Of Interest in Manchester
a fantastic mix of historic buildings and contemporary
architecture giving visitors a unique chance to step
back in time while looking into the future.
Perhaps the city’s most imposing building, and
certainly the best single monument built to High Victorian
taste in the whole of Britain, is the gothic-style Town
Hall [map] . With its fabulous sculpture of Sir John Barbirolli,
the Ford Madox Brown murals and the mesmerising Great
Hall ceiling, the Town Hall is a symbol of Manchester’s
great history. You are welcome to take the regular tour
on Saturdays and most Wednesdays or sign in at the reception
and take yourself around.
After taking in the wonders of the Town Hall why not
marvel at some of Manchester’s other famous landmarks,
such as the Cathedral [map] or the John Ryland’s Library [map].
With many superb features and the best medieval woodwork
in northern England, the Manchester Cathedral tour
is a must. See if you can spot the Rabbits cooking the
Huntsmen, discover why there is a Fire Window and find
the monument that Robert Lever put up as a tribute to
his dead children in the 1600s.
A short walk away on Deansgate you’ll find the John Ryland Library, a superb late Victorian
Gothic building which houses one of the greatest collections
of manuscripts and printed works in the world. In addition
to the oldest fragment of the New Testament,
it also has the Guttenberg Bibles, most of Caxton's
works, the first edition of Shakespeare's Sonnets and
Another library worth visiting for its architecture
is the Central Reference Library [map] on St Peter’s Square. This circular neo-classical
building has a magnificent reading room, books on almost
every subject, including law and local history, and
frequently hosts exhibitions of local interest.
Hiding in the basement is the Library Theatre and a wonderful little café.
Another historical building worth a visit is the Royal
which helped to shape Manchester’s status as the
first industrial city. The stylish building, which was
once the centre of the global cotton trade, houses gift
shops, restaurants and the Royal Exchange Theatre under three impressive domes.
For more of Manchester’s breathtaking architecture
take a look at some of the city’s new designs,
such as the Bridgewater Hall [map] and the Urbis [map].
Situated on the waterfront in the heart of the city
centre, the Bridgewater Hall is an architecturally
striking concert hall and home of the famous Hallé
The Urbis on the other hand is a new kind of
museum set in a dramatic glass building rising high
above the centre of Manchester. Interactive exhibits
explore life in different cities around the world, and
the one-minute sky glide in the Glass Elevator at
the start of your journey allows you to see right across
If exhibitions are your scene then get along to one
of Europe’s most exciting events centres, Manchester’s
famous G-Mex [map].
Created out of the former Central Railway Station, the
exhibition centre plays host to a whole programme of
shows, sporting events and sell-out concerts.
To capture more of Manchester’s history, pay a
visit to the Old Wellington Inn [map] – the city’s oldest pub dating back
to 1552. It now boasts a ground floor bar and all-day
And if you like a decent pint then take a tour of the Boddington’s Brewery, home of the ‘Cream
of Manchester’ – Boddington’s bitter.
The brewery, located just off Deansgate, has been making
the famous bitter since 1778 when Henry Boddington created
the recipe and techniques which are still used today.
Guided tours are by appointment on weekdays and you
can also visit the Brewery Tap, to buy the latest Boddington’s
merchandise, or nip into the show pub for a great
During your visit to the city why not take a trip out
of the centre to see what the rest of Greater Manchester
has to offer.
Take a half hour drive north of Manchester and you’ll
arrive at Saddleworth – more than 18,000
acres of open land and gardens with breathtaking views
overlooking scenic valleys. It is made up lots of tiny
villages including Dobcross, Delph, Greenfield and the
main village, Uppermill, where you’ll find the Saddleworth Museum [map],
a variety of craft shops, traditional English tea-rooms
and several pubs. From here you can also enjoy a boat
trip on the Huddersfield narrow canal, which
was reopened by H.R.H Prince Charles in 2001 after extensive
Also about half an hour from the city centre in the
borough of Rochdale is the delightful Hollingworth
Lake and Country Park [map].
Windsurfing, sailing and rowing are just a few of activities
you can enjoy on the lake, while for those who prefer
to stay dry there is a two-mile walk around the lake
where you can marvel at the breathtaking views of the
Also well worth a visit is the Chorlton Nature Reserve,
a beautiful area of mixed woodland, wildflower meadows,
pasture and ponds.
Just 15 minutes on the Metrolink from the city centre
and you’ll discover the newly renovated Salford
Quays – where the Industrial Revolution arrived
in Manchester. Here you’ll find the gleaming spaced
age building that is home to The Lowry –
an art gallery, restaurant, shopping centre and theatre
all rolled into one. Then, after visiting The Lowry,
you could take a walk along the promenade by the Manchester
Ship Canal [map],
which first opened in 1894. From here you’ll also
catch a glimpse of Manchester United's Old Trafford
[map] stadium, which is built across the canal and near on
impossible to miss.
For another taste of Manchester’s industrial heritage
take a trip to Castlefield, which is just a five-minute
walk from the city centre. Here you’ll find the Bridgewater Canal and the oldest railway station
in the country, which is now home to the Science
and Industry Museum [map].
If you’re a bit of a star spotter, keep your eyes
peeled as the longest-running British soap opera, Coronation
Street, is filmed at Granada Studios in the heart
Manchester is also renowned for its Asian cuisine and
no trip to the city is complete without a visit to Rusholme
– home of the world famous Curry Mile.
If you enjoy a good curry get along to the Wilmslow
Road [map] to see what the city has to offer. And don’t worry
about getting lost, you’ll know you’re in
the right place by the stretch of neon lights that could
easily rival Blackpool at Christmas!
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interesting in Manchester, why not use our What
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