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12 Places to Take an Architecture-Loving Date in Manchester

12 Places to Take an Architecture-Loving Date in Manchester

As we reach a certain age, our perspective on life, love, and dating begins to change. No longer is a hot date seeing the latest movie, or wining and dining in the newest, most expensive restaurant in town – at least not for all of us. Not all the time.

Modern dating is about mutual interests, compatibility, and the enjoyment of just being together. If you’re from the Manchester area, and your latest date has included architecture amongst their pastimes, here are a few ideas which may just pique their interest.

1. A Fabulous First Date

    Image Source: creativetourist.com

    First dates can often be a stressful experience. A daytime visit to the beautiful Castlefield Urban Heritage Park could be just the thing to allay those niggling little concerns. Stroll in the sunshine alongside the tranquil Bridgewater canal. Book a tour on a converted coal barge, or just enjoy a coffee on the terrace of one of the many 18th century warehouses converted to coffee shops, restaurants, and offices.

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    2. Fantastic Football (Soccer)

      Image Source: communicateschool.co.uk

      If your date has included both architecture and football (and by that I mean soccer, not American football) in their interests, then make an impression with a visit to the all glass National Football Museum situated on Todd Street. With free entry, café, and souvenir shop, you can both immerse yourselves in your favorite sport as the time flies by.

      3. The Museum of Science and Industry

        Image Source: e-architect.co.uk

        For those with an interest in architecture, the museum stands alongside the oldest railway station in the world. For the science and history buffs, you can enjoy old steam engines and vintage aircrafts before retiring to enjoy a latte. An ideal venue for a unique day out.

        4. Manchester Town Hall

          Image Source: mbs.ac.uk

          Situated in Albert Square, the town hall is a mix of beautiful gothic and Victorian architecture. With six floors to explore, and 23 bells in the bell tower, there is plenty to interest couples with a passion for old architecture and a love of the city in which they live. Plenty of cafés, bars, and retail stores surround the square for both parties to enjoy a little down time.

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          5. Manchester Cathedral

            Image Source: manchestercathedral.org

            No matter what your faith, if you love old buildings you can’t fail to be impressed by the splendor of this Gothic building situated in Victoria Street. Built from 1422 to 1506, it became a cathedral in 1847. Manchester Cathedral is a great date place for couples who share a faith, or who wish to explore the faith of others.

            6. Chetham’s Hospital and Library

              Image Source: openbuildings.com

              After a little light lunch, a short walk north from the cathedral will bring you and your date to Chetham’s Hospital. Circa 1422, it was once a residence for monks, and is now a music school and public library, holding over 100,000 books, 50% of which were printed before 1850.

              7. Manchester Art Gallery

                Image Source: meetingsbooker.com

                One often finds a love of architecture, modern or old, goes hand in glove with a love of art. Bring out the artistic bent in your date with a visit to Manchester Art Gallery. Sitting in Mosley Street, it houses works from world famous French, British, German, and pre-Raphaelite painters, as well as a comprehensive display of sculptures from the likes of Moore, Epstein, Maillol and Rodin.

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                8. Heaton Hall and Park

                  Image Source: manchester.gov.uk

                  Does your date have a disability that makes prolonged walking or standing difficult? By choosing to visit Heaton Hall and Park they can enjoy the exterior facade of this and other listed buildings, before enjoying a romantic picnic lunch in Heaton Park.

                  9. Platt Fields Park

                    Image Source: lancashirepast.wordpress.com

                    Another venue for those couples who prefer more quiet than hustle and bustle. The attractive Georgian Platt Hall is set in the grounds of Platt Field Park. For lovers of fashion, its museum houses a collection of costumes and fashions dating back to the 1600s, and rivals anything the big London museums have to offer.

                    10. Beetham Tower, Deansgate

                      Image Source: beethamtowermanchester.com

                      For the younger thirty-something daters, perhaps the interest is modern architecture. Beetham Tower is a mixed-use building, which includes a Hilton Hotel taking up the first 22 floors, high end apartments, and a public bar with 360 degree panoramic views across Manchester. A great place for a special date.

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                      11. Manchester University

                        Image Source: intostudy.com

                        If both yourself and your new date are taking post-grad university degrees, perhaps a date visit to Manchester University in Oxford Road could provide effective conversation pieces. Built in 1851, a stroll through its halls and grounds may invoke fond undergraduate memories for you both.

                        12. A walk on the Architectural Side

                          Image Source: wienerberger.co.uk

                          Finally, if your wish is to impress your new date with as much varied architecture as possible, then consider an organized Manchester Architecture Tour. Mixing with others who have a similar interest will often help fill those otherwise awkward silences so many of us come up against on first dates.

                          Featured photo credit: Unknown via openbuildings.com

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                          Last Updated on October 23, 2018

                          Science Says Knitting Makes Humans Warmer And Happier, Mentally

                          Science Says Knitting Makes Humans Warmer And Happier, Mentally

                          My mother was a great knitter and produced some wonderful garments such as Aran sweaters which were extremely fashionable when I was young. She also knitted while my father drove, which caused great amusement. I often wondered why she did that but I think I know the answer now.

                          Knitting is good for your mental health, according to some research studies. The Washington Post mentions a 2013 survey of about 3,500 knitters who were asked how they felt after a knitting session. Over 80% of them said they definitely felt happier. It is not a totally female occupation as more and more men take it up to get the same benefits. Harry Styles (One Direction) enjoys knitting. So does Russell Crowe although he does it to help him with anger management!

                          The Neural Knitwork Project

                          In Australia, Neural Knitworks was started to encourage people to knit and also become aware of neuroscience and mental health issues. Knit-ins were organized but garments were not the only things created. The knitters produced handmade neurons (1,665 of them!) to make a giant brain. The 2015 project will make more neural knitted networks (neural knitworks) and they will be visible online. You can see some more examples of woolly neurons on the Neural Knitworks Facebook page.

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                          While people knitted, crocheted and crafted yarn, they listened to experts talking about mental health issues such as addiction, dementia, depression, and how neurons work.

                          The knitting and neural connection

                          The human brain has about 80 billion neurons. Learning new skills, social interaction, and physical activity all help to forge neural connections which keep the brain healthy and active. They are creating networks to control movement and make memories. The knitters learn that as they create the woollen neurons, their own neurons are forming new pathways in their brains. Their creations are mimicking the processes in their brains to a certain extent. At the same time, their brains are registering new and interesting information as they learn interesting facts about the brain and how it works. I love the knitworks and networks pun. What a brilliant idea!

                          More mental health benefits from knitting

                          Betsan Corkhill is a physiotherapist and has published some results of completed studies on her website, appropriately named Stitchlinks. She conducted some experiments herself and found that knitting was really helpful in reducing panic and anxiety attacks.

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                          “You are using up an awful lot of brain capacity to perform a coordinated series of movements. The more capacity you take up by being involved in a complex task, the less capacity you have for bad thoughts.”- Betsan Corkhill

                          Knitters feel happier and in a better mood

                          Ann Futterman-Collier, Well Being Lab at Northern Arizona University, is very interested in how textile therapy (sewing, knitting, weaving and lace-making) can play an important role in mood repair and in lifting depressive states.

                          She researched 60 women and divided them into three different groups to do some writing, meditating and work with textiles. She monitored their heartbeat, blood pressure and saliva production. The women in the textiles group had the best results when their mood was assessed afterwards. They were in a better mood and had managed to reduce their negative thoughts better than those in the writing and meditation groups.

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                          “People who were given the task to make something actually had less of an inflammatory response in the face of a ‘stressor’.” – Dr. Futterman Collier

                          The dopamine effect on our happiness

                          Our brains produce a chemical called dopamine. This helps us to feel happy, more motivated, and assists also with focus and concentration. We get a boost of dopamine after sex, food, exercise, sleep, and creative activities.

                          There are medications to increase dopamine but there are lots of ways we can do it naturally. Textile therapy and crafting are the easiest and cheapest. We can create something and then admire it. In addition, this allows for a little bit of praise and congratulations. Although this is likely not your goal, all these can boost our dopamine and we just feel happier and more fulfilled. These are essential in facing new challenges and coping with disappointment in life.

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                          “Sometimes, people come up to me when I am knitting and they say things like, “Oh, I wish I could knit, but I’m just not the kind of person who can sit and waste time like that.” How can knitting be wasting time? First, I never just knit; I knit and think, knit and listen, knit and watch. Second, you aren’t wasting time if you get a useful or beautiful object at the end of it.” – Stephanie Pearl-McPhee, At Knit’s End: Meditations for Women Who Knit Too Much.

                          If you thought knitting and textiles were for old ladies, think again!

                          Featured photo credit: DSC_0012/Mary-Frances Main via flickr.com

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