So following Coronation Street's departure to a new home in Media City, I was really happy to hear that Granada Studios would be opening their doors and allowing fans the chance to nose around the Coronation Street sets.
Visiting Coronation Street is something that isn't new to Simon, many years ago he actually worked at the Granada Studio tours before they closed and so would quite often find himself strolling down the Street during his lunch break.
We decided to book tickets and got ourselves a slot last month that conveniently timed perfectly with Simon's Mum's birthday. So we arranged a day trip to Manchester and surprised her with the tour as part of her present.
The tour is hugely popular so all tickets are pre booked with an allocated time. We were taken round in a pretty large group but it didn't really effect the enjoyment of our tour. It was easy to see everything and everyone got an opportunity to join in.
Photography in the indoor sets is understandably prohibited (the 50 minute tour would take substantially longer if everyone was snapping away) so you'll have to use your imagination for a few moments.
Our knowledgeable tour guide began in the Green Room which was surprisingly unglamorous and reminded me a little of a Sixth Form Common Room. From there we got to nosy into some of the Dressing Rooms which were all personally decorated with cute sofas and rugs. We then moved onto make up and wardrobe where we got to see a few of our favourite character's costumes.
Following a brief sit down to watch some highlights from Corrie's long history we had a sneaky peak at a few of the interior sets including the Platt's house and Underworld.
The highlight was taking a seat in the Rovers. It was pretty surreal to be sitting in such an iconic pub and we were all thrilled to get to stand behind the bar and pull a pint for a photo which we then had the opportunity to buy at the end of the tour.
The afternoon finished with being let lose on the Street. The door slowly opened (to the Corrie theme tune) to reveal those famous cobbles and we all eagerly stepped outside to explore.
This end part of the tour was fantastic, we were free to go anywhere, take as many photos as we like and spend as long as we wanted exploring.
The set had an amazing amount of detail and it's crazy how much space the crew had to work with. Coronation Street really is a perfect self contained little street.
We felt a bit like we'd stepped inside our TV and although I confess I haven't watched Coronation Street for years it was still thrilling to be standing on cobbles that have seen so much drama.
Although there were lots of people meandering around and it was busy we were able to move around easily and see everything we wanted and to take photographs without too many people in the background.
My favourite part was probably standing outside the Rovers Return, pretending I was the new landlady.
We were really glad we booked the tickets to go and now the tour has been extended in to 2015 make sure you get yourself a ticket here!
Note: since writing this review we have a bit of a grumble that has left a slight negative mark on our experience. We purchased a USB stick of our Rovers Return picture from the shop for £8.50 only to find it empty when we returned home. It's taken 3 weeks for the Coronation Street Tour to send us a replacement and they've been pretty unhelpful! We've had to constantly chase them, they sent us a replacement USB in the post that got lost due to poor packaging, we had no apology and they were actually pretty rude to us. So if you do go along and purchase your photo on a USB make sure you get it checked before you leave the site!