The Virgin Red guide to Manchester

Manchester Cityscape at sunset. Entire city shown with Beetham Tower or the Hilton Hotel in the centre. Aerial view of Manchester city centre. Beautiful city skyline photograph at sunset.
Image of Katie Fiddaman
by Katie Fiddaman
16 November 2022

Why visit Manchester? With an endless supply of restaurants, bars, shows and events, the city voted the second friendliest in the world is a great spot to visit any time of year.  

Whether you’re headed to see the latest show in the AO Arena’s Red Room or stopping by the Theatre of Dreams, there’s much to do and many points to earn as a member of Virgin Red in Manchester. 

Manchester Christmas Market

Peruse the world-famous Christmas markets  

The festive season officially kicks off in Manchester when the world-famous Christmas market opens. Since 1998 the markets have become one of the best things to do on a chilly day for Mancunians and tourists alike, with over 200 stalls to across nine sites throughout the city centre.  

While in the city it’s worth seeing the Manchester Christmas lights trail with its walk-through baubles, a Manchester bee and Saint Nick himself.  

Catch a show at the AO Arena

Since Virgin Red has its very own Virgin Red Room at the AO Arena, buying tickets to upcoming events and concerts using your Virgin Points will give you exclusive access to the space where you’ll be treated like an A-lister. Not to mention the places to eat nearby which you can book with SquareMeal for more points.

From comedy and chart-toppers to reunion tours, you can experience the extraordinary at the Virgin Red Room. The private space seats 16 guests and with the mega view, you’ll feel close to the action and be able to dance like nobody’s watching.

And that’s not all! Here’s what your two tickets to the AO Arena Manchester will get you: 

  • The Virgin Red Room - The suite seats up to 16 lucky people

  • Extraordinary view - Uninterrupted stage view with seats facing the stage straight-on

  • VIP Access - Fast-tracked entry via the exclusive entrance

  • Personal service - Private pay bar, waiter service, cloakroom and en-suite bathroom

  • Complimentary parking - A parking space reserved just for you next to the Arena.

Take to the skies with a helicopter ride

If you want to see Manchester in a new way, take to the skies with a helicopter ride. Enjoy a smooth 12 mile ride as you’re propelled upwards and climb over 1,000ft as you accelerate to speeds of over 120mph. Communicate with the pilot and listen to the air traffic radio via your headset as you take in the incredible views of local monuments like Manchester Town Hall, Manchester Cathedral and Beetham Tower. Before you know it, it’ll be time to gently touchdown, but the memory of the day will last forever.

Image of the controls in a helicopter flying over the UK
Virgin Experience Days

The experience is just 9,500 Virgin Points through Virgin Red. And as it’s located in Greater Manchester, it’s the perfect experience for your stay in this awesome city. So, if you’ve never flown in a helicopter before, don’t miss your chance and use your points today. 

Eat to your heart’s content with SquareMeal

Greater Manchester can lay claim to some truly lip-smacking regional treats, and as the UK’s leading independent restaurant guide for more than 30 years, SquareMeal is the go-to destination for those looking for somewhere to eat, meet or celebrate. SquareMeal has over 300 restaurants in Manchester, with everything from great steaks to banging cocktails and epic desserts.

And if you book in for a meal and leave a review on SquareMeal, you could bag yourself some tasty Virgin Points.

You’ll get:

  • 100 points for making a reservation and dining at your chosen restaurant.

  • 100 - 3000+ points each time you spend £20 or more in one of SquareMeal’s participating restaurants with your linked payment card.

  • 25 points for your opinion by leaving a review of your experience.

Take a tour of Old Trafford

You can check out the Sir Alex Ferguson Stand, view the historic Stretford End, take the manager's spot in the dugout, try out your favourite player’s seat in the home changing room, and take the famous walk through the players’ tunnel to the pitch. Your guide will share their extensive knowledge and answer any questions you may have and you’ll receive a tour certificate as a memento.

Once you’ve walked in the footsteps of Manchester United’s greats,  you can browse the museum at your leisure, learn about the legends, and relive the Red Devils’ triumphs.

The statue of three people outside Old Trafford stadium in Manchester
Virgin Experience Days

What’s more, this tour is part of the Amber Collection voucher, available on Virgin Red for 8,750 points. 

Watch a film at Vue 

If you fancy a chilled night whilst you’re in Manchester, head down to Vue for a big screen experience and pay for your film ticket with Virgin Points. 

For just 1,350 Virgin Points, you can be the first in line to experience a premium viewing experience of the latest blockbuster releases at a Vue. 

Image of a couple at the Cinema.
Vue Cinemas

Whether you’re into adventure or animation, musicals or mystery, seeing your favourite film at Vue is exhilarating. Be drawn into the big screen and watch the story come to life as you lose yourself in the action. 

Blast your adrenaline in a supercar

Buckle up for the ultimate driving experience with this Triple Supercar Blast. You’ll have your pick from the world’s top supercars like sleek Ferraris, stunning Lamborghinis, luxurious Aston Martins, sporty Porsches, and many more. With so many incredible supercars to choose from, the hardest part of your day will be choosing which ones to drive!

Image of supercars.
Virgin Experience Days

What’s more, you’ll earn Virgin Points when you book your tour through Virgin Experience Days. Or, if a Mustang is more your cup of tea, you can purchase a Mustang Blast Experience for just 6,000 Virgin Points. And as it’s under an hour away from Manchester city centre, the racetrack is a great way to blow off some steam. Note, car availability varies by location.

Discover the art of Thai cooking with a masterclass

Create a culinary feast with the guidance of expert chefs with this Thai Cooking Masterclass with Welcome Drink for Two at Thaikhun. Bursting at the seams with authentic street food and cocktails inspired by the Southeast Asian nation, every Thaikhun takes you on a journey across the world to Khao San Road.

Kick things off with a welcome drink as you and your guest soak up the spectacular décor transported from the streets of Bangkok. Your private lesson will begin with an introduction to Thai ingredients and cooking before a demonstration from the chefs. Putting your new-found knowledge to the test, you’ll learn to cook a delicious main and starter each.

Once your finished creations are ready, you’ll sit down to enjoy the fruits of your labour. 

Image of a lady cooking with big flames in a Thai Masterclass in Manchester.
Virgin Experience Days

What’s more, you’ll earn Virgin Points when you book your tour through Virgin Experience Days

Terms and conditions

We always do our best to include the most up to date information but our offers do change from time to time. Click on each offer for the current points price and all the details.

AO Arena

Manchester’s AO Arena terms and conditions apply to your reward. Reward includes 2 tickets to the Virgin Red Room and 1 car parking space next to Manchester’s AO Arena. Tickets are non-refundable, non-transferable and have no cash value (or cash equivalent). You are responsible for payment of any food and drink purchased whilst in the Virgin Red Room. All tickets, times and performances are subject to availability. Your name and the name of your guest will be shared with Manchester’s AO Arena to allow you to access the Virgin Red Room on the day. The Virgin Red Room seats up to 16 people, so it is likely you will share the Room with other Virgin Red members and guests. On arrival at Manchester’s AO Arena, please proceed to the Prime Experience Suiteholders Entrance where you will be given your tickets and directed to the Virgin Red Room. You and your guest must show photo identification to gain admittance to the Virgin Red Room - failure to provide sufficient identification may result in you not being admitted. Manchester’s AO Arena FAQs includes a full list of what you can and cannot bring into the arena. If you have any accessibility requirements please let the Virgin Red Support Team know at The arena is strictly non-smoking. The use of cameras and other recording equipment at the arena is strictly prohibited. Age restrictions may apply, please check the details of the performance for full details. Events may be rescheduled or postponed at Manchester’s AO Arena’s discretion. Manchester’s AO Arena has more helpful information about planning your visit.

Virgin Experience Days Virgin Experience Days’ general terms and conditions apply to your experience. Specific terms and conditions relating to the specific experience also apply; these can be found on the Virgin Experience Days website. The Virgin Red Programme terms and conditions also apply. Please be aware of the excluded products which do not earn Virgin Points. This list can be viewed here. You'll earn your Virgin Points once we've confirmed your purchase. Your points will usually show as pending within 5 working days, and will usually be confirmed within 45 days. 

SquareMeal Virgin Red Programme terms and conditions apply. SquareMeal terms and conditions apply. Your side of Virgin Points are only awarded at participating restaurants. You can earn 100 Virgin Points for making and completing your restaurant reservation through the SquareMeal website. You can earn 100-3000+ Virgin Points each time you spend £20 or more using a linked payment card to pay for your meal, so make sure you check in advance on the SquareMeal website to see if your chosen restaurant has available card linked offers. You can also earn 25 Virgin Points for leaving a review on the SquareMeal website after your restaurant visit; these will only be awarded for reviews of restaurant visits booked through the SquareMeal website. The points earned will show on your Virgin Red account within 30 days of your visit. 

VUE Vue’s terms and conditions apply to your reward. Please be aware of the following key terms and conditions. Your code is valid for one 2D admissions ticket at participating Vue locations, which can be viewed in the link above. Code is not valid for any film at Vue West End (Leicester Square). Each code is valid for one ticket. For multiple tickets please click redeem for each ticket required. The code expires on the expiration date and is not subject to extensions, but can be used for screenings beyond the expiration date (subject to availability). Once redeemed, the voucher code is non-refundable (including if you cancel your booking). The code expires on the expiration date and is not subject to extensions. Codes cannot be used for Vue bookings taken over the phone. Codes cannot be upgraded to 3D screenings, but can be used to book VIP, Recliner, Xtreme seating or Gold class screenings online and at the Box Office for an additional cash upgrade fee. IMAX upgrades will also be at an additional cost.Codes are not valid for Premieres, Big Screen Events and alternative/special showings. Codes cannot be used in conjunction with any other offers. Film classifications apply. This code does not guarantee entry to a film showing. Vue cinema managers’ decisions are final.