Updated: Wednesday, 22nd October 2014 @ 6:00pm

Open top bus tours launch in Manchester city centre

Open top bus tours launch in Manchester city centre

By Melanie Hughes & Francine Ponticelli

As Manchester launches its brand new open top bus tours, MM decided to go along for the ride literally.

Manchester Open Top Bus Tours, in partnership with Manchester Guided Tours, launched its first ever open top bus tour around the centre of Manchester, yesterday.

Manchester Open Top Bus Tours – the first of their kind in the city – will begin on Good Friday (6th April), taking place on a red bus that was previously used in the capital. 

The 30-year-old red bus, which was originally used in London has been fully refurbished,  including new seats and a 10,000 watt sound system.

Lord Mayor, Harry Lyons, ceremoniously declared the bus ready for action after being formally introduced by the Dave, the Town Crier with an excited crowd waiting.

Betty the tour bus is guided by around 10 different tour guides, not all at once, who can give an insight into the city's rich history, as well as other key facts.

A small number of people, including the Lord Mayor himself, were given a 20-minute taster tour of the route around the City Centre guided by three of the tour guides taking part.

However, the actual tour will take approximately two hours to complete and will visit both Manchester United and Manchester City’s football grounds, as well as Media City UK, the Town Hall, Salford Quays and the Museum of Science and Industry to name a few.

The guides informed those there about the beautiful architecture of the John Ryland’s library and the influences made in such fields as engineering, philosophy and cotton spinning.

It was said that Manchester’s grey skies and rainy climate actually propelled the city economically because it was this element that prevented the cotton from breaking meaning the cotton industry soared in the city.

As for the other interesting, and sometimes crazy, facts you’ll have to take the tour yourself to find out! But, I will say that there was talk of a famous set of preserved eyeballs that reside in the city.

Elizabeth Sibbering (Sibby) of Manchester Guided Tours, said: “People often request bus tours of Manchester and I’m delighted that we’re now delivering this service.  It’s a unique opportunity for visitors to see more than just the city centre, whilst gleaning essential information from a professional tour guide.”

“We live in the bones of the old Victorian city which is all around us,” Sibby added.

There is currently one bus which will do a two hour trip around the city so there is no hop-on, hop-off system yet but this is something that would be considered in future if the tours are a success.

The bus tours will depart from Chorlton Street, just off Portland Street.  Visitors can turn up for the tours on the day, although booking is recommended to avoid disappointment.  To book, you can call 0800 288 8746, or visit www.manchesterbustours.co.uk

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