The site is now a must-visit destination “to tell people about the area, places to go and things to do in this part of Manchester,” as Potter explains. So what can people expect from a trip to the Northern Quarter? “Incredible street art, an eclectic mix of shops, a huge choice of some of the best coffee shops, cafés, bars and restaurants in Manchester and some fantastic architecture. All in all, a wonderful place to explore!”
Shopping in the Northern Quarter
“I get asked for advice as to what to do and where to go in the Northern Quarter a lot and it’s always hard to answer with specifics,” says Potter. “There’s so much to do and so many places to discover that I think the real joy is in the exploration of the area.”
It’s certainly true that the streets and lanes around Piccadilly Gardens are a wonderful place to wander aimlessly, as you never know what you might stumble across next tucked away in the handsome red brick buildings. Here are a few of our favourite independent shops to look out for:
The first stop on any shopping tour of the Northern Quarter has to be this vast warren of independent shops and market stalls formerly known as Affleck’s Palace, which has been a Manchester institution since 1982. Scattered throughout its four storeys you’ll find everything from vintage clothes and retro homewares to skateboards, handmade cosmetics, fudge, vinyl, accessories and more. There are also restaurants, cafés and other services for when you’ve shopped yourself out. There’s even a store selling American candy, if you’re feeling a little homesick!
Fig + Sparrow
This cheerfully charming shop is packed full of beautiful stationery, homewares, soaps, candles and more, much of which is locally designed and produced. There’s also a friendly coffee shop on site providing quality coffee and mouth-watering cakes.