Last week I got an email inviting me along to the Coronation Street tour. If I am honest, I haven't loyally watched it in over 10 years, since I moved out of home with my parents. My mum still enjoys watching the show now, and occasionally on visits, I get to see parts. I was interested in seeing how its done, and seeing all the props... with breakfast to sweeten the deal, not that it needed any sweetening.
The Coronation street tour is in the centre of Manchester, in Castlefield. It is easily accessible by bus from the centre, or by driving, with a large car park within a few minutes walk.
We were allowed to do a little bit more exploring then others on the tours, and actually allowed to get hands on, and step behind the tape... I had great fun weighing out sweets in the Kabin, drinking champers in Carla's "old" apartment, and walking down the stairs in the Platt's house.
After our own exploring, we were back on the "official" tour, that is run every 10 minutes. This is where we got all the facts, we got so many facts, some have disappeared into my thoughts and haven't been found again yet... I was amazed that it took 6 weeks to plan a set, another 6 weeks to build it, they would then do a block of filming, and then take it all down again so they could reuse the space for another set that was needed.... an example can be seen from the paint on the floor.. wood effect for Carla's flat, and the blue and yellow from the Kabin.
We were also shown all the dressing rooms, pictures of all the stars throughout the show, and the wardrobe.
We were then in the Rovers, where we got our picture taken behind the bar, these can be purchased as part of the tour, as your not allowed to take pictures inside the studio.
After the Rovers, we were straight into Under World, and checking out some of the other sets, like the Canal boat from the "affair" scenes back in 2009 and the Duckworth's with Jacks famous bar, that I even remember from all those years ago, plus THE chair... and poor Hayley's coffin made out of cardboard....
After all the sets, we were led through the editing room, which still has the Christmas decorations up from when the production team left that December, and never returned, instead going to Media City where it is now filmed in Salford Quays. It feels eerie but its a nice touch.... everything remains, except a few modern hi-tech gadgets, which they took with them...
It was then out onto the cobbles..... I was glad I wasn't wearing my boots, and instead my comfortable trainers... this is where the public can now take their own photos, and roam at their leisure, exploring and posing, was great seeing some loyal fans re-enact scenes for their own cameras...
The tour has just been given confirmation that it can stay open until the end of the year, but any time after is uncertain. So, if your in Manchester, and looking for something a little different, or wanting to surprise someone as a gift, why not check the Coronation Street tour out. Tickets are £16.50 per adult, but will be rising to £17 on the 1st April. You can book your tickets here.
For children, they have a find the Meerkats in the sets, can you spot one in the Rovers pictures above?
If you wanted to make a day of it, check out our review of Annies afternoon tea, which is run by "Fizz" from Corrie.