Destinations / City Breaks / Manchester
Old Trafford The Theatre of Dreams is a fluttering sea of red and white scarves as Manchester United supporters warm up for a big game and, not too far away, the City of Manchester Stadium is home to Manchester City football club. A frenetically, fanatically football mad city, it would seem that Manchester blue or red has the Premier League all sown up.
One of the UK's largest Metropolitan areas, the city has a population of 2.6 million inhabitants and it has the Cheshire Plain to the south and the Pennines to the north and east. A huge player in the Industrial Revolution, one of the most impressive parts of the industrial heritage, Ancoats, is a collection of mills which spun cotton, housed a glass industry and a chemical works. This was once called the Workshop of the World. It is easy to understand why the city is thought to have been the influence for Charles Dickens' novel "Hard Times".
Many interesting landmarks include Castlefield, site of a Roman Fort and Bridgewater Canal (1761); Victoria Baths, neoclassical Central Library and the former Daily Express Building, an Art Deco gem. Manchester can claim to be home to the world's first railway; it hosted the first meeting of the Trade Union Congress and was the place where scientists first spilt the atom. In nearby Ramsbottom, the iconic Peel Tower is a tribute to Sir Robert Peel, founder of the Metropolitan Police Force. Equally, the borough of Salford close by was the birthplace of L.S Lowry, the renowned painter of "Matchstick Men". A thriving performing arts and culture tradition in the city is visible in the Manchester Opera House, Royal Exchange Theare, Whitworth Art Gallery and Palace Theatre.
A vast musical heritage includes the Halle and BBC Philharmonic symphony orchestras, a chamber orchestra and a marvellous of brass band music heritage. The musical scene also has been inspired by Oasis, The Smiths, Joy Division ,New Order and The Stone Roses. The 1960's icons, The Hollies, Herman's Hermits and the Bee Gees all hailed from here and, today, the Manchester Evening News Arena is the largest music venue in Europe. The Royal Northern College of Music is the only UK "conservatoire" cited as a centre of excellence in teaching and learning and you can hear free student recitals almost daily.
Not forgetting telly fans, Manchester is home to Granada TV which produces the longest running and best loved programme "Coronation Street" - the world's oldest soap. Heaton Park is a vast green swathe in the north of the city and is Manchester's healthy lung - a perfect afternoon escape to stroll the gorgeous gardens. A super city for shopping, Manchester has all the brand stores, designer boutiques and malls. In fact, the city has something to offer just about everyone. Manchester is a winner!