Manchester: Fletcher Moss Park and Parsonage gardens

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Hello to everybody!

I hope that everyone is off to a good start in the new year.

On the second day of the year, I spent a day in the Fletcher Moss botanical gardens to kick off my new year.

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Since it was a Sunday service on public transportation and there were more train strikes, I chose to go there because it seemed like a good choice that was not too far from home.

This prompts me to remark that, except for enjoying and living in the present, I haven’t set goals for this year. Aside from that, I want to start driving again this year because strikes and cancellations on public transportation have been making it difficult for me to get to some places. Do you have any new goals for this year? 

Fletcher Moss Parsonage and Gardens

Fletcher Moss Parsonage and Gardens is located in Didsbury, Manchester, and is one of the city’s best-lived green spaces.

Fletcher Moss Park was named after Fletcher Moss, an alderman who gifted his house, known as the parsonage, along with its gardens to the city of Manchester Council but continued to live there until his death in 1919.

The Parsonage is the second-oldest building in Didsbury, dating from around 1650. The house was used by the city council for many years but has since become a community centre with the help of lottery funding.

What to see here

There are separate areas here to see that are all linked in with the same park, so as well as the parsonage and gardens, there is also the Fletcher Moss Park and botanical garden, the nature reserve of Stenner Woods, Millgate Fields, and the River Mersey.

The botanical garden

The botanical garden is a gorgeous, tranquil sanctuary that is changeable with the weather, but no matter what time of the year you visit, it is always beautiful with so many beautiful plants. rock features and mini waterfalls palm trees, and a floating pond.

I’ve been here twice now, once in the spring and once in the winter, and both times were equally beautiful.

Stenner Woods and nature reserve

The wooded area isn’t particularly large, but it is a perfect place to get lost in nature. There are wetlands here, but there is also a wooden boardwalk to avoid getting your feet wet. There are also fallen trees that have been left there deliberately by the wardens, which just add to the natural environment. I couldn’t help but think how adventurous this would be for children as I walked around. I also saw little love hearts with pictures on them; I think these had been part of the Christmas trail, which I really enjoyed spotting.

There are a variety of species of birds that flock here all through the year; these include wrens, robins, blackbirds, thrushes, treecreepers, Sand Martins, blackcaps, and many more.

Millgate fields and River Mersey

There are also the millgate fields and the River Mersey, which make for a nice scenic walk along with other areas such as Withington, Charlton, and Northernden.

So if your in Manchester and fancy getting any from the city for a little while, I’d say this would be a great choice, and what’s more is that this place is right next to Didsbury Village, which is lined with numerous shops, cafes, and restaurants, which is perfect for grabbing a coffee or a bite to eat after your visit to Fletcher Moss Park.

I hope you enjoyed my blog today.

Thanks for visiting 

Stay blessed 🙏🏾

Natalie ❤️

Manchester: Manchester Cathedral

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I can’t quite believe I’ve never visited Manchester Cathedral before, given the number of times I’ve walked past this building and never even given it a thought to even take a look inside. Isn’t it ironic how little attention we pay to things and places that have always existed in our own cities or towns?

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Manchester Cathedral is in the heart of the city and has been one of its main attractions for more than 600 years. There was a new calling for a new collegiate church to be built, so in 1421 it was Henry V who signed a royal charter for permission for the rebuild, and then in 1847 a new Manchester diocese was created and this church became a cathedral.

One day, as I went for a walk around the city, I decided to visit the inside of Manchester Cathedral.

I was surprised as I entered because I hadn’t quite imagined it would be as big as it was from the outside. It’s actually a really beautiful cathedral, and the interior is a great example of mediaeval carved woodwork in the North of England; the stained glass is more modern as the church suffered damage in World War II. It also had more renovations after it was damaged in the 1996 IRA bombing.

It’s a great place for anyone who enjoys architecture and would like to learn more history about our vibrant little city.

Unfortunately, I didn’t take many photos as my battery was running low. Maybe I’ll visit again and post a few more.

If your visiting Manchester City Centre, do take a look inside. You can find the cathedral at Victoria St., Manchester M3 1SX.

Thanks for stopping by to take a look at our cities’ little cathedral. Stay blessed 🙏🏾

Natalie ❤️

Greater Manchester: Dunham Massey

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My trip to Dunham Massey was my first national trust trip since becoming a member. I visited here at the beginning of autumn in October. If there was ever a perfect autumn day, this would have closely matched it for me.

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What is Dunham Massey and where is it?

Dunham Massey is a Georgian house, garden and an ancient deer park full of treasures and stories. It is situated in Altrincham, Cheshire, Greater Manchester, and is regarded as one of the best attractions in this region for history and nature lovers.

A bit about the history

The house was home to two historic families, the Booth’s and the Grey’s, and holds over 400 years of history, wealth, and some rather scandalous stories.

The present house was built in 1616 by Sir George Booth but has since been altered and remodelled over the years 1732, 1740, 1905, and 1908.

The rising of the estate

The house really rose after George Booth, the 2nd Earl of Warrington, inherited the Dunham estate from his father, Henry Booth, the 1st Earl of Warrington, along with a debt of £50,000. As a way to clear the debt, he planted hundreds of trees as a source of timber. However, he finally manages to pay off that debt when he marries Mary Oldbury, who came with a huge dowry of £24,000, which is around £2.5 million today.

The house was inherited by their only child, Mary Booth, who married Harry Grey, the 4th Earl of Stamford, which meant the Durham Estate was brought into the Earldom of Stamford and into the Grey family.

The estate stays in the Grey family until 1976, when the last Earl, the 10th Earl of Stamford Roger Grey, who inherited the estate at just 13 years old dies, leaving the estate to the National Trust. It is the biggest gift left to the National Trust to date.

Fake memories, an eerie spooky walk, and reindeer spotting.

I was absolutely certain I’d been here once before, on a school trip at around the age of seven. I remember the trip clearly as a day, but strangely, upon arrival and all throughout the day, there was absolutely nothing recognisable. I am still unsure if I have been here before. Perhaps it could be another one of my fake childhood memories. Nonetheless, the first thing I planned to do was visit the medieval deer park, which was first mentioned in 1362.

The park is of scientific interest as it has hundreds of ancient trees and there have been roaming deer here for almost 1000 years.

Walking through the spooky deer park

The more I moved into the park, which appeared to be more like an extremely eerie forest, the spookier it became, especially when I arrived at a creepy looking small house. I’m glad I was unaware at the time because this house is reportedly haunted. Nonetheless, I still stopped for photos, as you can see.

There wasn’t a single soul around. It gave me the impression that I was staring in a scary movie as the stupid one who goes walking alone. 

Although I actually wanted to turn around at this point, I was determined to see the deer, so I kept on going.

Finally, I spotted a herd of deer in the distance. I wanted to take a closer look because, believe it or not, I’ve never actually seen a deer, at least not up close. But as I got closer, they seemed to have all vanished. Then, all of a sudden, I turned around, and there was this huge male Buck staring at me. Then I saw a huge herd of them, and from this point on, they all seemed to appear out of nowhere.

I was so delighted to see them, especially since I was told there was a possibility I wouldn’t due to the weather.

 

With c. 3000 acres of land here, there is plenty of ground to walk on and lots of outside buildings to discover.

Dunham Massey Watermill

The mill is a 17th-century corn mill that was later transformed into a saw mill in 1860. Sadly, after technology evolved and the mill became more expensive to run, it stopped working in the 1930s. It was later given to the National Trust in 1950.

There are tours available here to learn more about the mill and its history, but I didn’t attend these.

The historic stables

The stables at Dunham Massey were completed in the 18th century and have remained completely unchanged.

They were built to house around 25 animals, including race goats, ponies, cows, and carriages.

I had such a blissful time exploring the grounds that I hadn’t noticed that almost two and a half hours had passed by and I’d still not been to the main house.

I visited inside the house,but unfortunately unable to share photos

I eventually go inside the main house, but unfortunately, I cannot share any pictures because, although visitors are allowed to take photographs with no flash, they are not permitted to be shared inside some of the National Trust properties.

What it was like inside the house

I can tell you that this is a great house to visit. It takes you right back in time, and you can almost feel the atmosphere and the stories as you walk around.

I found it to be quite an eerie place, although that could have had something to do with my visiting on a quiet Tuesday morning and being in most of the rooms alone. Of course, there was staff on every floor, but obviously not in every room.

In some sections of the house, like the servants’ quarters, there are staff members dressed in traditional clothing like what the staff would have worn back in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. I particularly liked the butler; he was really funny and filled my head with imagination by telling me stories of how the house was run.

Overall, it was a really lovely experience, and every member of staff here is super friendly and helpful.

If you would like more information about Dunham Massey, visit here.

I hope you enjoyed the blog today.

Thank you for visiting

Stay blessed 🙏🏾

Natalie ❤️

 

Morecambe Bay: My favourite hangout place of 2022

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This year, Morecambe Bay has been my favourite beach and hangout spot.

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As you may know, I live in a busy city, so I often opt to find a new quiet spot every year, somewhere not too far away from home where I can make regular trips in addition to my other travel adventures. A place I can relax and take some time to replenish my thoughts while getting some fresh air. This year, Morecambe Bay has been that place for me.

Where is Morecambe Bay?

Morecambe Bay is located just to the south of the Lake District National Park in the Northwest of England.

A bit about the history

Morecambe Bay is a large estuary with the longest stretch of mudflats in the UK.

Morecambe was founded when the Little North Western railway line was forced from Leeds and Bradford to a new seashore. This new shore had formed around the village of Poulton-le-sands, which later became Morecambe Bay.

The railway brought in goods and passengers who were going further afield up north, but this new seashore soon started to attract passerbys, which then saw the growth of entertainment, accommodation and other businesses throughout the nineteenth century.

It has the most incredible sunsets and beautiful backdrop

It is an area of scientific interest because of its location, its natural beauty, and the fact that it is home to lots of wildlife.

It also has some of the most amazing sunsets because of its location. I can honestly say I have witnessed the most incredible sunset I have ever seen right here, and I have seen plenty of sunsets. It’s magical!

In addition, it also boasts the most stunning mountains in the Lake District as a backdrop, which is another reason I’ve loved going here and taking long walks down the lovely promenade.

What a nice surprise!

Normally, when I come here, I walk around the promenade and stop when I find a comfortable spot to sit, but the last time I came, I made the decision to do things a little differently.

I continued walking until I reached the end of the promenade, at which point I turned and climbed some stairs to a charming cafe that overlooked the beach. I then turned right and entered a lovely neighbourhood with a small church. Since then, I’ve learned that this region is known as Heysham.

St Peter’s Church

The little picturesque church is called St. Peters Church. It is a 14th century church with parts dating right back to 800AD and sits right at the top of the cliffside.

The views from the chapel were really breathtaking. As I took it all in, I recall thinking how lovely a surprise it all was.

There was also another little surprise too, Glebe Garden, which is right next to the church. Unfortunately, I didn’t take any pictures of this, but it was a lovely, colourful garden with an oasis of peace and a calming atmosphere.

Thanks for stopping by today

Stay blessed 🙏🏾

Natalie ❤️

I became a National Trust member

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*Please note this is not an advertisement blog and I am not being paid to post this; I just think it’s something that could be of some value to some readers.*

Last month I decided to join the National Trust and I’m super excited about it!

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What is the National Trust?

I’m sure many of you already know, but for those that don’t, the National Trust is Europe’s biggest conservation charity, which looks after over 500 heritage sites across England, Wales, and Northern Ireland as well as coastlines, the countryside, and green spaces so that people and nature can thrive  and this is done mostly through the help of people’s donations through memberships.

What’s in it for the members?

As a member, I now have access to over 500 heritage sites where I will be able to present my card and get free admission as well as free parking to the sites. Of course, it’s not entirely free because you have to pay for the membership card to begin with, but it is a fantastic investment for plenty of fun and adventures for a fraction of the price I would pay as a non-member.

Overseas and non UK citizens

Not only this, my membership also gives me access to similar sites across the globe because The International National Trust and similar organisations are all in partnership.

The membership is also offered to people in the US, but otherwise non-UK citizens can purchase a touring pass ( prices below)

Membership prices

Memberships last for one year, and there are different types of memberships that can be paid for either as a one-time payment or monthly payments. Although it is worth paying for one all at once, you will receive a £15 National Trust gift voucher. Here are the prices:

Membership Prices

Individual – £76.80 a year/ £6.40 a month

Young person – (18 to 25) £38.40 a year

junior – (5 to 17) £10 a year

Joint – (2 adults) £127.20 a year/ £10.60 a month

Family – ( 2 adults and all children) £133.80 a year/ £11.15 a month

Family – ( 1 adult and all children) £83.40 a year/ £6.95 a month

Touring pass for non UK citizens

Individual ( £37 for a 7 day pass or £43 for a 14 day pass)

Two people (£65 for a 7 day pass or £77 for a 14 day pass)

Family pass ( £71 for a 7 day pass or £91 for a 14 day pass)

See here for more information on the touring pass.

Already seeing the benefits of this little membership card

I bought the individual one because I usually travel alone, and I’ve already realised how valuable it is to have a membership. I recently took my first day trip using my card and would have had to pay a £10 admission fee if it weren’t for having the membership. My next planned day trip would have cost me a £19 admission fee, so it’s definitely worth it for people who like to take day trips.

For more information about the National Trust and its sites visit here.

I hope you have enjoyed my blog today

Stay blessed 🙏🏾

Natalie ❤️

Greater Manchester: Hollingworth Lake County Park

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Hollingworth Lake is situated in Littleborough, Greater Manchester, England.

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A bit about the history of Hollingworth Lake

The lake was first constructed to serve as the primary water source for Rochdale Canal, but in the 1860s it turned into a well- liked tourist destination.

Early in the 20th century, it started to lose popularity as a tourist attraction and was used as a training camp for the second World War.

Following World War II, Rochdale Council acquired the reservoir and boating rights and designated the surrounding areas as a country park in 1974, giving rise to the name Hollingworth Lake and Country Park, which is now a popular tourist destination once again.

I can’t believe I didn’t visit this location until earlier this year. It is one of the most beautiful places to grab a moment’s peace and quiet and another great find on the outskirts of my city.

I’d say this is a great place for those living or staying in Manchester seeking tranquility, and it’s only a 40-minute drive away from the city centre

Additional information

There are plenty of facilities here, including its very own caravan park. Take a look here to find out more and make the most of your day trip here.

I hope you enjoyed my blog today

Thank you for visiting

Stay blessed 🙏🏾

Natalie ❤️

Bangor: The oldest city in Wales

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Earlier this year, 2002, in May, I travelled to Bangor. I went there with some big expectations because it’s the oldest city in Wales. You’d think that I would have a tonne to tell you, but I’m sorry I don’t since, in all honesty, I wasn’t all that impressed on this trip and I couldn’t get to some of the places I wanted to visit.

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It was a little run-down

It looked pretty dingy and run-down, at least in the city centre, and there were lots of boarded-up shops, which is really sad for a once-thriving city.

Since I just visited the centre and not too far outside of it, I can only report on those areas. Given that I was only there for a single day, there may be far more to it and several locations to find that I am unaware of. Please don’t misunderstand me; I’m sure there are many that genuinely enjoy Bangor, but I suppose it depends on individual tastes. But nonetheless, I did find some beauty spots.

Things start to look up

I remember Googling the location to see what places and things I could visit around the city centre or within walking distance of the center; normally, I take buses and venture out, but I didn’t want to do that; I wanted a fairly relaxed day without having to rely on public transportation, and though there weren’t many recommendations near the city center, I decided the things recommended would suffice.

As a traveler, I have an important rule I go by, and it is that no matter where I go, regardless, I must make the most of the adventure and look for all the positives of a place. So I started to seek out some of those recommendations I had found within walking distance.

Garth Pier

Garth Pier is a listed structure and the second-longest pier in Wales, ninth overall in the British Isles. It is just a short 14-minute walk from the centre of Bangor.

There was a 50p charge to entire and no time  retrictions at least when I went.

The pier and its surrounding area were beautiful.

After a walk down the pier, I walked around the cute residential area and found this little spot of beach down an alleyway and ate my lunch here; if I had known this part of the day would be the best highlight of my day, I would have stayed a little longer, but the curious Annie in me wanted to get going with zeal to see what else was on offer.

Port Penrhyn Harbour

Port Penrhyn Harbour was once a major exporter of slate from Penrhyn Quarry, which was once the world’s largest slate quarry.

There wasn’t that much to do here, but it was nice to walk around and enjoy the views of the mountains in the distance.

Lon Las Ogwen

Now this is the most disappointing part of my trip because I was really looking forward to visiting Lon Las Ogwen and the pictures looked absolutely breathtaking.

I couldn’t find this place for some reason and ended up here with no idea where I was, but it definitely wasn’t Lon Las Ogwen.

I had Google Maps on to help me find this place, but it kept leading to a set of gates that were closed, and then to a restricted residential area that I couldn’t get access to. So it ended up just sitting here. It was so quiet. I was here for almost 40 minutes, and I didn’t see a single person, just birds. It was actually quite blissful, but it was a little chilly. I couldn’t help but think how beautiful this little spot would be on a day when the tide was in.

As I wasn’t successful in finding this place, you may want to take a look here to discover more.

Besides the above-mentioned, I didn’t really do much else besides browsing in some shops and purchasing a new jumper before heading back to the train station.

Other recommended places I didn’t get to visit

Penrhyn Castle

I wanted to visit Penrhyn Castle, but unfortunately for me, on the day I went, the castle was closed and was only open over the weekends, although now it is back to its normal opening hours. The castle and its gardens look so beautiful, and I’m looking forward to visiting one day in the near future.

Menai Suspension Bridge

I also wanted to visit Menai Bridge; however, it was a 20-minute bus ride away or a 45-minute walk, and given my limited time, I wasn’t able to do so.

The Menai Suspension Bridge, which was built by Thomas Telford, is connected with the Britannia Bridge, built by Robert Stephenson, and connects Anglesey to mainland Gwynedd. It is a popular tourist attraction. The Swellies are located between the two bridges and are popular for their swirling whirlpools and ever-changing tide currents.

Overall thoughts

Overall, it wasn’t the best day trip. However, I would definitely go back to see the sites I missed I think had I gotten to visit these places, it would have added a lot more value to my trip. Nonetheless, it was good to get out and visit a new destination.

I also thought it was a little unfortunate that over the years, the oldest city in Wales has not received as much investment as other cities have, but I’m happy to learn that there are fresh plans and finances for a redevelopment. So I’m quite looking forward to seeing what will happen in the future in this city.

All in all I would definitely re- visit with a bit more organisation.

Hope you enjoyed my blog today

Thanks for visiting

Stay blessed 🙏🏾

Natalie ❤️

Peak District: Kinder Scout

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Kinder Scout is located in the Dark Peak of the Peak District in Derbyshire and is the highest point in the Peak District. It can be reached via Edale, which was the route I took. Well, I didn’t take any particular planned route I just wondered where the other path would lead me and ended up here.

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I was unaware that Kinder Scout had served as the setting for a significant moment in British history at the time.

It was the location of a large-scale walking trespass that would alter British history about access to the countryside.

History of Kinder Scout

It was the place where a mass walking trespass took place on April 24, 1932, by members of the Young Communist League in protest of members of the public being denied access to remote parts of the countryside.

The protest was a coordinated protest that involved three large groups of walkers all heading towards Kinder Scout at the same time. It was supposedly a peaceful protest; however, some of the walkers got into scrambles with a few gamekeepers, which led to their arrest and prison sentences of between two to six months.

At the time of this protest, there were several other protests seeking access to the Peak District, but the harsh prison sentences of the Ramblers distinguished the Kinder Scout protest from the others, which spread publicly on TV and in local and national newspapers. This resulted in the empathy of thousands of other ramblers, since trespassing is not a criminal offence in England and the harsh punishments had only been for the few scuffles with gamekeepers, which seemed to not go down well with the other ramblers and members of the public.

The outcome of the mass trespass

This was arguably the act that led to the National Parks Act’s enactment, the accessibility of the countryside for walkers and the working class, and the creation of extensive footpaths like the Pennine Way.

The most picturesque trail

I’d say Kinder Scout is the most picturesque and beautiful trail I’ve hiked so far, but on this particular day it was hot and probably not the best day for a good scramble up the rocks, so I made my way down to the stream, took off my boots and socks, dipped my feet in the water, had a picnic for one, and sat back to read a book while listening to the sounds of the stream and the two little sheep.

There was only me in this spot, so it made the moment even more special. It was the ideal spot for a perfect summer day.

I’m looking forward to the cooler months to scramble over the rocks and see what’s beyond.

How I got on the Kinder Scout trail

1. I took a left at Edale Train Station.

2. I walked straight past the Ramblers Inn pub on the left.

3. Keep walking straight and past the Old Nags Head pub on the right.

4. I followed the Grindsbrook sign and walked through Grindsbrook Clough.

5. I took a left after passing Grindsbrook Clough. I took a left and followed the path to another nearby clough.

6. After entering the gates here, I went across a tiny little foot path, turned left, then right, and I was on Kinder Scout.

I hope you enjoyed my post today

Thanks for visiting. Stay blessed 🙏🏾

Natalie ❤️

Peak District: Edale Village

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Edale is a little village in Derbyshire, in the Peak District, or, to be more accurate, part of a small group of settlements or hamlets, and has a population of just 353, according to the 2011 Census.

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The village has two popular pubs, a cafe, a local shop and post office, a school, a church, and a railway station that is on the route of one of England’s most scenic train routes.

Despite its seemingly remote location, the village is a very popular place where walkers and hikers camp and pass through to explore the picturesque village and the surrounding countryside.

Hiking in Grindsbrook, Edale

When I first visited this place, I had intended to go Mam Tor, but I was unable to find it due to poor planning and lack of a GPS, so I decided to turn around and walk in the opposite direction to see where I ended up.

I recall walking as far up the footpath as I could and seeing a sign that said “Grindsbrook. I followed the sign and went through Grindsbrook Clough and headed straight up toward the mountains, through the gate, and followed the footpath.

I arrive at the first vantage point with views overlooking the beautiful Edale and further afield.

The more I walked along the footpath, the better the views got. I just knew that this was going to be another place I was going to want to explore further.

The views were amazing. It was such a beautiful day, and there weren’t that many people around on this randomly scheduled Tuesday walk. I felt like for the most part I had the whole place to myself.

I’d say despite my clumsy planning, it was quite a successful first hike in this part of the Peak District.

I returned to Edale the following week in search of Mam Tor; I didn’t find it, but I did end up on another beautiful trail, which I’ll tell you about in my next and upcoming blog.

I hope you have enjoyed my blog today

Thank you for visiting

Stay blessed 🙏🏾

Natalie ❤️

Greater Manchester: Portland Basin Museum

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Portland Basin Museum is located in a nineteenth-century warehouse in Ashton-under-Lyne in Greater Manchester near a beautiful canal side.

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I visited here with my mum in 2020, just before the first COVID-19 national lockdown for England, hence us wearing our face masks in the photos.

Since I’m blogging more about locations in and around my city, I recently discovered the images on my old phone and decided that this museum deserved a worthy spot for Manchester my blog.

Stepping back into the 1920s

The museum has exhibitions where you can experience what life was like back in the 1920s in Tameside.

The 1920s street

We had a great time exploring the street of the 1920s.

My mum, who educated me with her own knowledge and recollections, made the trip much more informative and enjoyable.

My mum, who is in her sixties, was able to tell me about several things that were still in use in the 1950s and 1960s. I loved hearing about all her memories and stories as she recalled them from each of the items.

It was lovely to see how her expression changed when she came across items that brought back her memories. She was wearing a mask, so I couldn’t see her face, but I could see that her eyes were sparkling.

Exploring the industrial heritage and farm

We had the opportunity to learn about the region’s historical industrial heritage and what it was like to work in the mines by hearing personal accounts from those who had done so.

Life on the farm

There is also a part where you may read in detail about the early days of the local farming. 

We thought this was very intriguing.

Additional information

There is much more to do and learn about here in addition to what has already been covered, but I want to make this post as brief as possible.

The portland basin Museum, in my opinion, is a great place for visitors of all ages and has a lot to offer.

Admission:

Admission is free and the museum it’s usual opening hours are 10am to 4pm accept on Monday when it is closed.

Click here to find out more information if you plan to visit.

Hope you have enjoyed my blog today

Thanks for visiting

Stay blessed 🙏🏾

Natalie ❤️