a 48-hour visit to Manchester and you will surely enjoy
By Lyssiemay Annoh
Manchester the hometown of the British
soap Coronation Street
is blessed. I say that Manchester is blessed because it
has everything a city can ask for; at the same time it does
not scream. This is a destination where you can combine
a city break together with countryside activities. Manchester
is a city with a Canal and there is always something fascinating
about cities with Canals.
I visited Manchester, I was convinced that there was nothing
much to see in this old textile city. This is because I
had previously passed through Manchester and felt that it
was empty. Yes, the key word is passed through; so this
time I decided to spend 48 hours in it.
before I started to explore it, I was struck by the warmth
of its people, their friendliness and their simplicity.
The City has culture and I mean a lot of culture. I had
48 hours to enjoy this cobbled city and had to make a plan.
Hotels are very easy to come about
so there should be no problem in finding accommodation.
I travelled to Manchester by air and since the Manchester
Airport hotels were really what you would call an airport
hotel in terms of location and service, I stopped at the
Crowne Plaza Manchester airport and the warm welcome started
with my chauffeur who waved past his uncle, also taking
another fare to another hotel. I felt at home already. Manchester
also has many hotels and accommodation choices in the city
but it is very practical to fly into Manchester, stay at
the airport and enjoy the city life at the same time. The
airport has a first class train service that takes you direct
from the airport into the city centre in under 20 minutes
and the newly refurbished 4star Crowne Plaza, at the airport
is an ideal place to stay. Nevertheless, there is nothing
preventing you from taking a taxi into the city to choose
from the many hotels and apartments available to visitors.
My first point of call was to the size up the much hyped
about Manchester’s Museum of Science and Industry
(MoSI) in the heart of Castlefield – Manchester’s
urban heritage park.. During my visit it was exhibiting
the Body World exhibition. Exciting - but I was visiting
the museum for another reason. The museum’s innovative
eco-friendly building had been inspired by Manchester’s
historic links with the cotton industry and with over 400,000
visitors to the museum it is already one of the most popular
A few metres away and I discover
an RAF museum of even greater interest – a
complete display of aircraft and everything relating
to aviation and the war. The whole display has been
carefully crafted for the visitor to relive the
I know that Manchester had more to it than museums
and culture. Everyone I met in the city appeared
to be busy so where they heading? Shopping of course!
It is fair to say that Manchester is about shopping. After
all, the city led the world’s textile industry and
invented the concept of the Department Store. The city has
a dedicated market for Christmas too and this year’s
Christmas Markets will run in November and December in the
From the transformed Arndale Shopping Centre to the chic
stores like Selfridges, Harvey Nichols, the trendy boutiques,
Debenhams and the reliable Marks and Spencer’s, shopping
in Manchester is a love story on its own. The Trafford Centre
is the place to visit if you do not have time to comb the
whole city centre’s shopping extravaganza.
a busy and active shopping arcade.
centre boasts 230 stores, 60 restaurants, cafés
and bars, the largest Odeon Cinema in the UK together
with leisure facilities such as Namco Bowling and
Laser Quest all under one roof. Nevertheless, if you
would like to stroll and around the City Centre while
shopping, you will be able to mix culture with shopping
when you visit the Arndale Shopping Centre. Located
in the heart of the city, Manchester's Arndale Centre
dominates the central shopping area of the City. The
Centre which was opened in 1979 is the largest covered
town shopping centre in Europe, covering some 30 acres
in the old city centre, with 750,000 shoppers visiting
it each week. With over 200 shops, major department
stores, restaurants and fast food outlets it has
the curious Bohemian, there is always the Affleck Palace
in the Northern quarter. This is where you will find a multitude
of little quirky boutiques with local designers, vintage
clothing stalls, piercing studios, tarot
readers, music makes, craft design centres and more.
to stroll up north along Deansgate, and you will discover
the magnificent John Rylands Library, housed in one of Manchester’s
finest gothic buildings and a few walks from here is King
Street where you will find some of Manchester’s most
exclusive shops such as Vivienne Westwood, DKNY, Armani
and several other designer labels.
Every city which has so much to offer in terms of
shopping evidently offers an extensive choice in food
and drink. From
the Chinatown to the Curry mile, you can eat and drink
well in Manchester like you have never done anywhere
had the pleasure of dining at Grado; Paul Heathcote’s
chic and trendy Spanish restaurant situated in the
heart of the city centre.
Grado serves an eclectic mix of
and Spanish food from an open Kitchen and drinks from
a bar to die for.
If you are gay then Manchester is one
City you will feel confident in. Just down south of
Chinatown, along the Canal Street are, you can encounter
the proud gay and lesbian community in their moments
of pride and joy.
cannot fail to admire the unique sense of culture
and freedom that surrounds Canal Streets and its neighbouring
Bars and Clubs. The city hosts three events each year
to celebrate its gay and lesbian community activities.
The Great British Bear Bash at the beginning of May,
the Queer up North festival at the end of May and
the Manchester Pride in August.
Royal Exchange Theatre
From architecture to design and simplicity, this is by far
my favourite theatre destination. It is a theatre appeals
to both the young and old. The Theatre module is built within
one of the Manchester's most prestigious historic buildings
- the former Cotton Exchange and once the largest room for
commerce in the world.
As the floor of the Exchange would not be able
to take the great weight of the theatre and its audience,
the module is suspended from four massive columns that also
carry the hall's central dome.
is a seven-sided steel and glass module that squats
within the Great Hall of the Manchester Royal Exchange.
The theatre has a circular seating whereby the stage
area is surrounded on all sides, and above, by seating.
It seats up to 700 people on three levels, making
it the largest theatre in the round in Britain. There
are 400 seats at ground level in a raked configuration,
above which lie two galleries, each with 150 seats
set in two rows.
news is that for Executive Travellers, it has a Corporate
Members Lounge & Function Room which offers absolute privacy
for a working lunch, an important business meeting, or simply
elegant entertaining, with a stylish and intimate Lounge and
bar. Fancy meeting or entertaining a client in the private
double-height reception with bar and sweeping staircase that
leads up to the listed oak-panelled original Manchester Exchange
the stage area and ground-level seating rest on the
floor of the hall itself. What I liked about the Royal
Exchange Theatre is not so much its circular seating
arrangement but the beautiful welcoming feeling you
get when you enter the former Cotton Exchange. The
old trading boards have been kept and it is as if
all the traders have left simply because you made
an appearance. It is spacious with a restaurant, bar
and tea room. It is absolutely fascinating.
A rendezvous in this unrivalled setting overlooking both St
Ann's Square and the Great Hall of the Royal Exchange, with
striking views of the steel and glass Theatre module and the
grandeur of the former Cotton Exchange speaks volumes. It
is accessed via a scenic lift in St Ann's Square and is self
contained with its own toilets and bar.
Royal Exchange Theatre is not the only theatre of
cultural destination in Manchester. There is also
Theatre & Opera House, the Printworks
an entertainment complex located in the heart
of Manchester City Centre which is home to a range
of restaurants, bars and clubs alongside a cinema
and a gym.
to travel to Manchester
The city of Manchester is in the north-west of England
and there are many regular train or coach services
from most towns in England to get there. It's pretty
easy to get to by car, too.
here to book flights and holidays to and from Manchester
Successful 48-hour destinations