When I was growing up, our TV was always on ITV at 7:30pm. Although I never would have called myself a Coronation Street fan per se (apart from 1999 when I was in love with Adam Rickett and was most disappointed to be on my residential school trip when Nick married Leanne, complete with a bare-chested bed scene), it was a big part of my childhood and I was super eager to visit the Coronation Street Tour in Manchester. Finally, this week, my brother Jamie- who lives a mile down the road from the tour- and I got the chance to walk the cobbles ourselves.
The tour starts with a quick whip round the inside studio sets. Emphasis on the quick. Unlike the Harry Potter Studio Tours, the Coronation Street Tour is guided for the interior sets, meaning you're not able to take your time and really soak everything up. Instead, our guide rushed us around, past some really interesting props that I would have loved to have a proper look at. Unfortunately I also found our guide's delivery of the script very wooden and unnatural which was quite distracting. Despite this, there were some fascinating aspects of the tour and it was pretty inclusive- there was no assumption that you already had an in-depth understanding of the show.
One of my favourite parts of the interior studio was seeing Jack and Vera's home. I adore the Duckworths as I see a lot of my relationship in them (the nagging wife and long-suffering husband!) and do view them as marriage goals. Rich laughs at me because even thinking about the scene of Vera's death- and later Jack's- brings me to tears so it was quite emotional to see the armchair in which they both died. I also found out that when Vera returned to collect Jack after his death and they had their final dance, the kiss they shared was their first on-screen. (Totally not getting emotional as I type this. It was almost eight years ago, Becky. Get over it)
On a more lively note, it was also great fun to stop off inside the Rovers for a sit down. Photos aren't allowed inside the studio but I couldn't resist taking a sneaky selfie in front of those famous painted glass dividers. It was far, far smaller than it looks on screen (as were all the sets) but the bar was a lot deeper than it appears. We also got the chance to stand behind the bar and have a photo taken although it was a bit like being on a conveyer belt- Smile! Snap! Great! Next person!- so I didn't quite get to take it in.
After visiting a couple more sets, the doors opened to the sounds of the theme tune and we were given our first glimpse of the actual street. At this point, our guide left us and we were free to spend as long as we liked on the cobbles, taking as many photos as our heart desired. It was a typical drizzly day in Weatherfield but this turned out to be in our favour as it meant people didn't hang around much and we were able to get some great photos without throngs of visitors.
In the window of every house were details of current and past residents. Curly (remember him? Whatever happened to the supermarket he worked at?) seemed to have lived in every house at some point. I loved this house because I saw Spider and said "Oh! I'd forgotten about Spider" and later we walked past a couple of old ladies who said "Oooh, Spider! I'd forgotten about him!" Poor Spider! Wonder how life is going with Toyah.
The level of detail in the set really blew my mind. From Weatherfield being featured on the bus stop map, to Jason's chaps being advertised in the Kabin window, there were so many tiny details that audiences would never even see on screen.
Jamie hasn't quite mastered the art of manual focus so I asked him to take a few photos of me on my phone instead.
Despite the rushed guided tour, I had a great time and it was so fun to see such iconic buildings in real life. I recommend visiting but there are only 66 days until it closes for good so you'll have to be quick!