visiting salford quays


Stock Photo by Orry Verducci on Unplash

A great entertainment area full of restaurants, museums and discount shopping, visiting Salford Quays in an absolute must! Just a 10-minute Metrolink ride from Manchester city centre, is this excellent waterfront spot. The Quays are very walkable with lovely paths by the river lined with bars, restaurants, and the Lowry Outlet Village. Until the mid-1990s, this area was pretty unappealing with not much going for it. Now it’s been transformed into an entertainment hub and throughout the year there are several festivals held here. You can also visit several free museums such as the Imperial War Museum North and the The Lowry Museum.

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Art Instillations at Salford Quays. It reminded me of a nod back to the area’s shipping and industrial past
Salford Quays – Stock Photo by Mathew Waring on Unsplash
Imperial War Museum North on Salford Quays

One such festival I visited was called Light Waves. It was back in December 2016 and despite the bone-chilling cold, it was so much fun. If you have seen the Vivid Festival in Sydney, Australia, it’s very similar to this, but on a smaller scale.

Light Waves Festival 2016
Light Waves Festival 2016

The festival is free of charge, which is always a plus. Head over after dark and walk around the illuminated displays. The river has a line of floating mini-boats, which change colour sporadically. They look beautiful against the backdrop of the water. Lights cover the tree’s

Light Waves Festival 2016

transforming part of the harbour into a winter wonderland, which leads to some kids figures of Noddy, Sponge Bob Square Pants, etc. When I went, there was also a really cool Dr. Who section too, which, even though I’m not a fan of the show, impressed me with its full-sized glow-up Dalek.

Light Waves Festival 2016
Light Waves Festival 2016

Outside the shopping center was a glow-up heart where you could hold hands with another person and electricity would pass through the two of you and light up the heart. Very cool.

Salford Quays, Salford, Manchester |

Light Waves Festival 2016

Thanks so much for reading my post today on visiting Salford Quays just outside of Manchester. There’s so much to see and do in this area, that it is so worth the short trip. And if the weather is fine, then it’s an absolute must!

Are you planning a future trip to Salford Quays or Manchester in the future? Leave me a comment below as I’d love to hear your thoughts.

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Art Instillations at Salford Quays
Art Instillations at Salford Quays.
Light Waves Festival 2016


    1. Thanks so much! Yes, I know, there’s so much to see and do in this area. I used to live in Manchester and there are so many places even I still haven’t seen! 🙂

  1. Not been to Salford Quays for a while, I worked there for a few years! I’ve got this week off for my birthday, so I might have a ride down, a taxi mind you, not the tram, as I am a birthday princess😂 the coronation street set has moved there too now, I went a couple of years ago x

    1. OMG, you can still tour the Corrie set??? I thought they’d got rid of it! Awww have a fabulous birthday! I take it you’ll be turning 21? 😉 Yes no dirty trams on your birthday, gotta be a taxi 🙂 it’s such a beautiful place when it’s nice and warm.

      1. Yes! The old one has been demolished now (Granada studios) it’s massive too, it’s more like a small village than a street now, it’s got a Costa, co-op and a police station 😂 yes 21 again (plus 12). Yes I’ll definitely be taking a coat if I go before spring x

  2. Those are some amazing photos. I’ve never been to Salford area, at least not that I can remember anyway. Who knew it had so much going on. I might have to take a trip up there at some point

  3. Love this! I’d really like to visit the Light Waves festival like you did – I’ll have to take someone else with me so I can do the heart thing! Thanks for sharing, I’ll have to add this to my bucket list.

    1. Yes it’s a great festival. I think we went for it’s first year in 2016. This alone is a great reason to go, then you have all the other attractions, makes it a great destination. Thanks for reading 🙂

  4. Light shows over water are breathtaking and magical as the reflection adds something beyond the ordinary to the experience.

    ‘Quays’ is a lovely word too, and I love that the Salford Quays are easily accessible, walkable, and offer more sights in addition to the water.
    Thanks for sharing!

    1. That is so true! I love water reflections 🙂 yes the water really just makes the area look super pretty and a lovely backdrop. The real entertainment is the theatres, museums, etc. Its a great place. Thanks for reading.

    1. My pleasure. I hope you’ll add it to your bucket list. Yes the Dr. Who part was really popular and there were lots of people buzzing around, despite the cold. Thanks so much for reading.

  5. Thanks for sharing your experiences in Manchester. Never been there, but hope to visit someday. Your photos are awesome and very sharp. What camera 📷 did you use?

    1. Hi Kevin. Thanks so much for commenting. Manchester is a great place to visit, especially Salford Quays 🙂 I use a Canon EO5 now but I don’t remember what was used on these as they were taken a while ago 🙂

  6. I’ve never visited this place but I’ve heard of it before! I love Dr Who so would love to visit that if it’s still there!

    Corinne x

    1. It’s on every December Corinne. I’m not sure whether the Dr. Who objects are there every year, as this is the only one I’ve been to, as I emigrated the following year LOL. It’s a great place to visit though even when the festivals not on 🙂 Thanks so much for commenting.

  7. I have never been to Manchester before. I haven’t been to Salford quay either but it looks so beautiful. I would really love to participate in the lightwave festival. It seems pretty fun! And you’ve taken such beautiful photos. Thank you for sharing.

  8. Great post.

    I love Manchester & hope to visit again soon. I’ve only ever done Deansgate & the city centre though.

    The pictures look amazing & defo worth a visit.

    1. Me too! I miss it sooo much 🙁 Definately stick it on your bucket list, as it’s a great place to visit with lots of free attractions. Thanks for commenting 🙂

    1. I know they are great, hey? It was such a clear night too, despite the cold, it was a great night. I hope you get to visit one day 🙂 Thanks for reading.

  9. Omg this looks and sounds amazing. I’d never heard of this before now so thank you so much for sharing this. I’ll defiantly be adding this to my list of places to visit when visiting Manchester! Xo

    Elle –

  10. Had a stayover here once and went to the best cocktail bar called the Alchemist which was near the theatre. It is a hive of activity and I found time to buy some great trainers in a shopping arcade. Must go back and also see Coronation Street too.

    1. That’s right, I’ve found out this week that you can actually tour Corrie now 🙂 Yes I know the Alchemist. I used to work near there 🙂 Thanks for commenting.

  11. When I finally get back to living in the UK this is going on my visit/travel bucket list. I like quayside areas to explore as there’s usually so much history (which Salford clearly has). Thanks for the info!

    1. You’re so right! Keep an eye out for a future post on the Imperial Way Museum on Salford Quays. It really is great 🙂 Me to I love water locations. Especially the reflections from the buildings on the water. I hope you get to visit in the future. You’ll love it here 🙂 Thanks so much for taking the time to read and comment on my post.

  12. The Light Waves Festival looks like such a fun way to spend an evening! The pictures are great and it looks like there is such a great variety of installations to check out. I can’t wait to travel again and visit interesting areas like this one. Thanks for sharing about it!

    1. It really is awesome. I’d love to go back myself too 🙂 Not only is it a fun place to visit, but it’s on over the Christmas period so there is a great atmosphere in the air too 🙂 Thanks for taking the time to read and comment.

  13. I love going to Salford Quay. There is so much to do there. Thank you for sharing.

    1. My pleasure love 🙂 It’s a great place, isn’t it? I love it here too. Can’t wait to go back when I’m next in Manchester. Thanks for commenting.

  14. I’ve never been to Manchester but I would quite like to visit, my best friends sister lives in Manchester and he goes quite often to visit, or he did before the pandemic. The Salford Quays sounds like a great place to visit. Thank you for sharing, will definitely have to keep this in mind.

    1. Awesome! Definitely recommend visiting Manchester and Salford Quays. There are heaps of things to do and a lot of free stuff too. If you do ever go I have an awesome guide on here which will help you play your stay 🙂 Thanks so much for reading Jordanne

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