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Your guide to Manchester
All About Manchester
One of the country’s powerhouses during the Industrial Revolution — its nickname Cottonopolis was hard-earned — Manchester’s red brick factories and mills now sit alongside gleaming glass buildings and winding tram tracks. Known worldwide for its musical and sporting giants, this city has a doggedly independent spirit. Whether you’re touring the Theatre of Dreams or browsing the record stores beloved by members of the 1990s Britpop scene, the city’s global cultural influence is evident.
Tucked behind Piccadilly Gardens, the Northern Quarter of the city is packed with large-scale street art highlighting social issues, vintage clothing stores, and eco-conscious cafes lining Thomas Street. Once the city’s garment district, this area is home to Manchester Craft and Design Centre, which showcases independent artists and craftspeople and runs regular workshops for visitors to try their hand at glasswork and silversmithing.
The best time to stay in a holiday rental in Manchester
Despite having a reputation for rain, Manchester is barely in the top ten UK cities for annual rainfall, and there are plenty of spots for alfresco dining and bar-hopping on a sunny day. However, like the rest of the country, rain is always a possibility, so a waterproof coat or umbrella are sensible regardless of season. Football fans flock to matches on the east and west outskirts of the city during the Premier League football season from mid-August to late May, while large Christmas markets are popular during the festive season. The summer months are popular with visitors combining a city break with adventures in the neighbouring Peak District.
Top things to do in Manchester
Sample the Craft Beer Scene
Make your way to the railway arches behind Piccadilly Station and pay a visit to an internationally-renowned taproom, or taste beer from one of many brewers available along Manchester’s craft ale trail. There are plenty of producers to try all over the city centre, from major players to new micro-breweries.
People’s History Museum
Nestled alongside the River Irwell on the edge of the city’s Spinningfields area, the People’s History Museum tells the story of the fight for the right to vote, the campaign for workers’ leisure time, and the absorbing history of women’s rights and the suffrage movement. This museum provides a deep insight into Manchester’s independent roots, from interactive exhibitions to the world’s largest collection of trade union and political banners.
Less than 10 minutes’ walk from the popular Northern Quarter, Ancoats was once a hub of industry, manufacturing textiles and printing newspapers. Now, its former red brick factories run the gamut of Scandinavian-inspired bakeries, offbeat corner grocery stores, innovative small plates eateries, and the no-holds-barred independent Hope Mill Theatre.