How to discover hidden Manchester on an alternative city tour

I’m always on the look out for an alternative city walking tour.

It’s a great way to see a city in a new light and gives me with inspiration to help design my own themed tours of my home city of Chester.

I was introduced recently to Hayley Flynn, whose Skyliner alternative walking tours of Manchester are inspired by the city’s hidden heritage.

My interview with Hayley is in today’s Guardian Saturday magazine as part of the Locals Guide To … series.

It coincides with the 30-year anniversary this year of the renaissance of city’s Northern Quarter, stretching between Piccadilly and Victoria trains stations.

The council first commissioned the artist-in-residence, Liam Curtin, in 1992 to create art to trigger organic growth in the area.

The tour includes the Tib Street public-art trail with the poem Flags by Lemn Sissay set into the pavement, and the wall murals telling stories of the traders from the old Smithfield Market.

Hayley says:

“I also keep uncovering snapshots of leftover history around here, such as the original mosaic-tile sign of the old ice-cream parlour on Port Street.”

I also asked Hayley about her favourite nightlife spots and she recommends the bar YES on Charles Street for its alternative karaoke night in the downstairs karaoke dungeon.

“My go-to karaoke tune? Jesus, He Knows Me by Genesis.”

Read the full feature here: A Local’s Guide to Manchester.

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