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Alt fashion's alternative guide to Manchester

Manchester is one of the Mecca's of the north, a city associated with indie cool (The smiths, Joy division, & Oasis), and forward fashion. Even now Manchester is a haven for independent style, and alternative culture; with more independently run clubs than you shake a glittery stick at.

Cafe pop, Oldham street

But what to do when you find yourself in this northern city?, and just how do you hunt out the alternative side to the city? Well look no further than our alternative guide to Manchester.

Manchester has three main train stations, and a coach station all linking up the city centre; either via tram or a free bus service.

Head towards Piccadilly gardens in the city centre and you can't go wrong to start off. The watery gardens are nestled amongst the heart of city where you'll find the main alternative hub of Manchester.

Just across from Piccadilly gardens & you'll find Oldham street, which is home to a selection of the city's alternative shops, nestled in the Northern quarter. You'll find plenty of vintage, independent, sci-fi, & record shops dotted along Oldham street to cater for any alternative tastes.

Afflecks, Church street

At the start of Oldham street is vintage emporium Blue rinse, with an abundance of both men's & women's vintage attire in store, so if vintage tees and boots take your fancy you'll be sure to find plenty in-store. Just a bit further down from Blue rinse is the entrance to Afflecks, recently refurbished under new management the old Afflecks arcade entrance is now fully integrated as part of Afflecks.

If you've never been to Afflecks before even in it's changed state, you're still in for a treat. Home to plenty of alternative shops and designers across it's four floors. Starting at the Oldham street entrance you'll find Cyberdog's flagship northern store with plenty of cyber and new rave inspired attire inside. Heading towards the stairs you'll find plenty of shops on all of afflecks four floors. From the gothic (Elysium), cyber (Strawberri peach), emo (Sohos, Rowfers), lolita (Tokyo royale), vintage

(American graffiti), independent fashion (Me&yu, Vanisha's design boutique), and even a chocolatier (The cocoa emporium)!

Take the stairs all the way to the top floor to sample some tasty snacks and a good cuppa at the newly refurbished top floor cafe, Cafe 3; which does a rather scrumptious jacket potato too if you're feeling more than peckish after that walk.

Heading back out of Afflecks you can take the Church street exit (out of Extreme largeness) to find a selection of shops further up Oldham street and the surrounding area. With Thunder egg's flagship shop, bursting with further independent labels, kawaii treats, and jewellery from northern designers.

Thunder egg, Oldham street

Further up and you'll find Cafe pop, which despite it's name is now a vintage emporium where you can find the likes of pop vintage nestled inside.

Just past Cafe pop on your left you can turn towards Tib street, where former Afflecks residents vintage to fetish took to two years ago as Kiku boutique. Bustling with bespoke corsetry, and more glittery burlesque attire than you shimmy at.

Bread and butter cafe, Tib street

And just a stretch down from Kiku boutique is quaint tea room Sugar Junction, a cute little eatery that embodies the best of the Northern Quarter. With it's quaint English interior and gorgeous home made cakes which you'll need to leave room for to sample to a couple!

You'll find plenty of alt friendly shops dotted along Piccadilly and Market street, from big boutique Urban outfitters with it's vintage & quirky attire to cosmetic favourites Lush for some sweet scented almost edible treats.

Once you've finished off your shop, you can find plenty of night life across the city. Everything from burlesque to pounding ebm can be found in the cities many underground clubs. Dependant on what day you're in the city you can find a different choice of clubs, and performances to take in.

Just a mere selection of the city's club nights you can find cater to a broad range of tastes. If you fancy a bit of indie you can't go wrong with a visit to the city's newest venture from Peter hook Factory, featuring a mix of indie, & electro club nights across the week on Princess street (Update 2015 - Factory has now closed it's doors).

Of it a spot of metal takes your fancy you can't got wrong with a visit to the city's legendary metal night Postmortem at zoo nightclub, Grosvenor street.

Every other month you can also find Analogue trash, the city's newest ebm, electro night at the tunnel, Whitworth street.

For those of you that prefer more of a quiet night out, a mere hop out of the city centre you'll find Manchester's gothic horror pub Hellfire on Queens road. So you can have a bite to eat in some rather spooky settings, or take in a bit of a performance.

Of course you can also find plenty of gigs and performances across the city nightly, from the Apollo to The roadhouse; so be sure to check out gig listing sites before your trip.

Whilst we've only bitten off a selection of Manchester's entertainment you can surely find plenty to do in one of the North's busiest cities. So be sure to make the most of your day trip, or weekend outing.