Travelling From Belfast to Manchester – The First of Many Visits

I believe the first time I flew to Manchester was as a trainer to cover off training with a new group of associates joining the business.

I am a fairly frequent flyer due to my partner being from London, but flying to Manchester for work purposes felt different, in a good way.

I was initially nervous about getting to the office, however Intelling ensured this was as easy as possible.

They did this by arranging travel to and from the airport on both sides, along with Catie O’Mahoney coming in early to meet me and make sure I was able to get on site correctly.

My First Impressions

The Southmoor office looks great, lots of open space, very bright, and the staff on site are all very friendly.

The site location is pretty good too, although it is not in the centre of the city like our Belfast office, it is within walking distance of a few different food places along with being situated beside a gym we get discount with (thanks Perkbox), and easy access to trams and busses at the front of the building.

Getting ‘Hands-On’ With the Cuisine

Not sure if it is a funny story or just a sad commentary on my life, but during the Covid outbreak, I had to visit Manchester for work.

I was put up in a hotel just outside of the city.

Myself and another member of staff finished work for the day and went back to hotel to check in and drop our bags off, resulting in it being after 8 by the time we were ready to eat.

We ordered a taxi and it drove us around a couple of different places for food, unfortunately due to the reduced opening hours, everywhere had closed for the evening.

Still hungry, when we got back we checked out Deliveroo and found some really great options that would deliver.

I decided on a roast chicken and pasta with white wine sauce along with a yummy steak, veg and fries meal (I am pretty greedy, sorry) and waited on it to be delivered.

Once it arrived, I took it back to my room and found there was no cutlery in the bag or the room, so I did what any sane person would do: sat alone on the bed watching Top Gun and shovelling hot meat and pasta in to my face…

Are There Any Major Site Differences?

I don’t think so, we all work for the same company doing the same job so to the most part everything is fairly similar across both sites.

My Local Food Recommendations

I ate lots.

There is an area in Altrincham that has some great places for food, I believe it is known as ‘The Markets’.

There were some great bars in that area, the big building in the centre had a load of food areas and stands, and there was a really nice Japanese style restaurant there which I really enjoyed.

Travelling There and Back in One Day

Most of the time I travel to Manchester and back home in a single day.

The routine is usually get up around 4am to get ready for the day then taxi to the airport for the red eye flights so I am onsite at the start of the shift.

Given I am onsite for a single day, the day does become a bit of a mad rush of trying to get as much done while on site as I can before finishing for the day, while trying to make time to get around as many people as possible to say hi and catch up.

Once the day is over, it is back in a taxi to get one of the later flights home, which usually get delayed (thanks airlines), then home by around 09:30/ 10pm.

The days always feel very worthwhile to me and I really enjoy them.

What I’ve Learnt From My Regular Visits

Firstly, it’s how similar the sites and people are.

We often hear people suggest vast differences between the sites and it feels at times as though people believe a rift exists, but in reality the two sites are so similar it is easy to feel at home in either.

My second note is how worthwhile it is to make the trip and establish the connections with our colleagues across sites.

It really helps to get to know each other and learn more about our colleagues jobs and work locations as it can add lots of benefit to how we collectively do things.