GREATER MANCHESTER

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Modern ManchesterHome to the world’s most famous football (or soccer) club, Manchester United, the Metropolitan county of Greater Manchester is a highly urban area, which contains such cities as Manchester, Salford, and Bolton. The region became well known for its textile production during the Industrial Revolution and, in fact, the world’s first powered cotton mill was built in the town of Royton in 1764.The term Manchester is still used today to denote textiles generically.


Greater Manchester has some charming scenery in the shape of the Pennines and the West Pennine Moors but it is more often visited for its cultural attractions: the modern city of Manchester in particular is becoming well known as a top destination for art and culture in the UK.  

 

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Manchester libraryManchester [pop. 484,000] is a city to watch. Situated in a populous urban area in the north west of England, it is now thought of as the capital of the north. It was once popularly called ‘Cottonopolis’ for its involvement in textile production during the Industrial Revolution and, particularly in Australia, New Zealand, and South Africa, bedding is still often called ‘Manchester’ in honour of the city’s supremacy in the field. As well as being the birthplace of the Industrial Revolution, the city also fostered a number of social movements such as Chartism, the Labour movement, the Suffragates, Vegetarianism, and the Cooperative Movement.

Nowadays, the innovations continue: Manchester is a cosmopolitan city that goes from strength to strength. It is known for its vibrant music and arts scenes as well as its great shopping and museums. It is also well known for a little soccer club called Manchester United Football Club. You may have heard of it.

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Manchester Town HallManchester has an international airport not far outside the city centre. From the airport, there are taxi and train services into Manchester Piccadilly. This latter is one of Manchester’s three main railway stations and it is situated in the east of the city at London Road. Another station is situated at Oxford Road in the south of the city centre, while the last is in the north, Victoria Station. Piccadilly and Victoria are connected by the Metrolink tram line. There is also a free bus service called Metroshuttle, which connects the main rail stations, the shopping areas and business districts. Check here for details. The main coach station is Chorlton Street Coach Station, not far from the Piccadilly train station.

 

History
T
here may have been some human activity in the area during the prehistoric era but evidence is scarce. IMamucium artifactt is certain that the city fell in the territory of the powerful Celtic tribe, the Brigantes in the Late Iron Age. Under the orders of Roman general Agricola in 79 AD, a fort called Mamucium was built on a sandstone bluff near a crossing of the River Medlock in modern day Castlefield. A town grew up around that fort, thus beginning the recorded history of the area. The settlement and fort continued to be used until around the 3rd and 4th centuries AD. Following this, the area was relatively stable and quiet until the Harrying of the North by the Normans.


Around the 14th century, the city began its production of textiles in earnest as many Flemish weavers migrated to the area. The city then expanded rapidly during the Industrial Revolution when it became a vitally important centre for mechanized textile production. This initiated a hectic programme of urbanization and modernization, as well as a great deal of social upheaval as the city and people responded to the challenges of poverty and overpopulation.

During the Second World War, the city took many hits from the Germans as it was the site of a number of factories fuelling the British war machine. Following the damage caused during this time and the eventual decline in textile production, Manchester was faced with the task of reinventing itself.

In 1996 the IRA set off a major bomb blast in the city centre. Although, luckily, enough warning was given by intelligence sources to evacuate the area, a great deal of damage was caused to buildings. The extensive rebuilding programme resulted in the Millennium Quarter and a determination to face the future with courage and openness to innovation.

Sights

Mamucium mapThe original Roman fort and settlement, Mamucium, can be found at Castlefield but nowadays visitors can only see the reconstructed north gate, granaries, and some other associated buildings. The site was damaged by the construction of the Rochdale Canal and the city’s expansion during the Industrial Revolution.


John Ryland’s Library [150 Deansgate, +44 161 306 0555] is part of the University of Manchester but it was originally built by a widow in remembrance of her husband, John Ryland. It is worth visiting because it holds the earliest extant fragment of the New Testament, the St. John Fragment. This is a fragment of papyrus with part of St. John’s Gospel and it dates to the early second century AD.

Manchester cathedralThe restored late medieval Manchester Cathedral [Victoria Street, +44 161 833 2220, free] has some very beautiful features which are worth looking at: an old stone carving of an angel, 16th century wooden carvings, 15th century carvings of musical angels, colourful glass windows, and a golden Madonna.

Around Chorlton and Canal Street you’ll find the Village – or the Gay Village – a gay friendly area of town with lots of clubs, bars, and restaurants. On the last weekend in August, there’s a Pride Festival.

A section of Wilmslow Road in the Rusholme area of Manchester is also known as the Curry Mile. It is full of Asian and Middle Eastern restaurants and shops. Indian restaurants and sari shops dominate, but you can find a host of colourful and exotic cuisines here.

Manchester Science Museum vintage aeroplaneThe Museum of Science and Industry [Liverpool Road, +44 161 832 2244, entry to the permanent galleries is free] is situated on the site of the world’s oldest surviving passenger railway station and, appropriately enough, it is dedicated to Manchester’s astounding technological and industrial history. One of the many highlights is the world’s first stored-programme computer, the ‘Baby’.

The Imperial War Museum North [The Quays, Trafford Wharf Road, +44 161 836 4090, free entry] has a very full programme of interesting exhibitions alongside its rich permanent collections of photos, films, documents, and artifacts relating to Britain’s wartime experiences in the 20th and 21st centuries.

Manchester Art Gallery Gainborough 'Peasant Girl'The Manchester Art Gallery [Mosley Street, +44 161 235 8888, free] has an excellent collection of Pre-Raphaelite paintings as well as an interesting collection of 19th century works exploring Romanticism and the Industrial Revolution. The Modern Galleries contain works by the ‘Manchester impressionist’ Adolphe Valette and works by LS Lowry.

Explore the history of working people at the People’s History Museum [Left Bank, Spinningfields, +44 161 838 9190, free], which includes a wealth of material relating to the Labour movement as well as Women’s Suffrage, Trade Unionism, and Popular Radicalism.

Manchester United Football Club [United Road and Railway Road, +44 161 868 8000, Adults museum and tour £13] is arguably the most famous football team in the world. Fans can visit Old Trafford Stadium and Museum to see the place where football greats like Beckham made their mark.

Visit the childhood home of Emmeline Pankhurst, the famous campaigner of the women’s Suffrage Movement. The Pankhurst Centre [60-62 Nelson Street and Oxford Road, +44 161 2735673, free entry] is both a museum about Pankhurst herself and the Suffrage Movement and a modern women’s community centre. 

Urbis [Corporation Street, Cathedral Gardens, +44 161 9079099, Levels 2-4 are free but there are charges for temporary exhibitions] is a fascinating museum concept: it explores the way that cities work. There are photographs, timelines, and videos. The exhibitions also explore themes such as homelessness and dislocation.

Hotels

    

To compare Manchester hotel prices that are available right now simply enter your dates into the search box at the left.  The world's major hotel booking services will compete to give you the best price.

 

Or you can directly contact our selections below

  The Verdene Hotel B&B [454 Moss Lane East, Whitworth Park, Rusholme, +44 161 2241576, £45] is a great choice for a good, basic place to stay not far from the centre of Manchester. It’s a typical English B&B with a friendly, home-like atmosphere.

Lennox Lea Hotel [Irlam Road, Sale, +44 161 9731764, £45-75] is in the suburbs southwest of Manchester city: it is clean, comfortable, and excellent value.
Mint Hotel [1 Piccadilly Place, +44 161 2421005, £59-322] Light, airy rooms and simple design make Mint Hotel a comfortable choice. It is conveniently located right across from Piccadilly Station.
Arora International Manchester [18-24 Princess Street, +44 161 2368999, £68-130] Well located in the centre of town, the Arora is a bright and modern hotel.

The Midland [16 Peter Street, +44 161 2363333, £80-182] combines Victorian splendor (the hotel is 100 years old) and modern comforts. There are three excellent restaurant options that are popular with locals and visitors alike.

 Situated in the lively Village area of the city, Velvet [2 Canal Street, +44 161 2369003, £85-230] is a luxurious and charming hotel. Rooms are highly individual and come equipped with modern conveniences.

A beautiful and intimate boutique hotel,
Eleven Didsbury Park [Eleven Didsbury Park, Didsbury Village, +44 161 4487711, £99-133] is situated in a nice leafy area. The breakfasts here are definitely worth a try.
Great John Street Hotel [Great John Street, +44 161 8313211, £110-239].  This hotel is situated in a beautiful, historic building that used to be the old school house. The guest rooms have a lot of personality.

The
Lowry Hotel [50 Dearmans Place, Chapel Wharf, +44 161 8274000, £122-416] is in a hip location. Its guestrooms and common areas continue the trend with sleek modern design.

 

 


 

Saltford at duskSalford [pop.72,800] is basically a suburb of Manchester these days, although it is technically a separate administrative entity. The city lies within the curves of the River Irwell and during the 18th and 19th centuries was an important inland port and textile factory centre. 

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Salford is west of Manchester. There are two main train stations, Salford Central at New Bailey Street, just across the river from Manchester proper, and Salford Crescent, within the grounds of the University of Salford. The city is also on Manchester's Metrolink tram line.

SightsOrdsall HallMuch of the stately home Ordsall Hall [Ordsall Lane, near Salford Quays, +44 161 9212173, currently closed under restoration until Spring 2011] dates back to the Tudor period. The famous Radclyffe family owned the home for around 300 years until 1662 and it was during this time, according to local tradition, that the Gunpowder Plot was hatched here by Guy Fawkes and his co-conspirators. 
The picturesque Bridgewater Canal [+44 161 6298266, free entry] extends from Runcorn to Leigh and passes through the west of Salford. 

The Lowry Centre [Pier 8, Salford Quays, +44 843 2086000, see Lowry Centrewebsite for tickets and event details] is an astounding sweep of metal and glass that houses space for art in all its forms. Catch a play, see the works of artist LS Lowry, see a comedy routine, or get involved in one of the many art workshops.

 

 


 

Bolton Town HallBolton [pop.140,000] is an old mill town near the West Pennine Moors.  It is home to some attractive historic architecture and not a few ghosts apparently.

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Bolton is situated north west of Manchester. The train station is on Station Street in the centre of town and the Bolton bus interchange is a short walk north from there on Newport Street.

SightsSmithills Hall [Smithills Dean Road, +44 1204 332377, Adults £3] is a 14th century manor house that was home to a number of successful northern families.  It is rumoured to be haunted.

Hall i' th' WoodHall i' th' Wood [Green Way, off Crompton Way, +44 1204 332370, free entry] is a magnificently preserved 16th century Yeoman hall. Inside its beautiful black and white patterned walls, Samuel Crompton invented the spinning mule, a crucial invention in the revolution of the textile industry. Thought to be haunted.

Ye Olde Man and Scythe [6-8 Churchgate, +44 1204 451237] is one of the oldest pubs in the country and the oldest in Bolton. It is not known when it was originally built but it is mentioned by name in the market charter of 1251. Although it has undergone several refurbishments, original features do remain. Not surprisingly, it is also rumoured to be haunted.

 

Hotels

    

To compare Bolton hotel prices that are available right now simply enter your dates into the search box at the left. The world's major hotel booking services will compete to give you the best price.

 

Or you can contact Edgerton House below directly.

Egerton House Hotel [Blackburn Road, Egerton, +44 1204 593030, £79-120] is a stunning old home set amongst quiet gardens. It has a lovely sense of history and provides excellent service. It is, however, situated well outside Bolton town.