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Soaps Feature

Coronation Street tour: Review, pictures and secrets from the set

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Coronation Street's former Quay Street site

© Continuum Group

Coronation Street's former Quay Street site


It was the end of an era for Coronation Street in December as the long-running soap left its base in Quay Street, Manchester after 53 years of production, but the show's old home is now opening its doors to the public as a tourist attraction for a limited period.

The first tours kicked off this weekend, but ahead of the official launch, Digital Spy was among the first to get a sneak peek at what to expect as the organisers held an official press preview earlier this week.

Here at DS, we've been lucky enough to visit the Street on previous occasions, but even for us this was a completely new experience as the tour proved to be much more than just a simple walk down the cobbles.

With the help of trained tour guides, visitors to the attraction almost become members of the crew themselves as they get an access-all-areas pass to sets, production rooms, wardrobe as well as the Street itself.

Julie Goodyear promotes the Coronation Street tour

© Continuum Group

Julie Goodyear promotes the Coronation Street tour


The tour begins in the cast green room, which was used by the show's stars up until the final day of Quay Street filming on December 20 last year and still has traces left behind from the current cast.

Next stop is the 'Corridor of Stars', which housed the dressing rooms of some of the show's original cast members including Bill Roache and Philip Lowrie. While some remain closed and locked, a couple have been opened up to the public for the first time to give fans an insight into the other main place where the cast relaxed in between scenes.

Interestingly, the tour guides explain that no two dressing rooms were the same, as each cast member used their rooms slightly differently. Some treated them as a 'home away from home' and even brought in beds for naps during breaks from filming, while others preferred to keep things as basic as possible.

After a quick trip into wardrobe and make-up, visitors are then guided into one of the tour's main highlights - Stage One, which housed the sets for the show's interior scenes.

Carla's former flat, the Platt family's home and the Dobbs house are among those on display, and they have been fully dressed for the tour in exactly the same way they would for a scene.

The set for Carla's former flat

© Digital Spy

The set for Carla's former flat


The set for the Platt family home

© Digital Spy

The set for the Platt family home


While it's often been said by those who have been lucky enough to see the sets, fans really will be struck by how small they seem in real life. For example, seeing how tiny the Platt kitchen is, it's difficult to imagine how the cast all fit in for those awkward family meals we often see!

Just like the dressing rooms, no two sets are the same. Set designers always made sure that Carla's kitchen was spotless - reflecting how infrequently she ever cooked in there - while the messier Platt house illustrates the chaotic reality of family life with David, Kylie and the kids.

The set for Carla's former flat

© Digital Spy

Carla's old kitchen


The Platt family's kitchen

© Digital Spy

The Platt family's kitchen


Of course, no trip to Corrie would be complete without a trip to the Rovers Return, where fans have the chance to have a picture taken while pulling a pint behind the bar. This can be purchased later on in the tour, though fans are free to take their own photos once they move onto the exterior Street set.

While other sets on Stage One could be moved as filming required, The Rovers was the most important set of them all - always staying in the same place as it's required for almost every episode.

The Rovers Return pub set

© Continuum Group

The Rovers Return pub set


Elsewhere in the studio, there are plenty of props and memorabilia to be found from storylines old and new - from Deirdre Barlow's glasses to the tram crash rubble and Roy Cropper's train set.

Tram crash appeal sign

© Digital Spy

Tram crash appeal sign


Tram crash rubble

© Digital Spy

Tram crash rubble


Roy Cropper's train set

© Digital Spy

Roy Cropper's train set


Fans are also guided into the production suites for an insight into the responsibilities of the behind-the-scenes team who bring Corrie to our screens for five episodes each week.

Unsurprisingly, the highlight of the tour is the 'grand reveal' of the Street itself. Emerging from the door to Nick's Bistro, visitors are brought onto the cobbles and given free reign to explore Coronation Street and the surrounding area.

The Rovers, The Kabin, the Corner Shop, Roy's Rolls and the rest are all still standing at Quay Street as they were last year, so there are plenty of photo opportunities before the tour reaches its conclusion with a visit to the medical centre on Rosamund Street, which has now been transformed into a gift shop.

The Kabin

© Digital Spy

The Kabin


The Rovers Return

© Digital Spy

The Rovers Return


With so much covered in the 45-minute tour, it's difficult to see how any fans wouldn't be impressed by the experience. As well as the obvious excitement of touring the show's famous locations, the attraction really does offer a strong insight into what life was like for the cast and crew as they worked on some of soapland's most memorable storylines at Quay Street.

Just don't let your visit spoil the illusion too much!

Rosamund Street with the backdrop in the distance

© Digital Spy

Rosamund Street with the backdrop in the distance


The Rosamund Street backdrop revealed

© Digital Spy

The Rosamund Street backdrop revealed


The Coronation Street tour runs until October 4 and tickets are available via Ticketmaster.

Digital Spy Soap Scoop video - hit play below for gossip on the aftermath of Rob being caught out in Coronation Street, Dot and Nick coming face-to-face in EastEnders, an indecent proposal in Emmerdale and more romantic twists for John Paul in Hollyoaks.

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