Manchester: Travelling to the unofficial capital of the English North
For many years, an informal competition raged in the English North. Manchester and Birmingham were claiming the coveted title of “England’s second city”. The last two decades have provided the answer. After a larger than life music movement, a war bombing and a major “renovation” of the city afterwards, there was no doubt: The city of Manchester not only rightfully won the title but managed to enjoy something more than that: The glamour of the unofficial capital of the North, which does not stop transforming into a (super) modern metropolis ever since.
It is indeed difficult for “novice” British visitors to get past Edinburgh’s picturesqueness and London’s kaleidoscopic diversity. It is daring for a visitor to break away from London’s monopoly and go up to a city that is famous only for its industrial nature and the year-long tradition of football.
And yet, Manchester is not only just that. It is also its paved squares, shaded by state-of-the-art skyscrapers. They are the many aspects of architecture, reflected from its Roman fortifications to its Victorian-style aesthetics. It is the locals’ heavy accent, who always pronounce the “u” as “ou”, and the authentic British pubs with the improvised indie music lives and the pints with the beers flowing endlessly every night. Finally, the landscapes you will see in the surrounding areas, from river canals to hills and lakes, complete the northwest of England’s hospitable scenery with an absolute pulchritude.
What to see in Manchester
Start in the heart of the city, at Piccadilly Gardens, the public space that received worldwide acclaim for its renovation in 2003. Between the city’s two major passenger terminals, Manchester is here to welcome visitors to modern buildings. Here rises one of the city’s pride, the skyscraper City Tower, where fountains, covered galleries, and architectural structures complement a flourishing town’s modern aesthetics.
In the bohemian Northern Quarter, you will find hip bars and shops, and in the neighbourhoods of Castlefield, you will wander around the most chic hangouts in town. Then move to the industrial square, taken from another century, with remnants of brick buildings, bridges and canals, which houses the great Museum of Science and Industry. At the same time, on the colourful Canal Street, you will meet one of the liveliest Gays Villages of the world in the heart of the city.
Transportation certainly facilitates your movement from place to place, but the preferred and ideal solution is to rent a vehicle. By renting a car, you will solve for the entire duration of your trip the exhausting problem of your travels, at a relatively low cost. By renting a car from the city of Manchester, you are allowed to explore the outskirts of the city, as well as some not so well-known places. The company of Enjoy Travel can offer you a massive range of cars, at the most economical prices to move comfortably in all these exciting areas of the city, without worrying even for a minute about your transportation. Because no restriction on your transportation means absolute freedom of exploration.
The most imposing, the most terrifying, the most impressive building in the city, of course, is the John Rylands Library, which is not so much a library as a Victorian-Gothic temple for books. Explore rare manuscripts and some centuries-old books, enjoy views from the high-ceilinged halls and large windows, and relax over a cup of tea in the trendy café there, along with hundreds of students at the neighbouring University of Manchester.
Obviously, football fans won’t miss a walk from Old Trafford, the home of Manchester United, and the National Football Museum. Art lovers, on the other hand, will find an excellent occasion to head south to the beautiful Whitworth Art Gallery or return to the city centre to visit the city’s most reputable gallery, the Manchester Art Gallery, which hosts works by Turner and Bacon and periodical collections of modern art.