For an alternative perspective of Manchester, the underground tour offers an unusual opportunity to see what lies beneath the well-trodden streets. Accompanied by an informative guide and an eager tour group, we all trundled in unison through the secret doorway which led to a seemingly never-ending stone staircase.
Lit only by the flicker of light offered by our torches, we descended into the depths of the city before emerging into a large, slightly sinister chamber. The sound of our voices echoed eerily, and the cold chill of the Autumnal air seemed somewhat poignant now having plunged into a new Manchester I had not witnessed before. This appeared to accentuate our sudden departure from the hustle-bustle of everyday life going on in the streets above.
An enlightening insight into the history of Manchester and the tunnels ensued as the tour guided us through tunnel after tunnel, each offering a new story, an interesting fact or a fascinating anecdote. After a thorough exploration of the tunnels the tour continued by returning to street-level, which evoked a feeling I imagine to be analogous to stepping out of a time machine.
Acclimatising once again to 21st century life and the realisation that what I had just witnessed wasn’t merely an illusion, I followed the tour guide as we now traced the tunnels from street level. Once again this was punctuated with historical updates and little-known nuggets of information before the tour concluded – a two hour Manchester enlightenment for me!