Manchester

View over Exchange Square, Manchester

Manchester, home of the 2002 Commonwealth Games, Manchester United Football Club, fabulous shopping...and Posh and Becks (until they decamped to Madrid!) is just over an hour from us by either road or train.

Inviting, original, edgy, happening, different: spend any time in Manchester and you'll soon see it's a place like no other. This free-spirited city demands your attention with a warm, no-nonsense welcome and a liberating open-mindedness that challenges you to take part. Bring your ideas, your energy and your attitude and you'll fit right in – that's what makes our city uniquely Manchester....

Manchester is a dramatic mix of old and new. The futuristic design and innovative shapes of its contemporary architecture sit side by side with the spires and grinning gargoyles of its proud past

Music

Manchester is one of the world's most innovative, original and exciting places for both making music and going out to listen to it. Here you can have it all: follow in the footsteps of Morrissey, look out for the next Oasis or Happy Mondays in one of the city's 30-plus intimate live venues, enjoy world-class classical performances by Orchestras such as the Hallé, or club it like there's no tomorrow…

Shopping

Harvey Nicks, Manchester

Manchester does funky, fashionable, chic and sleek better than anywhere else in the country. Retail therapy is a speciality. Hunt down something unique at Saturday's Tib Street fashion market, browse for vintage chic and rare records in Northern Quarter, or cruise the designer stores and then relax with a long lunch and cocktails in Harvey Nichols' brasserie…

Label-lover, bargain-hunter, devotee of the chic and cheerful? Manchester has it all. Within a neat square mile you can splash out on designer pieces or dive into the fray of a shiny shopping mall. It's pure handbag heaven!

Manchester's markets have everything from clubbing gear to key cutting, from Christmas baubles to rare books, and French cheeses to Irish music. There are seasonal, regular and speciality sales to suit all tastes and budgets.

Sport

Manchester United Football Club Theatre of Dreams

As an international sporting centre Manchester's top of the league. Manchester's footballing pedigree speaks for itself – take a tour of Old Trafford or the City of Manchester Stadium to get a first-hand flavour of Europe's most exciting football league. The 2002 Commonwealth Games has left Manchester with a range of even more world-class facilities – and they're open to spectators, visitors and sports people…

If you have a hankering to watch premiership football (in season) or would like to tour Old Trafford (in or out of season) let us know and we will arrange it for you.

Arts & Culture

The Lowry Centre

Manchester's landmark galleries and museums like Daniel Libeskind's Imperial War Museum North, the Museum of Science and Industry and the Manchester Art Gallery give you the chance to view fantastic permanent and touring exhibitions. If you like to make a night of it, take in a show at the Royal Exchange, the Lowry or one of many other theatrical and concert venues. See for yourself why Manchester's taking centre stage...

Manchester's yearly calendar is full of cultural events, seasonal festivals, colourful picnics and flamboyant parades. It all means that whenever you visit the city, there's something going on. And whatever you're into, from jazz to poetry to gay culture to Christmas shopping, you'll find it in Manchester.

Nightlife

Manchester's dedication to amazing nights out goes on – and on. Its world famous nightlife attracts visitors from all over the UK and overseas. The club scene made famous by the Haçienda continues to draw crowds. And there's a stack of smaller, edgier live music venues offering you a chance to catch the next Smiths, Oasis or Stone Roses…

Organise your busy evening's plan of action around the city's distinctive neighbourhoods. Between them, they offer a heady mix of progressive fun, stylish innovation, and traditional good times. They're all different – and there really is something for everyone… And couple a city that loves to party with a huge student population chomping at the bit and you're guaranteed cracking nightlife – a mystic brew of euphoric house, rock, northern soul, swagger, jazz, and big fat beats everywhere you turn…

Food and Drink

Fancy a drink? With an endless choice of cutting-edge designer hangouts, traditional boozers, cathedral-sized bars, chi chi lounges and comfy watering holes, your only problem in this town will be where to start…

You can eat your way around the world in Manchester, sampling everything from Armenian to Australian to African. There are the sights and smells of Chinatown and Rusholme's Curry Mile, upmarket and traditional takes on Italian, Spanish and French, and a host of international restaurants offering gourmet global fare…

Some dining spots are a feast for the eyes as well as for the tastebuds. Here are some great places where you can look out over the Manchester skyline, take in grand historic buildings such as the former Stock Exchange, or enjoy dinner and a spot of people-watching by the lively canal-side…

Updated reviews on Manchester restaurants

Journey time from the house to Manchester City Centre - 1 hour 7 minutes (Route map)

Birmingham

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Liverpool

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London

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York

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