Duke’s 92 is one of our favourite Manchester pubs, a canalside suntrap that’s the ideal place to take in surrounding Castlefield’s charms. Once a hub of industrial activity, Castlefield is now one of the city’s most tranquil spots. That’s thanks to its designation in 1982 as the UK’s first Urban Heritage Park, which safeguarded canals and cobbles, and created a largely traffic-free haven. The many moored-up, flower-decked canal boats are evidence of the slower pace of life here.
Taking its name from the canal lock immediately adjacent (Duke’s Lock), the pub began life as a humble stable block. It has retained some of the building’s historical charm, though modern additions, such as a first-floor terrace, have brought it bang up to date. Duke’s serves up legendary cheese platters – there are 40 varieties to choose from -and serves up a decent menu of pizzas, hot sarnies and salads. An outdoor BBQ runs during the summer; the canalside courtyard is mobbed when the sun shines. We particularly recommend an early-doors pint outside if the weather is fine. It’s the perfect spot to sit and ponder while trams and trains rattle overhead, the vast Victorian viaduct looks impassively down, and canal boats glide quietly by.