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All about the Manchester Monastery A Travel Guide

All about the Manchester Monastery: A Travel Guide

Manchester, often lauded for its iconic football scene and rich industrial past, holds more gems than one might initially think. 

Nestled amidst its bustling streets and modern skyline is the Gorton Monastery, a piece of history that whispers tales of yesteryears while seamlessly blending into the city’s contemporary landscape. 

Let’s embark on a journey, shall we? From its storied past to its present-day allure, here’s everything you need to know to make the most of your visit.

The Manchester Monastery: An Overview 

Address: 89 Gorton Ln, Manchester M12 5WF, United Kingdom


Opening Hours: Sunday to Thursday 10 AM to 4 PM; Friday to Saturday, closed 

Gorton Monastery’s elegant structure stands as a testament to Manchester’s deep historical roots. Established as the Church and Friary of St Francis, this iconic landmark was completed in 1872 under the expert guidance of the renowned architect, Edward Pugin. 

But the locals, always fond of nicknames, affectionately started calling it ‘Gorton Monastery’ from its early days. Showcasing the brilliance of High Victorian Gothic architecture, its grandeur has earned it a well-deserved Grade II listing. 

The Manchester Monastery is also a catholic landmark where devoted catholic Mancunians and travellers spend time to pray and visit Sunday masses. 

A walk within its walls feels like a step back in time, as the meticulous design and craftsmanship speak volumes of an era gone by.

Does Gorton Monastery have a car park?

The Manchester Monastery has a free on-site parking spot where you can easily park your car if you plan on visiting this historical structure. 

Best Time to Go

Early morning on a Sunday during the spring season is the ideal time to visit the Gorton Monastery. 

At this hour, the Monastery is bathed in a soft, natural light that accentuates its historic architecture. 

Sundays offer a unique experience as it’s a day of worship, allowing visitors to immerse themselves in the spiritual ambiance and even partake in the traditional Catholic masses. 

Moreover, spring brings mild weather and blossoming surroundings, adding to the overall charm of the visit.

How to Get There

Train: Manchester boasts a well-connected train system. The nearest train station to Gorton Monastery is Gorton Station. From Manchester Piccadilly, it’s just a short journey to Gorton. Once you arrive, the Monastery is a mere 10-minute walk away.

Bus: For buses, you can hop on the 201, 203, or 204 lines from Manchester city centre, all of which have stops near Gorton Monastery. Make sure to check the timetables, especially if you plan to visit on a Sunday, as bus frequencies may vary.

Taxi: Taking a taxi can be the quickest and most direct way, especially if you’re not familiar with Manchester’s public transport system. Simply ask your driver to take you to the Gorton Monastery— most will know this iconic location.

Car Service: Services like Uber and local car hire companies offer rides to Gorton Monastery, allowing you to travel at your own pace and convenience. Plus, many offer the option to schedule pick-ups for your return journey.

What to Expect 

Have you ever dreamt of experiencing the wonders of the Taj Mahal without leaving Manchester? Well, the Manchester Monastery is often referred to as ‘Manchester’s Taj Mahal’, a hidden treasure worth discovering. 

Not only is it an architectural marvel designed by Edward Welby Pugin, but it also harnesses ancient architectural principles, creating a harmonious blend of light and sound. It’s a must-see whether you’re a local or just visiting the region.

Ever wondered how it feels to be inside this magnificent structure? Well, let’s hear it from HRH, The Prince of Wales himself, who said, ‘I find that just being here lifts my spirits and makes me feel that anything is possible’. 

It’s not just royalty that’s been taken by the Monastery’s charm; many visitors describe their time here as both uplifting and inspirational. If you’re seeking a boost of positivity, this might just be the place for you!

Looking for an immersive experience? During the tour, you’ll be taken through the Monastery’s captivating journey— from its glorious inception to its heart-wrenching decline and eventual triumphant restoration by a dedicated Charitable Trust and a community of volunteers. 

Noteworthy stops include the awe-inspiring Great Nave, the serene Cloisters, and the tranquil Monastery Garden. To ensure a spot, make sure to pre-book as these tours are in high demand.

The Gorton Monastery is famous for being the former site of the Belle Vue Zoological Gardens, which operated from 1836 to the 1980s and attracted over two million visitors at its peak.

It isn’t just about its stunning interiors. In its heart lies a serene central garden surrounded by the cloisters. It’s a haven for those seeking a moment of peace and reflection.

On a good day, you might even spot the Lichfield Angel, the garden’s signature flower, in full bloom. So, take a moment, grab a seat, and maybe even enjoy an outdoor meal if the weather’s on your side.

Here’s a little tip— if you’re pondering a family day out in Manchester, the Monastery is a top contender. 

Not only is it brimming with history and architectural wonders, but it also welcomes visitors with open arms, and guess what? Admission is completely free! It’s an experience that both kids and adults will cherish, making it a perfect family bonding activity.

Where to Eat

Address: 518 Hyde Rd, Manchester M18 7AA, United Kingdom

Contact Details: +441616370830


Opening Hours: Monday, closed; Tuesday to Thursday 2 to 10 PM; Friday and Saturday 2 PM to 3 AM; Sunday 1 to 10 PM

A culinary delight in the heart of Manchester, Roots Restaurant serves up a tantalising mix of classic and contemporary dishes. 

Roots isn’t just any restaurant; it’s a symphony of flavours that captures the essence of Manchester. With its chic interior, it’s an ideal spot for everything from romantic dinners to celebratory events. 

The chefs here take pride in curating dishes that not only satiate your hunger but also offer a visual treat, making each meal an Instagram-worthy moment.

Whether you’re in the mood for a hearty breakfast or an elegant dinner, this place has got you covered. Make sure to ask about their daily specials!

Address: New Smithfield Market, Unit, M8, Manchester M11 2WW, United Kingdom

Contact Details: +441612209768


Opening Hours: Daily 2 to 11 PM

Warm, cosy, and oozing with old-world charm, Four Seasons Inn offers a unique dining experience. 

Tucked away from the hustle and bustle, Four Seasons Inn stands as an emblem of classic British hospitality. 

Its rustic charm combined with a touch of modernity creates a warm and inviting atmosphere. The desserts here deserve a special mention; they’re the kind of treats that you’d travel miles for.

Their traditional British fare, combined with some international favourites, ensures there’s something for everyone. Remember to pair your meal with one of their handpicked wines.

Address: 815 Ashton Old Rd, Openshaw, Manchester M11 2NL, United Kingdom

Contact Details: +441614781313


Opening Hours: Daily 11 AM to 3 PM

For those who crave authentic flavours, Real Taste is the place to be. Their diverse menu, emphasising fresh ingredients, will transport your taste buds around the world. 

The name says it all. At Real Taste, it’s all about genuine flavours and rich culinary traditions. The ambiance here mirrors its philosophy—simple, authentic, and unpretentious. 

The staff’s dedication to serving the finest dishes makes every visit special, cementing its reputation as a food lover’s paradise. Don’t leave without trying one of their signature dishes!

Address: 587b Stockport Rd, Longsight, Manchester M13 0RX, United Kingdom

Contact Details: +441612486190


Opening Hours: Daily 12 to 11 PM 

Burger enthusiasts, rejoice! Burger Base Longsight is known for its juicy burgers, crispy fries, and thick shakes. 

In a world of gourmet cuisines, Burger Base Longsight is a tribute to the evergreen love for burgers. The ambiance is relaxed and vibrant, making it a favourite hangout spot for youngsters and families alike. 

Their secret sauce, quite literally, has had patrons coming back for more, cementing its status as the burger king of the area. Whether you like your burger classic or with a twist, they’ve got a patty with your name on it.

Address: Oxford St, Manchester M60 7HA, United Kingdom

Contact Details: +441612335151


Opening Hours: Monday to Thursday 12 to 11 PM; Friday to Saturday 12 PM to 12 AM; Sunday 12 to 10:30 PM

A fusion of ambiance and flavours, The Refuge is more than just a restaurant. It’s a culinary experience. 

Beyond its gastronomic delights, The Refuge is a place where memories are made. Its eclectic interior, adorned with art pieces, sets the stage for magical evenings. 

Also, their cocktail menu deserves a shoutout, offering unique concoctions that are perfect conversation starters.

Their menu boasts dishes crafted with love, and the setting provides a perfect backdrop for memorable meals.

Where to Shop 


Manchester Arndale isn’t just a shopping destination; it’s a shopping adventure! With a vast array of brands and boutiques, it’s a must-visit for shopaholics and casual browsers alike.

Beyond its expansive storefronts, Manchester Arndale stands as a testament to the city’s evolving retail landscape. 

Regular events, from fashion shows to pop-up markets, add a touch of excitement to the regular shopping spree. It’s not just about shopping; it’s about experiencing the very pulse of Manchester’s retail world.


Nestled in the heart of Manchester, Søstrene Grene offers a unique blend of Scandinavian design and practicality. From home décor to craft supplies, there’s a treasure awaiting every shopper.

A visit to Søstrene Grene feels like stepping into a Nordic dream. The store’s layout, reminiscent of cosy Scandinavian homes, makes shopping an intimate experience. Their seasonal collections ensure there’s always something new, making every visit feel like the first.


Fashion-forward individuals will find their haven at HERVIA Store. Featuring curated collections from emerging designers and established brands, it’s where style meets substance.

At HERVIA Store, fashion is an art form. Each piece, meticulously curated, tells a story. The store frequently hosts events and launches, offering a glimpse into the ever-evolving world of fashion. It’s not just a store; it’s Manchester’s fashion statement.


A gem for those who appreciate the finer details, Print Pattern Archive houses a curated collection of unique prints and patterns. Perfect for designers or anyone looking to add a touch of uniqueness to their life.

Print Pattern Archive is a wonderland for design enthusiasts. Beyond retail, it’s a space that celebrates the evolution of designs and patterns over the decades. Workshops and events held here offer insights into the world of design, making it a hub for creativity.


More than just a store, Deadstock General Store is an experience. With a range of rare finds and everyday essentials, shopping here feels like a delightful treasure hunt.

With its quirky collections, Deadstock General Store redefines shopping. Every item here has a story, a history. It’s the perfect place to find gifts that stand out or to discover something unique for yourself. Shopping here is like embarking on a nostalgic journey.

Where to Stay


Conveniently located and budget-friendly, Travelodge Manchester Sportcity ensures a comfortable stay without breaking the bank. It’s perfect for travellers on the go.

Beyond its comfortable rooms, Travelodge Manchester Sportcity offers a unique blend of convenience and style. 

The hotel often becomes a hub for sports enthusiasts, given its proximity to some of Manchester’s prime sports facilities. The morning breakfast spread is a delight, ensuring you start your day on the right note.


Experience the bustling vibe of Manchester while enjoying the comforts of home at Travelodge Manchester Ancoats. It’s strategically located close to key attractions, making it a traveller’s favourite.

Sitting in the heart of Manchester, Travelodge Manchester Ancoats isn’t just about convenience; it’s about experiencing the city’s vibrant spirit. 

With popular attractions just a stone’s throw away, it becomes the perfect base for explorers. The staff’s local expertise ensures you get the best of Manchester during your stay.


Synonymous with comfort and quality, this Holiday Inn Express promises a stay to remember. With modern amenities and top-notch service, relaxation is guaranteed.

Every stay at Holiday Inn Express Manchester – East feels like a homecoming. The warm ambiance, combined with modern amenities, offers the perfect blend of comfort and luxury. 

The in-house restaurant, serving an array of dishes, ensures you don’t have to venture far for a sumptuous meal.


Blending luxury with convenience, Leonardo Hotel Manchester Piccadilly offers an experience like no other. With its elegant rooms and impeccable service, it’s a top pick for travellers seeking the finer things in life.

Leonardo Hotel isn’t just a place to stay; it’s an experience. The panoramic views of Manchester from its rooms are simply breathtaking. 

The rooftop lounge, offering a curated list of drinks, becomes the perfect spot to unwind after a day of exploration.


Located in the heart of the city, this Premier Inn ensures a delightful stay with its cosy rooms, delicious breakfast, and friendly staff. A stay here means you’re just steps away from Manchester’s vibrant scene.

Staying at Premier Inn Manchester City is like getting a front-row seat to Manchester’s lively events. Its central location means you’re always in the midst of action. 

The rooms, designed keeping in mind the modern traveller, are spacious and equipped with all comforts, ensuring a restful night after a day of adventures.

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