Mental Health Awareness Week: a size? expert guide to Manchester

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For Mental Health Awareness Week, we are heading to Manchester, Newcastle and Cardiff to catch up with size? Experts. They’ll be having a chat with us about mental health and the importance of green – or concrete – spaces within cities that they have enjoyed throughout lockdown.

We met with Ryan, the manager at size? Manchester: he opened up about some of his favourite spots in the city and told us how he has been coping throughout lockdown.

Routine and fitness have been important for Ryan and his partner, including scenic walks around Chorlton and Sale water park and 5K runs. This gave Ryan a sense of purpose and mental wellbeing, getting out of the house was the main thing, after so long spent inside.

Ryan is also ecstatic to see the store reopening, seeing its positive influence on the Manchester community once again has been a joyful thing to witness.

Anyway, below are the locations in Manchester that Ryan loves to venture out to in his spare time…

Northern Quarter

Manchester’s Northern Quarter is – without a doubt – one of the most buzzing spots in the city. Only a five-minute walk from Piccadilly Train Station, NQ is now full of pedestrianised roads, famous street art, plus there are a plethora of bars and clothing stores to pick from. Renowned for its New York-esque architecture, the location is often used as a film and TV set - The Crown was recently filmed at Stephenson Square. Manchester also has a rich musical heritage, and in NQ, you’ll often find up-and-coming bands performing at its array of venues.

Sackville Gardens

Whilst the Manchester inner-city green spaces may be low in numbers, there are some real gems to pick from. If you are in need of some greenery, try out Sackville Gardens. This is a beautiful space filled with trees, flower beds, lawns and the well-known Vimpto statue. Located by Whitworth Street, Sackville Street, Rochdale Canal and a Manchester College campus, this is a perfect spot to chill at on a sunny day.


Manchester is a rapidly developing city, and Kampus is representative of the innovative ways that urban space is used. This new garden neighbourhood sits by the canal, and it includes trendy apartments, secluded green spaces, cycle lanes and fantastic views of the city. Whether you are meeting friends for a stroll or need a place to chill, this city-centre location is very accessible. 

New Islington Marina & Ancoats

A popular spot for when it is sunny, the New Islington Marina is a beautiful space to switch off. Located close to the Northern Quarter and Ancoats, this easily accessible location offers a rare bit of nature in an urban environment. Teeming with canal boats, greenery and modern architecture, the Marina is a great way to finish off our Manchester recommendations.

Keep checking the size? blog for more posts this week.

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