Manchester BookBenches

Manchester BookBenches

I’m always a big fan of getting out and about around the city, and with the new Manchester BookBenches that are in situ across the city as part of the Read Manchester project from the literacy trust I knew we would have to take a look.

Manchester Book Benches literacy trustI had a quick look at the map and decided that, as the weather was forecast to be less than great, we would drive around to the ones that are on the outskirts of the city centre. We started in the East of the city and headed to the library in Gorton,  then onto Beswick library, across to the National Cycling Centre before heading to the North of the city to Newton Heath (although the library was closed when we visisited so we didn’t see that bench) and then to Harpurhey. We then decided to head across to the South to Hulme where we knew we could spot five benches in one location as well as get a bite to eat for lunch before heading home.

Manchester Book Benches literacy trust

There are 58 benches in total across the city. A good number are in the city centre and many more occupy spaces on the outskirts of the city too.  We managed to see ten in total today, and had we not been heading home for swimming lessons we would have found another four or so on the way home.

Manchester Book Benches literacy trust

The benches have been designed by various groups and community ventures and really are fantastic. Mr D and Miss E had great fun running up to each bench and spotting the various things on them. Both Damian and I were pleasently surprised by the libraries. I am a frequent visitor to two of the libraries in Stockport and the staff are always so friendly and know the children well. We don’t ever have cause to visit other libraries across the city but those within Manchester City Council really are superb. The buildings were bright, fresh and modern and seemed to be well stocked and equipped with plenty of staff on hand as well as access to computers etc.

Manchester Book Benches literacy trust

We had a great time and ended the hunt at Z-arts in Hulme. I’ve heard a lot about Z-Arts but haven’t had opportunity to stop by yet. We went in and in the entrance we spotted the ‘We are All Born Free’ bench. This one is all about the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, and it’s one that is linked to a lovely book that illustrates the Declaration and is an accessibly introduction for children.

We then stopped for an excellent lunch in the cafe (and of course treated ourselves to a cake). The children played for a little time before we headed home.

Manchester Book Benches literacy trust

I’m planning to do the city centre benches early next week so I’ll share some more pictures of those too.

If you want to read more about the BookBenches that are across Manchester you can do so here. The benches are in place until September.



  1. 28th July 2017 / 06:14

    fascinating and good write up

  2. 28th July 2017 / 08:34

    Oh wow these are brilliant. I think we definitely need a trip to Manchester to see these.

  3. 28th July 2017 / 10:00

    These are briliant, I would love to see some in Bristol!

  4. 28th July 2017 / 10:01

    Aww I love this idea so much – such a fun and interactive initiative to get people reading 🙂

  5. 28th July 2017 / 17:50

    Love the idea of these BookBenches. They’re vibrant and different. Be great to find them all before they’re gone in September.

  6. 28th July 2017 / 18:13

    Aren’t these fab, so bright and colourful, what a lovely idea x

  7. 28th July 2017 / 20:13

    Oooh this is great. I’m just outside Manchester so I think we will have to go and try and see as many as we can. X

  8. 28th July 2017 / 21:52

    Oh how fab are bench designs, I’d love to see this somewhere local to me.

  9. 28th July 2017 / 22:18

    Wow these benches are so beautiful. What a clever and stunning idea. x

  10. SusanneRemic
    29th July 2017 / 08:14

    I love these so much! I had no idea about them- now I just need a sunny day so I can take the kids to see them! If it ever stops raining that is… beautiful pics too xx

  11. 29th July 2017 / 14:49

    Wow it reminds me of street art! I love the concept of book benches, they should do that in London too x

  12. 29th July 2017 / 20:31

    This is a great idea for encouraging a love of books whilst brightening up the local area! Let’s see if you can visit them all!

  13. garethtorrance
    29th July 2017 / 21:34

    Oh wow! What an awesome design idea! Such a great concept! I actually want one in my living room now, haha

  14. 30th July 2017 / 08:47

    The book benches are such a great idea! The designs look really good.

  15. 30th July 2017 / 20:31

    Oh wow, these are gorgeous! What a wonderfully creative idea. Perfect to sit on and catch up on your latest read!

  16. 31st July 2017 / 00:00

    These benches are so cool, I love the individual colours and designs and the kids ones are ace. I hope they bring them to Cardiff, that would be ace

    Laura x

  17. 31st July 2017 / 09:39

    What a fantastic and inexpensive day out! Great that you got to visit some different libraries too :o)


  18. shelllouise
    31st July 2017 / 18:48

    What a wonderful idea. We have the Knight’s trail in Lincoln. Kaycee and her friends completed the whole trail and were very pleased with themselves but also very, very tired and had aching legs for a couple of days!

  19. sarahmo3w
    1st August 2017 / 11:35

    The benches look beautiful! What a great idea to spark an interest in books and get people to explore the city and its libraries.

  20. 2nd August 2017 / 00:50

    I’ve heard of these book benches! I’m not sure we’ll get a chance to visit Manchester over the summer to see them so thanks for sharing #readwithme

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