A heady mix of culture, heritage and cool
anchester’s favourite t-shirt slogan sums up the city very well: And on the sixth day, God created Manchester”. Cocky, cheeky and just a little disrepectful. Much of this confidence is down to the city’s somewhat unlikely role as a focal point for a staggering range of culturally and historically important events. The Industrial Revolution, the birth of Marxism, the first computer: Mancunians have seen it all, and know their city is unique. And that’s just the way they like it.
History and Heritage
Manchester’s architecture is a breathing entity, a living record of the changes that have been wrought across the city over the last two centuries. John Ryland’s Library is a brooding, Gothic Victorian melodrama of a building, while the Museum of Science and Industry is located on the site of the world’s oldest surviving passenger railway. Founded in 1653, Chetham’s Library is the oldest public library in the English-speaking world, while the newly restored People’s History Museum is another example of the city’s sympathetic treatment of its past.
Must See Attractions
Choose from new (the Imperial War Museum , the Lowry ) or old ( Royal Exchange Theatre , the Whitworth Art Gallery ) cultural icons, or get a pigeon’s eye view of the vast Greater Manchester conurbation with a ride on the 60m Wheel of Manchester . For more active thrills, Chill Factore is one of the country’s largest indoor snow slopes.
Food and Drink
As you might expect from such a diverse city, there’s more to the city’s scran scene than meat pies, chips and gravy. Chinatown and the Curry Mile in Rusholme are must-visits, while the centre has a huge variety of restaurants to choose from, with Sam’s Chop House and Gaucho’s two especially popular food gaffs.
The thing about Manchester is...it all comes from here.
Music and Nightlife
When a city has bequeathed the Factory Records , Oasis and the Bee Gees to the world, you know there’s a fair chance it kicks off once the sun goes down. So it proves in Manchester, which is teeming with bars, clubs, pubs and gigs to get stuck into. The Bridgewater Hall is home to the Halle Orchestra, while the Northern Quarter likes to imagine itself as a local version of New York's Greenwich Village. Deansgate Locks is yet another example of the city making novel use of its industrial hangover, while the Warehouse Project is the type of cutting edge clubbing experience that the city has always specialised in.
Everything a budding fashionista needs is here, from the behemoth that is the Trafford Centre , 15 minutes outside the centre, to the independent delights of the Northern Quarter’s boutiques. For designer outlets, King Street has always been the place, while Affleck’s Palace is a labyrinth of market stalls and vintage shops.
Football inevitably looms large over this city, with two of the world’s biggest clubs eyeing each other moodily across town. Both Manchester City and United offer tours that help to explain the history of the clubs, and their importance to the city at large. Manchester also does cricket, with Old Trafford an easy trip from the centre.
Once you’ve shown tthe kids around Old Trafford, the Legoland Discovery Centre should keep their brains occupied for a while, while the Manchester Museum has 15 galleries featuring collections from all over the world, including a ghoulish selection of mummies in the Egyptology galleries. Kids will also love exploring the incredible countryside on Manchester’s doorstep, with the Peak District in particular offering walking, mountain biking and other activities within easy reach.
Psst... Handy hints
Local music legend Guy Garvey’s favourite pub, The Temple Bar , is a refurbished public convenience.
August’s Pride Big Weekend is a four day party that celebrates the city’s openness with a Parade weaving through the city.
Flaky pastry from Lancashire.Lancashire Eccles Cakes
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