It seems to becoming a bit of thing with us walking to the Trafford Centre. Especially around this time of year – check out my last post. We decided to try something a bit different and head to visit the Ideal Home Christmas Show.
To be honest, we’re not shoppers or really the kind that go all out at Christmas, but we do like to try different things. We have been to shows like this in the past and thought ‘why not?’, especially when I found us some cheap tickets. Rather than taking the car or bus though, we decided to walk. It was a gorgeous walk last year and we hoped that it would be similar this time around.
We hopped onto the canal at Castlefield and I completely forgot to take any photographs! I am sure if you follow me on Instagram that you will have seen the canal at this point numerous times though. And if you don’t follow me, you’re missing out on my daily stories of wonderness! 😉
Anyway, we took the reverse route that we take on our walks back from MediaCity when I meet Jit after work. And I started grabbing some shots around the BONES bridge. (Bones, if you haven’t seen my feed on Instagram is a long-standing piece of street art. I love the reflections of it in the water beneath Cornbrook Tram Stop)
The route is very similar, only rather than heading over the road towards MediaCity, you cross the bridge and go down again to head towards the Manchester Untied Ground. It’s funny really how both the Manchester football teams have ground backing onto a canal.
Through industrial areas
The Bridgewater Canal, is a very large one and is sometimes known as Britain’s First Canal. It was first used in 1761 and we have barely walked much of it at all, despite our efforts to explore it from different parts of the city. I learned on this walk that event though we take a 90 degree turn at one point on the walk, we remain on the Bridgewater Canal. Which goes to show how big and expansive it is!
One thing that stands out on this part of the canal system is how wide and unpopulated it is. It predominantly flows through more industrial areas and had long large paths that wind through the area. It is a perfect place for seeing great graffiti too (unless you’re thinking of ‘soapy wank‘ from our last visit!) It has much improved with the addition of some work from “Bum Bag” and “Tea”. Of course there could be some bias there as they are two of my favourites things.
Anyway, I digress. Last time we were walking the Bridgewater Canal to the Trafford Centre, there were barely any people at all. This time there seem to be many more. People on bikes, artists spraying the barriers and walkers with dogs. It was lovely to see people out and about enjoying the towpath. I did wonder where they were heading, but we didn’t have much time to chat with everyone we met.
The other thing that we spotted was the Waxi, the water taxi. (I still need to take a Waxi trip!!)
As we took that right turn that I mentioned earlier, it was really surprising to realise just how concealed you are on the canal towpath. Despite the number of industrial buildings and machinery working hard even on the weekend, you are simply unaware of it. Yeah, so you might see the odd digger or cherry picker high up over the railings, but you just wouldn’t suspect the amount of units hidden jut over the small verge. From the bridge to cross the canal, we spotted the most containers we have seen in a long time. And from the canal, with the sound of the water moving and the wildlife going about its business, you wouldn’t have a clue it was there!
As you can see from my picture, it was so quiet and peaceful, yet there is a huge industry hiding just above the verge.
Although there was that fresh autumn feel to the canal walk, the next part is the past that stood our most from our last walk. The bit with the ambers, yellows and browns all mingling together and reflecting in the water. I hoped that it would be similar and I wasn’t disappointed.
The remaining green brought out the yellow eve more than last time. The contract with the blue sky was lovely too, especially on a crisp morning.
Consulting our map, we realised that we could get directly to the Trafford Centre from the canal. Our previous walk had us walking down the road (shows what having a better map does or a journey!) so we headed straight over enjoying the scenic route instead.
It was strange seeing the Trafford Centre from such a new angle. We sally drive or take the bus so arrive on the other side. This was a lot more pleasant and we also spotted some ceiling murals which we had never seen before.
The Ideal Home Christmas Show
As I mentioned the Ideal Home Christmas Show was the reason for walking to the Trafford Centre, I might as well share a little bit about it. Don’t worry, it isn’t going to turn into a shopping or Christmas themed post.
Honestly, I don’t think it was really our thing. It was kind of bizarre to see so many people all clambering to buy things. It seemed to be all about “stuff”. OK, so that was to be expected, but I did imagine that there would be things with more longevity. Well… We did find something that interested us and had longevity. It was pretty much the only thing that did and had us wandering by a few times will our heads in the clouds imagining what it would be like to have one. The thing I am talking about it a hot tub!
And before you ask, yes we bought two! OK, seriously all we bought was a key ring. But we did enjoy looking around the stuff, seeing the different things and doing something that bit different. But the best bit was definitely walking to the Trafford Centre. How nice would a hot tub be though?
I definitely think that we will be doing some more adventures along the canal to see where we can get to and how far it goes. We are so lucky to have such a large network around us that we should really enjoy it.
How is your autumn wandering going? Would you like to walk to the Trafford Centre or your local large shopping centre? It is more fun than you would think!
Let me know in the comments below.
And if you’d like to walk to the Trafford Centre from Castlefield yourself, you can find my route here: