Manchester has recently been named the best city to live according to Economist magazine. So if it’s the best to live it what does it offer the visitor? Sport for a start – football obviously whether you are a blue or red supporter, velodrome, athletics, aquatics and not forgetting the home of Lancashire Cricket.
The arts in all its forms – live theatre with more theatres per head of the population than any other part of the UK. The Palace, the Opera House, The Lowry all have original and touring productions from London’s West End. My personal favourite though has to be the Royal Exchange Theatre – renowned for its outstanding original productions in an intimate theatre in the round venue.
Music venues from the Arena (the big one) to the many other smaller but not so small venues. Far too many to list here. Soon to be complimented by the new permanent home for Manchester’s biennial International Festival at the former Granada TV Studios.
It is also home to some 80,000 + University Students across three universities. Students love socialising and Manchester is not found wanting – the nightlife is there to be enjoyed whether you are a student or not. Fancy a laugh – head to the Comedy Club.
Architecture takes centre stage as well – some must sees are the Town Hall, John Rylands Library and the newly restored Central Library – all of which are just few minutes’ walk of each other.
Check out the newly reopened and award winning Whitworth Art Gallery and the Museum of Science & Industry. For an enlightening experience go see the Imperial War Museum North at Salford Quays and back in the city centre’s Spinningfield district the People’s History Museum – these two give a fascinating understanding of history and all is implications for today’s culture.
The range of hotels keeps on growing whether you are wanting 5* luxury or perhaps a more modest 3* lodging there is a thread of quality and good old northern hospitality that binds them together.
If you are coming to Manchester for business and you need a meeting room then the multitude of hotels can certainly deliver what you need. However, if you want something a little different, less formal perhaps, somewhat quirky and less frills but certainly delivers whether it is a one on one meeting or something larger at Ziferblat in the Northern Quarter they have simple pricing – a fixed very small rate per person per minute which includes unlimited wifi, coffee and cakes. There are several private and shared sitting room style social spaces.
Shopping opportunities abound and are almost limitless across the city centre including the Arndale Centre to the intu Trafford Centre a short drive from the city centre to the Lowry Outlet Mall to be found at Salford Quays next to Media City home to the BBC, ITV and numerous television and film production facilities.
All this activity means you will work up a big thirst no doubt – from the real ales brewed across the city’s microbreweries to the stylish cocktail bars. So many to choose form and this correspondent is happy to give you some recommendations. After which I am sure you may find your hunger needs to be satisfied – new restaurants have been opening up at the rate of one every two to three weeks so far this year. So let us know and we will give you some recommendations – you will not be disappointed. Watch out for more about the city’s restaurant scene in a future blog.
Connecting to Manchester could not be easier from international flight from across the globe, to the trains and if you are coming up from London – Virgin Trains run three trains an hour with a travelling time of just around two hours. Of course you may prefer to drive with a great road network too link all points of the compass.
Getting about in the city and indeed beyond could not be easier by the Metrolink (trams) with its ever expanding network. It has been one of the great success stories over the last twenty years. This correspondent is a total convert and there are interchanges at both of Manchester’s main railway stations – Piccadilly and Victoria. Simple!
Finally I am reminded of something Manchester’s Evening News said in an article recently: “Nothing says more about a place than the people who live in it and by and large Mancunians are a fiercely proud, funny and friendly bunch”
So now is the time not to hesitate and start planning a visit whether for business or pleasure. Drop us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll help on your way.