallery

7 Reasons We <3 Manchester

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As a big fan of exhibitions, I didn’t imagine Manchester Art Gallery would be anything special, especially against the plethora that London has to offer. But I was certainly wrong. I recently went to see the Vogue 100 exhibition here and unlike when it was at the V&A, it was reasonably easy to get around and see everything. The shop was even a pleasure, with a great array of prints, cards and books (I could stay in these kind of shops for hours).

5. Sunday Fundays

7 Reasons We <3 Manchester

Credit: @sellers_underground

Okay so not exactly a Manchester restricted activity, but a day session in Manchester cannot be beaten. With a plethora of pubs, bars and eateries from Deansgate right into town and spilling into the Northern Quarter, you are spoilt for choice when it comes to a day of drinking.

6. The Libraries (yes, plural)

7 Reasons We <3 Manchester

Credit: @chris_canvasart

The John Rylands Library and Manchester Central Library are the perfect places to seek inspiration. Maybe that’s my geeky side coming through, but there’s nowhere I’d rather go to dive into a good book.

7. Boohoo, of course

7 Reasons We <3 Manchester

This list wouldn’t be complete without a shoutout to Manchester’s born and bred fashion brand, boohoo. We started life in 2006 and today have over 500 members of staff. We’re famed for our fun, accessible fast fashion and our collaborations. We’ve won Best Online Retailer for the third year running and we’re proud of our northern routes. Boohoo encompasses the Manchester aesthetic for fun confident dressing that really makes a statement.