Sightseeing in Manchester
Manchester has many examples of stunning architecture with some of it dating back to the 11th century. Manchester Cathedral is a beautiful 600 year old, Gothic style cathedral. A church has stood on the site since the 11th century and has been redeveloped over hundreds of years to make it what it is today. It features ornate memorials and beautiful decoration including medieval wood carvings inside.
Bramall Hall and Gawsworth Hall are both fine original Tudor houses in the traditional black and white timber framed style. Both have vast landscaped gardens and are great places to visit and learn more about the Tudor ages. Ordsall Hall is another large Tudor house with large landscaped gardens, however it is reputed to be the most haunted house in England. It has featured in many paranormal investigations and you can even go ghost hunting yourself on a night time paranormal tour.
The location of Manchester's beautifully constructed Town Hall is Albert Square. Albert Square is a large public plaza and is surrounded by shops, cafes and some fantastic old buildings that are well worth visiting. The Town Hall itself was completed in 1877 and is often used in films as a double for the Palace of Westminster where filming is banned. Inside the hall there are beautiful large statues of Saint George, King Henry III and Queen Elizabeth I among others. Look out for mosaics and carvings of Bees throughout the hall which symbolises the status of Manchester as being a hive of industry in the 18th century.
There are many museums and art galleries in Manchester including Manchester Museum, housed in an impressive 19th century building which features one of the largest exhibitions on Ancient Egypt as well as archeology, botany and live animals. The Imperial War Museum North is also well worth a visit for its interesting exhibitions on war with a focus on the World Wars. It includes artifacts such as soldiers' uniforms and weapons along with exhibitions on life in the trenches, life on the home front and many more.
It's well worth spending a day at The Quays in Salford where you can have a relaxing drink or meal by the canal. Redeveloped since Manchester's industrial past, you can take a 6 hour ferry cruise up the canal to Merseyside. You will hear live commentary along the route detailing the history of the canal and also see some of the best sights Manchester has to offer.
Fun Seekers in Manchester
If your idea of fun means splashing the cash on a shopping spree then Manchester is a fantastic place to do just that. As one of the country's biggest and best shopping centres the Trafford Centre doesn't disappoint. Over 230 high street and designer stores including Selfridges and 47 restaurants mean it would be almost impossible to go home empty handed.
The Arndale Centre is also a great shopping centre with all the popular high street stores. If you want designers then head to King Street and New Cathedral Street where you will find names such as Armani, Vivienne Westwood, Karen Millen, Harvey Nichols and Selfridges. If you want designer labels without the price tag visit The Lowry Centre designer outlet.
Manchester is home to two premiership football teams, Manchester United and Manchester City, which means you are spoilt for choice when it comes to sport. Take a tour around Manchester United's stadium Old Trafford or their rival's ground, the City of Manchester Stadium, home to Manchester City. You can take a tour of the changing and press rooms, and even play manager sitting in the dug out for a first hand experience.
The nearby Peak District means that for all of you adrenaline junkies there are many opportunities to try your hand at sports and activities that you can't do in the city centre. With facilities for paintballing, climbing, fishing, horse riding, hiking, quad biking, golf, clay pigeon shooting and karting there is something new to try everyday. You can even take a helicopter ride and get a bird's eye view of the Pennines.
The night life in Manchester is excellent and caters for every style and taste. If you're feeling cultural then head to the Royal Exchange Theatre where the performances range from Shakespeare to opera to contemporary theatre. For live music the Manchester Apollo is a great place to catch chart topping acts and party the night away. If you're after a few laughs then The Comedy Store is the place to relax with a few drinks with several different comedy acts that are sure to keep you in stitches. Of course a night out in a city wouldn't be complete without hitting a few bars and clubs. Some of the best are Spirit, Baa Bar, and Living Room, where they have a delicious cocktail menu with over 150 varieties.
Romantic Breaks in Manchester
As far as choosing romantic accommodation goes in Manchester you are spoilt for choice. With hotels ranging from contemporary city centre apartments to cosy rooms in large Victorian houses and suites in a stately home, you really have a unique opportunity to tailor your city break to suit you and your loved one's tastes.
There is an array of spas to choose from for a day of luxurious pampering including Le Petit Spa in Piccadilly and The Lowry Hotel Spa whose clientele includes Jennifer Lopez and Madonna when they come to town.
For intimate and fine dining visit The French Restaurant in The Midland Hotel (without doubt one of the most romantic restaurants in Manchester) which serves exquisite French cuisine with a twist of British influence.
Top Tips for Manchester
Music lovers should visit Manchester in October when the City Festival features many up and coming new bands.
For a pre-theatre drink, visit Room on King Street.
During the winter months visit the open-air ice rink in Piccadilly Gardens for some festive fun.
For great food, excellent service and live dinner entertainment, head to Lounge 10.
Cost of a pint of beer:£2.20