Has anyone else noticed something strange has happened to Manchester over the past few weeks? Wide expanses of square have suddenly become adorned with festive stalls, everyone seems a little bit more excitable and the streets are suddenly full of festive shoppers struggling along with armfuls of bags.
You may also have seen a very large and very appealing ice rink spring up in the city centre recently – Manchester has well and truly become a winter wonderland in anticipation of the Christmas holidays!
If you are staying in our wonderful city over Christmas and New Year, then there are a few things that are helpful to know, both for your enjoyment and safety. In the UK, schools, universities and many public and private sector organisations close down for a week or two over the break and New College Manchester will close on the 20th December and open again on the 6th January
Shops and supermarkets will be closed on Christmas day (25th December) and public transport won’t be running, so please keep this in mind – for the majority of people in the UK Christmas day is a very sacred time of year.
Restaurants are closed for most of Christmas day too, but many restaurants will open for a short Christmas lunch service, so consider booking in advance if you’d like to feast on a traditional turkey dinner!
It’s also worth appreciating Christmas attractions in the coming week, Manchester simply comes alive with festive stalls and markets in the run up to Christmas eve – the markets are a great way to appreciate world culture!
As our current students will be aware, Manchester can become very busy around this time of year, with shoppers and party-goers filling the streets late into the night. With extra people in the city centre, students should pay extra attention to personal safety around this time of year.
Keep your personal belongings secure and private when you are out in the city and try to avoid walking alone late at night (after around 9pm). Most students feel safe in Manchester, but if you’d like more information on staying safe, our student safety blog post contains lots of useful information.
We hope that you enjoy what will probably be your first festive period in Manchester, it’s a busy time of year, but a wonderful one all the same. From carol singing to Christmas markets and eating and generally being merry, we hope you’ll get a little taste of British celebrations at their very best.
So here’s wishing all students, prospective students and staff a wonderful time during the Christmas holidays and a prosperous New Year from New College Manchester.