Hey everyone and Happy May! I hope you've all had an aMAYzing start to the month!
This week I wanted to share with you all one of the most amazing weekends and experiences i've had so far in 2018! But Meg, I thought you said in your last blog post that Walking With Alpacas was the best experience you've had this year so far?! Yes yes I did say that and don't you worry, walking with Alpacas is still very much up there in the ranks but this particular weekend was the best in many other ways.
To give you a little context (for those who may be new to the blog and don't know anything about me), my full time job is a Content Creator at a digital media agency where I run and manage a big travel page on Facebook called 'Love Travel'. Alongside me is my parter-in-crime and co-worker Matt who, as well as doing his main job (videography, photography, content creation and a whole bunch of incredible creative stuff for a food brand) he also runs the Love Travel Instagram page. Together Matt and I make up the 'Love Travel' team and a few weekends ago we were invited to represent #teamlovetravel (this isn't an actual hashtag and I totally made it up on the spot but it does sound legit right?) at a five day long event which was held across both Manchester and London.
So what was the whole event about I hear you ask?
In a nutshell, a selection of local and international travel and lifestyle influencers/bloggers were invited to an amazing weekend event which started in Manchester and finished in London. The event showcased what each of these amazing cities had to offer through a whole variety of incredible activities and experiences (which I will get into in a little bit) as well as the opportunity to meet and collaborate with other creatives and influencers all the while sharing those experiences on social media. Another key aspect of the event was to show people that London isn't the only place you can fly into if you're going to visit the UK (which I think some people don't realise). There are indeed many other cities in the UK, such as Manchester, that you can fly into and it might be worth exploring those other options if you are planning a trip here. As well as that, linking the two cities into this one event showed us that it's incredibly easy to get around the UK by train and we were able to get from Manchester (located in the Northwest of England) to London (located in the South of England) in just over two hours. Now a few days after starting this blog post I realised that sharing all my experiences, thoughts and feelings of the whole weekend is probably going to result in not a blog post, but a mini novel so i'm going to be splitting the blog post into five different days:
Day 1 - #workerbeeweekender | Manchester | Thursday
Day 2 - #workerbeeweekender | Manchester | Friday
Day 3 - #lovelondonweekend | London | Saturday
Day 4 - #lovelondonweekend | London | Sunday
Day 5 - #lovelondonweekend | London | Monday
So make yourself a nice hot drink (and prepare to make a few more), get yourself a big stash of all the delicious snacks and let's delve into the first part of this amazing weekend!
Day 1 - #workerbeeweekender | Manchester | thursday
Ok so we're going to dive straight in, head first into day one of the event (also known as the #workerbeeweekender) which began in Manchester and was organised and hosted by the incredible team @visitmanchester.
Thursday was the first official day of the #workerbeeweekender and it began with an Instawalk held by Tori who is an absolutely wonderful local blogger and Instagrammer (@unfoldtheday). We all met up at a cute little cafe called Proper Tea (@cafeatthecathedral) and after a much needed cuppa, Tori took us on a wander around the city, pointing out some great 'photo-op' spots as well as some of her favourite street art pieces. I got to see a few familiar faces of other local influencers I had met previously but this was also the first chance to meet and get to know a few of the international influencers which was really lovely.
Now for those who don't know (which I think most of you probably will) football is a
VERY. BIG. DEAL.
here in Manchester and the team you choose to support can, depending on the situation, make or break a friendship/relationship (it gets very real and very intense when footie is involved). As a complete football noob who (to be quite honest) isn't interested in the sport whatsoever, for the next activity in my itinerary I decided to go on a 'Manchester City Stadium Tour' as I thought it would be a fantastic opportunity to not only go see the stadium (because I definitely wouldn't have otherwise) but I also wanted to try and immerse myself in the whole football culture and maybe just maybe, I might actually see what all the hype is about. Funny story though, and this shows my complete football noob-ness, I had initially signed up for the Manchester City stadium tour but accidentally went with the group who were going on the Manchester United stadium tour - whoops! Anyways, the tour was absolutely incredible and i'm so glad I went because not only were the stadium grounds truly magnificent but we got to learn a bit about the history of the team, how they came to be where they are now and also about the great Alex Ferguson and his huge role in the success of the team under his management. My memory is terrible but I think our guide was called Dave and he was so proud, passionate and enthusiastic about showing us around and was absolutely hilarious too which made the whole tour so enjoyable and I truly left feeling like one day, I could possibly become a football fan.
After the football stadium tour a few of us broke away from the group as our next activity in the itinerary was to visit the Pankhurst Centre & Elizabeth Gaskell's House. Unfortunately I didn't take too many photo's here but for those who may not know anything about the Pankhurst sisters or Elizabeth Gaskell (which I totally had no clue about before this) i'd like to offer my limited but hopefully insightful knowledge about them.
Source: Wikimedia Commons
Emmeline Pankhurst was a British political activist and leader of the suffragette movement who fought for women to get the right to vote in the late 19th and early 20th century. Her house was the birthplace of the suffragette movement but now is a museum as well as a women's community centre (@thepankhurst).
Source: Wikimedia Commons
Elizabeth Gaskell, more commonly referred to as Mrs Gaskell, was an English novelist in the 1800s. What was so fascinating to me about Mrs Gaskell (aside from the incredible life she led) was that she knew and hosted a lot of very notable figures in English history including Charlotte Bronte (she actually wrote Charlotte's biography 'The Life Of Charlotte Bronte') and Charles Dickens! To be very honest with you, I can't really remember all the details of her life but I do remember that whilst we were on the tour of her house and being told about Mrs Gaskell, I was fascinated and amazed! I would definitely recommend going to see the house if you can but also just doing a bit of research on her and reading up about her life (and maybe even reading her novels) would be great too. Also the ladies who volunteered at Elizabeth Gaskell's house were absolutely lovely! (@elizabeth_gaskells_house)
I know what you're thinking... Meg, what on earth is that video of the weird baby thing?! Well if you had some sort of shocked reaction i'm glad because that's exactly what we had when we finished our night off at the 'Robots' exhibition at the Museum Of Science And Industry (@msimanchester)! The night saw all the bloggers, instagrammers, influencers, organisers and everyone involved in the weekend event come together for a welcome evening. There were a few speeches, some delicious nibbles and of course, lots of robots! That baby above is a robot baby which, much to all of our shock and horror, can indeed move its limbs and even blink! The exhibition was part-fascinating and part-absolutely terrifying but overall I had a fantastic time and got to meet and chat with some more lovely influencers as well as some of the organisers.
Phew! Initially when writing this blog post I was going to break it down into two parts, the Manchester part and then the London part, but after all this writing I realised that even if I did that i'd basically be writing two mini-novels.
So everyone, this concludes Day One of the #workerbeeweekender in Manchester!
I hoped you've enjoyed reading this post and do be sure to come back and ready about the other days because we got up to some really cool and fun things and it may inspire you to want to try them out too if you're ever in Manchester or London :) For now I will say that Day Two will be up within a week so keep checking back here or on my social media's for update.
Have a fab Wednesday!
- Meg x