As the commercial and cultural capital of Lancashire, Manchester is a famous center for the arts, media and higher education. Together with Salford and eight other municipalities, it forms the metropolitan county of Greater Manchester, in which some three million people currently live.
Like Liverpool, Manchester has experienced a kind of renaissance with the introduction of initiatives such as the Castlefield project, with its museum complex on Liverpool Road. The expansion of the city’s entertainment and sports facilities has also considerably increased its appeal to tourists. Notable examples include the excellent Opera House, with its list of theatrical and musical performances, and the thrilling Chill Factor, Britain’s longest and widest indoor ski slope. It has also become a favorite for shoppers with a huge range of retail opportunities, including the elegant boutiques of Place Sainte-Anne, King Street, and the Royal Exchange, as well as the large covered halls of Bolton Arcade. .
Designated an “urban heritage park”, Castlefield is a great place to start exploring Manchester, and a stroll among lovingly restored Victorian houses along the old canals or through the reconstructed Roman fort is time well spent. Be sure to explore the Bridgewater Canal, built in 1761 to transport coal from the Worsley mines to Manchester, and the many old warehouses that have been restored and converted into offices, shops, hotels and restaurants. (A trip on one of Bridgewater’s excursion boats is highly recommended.) Other interesting tourist attractions include the Castlefield Art Gallery, with its contemporary art exhibitions, and Bridgewater Hall, which houses the Hallé orchestra and first-class concerts.
2. Museum of Science and Industry
The Museum of Science and Industry (MOSI) is located on the site of the oldest railway station in the world. Its 12 galleries include the Power Hall, with water and steam machines from the golden age of the textile industry, as well as vintage cars manufactured in Manchester, including a rare Rolls Royce from 1904. The history of the city from Roman times to the industrial revolution to the present day is documented in the station building. The Air and Space Gallery is another must-see and is home to many historic aircraft, including a replica of the Triplane 1 by A. V. Roe, the first British aircraft to fly successfully.
Also worth visiting for its collections of combat vehicles and planes, the Imperial War Museum North. Highlights include audiovisual presentations and exhibits dealing with the history of war and its role in shaping civilization, as well as large machines such as tanks, airplanes, artillery and weapons. poached.
3. Manchester Cathedral
Perched on the banks of the Irwell, Manchester Cathedral dates mainly from 1422 to 1506 and was elevated to cathedral status in 1847. Its particularly attractive chapels on both sides of the nave and chancel were built between 1486 and 1508 with other additions and modifications in almost all of the following centuries. The choir stalls are particularly remarkable, with some of the country’s most richly decorated mercies. The Chapel of St. John is the chapel of the Manchester Regiment, and the Little Lady Chapel has a wooden screen dating from 1440. The octagonal chapter hall, built in 1465, has murals that include a figure of Christ in modern attire.
Another religious site worth visiting is the St. Mary’s Catholic Church, built in 1794 and also known locally as “The hidden pearl”. Don’t let the rather simple exterior of the structure prevent you from jumping inside, where you will find many fine Victorian sculptures. Highlights include the marble high altar, statues of saints and unique expressionist style cross stations
4. National Football Museum
Home to two of the best European football teams – Man City and Man United – Manchester is a great place to pay homage to the country’s favorite sport. The first stop should be the National Football Museum. This football sanctuary presents fascinating memories related to the sport, including gems like the very first rulebook, as well as trophies and historic clothing. A variety of great shorts show the history of the sport, while fun, practical displays (and feet) provide lots of extra entertainment for young people.
It is also worth visiting one (or both) of Manchester’s home stadiums. Manchester City’s Etihad Stadium offers a variety of fun tour options, including backstage and luxury dining, while Old Trafford – which is home to Manchester United – offers guided tours that provide access to private stalls and to walk the field itself.
5. Platt Hall: Gallery of Costume
Platt Hall, an elegant Georgian house built in 1764 and now part of the Manchester Art Gallery, presents an excellent overview of English fashion and costumes from 1600 to the present day and is perhaps the only collection to rival the Victoria and Albert Museum in London. The highlights of the museum include its many examples of everyday clothing, the Gallery of Costume containing one of the largest collections of costumes and accessories in Britain.
6. Heaton Park
Covering around 600 acres, Heaton Park is the largest park in Greater Manchester and one of the largest municipal parks in Europe. Heaton Hall, built in 1772, is in the heart of the park and although it is not currently open to the public, it remains an impressive sight. The park has been extensively restored and retains many of its original buildings and views. Sports enthusiasts will enjoy its 18-hole golf course, driving range, mini-putt and tennis courts, while families can explore the boating lake, animal farm, woods, ornamental gardens, observatory , the adventure playground and the tram and museum managed by volunteers.
The Fletcher Moss Botanical Garden is also worth a visit. Founded in 1917, this large green space – both a botanical garden and a wildlife habitat – contrasts pleasantly with the bustling city center. Popular things to do here include a walk or a picnic (there is also a nice cafe) or playing more strenuous activities, such as tennis, rugby or football.
7. People’s History Museum
The People’s History Museum is the national center for the collection, conservation, interpretation, and study of material relating to the history of working people in Britain. Located in a former pumping station, the museum showcases the history of British democracy and its impact on the population, as well as extensive collections of artifacts relating to trade unions and women’s suffrage.
Two other museums close by are the Manchester Jewish Museum, with its collection dealing with the city’s Jewish community, and the Museum of Transport, with its many old buses and other vehicles belonging to the city transport services.
8. Manchester Town Hall
The imposing façade of the neo-Gothic town hall (1877) adorns the pedestrian Albert Square, and the tower offers an excellent panoramic view of the city. Inside, the Council Chamber deserves special attention, as well as the cycle of Ford Madox Brown paintings that depict the history of the city. On site, visit the Free Trade Hall, opened in 1951.
The centrally located Manchester Central Convention Complex, one of the largest sites of its kind in England, hosts many musical performances throughout the year and is unique in that it was built in the middle of the old Victorian train station on Windmill Street.
A colorful home to one of Britain’s largest Chinese communities, Chinatown is just steps from the Manchester Art Gallery. The richly decorated vaulted walkway leading to the neighborhood is particularly striking. Numerous shops and restaurants offering a wide range of Hong Kong and Beijing culinary specialties have established themselves in this area, while unique handicrafts and Chinese works of art can be found at the Center for Contemporary Chinese Art.
10. Manchester Art Gallery
The Manchester Art Gallery has one of the largest art collections in Britain outside of London. The gallery includes works by the Pre-Raphaelites; 17th century Flemish masters; French Impressionists, including Gauguin, Manet and Monet; and German artists like Max Ernst. There are also pieces by well-known English artists, including Stubbs, Constable and Turner, while the sculpture collection includes works by Rodin, Maillol, Jacob Epstein and Henry Moore.
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