Destinations - Manchester (UK) in detail
All the major
names in retail have stores in the city and many businesses-
including the BBC- are re-locating ‘up-north’.
star hotels, waterside properties, top restaurants
and leading fashion labels, this is not a description
of Milan, Paris or even London but of Manchester.
For our new regular slot- City Destinations in Detail
each issue we will be bringing you all you need to
know about some of the worlds major cities. Jennifer
Gaskin explores the new face of Manchester
and all it has to offer.
Once only synonymous with cobbled streets, coal smudged
faces and Coronation Street, Manchester is now the
epitome of urban style and sophistication. New buildings
have sprung up and old ones have been refurbished
to accommodate some of the cities hippest bars and
There are a
plethora of bars, restaurants, hotels and theatres to rival
any major city in the world and Manchester will soon be
home to the UK’s first super casino. Yet, amidst all
these changes Manchester has not lost any of its quintessential
‘northerness’- the people remain as friendly
as ever and an unexpected chat with a friendly local remains
Getting to know Manchester is easy. Market Street is home
to the majority of the cities high street stores, it is
the location of the newly renovated Arndale Shopping Centre
and it links the edgy Northern Quarter with the more high
end Millennium Quarter where Selfridges and Harvey Nichols,
amongst others, have set up shop.
onto Deansgate, a parade of cafes, bars and restaurants
will take you towards the towering structure of the Hilton,
and beyond that into Castlefield. The Manchester Ship Canal
winds through the city, and several new developments have
emerged on its banks.
has grown in recent years to become a firm favourite with
urban professionals. On a warm summers day there is nothing
better than sitting outside one of the areas many bars overlooking
the canal, with a glass of wine in hand and watching the
geese meander down the water.
area is Deansgate Locks. Walking inside one of the areas
many bars is like walking onto the set of ITV drama Footballers’
Wives, young girls with too much make-up and not enough
clothes and young men who have spent far too much time styling
their hair. Un-surprisingly Deansgate Locks is a popular
hangout for many of the cast of Hollyoaks.
biggest canal side development is Salford Quays. Five minutes
away from the city centre, the area is saturated with several
of the most desirable apartments in the city, it is the
base for many top businesses as well as The Lowry Hotel.
Manchester’s architecture encompasses and integrates
the best of two extremes. Regal Victorian buildings stand
as a testament to old Manchester, the industrial mills,
factories and railway buildings convey the working class
ethos that many have come to associate with the city, and
the ultra-modern, glass fronted buildings of new Manchester
stand together to create the face of a city re-invented.
On the banks of the Manchester Ship Canal, about two miles
from the city centre is the striking architecture of the
Imperial War Museum. Designed by internationally renowned
architect Daniel Libeskind to reflect a world torn apart
by conflict, The Imperial War Museum North is one of the
most talked about new museums in the country today. The
museum tells the story of how war has affected the lives
of British and Commonwealth citizens since 1914. It is the
fifth branch of the Imperial War Museum and the first outside
the south-east of England.
Art Gallery is the premier art exhibition centre in the
city. The gallery underwent a £35million, four year
redevelopment before re-opening its doors in 2002. The refurbishment
project involved linking the two original buildings with
a new development to create a contemporary art space of
international significance and the result is a fine example
of Manchester’s post-bomb transformation.
newest exhibition space, hosts more outlandish and unusual
multi-media art exhibitions. The gallery focuses on city
life and explores the culture and dynamism of cities around
the world through photography, music, design and contemporary
art. The glass skin of the building reflects the surrounding
cityscape and the surrounding Cathedral Gardens are also
a popular weekend hang-out for the cities teenagers.
The Imperial War Museum North
The Quays, Trafford Wharf Road, Manchester
Open seven days a week from 10am-6pm (Nov to Feb 10am-5pm)
with free admission.
For exhibition information visit http://north.iwm.org.uk
Mosley Street, Manchester
Open Tuesday-Sunday 10am-5pm, closed Mondays (except Band
Holidays) with free admission
For exhibition information visit www.manchestergalleries.org
Cathedral Gardens, Manchester
Open daily from 10am-6pm
For exhibition information visit www.urbis.org.uk
The free Metro Shuttle buses are the fastest way around
the city centre the but to travel further out of the centre
the Metro Link Tram system connects the city centre with
several surrounding towns as well as Old Trafford football
ground. Black cabs can be flagged down easily anywhere in
the city centre and there are also several local train services
from Piccadilly, Victoria, Oxford Road and Deansgate stations.
Virgin Trains operate frequent daily services to Manchester
from London Euston, journey times vary between 2 hours 15
minutes and 3 hours 30 minutes. For discounted fares it
is best to book as far in advance as possible. For timetable
information visit Virgin
Trains or call 08457 222 333.
Several carriers operate flights between Manchester and
preferred airline for further schedule information;