Reviewed by Sarah-Kate Cantlie
2015 provides the last opportunity to tour the original set of Coronation Street, which has been a working set for the show until the end of 2013. Having watched the show for as long as I can remember, my mother and I were very excited to visit the set and experience the guided tour before wandering through the cobbles with a coffee. We had pondered prior to arriving, if the Coronation Street tour would be as good as the Granada studios visit we experienced a good few years ago, well we were certainly not disappointed.
With a mid morning start; we began the tour with Phil, our guide for the first 50 minutes. Upon leaving the waiting room, we viewed the well wishes and signatures of cast members old and new on the wall, we first toured past the dressing rooms, into the costume and makeup department, before heading onto the set. The corridors are a memory lane of photos from the years gone by and my mother was thoroughly enthralled, recalling all the old faces. We looked through rails of the cast’s outfits, including several of Tracy’s wedding dresses, Rita’s wedding dress and the outfits from the most recent big day, Kirk and Beth’s 80’s wedding. Soon we felt right in the thick of it as we arrived in a very industrial feeling set, a short video and on to Carla’s front room, before a trip to the Platt’s, the Duckworth’s and the Kabin, where some of the most dramatic scenes on Coronation Street have been shot.
The filming of the set finished just before Christmas 2013 and the tour stops by the directors’ space, where Christmas decorations are still twinkling around the ancient equipment, which appears to be original to when Coronation Street first aired 53 years ago. We visited Underworld, where we were berated by Mike over the speakers for not working hard enough, left feeling just like the factory workers themselves.
The tour guide was brilliant, friendly, informative and knowledgeable, with a good Manchester accent; I could have imagined him being part of the cast. There is so much to see on the tour including the urns holding the remains of Jack and Vera Duckworth and even the canal boat where Ken had his affair. For Coronation Street fans young and old, this is a thoroughly enjoyable part of Manchester to visit whilst it’s available for the summer. We left our tour guide at the doors to the Bistro and visited the rest of the houses on the street, where there are many opportunities to take photos of the Coronation Street eateries, houses and the Kabin. We visited Webster’s Garage, collected our photograph of our Rovers Return bar shift and stopped for lunch at Prima Doner. All in all one of the best morning outings I have had in a long time, I would recommend it to any fan of the show.
Tickets cost from £15 to £60.
Coronation Street the Tour. Atherton Street, Castlefield, Manchester, M3 3GS