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This Weekend: Top Ten Things To Do

Rakhi Sinha on pub tours, clock tower tours, bands, food, drink and Santa's choo choo

Published on November 25th 2011.

This Weekend: Top Ten Things To Do


The futureMANCHESTER festival is a jam-packed schedule of events touching on all things sustainable and environmentally friendly. There are bike rides, lectures, tours of the city’s eco houses, craft fairs, foody events and more. The festival runs from 25 November to 2 December and forms part of Manchester - A Certain Future the City's Climate Change Action Plan. To see the full programme of events visit: http://www.merci.org.uk/futuremanchester

To Do

It’s only taken 134 years for Manchester’s Town Hall to open its clock tower to visitors. Set 280ft above Albert Square, views from the bell tower stretch over the city and as far as the Pennines on a clear day. The eight tonne clock bell, known as Great Abel, was built by Gillet and Bland of Croydon and is the largest outside of London. Bookings can be made by calling 0161 234 4433, between 10am and 5pm or at the main reception desk of Manchester Town Hall (Albert Square entrance). Tours cost £7.50. 

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This Saturday 26 November sees the first trip of the Santa Specials at East Lancashire Railway. Enchanting, Christmassy steam trains will be chugging along the Irwell Valley getting you in the mood for the festive period as they travel from Bury to Ramsbottom and back. On board there’ll be carols, costumed characters and twinkling lights. There’s even a mince pie for kids and sherry for adults. East Lancashire Railway, Bolton Street Station, Bury, BL9 0EY, www.eastlancsrailway.org.uk. Tickets cost from £7.50. 


Beautiful Thing at the Royal Exchange tells the story of three teenagers and the trials and tribulations of adolescence. A celebration of life, love, taking chances and being yourself, it’s received great reviews and has been described as a heart-warming, uplifting play. It runs until Saturday 3 December. Tickets are from £13.50 and bought from the Royal Exchange website http://bookings.royalexchange.co.uk. See our review for more information.


Museum Meets: After Hours is a chance to see the Ultimate Holding Company’s extInked project. UHC, a Manchester art collective, diligently illustrated 100 British endangered species and tattooed them on willing ´Ambassadors´. extInked is a collection documenting the social experiment, and this Saturday there is the chance to meet the extInked Ambassadors and find out more, when the Manchester Museum opens its doors for the evening event. There will also be music by Naomi Kashiwagi and a bar. It takes place at the Manchester Museum between 6.30-9.30pm and is free to attend: http://extinked.blogspot.com/ 


Join the Big Fun Christmas Pub Walks on 1 and 8 December. These  informative and fun crawls around city centre boozers are each different from the other so you can do them both if you want. The tours look at the city's crazy drinking history and finish with a brief quiz. Walk starts at 6pm from the Manchester Visitor Information Centre on the corner of Portland Street and Parker Street. The guide is the Confidential's very own editor Jonathan Schofield. Price £6. Book at jgschofield@btinternet.com



There’s Magic in the Air on Monday 28 November when a host of Manchester’s musos come together for a one-off show to help raise money for the Billie Butterfly Fund. Billie Bainbridge is a four-year-old girl who has been diagnosed with an inoperable brain tumour.  To help support research into her condition, Badly Drawn Boy, I Am Kloot and Everything Everything will be taking to the Comedy Store, on Deansgate Locks, all in the name of charity. Tickets cost £19.50 and are available from http://www.thecomedystore.co.uk.


Why not try Room’s new winter menu which launched last week? Not only is the city centre restaurant cosy and inviting, the new menu is full of hearty, winter warmers with a contemporary twist. There’s gammon with star anise infused pineapple, a cream mulligatawny soup and salmon served three-ways. Combine it with one of their carefully selected wines and you’re in for a lovely dinner. Room, 81 King Street, 0161 839 2005. 



If you get a bit parky or you’re just in need of a sit down, then Gaslamp on Bridge Street is a great alternative to the Christmas Markets. Set in an old Victorian building, go downstairs into a cosy underworld of open fires and hot mulled wine. There are plenty of world beers to choose from and at the weekend they have DJs spinning rare folky tunes. 


Hoya:Hoya Presents Dabyre at the Roadhouse on Saturday night. Known for creating head nodding beats, this is the first time in nearly ten years that Dabyre has made an appearance in Manchester. He’s worked with J-Dilla, Prefuse 73 and Zero 7, to name a few. Along with the Hoya:Hoya crew, it promises to be a night filled with eclectic tunes, cutting-edge visuals and a great atmosphere. Tickets cost £6 in advance (http://www.skiddle.com) or £8 on the door.  The Roadhouse, Newton Street, Manchester.


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AnonymousNovember 26th 2011.

Has The Gaslamp sorted out that smell problem yet?

Man in a shedNovember 28th 2011.

Gaslamp? Cosy? Only if you're concept of nurturing warmth is abattoir chic.

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