Talk about hot in the city. This summer has been one of the hottest on record but as lovely as it is to celebrate such sizzling days, it’s not quite the same if you’re not sipping a sangria by the sea. Who knows whether we’ll reach those heady 30 plus degrees again (stranger things have happened), but that doesn’t mean there aren’t some scorchers yet to come and an Indian summer stretching into September and beyond isn’t out of the question. Chances are we’re going to have to contend with the worst combination – clammy days in the rain – along the way too.
So to help you keep your cool, we’ve rounded up some of the best ways we can think of to beat the heat for the rest of summer.
PS if all else fails, nip into M&S at the bottom of Market Street. If there’s a cooler shop in town we’ve yet to find it.
Ice wall challenge
Whether you have aspirations of becoming the next great adventurer or simply want to feel the chill (or the burn given the muscle efforts required), get yourself to Ellis Brigham Mountain Sports for the Vertical Chill. Chances are most people will have walked past this shop on Deansgate hundreds of time without realising there’s an indoor ice wall within metres of them. This vertical slab of ice is tucked away at the back of the store and it’s open to everyone aged 14 and above, from beginners to experts. You’ll be kitted out with all the essentials, advised on how to use your ice axe and crampons, and guided to the top. Priced from £20 for an hour, try and book at least the day before for a weekday session and two weeks before for a weekend slot.
130 Deansgate, M3 2QS
Get the scoop
The main reason to make a beeline for an ice cream parlour when the sun shines is that you get to be a glutton for a good cause – namely keeping yourself suitably chilled. And for a city that’s not beside the sea, you’re spoilt for choice in Manchester. There’s the glamorously retro Ginger’s Comfort Emporium at Afflecks in the Northern Quarter; the vegan Ice Shack in Withington; Grandpa Green’s in the bucolic surroundings of Diggle, Saddleworth; the mobile Rolling Cones and the Oasis Ice Cream Café in Chorlton, which also provides home delivery. And that’s just for starters.
Snow and adventure
Pictures of pooches cooling down at Chill Factore went viral recently. If it’s good enough for man’s best friend then it’s good enough for us two-legged folk. You can get a head start on the ski season by perfecting your snowboarding and skiing technique or gather the whole family for one of the many attractions priced under £20 this summer. These include Altitude, which sees teams compete on Downhill Donuts, Luge Slip ‘n’ Slide and Sledge-O-Mania (£12.50 for 90minutes); taster sessions that allow adults and children to find their snow feet (£19 for 50minutes); Airboarding, which involves flinging yourself down the slopes on an air inflated board (from £17 for 45minutes) and Mini Moose Land for the smallest snow explorers (£10 for family of two for 1 hour).
Trafford City, Trafford Way, M41 7JA
Pool and pamper
When it’s hot and clammy outside or your stuck inside a stuffy office, the idea of taking a dip is what dreams are made of. Fortunately, it’s possible to plunge into an outdoor spa pool in the very heart of the city. The infinity pool at the luxurious King Street Townhouse is on the fringe of the seventh floor with wonderful views of the city’s skyline, so it’s the perfect spot for rest and rejuvenation above the bustle of the busy streets. Although it’s not possible to just pop into the pool, you can pay £40 and use it as an add-on to a treatment at the hotel’s Saving Grace spa. The therapists will ensure everything’s tailor made to your requirements so let them know if you’d like cooling gels, balms and masks during the session.
10 Booth Street, Upper King Street, M2 4AW
Technically, you’re not going to cool off by spending time in the sand, but you can at least channel laid back summer vibes by digging out a bucket and spade and heading to one of the temporary beaches that have cropped up across the city. Just off Deansgate, you’ve got the Great Northern’s family-friendly sandpit currently occupying the basin of the amphitheatre. Over in Heaton Park, there’s the return of Come To The Beach, with deckchairs, water boats, face painting and even a fun fair; while across town at intu Trafford Centre, you’ll find a beachy hub with Water Walkers and bungee trampolines close-by. And the best bit is, all the beaches are free to enjoy.