Coronation Street – The Tour

Coronation Street – The Tour

With Storm Hannah blowing a gale and rain hammering down, a friend and I joined a group of other hardy tourists for a tour around the Coronation Street set in MediaCityUK, Salford. Sadly, the tour doesn’t include the indoor sets, so we were a bit wet and windswept by the end of the tour! Never mind, our tour guide and Pat Phelan look-alike, Alan, kept us entertained with his cheesy Coronation Street themed jokes.

Rovers Return Inn
Rovers Return Inn

I’d previously been on a tour of the old Coronation Street set at Quay Street, Manchester in the late 1990s, but it was sadly demolished in 2017 after Granada Studios moved to Media City at the end of 2013. There are a few differences between the previous set and the current one, for a start, this one is much bigger and extends well beyond Coronation Street and neighbouring Rosamund Street, and there is an extra window above the Rovers Return. The old set was used for many years, but it was not the original set. The original 1960 wooden set was initially entirely indoors before being moved outside and shortly afterwards reconstructed in brick.

Coronation Street and its cobbles.
Coronation Street and its cobbles.
The Kabin. No sign of Rita though!
The Kabin. No sign of Rita though!
Audrey's Salon. Sadly not open... I could've done with a new hair-do!
Audrey’s Salon. Sadly not open… I could’ve done with a new hair-do!

Tours of the current Coronation Street Set run between 9am and 6pm on selected weekend days only and cost £35 per person (tickets have to be pre-booked). Lasting around 80 minutes, the guided tours give plenty of time to take photos, but beware! The tour groups are quite large (around 40 people in each group), so you’ll find others getting in the way of your selfies or other shots. So not only were we battling the wind and rain, we were battling the other tourists too! We also kept catching up with the group in front of us (understandable due to a few of them being in wheelchairs) and the next group was never far behind.

The back yard of the Rovers Return.
The back yard of the Rovers Return.
Maddie's mural in the ginnel.
Maddie’s mural in the ginnel.
The ginnel at the back of Coronation Street.
The ginnel at the back of Coronation Street.

I have read on some other reviews that people had the opportunity to have an “official” photo taken outside the Rovers Return. This was not on offer the day we had our tour, which was probably just as well because we looked pretty damp and windswept!

Anyone unsteady on their feet or with mobility problems will need a wheelchair or scooter as it’s a long time to be on your feet with no opportunity to sit down for a rest (and you might want to stick to the pavement down Coronation Street as I would image the cobbles would be a little rough if you were on wheels!).

Looking down Coronation Street.
Looking down Coronation Street.

Corrie fans will love the tour. After all, it’s not often you get the opportunity to walk down those famous cobbles. However, I thought the £35 ticket price was a little steep for what we got. A tour of the old set would have set you back half that price.

Roy's Rolls.
Roy’s Rolls.
The tattoo parlour.
The tattoo parlour.
Victoria Street mural.
Victoria Street mural.

I do think that more could be done with the Coronation Street tour… After all, with a tour lasting nearly an hour and a half, it would be nice to be able to stand at the bar of the Rovers Return and sup a pint or have a sit down in Roys Rolls at the end. I understand it is a working set, but the addition of a working replica somewhere on-site or just off-site would just top it off nicely. Also, the limited merchandise on sale was available at the start of our tour where we collected our passes (which was temporarily in the nearby shopping centre). I’m more likely to buy something like that afterwards, but that would have meant a further walk and the limited items available weren’t worth it.

All in all, it was nice to walk down those famous cobbles (again) and see the newer parts of the set, but I won’t be rushing back.

13 comments

  1. LL Cool Joe says:

    I haven’t watched Coronation Street for years but strangely enough all the places you’ve shown look quite familiar. What’s that triangular building in the background?

  2. Kelly says:

    It’s a program I’ve never watched, but I like the atmosphere of the set. It does sound awfully steep price-wise for what little you got to see and do.

  3. Jo says:

    I think that price is a bit steep too, though I should imagine real fans of the programme won’t mind. Whether you watch the programme or not, those cobbles are famous and everyone knows the Rovers Return.

  4. Lisa says:

    I don’t watch Corrie but I know people who do and would love this tour. That said, £35 seems very high, considering what you got for your money. I like your idea of a pint in the pub or snack in the cafe, perhaps you should pitch that to ITV! Lisa x

  5. Anca says:

    For me, £35 is very expensive, but I don’t watch Coronation Street. I would pay double to visit a set of Games of Thrones though. 🙂
    I agree with you on the gift shop, they should make it easy for customers to buy stuff and they would have happier customers and a greater return with their shop.
    Love the pictures.

  6. jeanie says:

    What a fabulously informative post. Although we don’t see Coronation Street here in the states, I’m aware of it and I love film sets. Good tips on the mobility issues and I think you’re right — it would be fun to be able to go into the pub and have something to drink. But still, very, very cool. This would be something I would thoroughly enjoy!

  7. I haven’t watched Coronation Street for years, but enjoyed seeing your tour (great shots, despite the competition with other groups) and it’s something I’d do because I had to. But it does seem a bit pricey – and I agree that it shouldn’t be too much to have some kind of replica interior that visitors could sit in at the end without doing too much harm.

  8. Tracy Terry says:

    My favourite soap. I’d have loved this tour if only to find how Izzie copes on those cobbles, how she manages to get upstairs and is Dev’s really able to accomodate her in her wheelchair in which case (the only corner shop that I know that is able to) I’m moving to Coronation Street.

    £35 is very steep though and especially given the fact that you couldn’t have a pint/hotpot in The Rovers nor a full English in Roy’s. The limited merchandise is disappointing as well. Mind you it’s probably just as well as I should imagine that too would be expensive.

  9. I visited the old Granada Studios tour lots of times in the ’90s, you could go in the rovers and there were lots of the costumes on display too. This new tour doesn’t look quite as good and I agree the price is a little steep. It’s great for die-hard Corrie fans though.

  10. ed says:

    I visited the old Granada Studio Tour years ago. I seem to remember it included Coronation Street but also had quite a few exhibits about general tv show making.

    There were costumes and various behind the scenes exhibits. I can remember the House of Commons set which was a scaled-down replica of the original, which we could walk through.

    Same with the Rovers Return, which we could go inside. I think they even served beer, although I might be imagining it. Next door was a cafe too.

    It is a shame that these exhibits disappear, along with their explanations of how a movie or show gets made. The same thing has happened at MGM Studios in Florida, where for various commercial and contractual reasons it has lost most of its proper film-making exhibits.

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