A Manchester football break
Explore this northern mecca of our national sport
Footie-mad Manchester lives and breathes the beautiful game, with its two world-famous teams plus top footballing attractions such as the shiny new National Football Museum.
Plunge head first into your football-themed break with a tour of Manchester United’s ‘Theatre of Dreams’, the magnificent Old Trafford stadium, for a footballer’s-eye-view of everything from the players tunnel to the pristine pitch and towering stands. Tour goers can also relish the footballing treasures of the Old Trafford Museum, where fans are wooed with interactive activities and a colourful display of the famous club’s legendary history.
The newly installed National Football Museum hosts a dazzling array of exhibitions inside its snazzy glass building. Wandering amid the reams of sporting relics you’ll stand just inches from famous trophies, hard-won medals and the shirts of footballing greats – such as Maradona’s World Cup 1986 shirt from the infamous quarter final match against England.
After a hearty exploration of the National Football Museum, you don’t have to go far for a fabulous, WAG-worthy meal. Sitting atop the museum’s gleaming, wedge-shaped glass building, find new fine-dining restaurant Kaleido , spearheaded by celebratory British chef Frank Bordoni. Fabulously designed dishes are created with as much flair as the stylish interior – tuck in to the likes of seared British feather blade steak with rocket and spenwood. Order from the sumptuous à la carte menu, opt for tapas at the bar or simply pop in for a cocktail and panoramic views of the city skyline.
Top tip: The National Football Museum is an easy two-minute stroll from Manchester Victoria train station.
Time to get to grips with one of England’s top shopping cities . Shop like a WAG at the designer boutiques amid the bustle and grand architecture of King Street and Bridge Street, and pick up the latest offerings from luxury designers such as Hermès, Paul Smith and Vivienne Westwood. Also in Manchester’s buzzing centre are British-born luxury department stores Harvey Nichols and Selfridges, each stuffed to the rafters with designer treats.
Join 75,000 cheering fans to watch the mighty Manchester United play at Old Trafford: soak up the pre-match atmosphere at local pubs, such as The Trafford, and pick up a hotdog and your copy of much-loved fanzine Red Issue on your way into the iconic stadium. The atmosphere here is unfailingly electric, and world-class footballing talent is guaranteed. Make it an extra-special experience with one of the match-day VIP packages, with treats such as Champagne on arrival and a seat at the newly named Sir Alex Ferguson Stand.
Many a footballer and WAG have been spotted letting their preened hair down at the trendy bars of Deansgate Locks. Zip to the top of the Hilton in Deansgate for cocktails at popular footballer hangout Cloud 23 – a sleek bar kitted out in black, red and chrome, with floor-to-ceiling windows gazing out over the twinkling cityscape. Enter in true WAG style and nab a place on the guest list in advance.
Top tip: Take your match day seat early to watch the players warm up as the atmosphere builds.
More about... Manchester
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