Anyways, last year, Manchester Town Hall opened up their Clock Tower for tours at the same time as the markets were on. They had been stopped for many years due to health and safety, so it was a welcome return. However, it was fully booked up. So when I saw that they were returning this year, I booked Nick & I onto it.
Now I thought it'd be a pleasant passing of an hour. I mean, It's a clock tower, how exciting can it be? Well, I have to say, I was pleasantly surprised. It was actually a really good addition to the day. See the market, go on a tour, then shop some more at the market.
The tour starts with a lift to the 6th floor. And from there, a spiral stone staircase takes you up to the bell tower (approx 100 steps in all). En route you stop at the room where the bell ringers do their business.
You stop at the next floor too, to see behind the clock faces but the piece de resistance is right at the top. The giant bell. Now before you are allowed on the tour, you do have to sign a disclaimer form. From the risk of heart attacks at the amount of stairs you need to climb and from this bell. At your own risk, you stand in the room as it chimes the hour. We were warned only to do so with hands over our ears and wisely so. When the hammer hit this bell, it boomed out and the vibration of the sound shook right through every fibre of you. It was pure electric!
For me, the tour was worth every penny for one very good reason. The balcony at the top. You can walk outside the tower and have a 360 degree view of the city and beyond. We were blessed with a clear blue sky kinda day and could see for miles. We took a ton of photos which I'm not going to inundate you with but it's breathtaking. Especially if you're a local lad like me. To stare down at the top of the buildings you've only ever seen at street level all your life, is incredible. I loved it.
And I saw the market from above. The gigantic Santa that overlooks the square is a tiny figure below you. A view you can only witness on this tour. If you are near Manchester in the next few weeks and have a head for heights and strong legs for the stairs, I highly recommend it.
And there's plenty of treats in the market to await you once you descend.
Until next time