Manchester is well known for its premier league football, media links, edgy music scene, cultural influences and arty vibe. However, did you know that Manchester is also the home of beautiful architecture, and has preserved its rich history for centuries?
It’s often forgotten that Manchester was the hub of the industrial revolution. The city was crowned as the centre of trade in England, pioneering into the 1800s with its booming cotton industry. Manchester’s roots in the textile trade and scientific discovery are all around you when you explore the city. Museums and historic architecture are peppered throughout cobbled streets, a stunning contradiction to the progressive and cultural buildings that have only appeared in the last century.
Before you visit, make sure that you book into a hotel near the centre of the city. Novotel’s Hotel in Manchester city centre is a favourite among visitors because of its delicious international cuisine and comfy quarters.
Now that you’ve got your accommodation sorted, you can go on to explore what Manchester has to offer.
Museum of Science and Industry
Back in the Victorian age, Manchester stormed ahead of the rest of the world, becoming the first ever truly industrial city. Today, the city is granted beta status* by the Globalization and World Cities Research Network, and this is down to Manchester’s early lead on the rest. Discover the roots of Manchester’s fiscal dominance by going back in time with the Museum of Science and Industry. Moreover, they showcase the contemporary too, with exhibits and discussions that explore the cutting edge findings of the best scientists in the world. They even have a 4D cinema, a fantastic attraction for those of you with children.
*Beta status means that the city has a high score on its economic contribution to the global economy.
Manchester Art Gallery
Awarded a Certificate of Excellence by TripAdvisor, the prestigious Art Gallery recently went through a 35 million pound expansion, dramatically refurbishing the landmark. Now the staple of a Mancunian day trip, the internationally renowned gallery showcases locally famous work within its grand interiors. Better yet, it is free to visit the gallery and it is open from Monday to Sunday, with late night opening on Thursdays with wine, live music and food. The building has three floors of art and design and a costume collection, featuring fashion from all eras, including contemporary styles. We recommend that you bring your camera and mini-sketchbook along too; you never know when the spirit of creativity will take you!
[Photo of artwork by Anish Kapoor in Manchester Art Gallery is copyrighted by Arts Council Collection via Flickr]
Quarry Bank Mill and Styal Estate
If you’re interested in how a family would have lived during the industrial revolution, look no further than the Quarry Bank Mill. Visitors flock there to learn how people lived centuries ago. Each part of the landmark has been carefully reconstructed to recreate the conditions of the mill workers during the 19th century. Explore the Apprentice House, where the pauper children who worked at the mill ate, slept and lived. Get a tour from an enigmatic costumed guide, who will detail what the living conditions would have been like for these children, their medical needs and the food they would have eaten. If you really want to get into the spirit of the past, you could even make The Apprentice House children’s favourite, Lobscouse stew, for your own little tykes!
This post was brought to you in association with Novotel