Immerse yourself in the sporting heritage, museums and shopping of the vibrant northwest city of Manchester.
Cosmopolitan Manchester lies in the Industrial Revolution’s heartland, where old working canals now sparkle with quayside cafés and contemporary museums. A short stroll from the city’s central transport hub, Manchester Piccadilly, find live music in the trendy Northern Quarter venues and dine on dim sum in neighbouring Chinatown. After rugby games, fill your lungs with fresh air on the Peak District’s rolling moors and rugged tors, a short ride away on the scenic Hope Valley railway.
You can almost hear the crowds chanting as you emerge from the players’ tunnel at Manchester United’s Old Trafford Museum and Stadium Tour. Step behind the red-brick warehouse façade at MOSI (Museum of Science and Industry), and get up close to tanks and harriers at the vast Imperial War Museum North, while arty gems such as Pre-Raphaelite paintings and Henry Moore sculptures are on display in the grand, neo-classical Manchester Art Gallery on central Mosley Street. You can glimpse 15th-century accounts of witchcraft at John Rylands Library.
Explore the city
Gain some insider knowledge of Manchester and its surrounding areas on one of Manchester’s Guided Tours, which will take you on a tour of the city’s historical, architectural and cultural offerings and major landmarks.
Great for families
A wealth of marine life is on display at Sea Life Manchester aquarium, from sharks lurking above the underwater tunnel to starfish and rays in the shallow pools. Nearby, at Legoland Discovery Centre, guilty pleasures include a nostalgic Star Wars mini world and colourful Lego factory – for the young and not-so-young alike.
Splash out on the likes of DKNY and Armani in The Avenue at the shiny Spinningfields development. The Manchester Arndale shopping centre is a bargain hunter’s paradise with more than 240 well-known brands and a food court under one roof. A few miles west of the city find the huge intu Trafford Centre, brimming with everything including luxury brands, high street favourites and department stores.
Explore the area
For open space – and lots of it – head just outside the city centre to rolling Heaton Park. Here take in views of England’s backbone – the Pennine hills, experience the championship parkland golf course and paddle across the serene boating lake. Just 30 minutes from central Manchester are the fascinating National Trust country parks and gardens of Dunham Massey and Quarry Bank Mill – perfect for a spot of gentle rambling.
Perfect your slalom skills on the 180-metre real-snow piste at Chill Factore, or try out the likes of extreme carving, sledging, airboarding, tubing and the luge ice slide. Next door, experience indoor skydiving or ‘body flying’ without any extreme heights in the wind tunnel at Airkix. To experience Land Rover’s legendary all-terrain expertise in safe, thrilling and true-to-life driving adventures you can visit Land Rover Experience Cheshire.
Did you know?
Bustling Manchester celebrates its industrial past with a ‘busy bee’ logo. Look out for bees on lampposts and benches throughout the city. The bee also features on a mosaic inside Manchester Town Hall and on the city’s coat of arms.
Where to stay
Where to eat
Getting there and around
Air: The nearest major airport is Manchester Airport. Around-the-clock train services connect the airport to central Manchester Piccadilly station in 20 minutes. Buses and taxi are also available.
Rail: Manchester Piccadilly station is just over two hours from London Euston Station.
Road: Manchester is within easy reach of the M6 and M62.
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