The boyf and I bought our first home last year, in the last remaining leafy corner of the inner city area, Trinity – a hop, skip and a jump over the river at Spinningfields and the mantelpiece from which Salford displays its best wares.
I spent a day wandering around the area (just 10 months after moving in) because I had a morning of work, and it was splendid.
I started with a coffee from Lupo Caffe, a gorgeous little Italian caffè on Chapel Street, the main drag in Salford Central. Then, after a peak in the window of neighbouring Pencil Me In Shop, it was straight up Chapel Street toward Salford University campus.
It’s around a fifteen minute walk from the Manchester end of Chapel Street, up to the University where my final destination, the Salford Museum and Art Gallery, is situated and you pass some impressive sights en route. The old Salford Town Hall, for one, now swanky flats, sits within a pristine and pretty square with the New Oxford Pub nearby, all just around the corner from our home.
Further up you come to the seat of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Salford, Salford Cathedral, the first cathedral to be built (1848) in cruciforiam shape since the Reformation. It’s an impressive space, sparse and solemn like most churches, but surrounded by gorgeous gardens too.
Next door is St. Philip’s Church, Salford’s answer to St. Paul’s in London, with a striking dome shaped steeple.
As well as relics from the past, you pass examples of regeneration in Vimto Gardens, the beginning of a huge residential and retail regeneration of the Chapel St. drag, on the site of the former Vimto factory. Timekeeper’s Square is another resident complex, next to St. Philip’s Church is being developed right now too.
Nearing the campus, you catch a sight of The Meadows, a expanse of greenery within the meander of the Irwell, before it scoops back around and trims the boarder of Manchester and Salford at Spinningfields and Trinity. It’s a nice sight, some green within the urban city environment.
Then, the University, and my destination for a spot of culture on a rare morning off when I had nothing else to do. The Salford Museum and Art Gallery is a lovely little spot, with some beautiful permanent displays in the Victorian Gallery and changed exhibits throughout, from pottery and paper-work to modernist painting and photography. Well worth a visit.
For me though, it was time to trundle back down the street toward Manchester.