When you consider that records for this city date back to Roman times, it should come as no surprise that Manchester has become known for a good many things, during its rich and vibrant history. One of the most well-known parts of Lancashire, and the North West, this city has become one of the most visited cities in the UK by foreign tourists.
Anyone who’s not a fan of sports, should look away now, as this city is one that is very proud of its sporting venues and achievements. There are many opportunities to participate in, or watch sports here, ranging from football, to cycling and golf. Venues include Old Trafford, The City Of Manchester Stadium, Manchester Velodrome, Lancashire County Cricket Club, and Marland Golf Club.
Unsurprisingly, sports also features heavily in the city’s events schedule. Manchester was a former host of the Commonwealth Games, and will host 2012 Olympic Football, and the Iron Man UK Triathlon, coming to Greater Manchester for the third time in 2011. Aside from sport, the city also comes alive to the sounds of music, and stand-up comedy, attracting acts as diverse as Peter Kay, Paddy McGuinness, Mamma Mia, and rock icons Bon Jovi. There’s also the Moscow State Circus, the audio-visual feast that is the Manchester International Festival, and the annual Manchester Day Parade.
Heritage and architecture mix with the modern in this city, and there are some fine examples for visitors to enjoy throughout the city. The Imperial War Museum North, is located in the Quays area of Manchester, while there’s also a new Peoples History Museum. Look out for an example of Victorian Gothic building in the shape of John Rylands Library, and striking medieval wood carvings in Manchester Cathedral. For something a little different, Arley Hall and Gardens offer visitors 12 acres of gardens, woodland walks, and a Tudor Mansion House.
Don’t worry if you’re short of money though, as there are plenty of ways to enjoy this interesting city for free. Whitworth Art Gallery, with its event program, and ever changing exhibitions could be your first port of call, or you may enjoy a visit to the Royal Northern College Of Music, which hosts free concerts by its students. Last, but by no means least, two free outdoor attractions to enjoy: Heaton Park is an open space with attractions for all ages, including a bowling club, playground and farm, or you can take a trip to city airport and watch the planes, and visit the old art deco control tower.
If there’s one thing you might want to leave until last on a visit to Manchester, it’s shopping. With so much choice, you might get hooked, and not see anything else. The city is host to the immense Trafford Centre, along with other shopping malls like the Lowry Outlet Mall, and Arndale Centre. There are also designer shops like Harvey Nichols, department store giants such as Selfridges, and Vintage fashion markets. Altogether an eclectic mix of shopping opportunities that also reflect the whole nature of the city. Manchester is a city that really does offer something for everyone.