Stalybridge: Wikis


Note: Many of our articles have direct quotes from sources you can cite, within the Wikipedia article! This article doesn't yet, but we're working on it! See more info or our list of citable articles.


From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Coordinates: 53°29′00″N 2°02′24″W / 53.4834°N 2.0400°W / 53.4834; -2.0400

A view over Stalybridge
Stalybridge is located in Greater Manchester

 Stalybridge shown within Greater Manchester
Population 22,568 
OS grid reference SJ963985
Metropolitan borough Tameside
Metropolitan county Greater Manchester
Region North West
Country England
Sovereign state United Kingdom
Postcode district SK15
Dialling code 0161 / 01457
Police Greater Manchester
Fire Greater Manchester
Ambulance North West
EU Parliament North West England
UK Parliament Stalybridge and Hyde
List of places: UK • England • Greater Manchester

Stalybridge (pronounced /steɪlɪˈbrɪdʒ/) is a town in the Metropolitan Borough of Tameside in Greater Manchester, England, with a population of 22,568.[1] Historically a part of Cheshire, it is 9 miles (14.5 km) east of Manchester city centre and 6 miles (9.7 km) northwest of Glossop. With the construction of a cotton mill in 1776, Stalybridge became one of the first centres of textile manufacture during the Industrial Revolution.[2] The 19th-century wealth of the town was built on the factory-based cotton industry, transforming an area of scattered farms and homesteads into a self-confident town.[3] Due to the decline of the cotton industry in the first quarter of the 20th century and the development of modern low density housing in the post-war period, the town is now semi-rural in character.




Early history

The earliest evidence of human activity in Stalybridge is a flint scraper from the late Neolithic/early Bronze Age.[4] Also bearing testament to the presence of man in prehistory are the Stalybridge cairns. The two monuments are situated on the summit of Hollingworthall Moor, 140 metres (460 ft) apart. One of the round cairns is the best preserved Bronze Age monument in Tameside,[5] and is protected as a Scheduled Ancient Monument.[6] A branch of the Roman road between the forts at Manchester (Mamucium) and Melandra Castle (Ardotalia) is thought to run through Stalybridge to the fort of Castleshaw.[7]


The River Tame flowing under Staley Bridge, constructed in 1707

The settlement was originally called Stavelegh, which derives from the Old English staef leah, meaning "wood where the staves are got".[8] The medieval Lords of the manor took de Stavelegh as their name, later becoming Stayley or Staley. The lordship of Longdendale was one of the ancient feudal estates of Cheshire and included the area of Stalybridge. William de Neville was the first lord of Longdendale, appointed by the Earl of Chester between 1162 and 1186.[9] Buckton Castle, near Stalybridge, was probably built by William de Neville in the late 12th century.[10] As this was the only castle within the lordship it was probably the seat of the de Nevilles.[11] The lordship of Longdendale included the manors of Staley, Godley, Hattersley, Hollingworth, Matley, Mottram, Newton, Tintwistle and Werneth; the manor of Staley was first mentioned between 1211 and 1225.[12]

The first records of the de Stavelegh family as Lords of the Manor date from the early 13th century. Staley Hall was their residence. The present hall was built in the late 16th century on the same site as an earlier hall of the Stayley family, dating from before 1343.

Sir Ralph Staley had no male heirs and after his death his daughter, Elizabeth Staley, married Sir Thomas Assheton, uniting the manors of Ashton and Staley. Elizabeth and Thomas had two daughters and no sons. Margaret, the eldest of their two daughters married Sir William Booth of Dunham Massey The younger daughter, Elizabeth, was widowed without children. She continued to live at Staley Hall until her death in 1553. In her will her share of the lordships of Staley and Ashton were left to the Booths.

The manor of Staley remained in the possession of the Booth family until the death of George Booth, 2nd Earl of Warrington on 2 August 1758. Upon his death, the Earldom of Warrington became extinct. His only daughter, Lady Mary Booth, the wife of Henry Grey, 4th Earl of Stamford, inherited all the Booth estates. The manor of Staley was owned by the Grey family until the extinction of the Earldoms on the death of Roger Grey, 10th Earl of Stamford in 1976. At this point the family estates were dispersed. Stamford Street, Stamford Park, Stamford Golf Club and the two Stamford Arms public houses in Stalybridge are all named after the Grey family.

Industrial Revolution

Bohemia cottages: weaver's cottages in Stalybridge dating from 1721

As Stayley expanded in the 18th century, it reached the banks of the River Tame. The construction of a bridge in 1707 meant the settlement was now commonly referred to as Stalybridge, meaning the bridge at Stayley.[8] By the mid-18th century Stalybridge had a population of just 140. Farming and woollen spinning were the main means subsistence at this time.

In 1776 the town's first water-powered mill for carding and spinning cotton was built at Rassbottom. In 1789 the town's first spinning mill using the principle of Arkwright's Water-Frame was built. By 1793 steam power had been introduced to the Stalybridge cotton industry and by 1803 there were eight cotton mills in the growing town containing 76,000 spindles. The Huddersfield Narrow Canal was completed in 1811 and still runs through the town.

The rapid growth of industry in Stalybridge was due to the introduction of machinery. This was, however, met with violent opposition. After the arrival of the Luddites in the area the doors of mills were kept locked day and night. Military aid was requested by the mill owners and a Scotch Regiment under the Duke of Montrose was sent to the town. It was led by Captain Raines who made his headquarters at the Roe Cross Inn. The Luddite disturbances began in November 1811[citation needed]. Gangs of armed men destroyed power looms and fired mills. The disturbances in Stalybridge culminated with a night of violent rioting on 20 April 1812[citation needed]

The social unrest did not curb the growth of Stalybridge. By 1814 there were twelve factories and by 1818 the number had increased to sixteen. The Industrial Revolution led to a rapid increase in the town's population in the early part of the 19th century. The population of the town by 1823 was 5,500. In the following two years, due in part to an influx of Irish families seeking better wages, the population rose to 9,000. Stalybridge was among the first wave of towns to establish a Mechanics' Institute with a view to educating the growing number of workers. Only a year after the establishment of Manchester Mechanics' Institute, Stalybridge founded an Institute of its own. Its doors opened on 7 September 1825 on Shepley Street with a reading room on Queen Street.

On 9 May 1828 the Stalybridge Police and Market Act received Royal Assent, establishing Stalybridge as an independent town with a board of 21 Commissioners. Every male over the age of 21 who was the occupier of a rateable property under the act was entitled to vote at the election of the Commissioners. On 30 December 1831 the Town Hall and Market were officially opened. In 1833 the Commissioners set up the 'Stalybridge Police Force', which was the first of its kind in the country. By this year the population of the town had reached 14,216 with 2.357 inhabited houses.[13]

In 1834 a second bridge was built over the Tame. It was downstream of Staley bridge and constructed of iron.[13]

The second Chartist Petition was presented to Parliament in April 1842. Stalybridge contributed 10,000 signatures. After the rejection of the petition the first general strike began in the coal mines of Staffordshire. The second phase of the strike originated in Stalybridge.[14]

A movement of resistance to the imposition of wage cuts in the mills, also known as the Plug Riots, it spread to involve nearly half a million workers throughout Britain and represented the biggest single exercise of working class strength in nineteenth century Britain. On 13 August 1842 there was a strike at Bayley's cotton mill in Stalybridge, and roving cohorts of operatives carried the stoppage first to the whole area of Stalybridge and Ashton, then to Manchester, and subsequently to towns adjacent to Manchester, using as much force as was necessary to bring mills to a standstill. The movement remained, to outward appearances, largely non-political. Although the People's Charter was praised at public meetings, the resolutions that were passed at these were in almost all cases merely for a restoration of the wages of 1820, a ten-hour working day, or reduced rents.

In writing The Condition of The Working Class in England (1844), Friedrich Engels used Stalybridge as an example:

... multitudes of courts, back lanes, and remote nooks arise out of [the] confused way of building ... Add to this the shocking filth, and the repulsive effect of Stalybridge, in spite of its pretty surroundings, may be readily imagined.[15]

John Summers first established an iron forge in Stalybridge in the 1840s. Later, he and his sons developed this into a major business, and employed over 1,000 local men in their factory, the largest in the town.[16]

The Ashton, Stalybridge and Liverpool Junction Railway Company was formed in 19 July 1844 and the railway was connected to Stalybridge on 5 October 1846. On 9 July 1847 the company was acquired by the Lancashire and Yorkshire Railway. On 1 August 1849 the Manchester, Stockport and Leeds Railway connected Stalybridge to Huddersfield and later to Stockport. This line later became part of the London and North Western Railway.

The Cotton Famine

On the outbreak of the American Civil War in 1861, the Stalybridge cotton mills rapidly ran short of cotton. Thousands of operatives were laid off. In October 1862, a meeting was held in the Stalybridge Town Hall which passed a resolution blaming the Confederate States of America and their actions in the American Civil War for the cotton famine in Lancashire. By the winter of 1862–1863 there were 7,000 unemployed operatives in the town. Only five of the town's 39 factories and 24 machine shops were employing people full-time. Contributions were sent from all over the world for the relief of the cotton operatives in Lancashire; and at one point three-quarters of Stalybridge workers were dependent on relief schemes. By 1863 there were 750 empty houses in the town. A thousand skilled men and women left the town, in what became known as "The Panic".

In 1863 the relief committee decided to substitute a system of relief by ticket instead of money. The tickets were to be presented at local grocers shops. An organised resistance was organised culminating on Friday 20 March 1863.

Victoria Bridge

In 1867 Stalybridge was disturbed by the arrival of William Murphy. Records of this man indicate that his sole interest was to sow the seeds of dissent between Roman Catholics, who by this time had grown to significant proportions, and Protestants. He succeeded in this goal only too well for a full year. During 1868 there were a number of violent disturbances and rioting created by this man who described himself as a "renegade Roman Catholic". In his lectures to the public "pretending to expose the religious practices of the Roman Catholic Church", he became a master at whipping up a crowd into a frenzy. Newspaper reports of the time told of his common practice of waving a revolver in the air in "a most threatening manner". On one occasion he incited a riot of such proportions that Fr. Daley, the parish priest of St. Peter's took to the roof of the church to defend it. A man was shot. The Parish Priest was tried but eventually acquitted at the Quarter Sessions. Following this incident, the community began to settle down and Murphy chose to extend his political activities elsewhere.

In 1867, the Victoria Bridge on Trinity Street was built. The Victoria Market Hall was constructed in 1868 and the Public Baths were opened in May 1870. The baths were presented as a gift to the town by philanthropists and benefactors Robert Platt (1802–1882), born in Stalybridge, and his wife Margaret Platt (1819–1888), born in Salford.

The Stalybridge Boro' Band was formed in March 1871, holding its first rehearsals and meetings at the Moulders Arms, Grasscroft Street, Castle Hall. The band was known as the 4th Cheshire Rifleman Volunteers (Boro' Band) until 1896. The founder and first conductor was Alexander Owen who conducted the band until at least 1907.

Twentieth century

The character of Stalybridge altered over the 20th century. At the turn of the century the cotton industry was still strong and the population of the town reached its peak in 1901, at 27,623, but as trade dwindled the population began to decline and, despite the intensified employment of the war years, the main industry of Stalybridge continued to fail.

Mrs Ada Summers was elected first woman Mayor of Stalybridge in November 1919. At that time Mayors of Boroughs were justices, as well as chairmen of borough benches, by right of office. However, it was not until The Sex Disqualification (Removal) Act 1919 came into force on 23 December 1919 that women could become magistrates. Sitting ex-officio Ada Summers became the first woman magistrate in the country and was sworn in on 31 December. Ada Summers was, probably, the first woman to officially adjudicate in court. Ada Summers photo appeared in the weekly journal Great Thoughts, 5 June 1920, alongside an interview on "The First Woman JP" on her work. Ada Summers was the widow of a local ironmaster. She was an active suffragist and Liberal and used her wealth and position to support a number of schemes designed to improve conditions in the town. These included a maternity and child welfare clinic, clinics for the sick and poor and an unofficial employment centre. She later became an Alderman and was appointed MBE. On 31 May 1939 she was awarded the Honorary Freedom of the Borough.

In 1929, with no room for expansion at Stalybridge, the Summers sheet rolling and galvanising plants were transferred to Shotton in North Wales, having devastating effects on local employment; the new plant later became a major component in the British Steel Corporation.[16] By 1932, seven of the town's largest mills had closed and unemployment reached 7,000. In 1934 the borough council set up an Industrial Development committee for the purpose of encouraging new industries to settle in the town. The Committee purchased Cheetham's Mill and rented it out to small firms engaged in a wide variety of enterprises. By 1939 unemployment in the town had almost disappeared.


Stalybridge experienced intensive black-out periods and frequent air-raid warning during the second World War. Bombs dropped by enemy aircraft mainly landed in open country and there were no civilian casualties. On 19 July 1946 King George VI and Queen Elizabeth visited Stalybridge. The town war memorial was extended after the war, to bear the names of an extra 124 men from the town; it was unveiled on 23 April 1950.

In the post-war period social housing was provided by the local authority as separate council estates. The 'Buckton Vale' estate was built between January 1950 and March 1953; the 'Stamford Park estate' between January 1953 and January 1955, the Copley estate commenced building in August 1954 and the Ridgehill estate in January 1956.

In 1955, after the adoption of the first 'post-war slum clearance plan', new housing estates were built to replace the slums and, gradually, redundant textile mills were occupied by firms in the various light industries. New applications of engineering principles, the manufacture of rubber goods, plastics, chemicals and packaging materials were all introduced, as well as the addition of synthetic fibres to the textile trade, reducing unemployment.

On 19 October 1970 a frightened red deer registered a speed of 42 mph (68 km/h) on a police radar trap as it charged down Mottram Road.[citation needed] The early 1970s saw the development of private semi-detached and detached housing estates, particularly in the Mottram Rise, Hough Hill, Hollins and Carrbrook areas; the redevelopment of Castle Hall was also completed.

The construction of the Buckton Vale overspill estate also took place in the early 1970s.[17]

The early 1980s saw the closure of the Public Baths after the completion of Copley Recreation centre. One of the symbols of the late nineteenth century civic improvement, the baths were subsequently demolished.

In 1991, for the first time since 1901, there was an increase in the population of Stalybridge to 22,295. The 1990s saw the proliferation of Mock Tudor style estates at Moorgate and along Huddersfield Road, close to Staley Hall, this continued into the 21st century with the completion of the Crowswood estate in Millbrook.

Twenty-first century

The restored Huddersfield narrow canal

The Huddersfield Narrow Canal, which had been culverted in the early 1970s, was reinstated to the town centre between 1999 and May 2001 as part of a two year, multi-million pound refurbishment. The canal now runs under the legs of an electricity pylon. The market hall closed on New Year's Eve 1999 and became the Civic Hall in 2001. Four years later, the area designated for retail space became exhibition space. There were plans to reopen the market and let the retail hall out to private contractors, though this came to naught.[citation needed] The town's cinema, The Palace closed on 31 August 2003, with the last film being 'American Pie 3: The Wedding'.

In 2004 the Metropolitan Borough Council announced that they had granted permission for a developer to build 16 homes next to Staley Hall. A condition of the planning consent was that the hall be restored.[18] As of 2008 the hall is still deteriorating. It is now listed as being in very bad condition on the English Heritage buildings at risk register.[19]


Civic history

Arms of the former Stalybridge Borough Council features a golden wheatsheaf and a silver wolf, both representing Cheshire.

The Municipal Borough of Stalybridge received its charter of incorporation on 5 March 1857, having been formed from part of Ashton under Lyne parish in Lancashire and parts of Dukinfield and Stayley parishes in Cheshire.[20] The Royal Charter declared that the council should consist of a Mayor, 6 Aldermen and 18 Councillors. The Borough was divided into three wards: Lancashire; Staley and Dukinfield. A list of Burgesses was published on 21 April 1857 and the first election of councillors was held on 1 May 1857. The contesting parties were the whites and the yellows. The council met for the first time on 9 May and elected the first six Aldermen from among those councillors the first Mayor 'William Bayley' was elected.

The Arms of Stalybridge were granted by the College of Arms after the town received its charter of incorporation. The arms incorporated features from the coat of arms of the Stayley, Assheton, Dukinfield, and Astley families who had all been land owners in the town. The motto, "absque labore nihil", means "nothing without labour".[21]

Under the terms of the Public Health Acts 1873 and 1875 Stalybridge corporation, like other municipal boroughs governed under the Municipal Corporations Act 1835, was designated as the authority governing the Urban sanitary district.

The Borough, both on the Lancashire and Cheshire sides of the river, was placed wholly within the administrative county of Cheshire in 1889, under the Local Government Act 1888, and Cheshire was adopted as the postal county for the entire town. The town is now part of the SK postcode area.

On 1 April 1936 Stalybridge was enlarged by gaining part of Matley civil parish, which had previously been part of Tintwistle rural district.[20]

Stalybridge was twinned, in 1955, with Armentières, France.[22] In 1974 the area and assets of the Municipal Borough were combined with those of others districts, to form the Metropolitan Borough of Tameside. Stalybridge is currently represented by the occupants of nine of the 57 seats on the local Metropolitan Borough Council. These seats are spread over three wards: Stalybridge North; Stalybridge South and Dukinfield Stalybidge. Stalybridge currently has four Labour councillors and five Conservative councillors. Since 1998 the nine Stalybidge councillors have held meetings on a bimonthly basis, as the Stalybridge District Assembly.

Parliamentary representation

Stalybridge and Hyde as shown within Greater Manchester

As a county palatine Cheshire was unrepresented in Parliament until the Chester and Cheshire (Constituencies) Act 1542. From 1545 Cheshire was represented by two Knights of the Shire. On the passage of the Great Reform Act of 1832, the area of Stalybridge south of the Tame was included in the North Cheshire constituency.

Between the passing of the Second Reform Act in 1867, and the general election of 1918, the town was represented in its own right through the Stalybridge Borough constituency. Since the 1918 general election the town has been represented in Parliament by the member for the Stalybridge and Hyde county constituency. The current Member of Parliament is the former Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, Rt Hon. James Purnell.


View of Carrbrook from Buckton Vale.

At 53°29′0″N 2°2′24″W / 53.483333°N 2.04°W / 53.483333; -2.04 (53.483, -2.040) Stalybridge lies in the foothills of the Pennines, straddling the River Tame. The river forms part of the ancient boundary between Lancashire and Cheshire. On the boundary of the Peak District national park. The highest point in the town is the summit of Wild Bank at 1,309 feet (399 m). Harridge Pike is the second highest peak at 1,296 ft (395 m). Buckton Hill, the site of the mediaeval Buckton Castle, is another prominent landmark. The town centre itself is situated along the banks of the river between Ridge Hill to the North and Hough Hill 801 ft (244 m) to the south. Stalybridge Weather Station is voluntarily manned and has been providing statistics since 1999.[23] The local bedrock is millstone grit, covered by a thin layer of soil over clay, with surface rock outcrops.[24]

Over the course of the 20th century the population of the town declined, after the demolition of the mid-nineteenth century high density housing. At the 2001 census Stalybridge had a population of 22,568. The town includes the localities of Heyheads, Buckton Vale, Carrbrook, Millbrook, Brushes, Copley, Mottram Rise, Woodlands, Matley, Hough Hill, Castle Hall, Hollins, Hydes, Rassbottom, Waterloo, Cocker Hill, The Hague, Springs, Ridge Hill and Heyrod.


2001 UK census Stalybridge[25] Tameside[26] England
Total population 22,568 213,043 49,138,831
White 97.1% 91.2% 91%
Asian 1.9% 5.6% 4.6%
Black 0.1% 1.2% 2.3%

According to the Office for National Statistics, at the time of the United Kingdom Census 2001, Stalybridge had a population of 22,568. The 2001 population density was 4,451 per km², with a 100 to 95.0 female-to-male ratio.[1] Of those over 16 years old, 29.2% were single (never married) and 41.6% married.[27] Stalybridge's 9,331 households included 29.1% one-person, 38.3% married couples living together, 9.7% were co-habiting couples, and 12.0% single parents with their children.[28] Of those aged 16–74, 31.7% had no academic qualifications, below the average for Tameside (35.2%) but slightly higher than England (28.9%).[26][29]

Population change

Population change in Stalybridge since 1823
Year 1823 1825 1901 1911 1921 1931 1939 1951 1961 1971 1991 2001
Population 5,500 9,000 27,673 26,513 25,213 24,831 22,299 22,541 21,947 22,799 22,921 22,568


View of Walkerwood Reservoir in the Brushes Valley.

Much of the upland areas of the town are grouse moors. Boar Flat is part of the Dark Peak Site of Special Scientific Interest, as classified by Natural England.[31] The slopes below the moors, particularly beneath Harridge Pike, are used for sheep grazing by the hill farms. The Stalybridge Country Park centres on two areas. Firstly, the Brushes Valley, with its four reservoirs running up into the Pennine Moors, and secondly Carrbrook, lying in the shadow of Buckton Castle. Linking the two areas, although outside the Country Park boundaries, is a good rights of way network,[32] and areas of designated access land which take visitors into the Tame Valley, Longdendale and the Peak District. The country park affords views of the Cheshire Plain, Jodrell Bank and on very clear days the mountains of Snowdonia. Buckton Castle and Stalybridge cairn, a round cairn, west of Hollingworthhall Moor are both Scheduled Ancient Monuments.[33]

Cheetham's Park from the Park Street gate.

The town's two parks are the main open spaces in the town centre. Cheetham Park was opened in June 1932 to a crowd of 15,000 people. The park was left to the town under the will of John Frederick Cheetham along with his house, Eastwood, and his collection of paintings, which now form part of the 'Astley Cheetham Art Gallery' collection. The park is landscaped informally with large areas of woodland. Adjacent to Cheetham's Park lies the Eastwood Nature Reserve. Eastwood was one of the first reserves to be owned by the RSPB. It is managed by Cheshire Wildlife Trust.[34] The reserve is a cut-over, lowland, raised mire SSSI, surrounded by a woodland fringe. Characteristic bog plants include sphagnum mosses, cotton grass and cross-leaved heath. Nine species of dragonfly and damselfly have been recorded on the reserve, along with the Green Hairstreak butterfly. The steep-sided broadleaved woodland is bisected by 'Acres Brook' and contains several old mill ponds. The geology is shale and sandstone, with a rich variety of plants and animals typical of woodland habitat on an acid soil. Access is from the A6018 Mottram Road. Car parking is available in the Stalybridge Celtic Football Club car park. The reserve occupies 4.7 hectares (11.6 acres).

The boating lake at Stamford Park

Stamford Park is registered by English Heritage as being of special interest.[35] In 1865, local mill owner Abel Harrison died and his home, Highfield House, and its extensive grounds, on the border with Ashton were bought by the two towns. Neighbouring land was donated by George Harry Grey, 7th Earl of Stamford, 3rd Earl of Warrington. The whole area was landscaped to become Stamford Park and opened, by the Earl on 12 July 1873. The former mill reservoir, known as 'Chadwick Dams', was incorporated into the park in 1891. The reservoir was divided in two by an embankment, with the southern section becoming the present boating lake. This area includes waterfalls cascading over rock faces and gargoyles built into the bridges and walls. The park has tennis courts, putting greens, bowling greens, a children's playground, paddling pool and an animal corner with a variety of birds and animals. The park is the venue for the annual 'Tulip Sunday festival'.



Stalybridge has an established musical tradition. The Stalybridge Old Band was formed in 1809, perhaps the first civilian brass band in the world.[36] The band currently contests in the second section. Carrbrook Brass currently contests in the fourth section and represent the town annually at the Armentières festival. An annual brass band contest has been held in the town on Whit Friday, since at least 1870. Other contests have been held on the same day in the surrounding villages of Millbrook, Carrbrook and Heyrod. There is now an established tradition of holding brass band contests on this day around Staybridge, Mossley and Saddleworth. Bands travel by coach from all over the United Kingdom, and sometimes from other countries, to contest in as many different locations as possible on the day.

The 'Jack Judge' memorial

The song It's a Long Way to Tipperary was created in the Newmarket Tavern, by the composer Jack Judge, in 1912, after being challenged to write, compose, and produce a song in ;just one night;. It was first sung in public by him in the Grand Theatre on Corporation Street on 31 January 1912.[37] On 31 January 1953 a memorial tablet was unveiled by Jack Hylton on the wall of the old Newmarket Tavern, where the song was composed. To coincide with the ceremony a wreath was laid on Jack Judge's grave, by the mayor of Oldbury. Jack Judge is now also commemorated by a statue outside the Old Victoria Market Hall.[38]

More recently a live folk music tradition has developed in the town. The Buffet Bar Folk Club meets every Saturday at 9 pm.[39] Some members of the Fivepenny Piece who sang traditional North Country music in the 1970s were from Stalybridge.[40] and the band performed songs such as Stalybridge Station and Stalybridge Market. They also took In Bowton's Yard, the work of local poet Samuel Laycock, and put it to music.


Astley Cheetham Art Gallery

Built as a gift to the town of Stalybridge by John Frederick Cheetham and his wife Beatrice Astley, the Astley Cheetham Art Gallery originally opened to the public as a lecture theatre on 14 January 1901. The space was turned into a gallery to house the Astley Cheetham Collection, bequeathed in 1932. This collection has grown with gifts and donations throughout the twentieth century and is one of the most interesting small regional collections of 15th century Italian paintings. The collection of work by Italian old masters includes Portrait of a Young Man by Alessandro Allori. Also, British art of the 19th and 20th centuries is represented by artists such as John Linnell, Richard Parkes Bonington, George Price Boyce, Burne-Jones, Mark Gertler and Duncan Grant. Aske Hall by J. M. W. Turner is also part of the gallery's collection. Alongside exhibitions of the collection, the gallery also hosts a programme of temporary exhibitions by regional artists.

During the earlier part of the 20th century, Stalybridge was artistically captured by the painter L. S. Lowry.[41] Some of his paintings were of the people of Stalybridge. Lowry continued painting pictures until his death in 1976. His house is marked with a blue plaque on Stalybridge Road, Mottram in Longdendale. There is also a statue of him, holding his sketch pad, on a bench near the Stalybridge Road bus stop. Sheila Vaughan is a Stalybridge artist working in oils and acrylic.[42] Her work and that of other Stalybridge artists such as Keith Taylor are displayed at The Peoples Gallery on Melbourne Street.[43]


As well as being described by Engels, Stalybridge was featured in Disraeli's Coningsby. The children's author Beatrix Potter visited Gorse Hall many times as a child as it was the home of her maternal grandmother.[44] Samuel Laycock (1826–1893) was a librarian at the Mechanics' Institute for two years. His poetry presents a vivid impression of mid 19th century, working class life and he drew on his personal experience in the cotton industry. His best-loved poems are "Bowton's Yard" and "Bonny Brid" – both written in Stalybridge. Tim Willocks, author of Bad City Blues, Green River Rising and Bloodstained Kings is from Stalybridge.[45][46]


Whit Friday

Whit Friday is the name given to the first Friday after Whitsun in areas of northeast Cheshire, southeast Lancashire and the western fringes of Yorkshire. The day has a cultural significance in Stalybridge as the date on which the annual Whit Walks were traditionally held. It is also the day on which the traditional annual Whit Friday Brass band contests are held.

Wakes Week

The wakes were originally religious festivals that commemorated church dedications. Particularly important was the Rushcart festival associated with Rogationtide. During the Industrial Revolution the tradition of the wakes was adapted into a regular summer break in the mill towns of Lancashire, where each locality would nominate a Wakes Week during which the cotton mills would all close at the same time.[47] Stalybridge Wakes occurs in the third week of July. Wakes Week became the focus for fairs, and eventually for holidays where the mill workers would go to the seaside, eventually on the newly developing railways.

Food and drink

Stalybridge has the public house with the longest name in Britain – The Old Thirteenth Cheshire Astley Volunteer Rifleman Corps Inn – and also the one with the shortest, Q.[48] The railway station is one of the last in Britain to retain its original buffet, the 1998 refurbishment of which won awards from CAMRA and English Heritage.[49][50]

The restoration of the canal between 1999 and 2001 attracted new commercial ventures such as riverside cafés and boat trips. The reopening of the canal and the fact that the Tame runs through the town centre resulted in the nickname Little Venice.[51][52] Stalybridge has in recent years, acquired another nickname, Stalyvegas[citation needed], at first coined as a reaction to a council traffic management plan which included a large number of traffic lights surrounding the main shopping centre, making it difficult to access the shops, the nickname became popular and was used ironically after the controversial conversion of premises in the shopping area into nightclubs and bars, the proliferation of takeaways and the refurbishment of some of the more traditional pubs.

The town's traditional foods include Tater Pie, a variation on Lancashire Hotpot, black peas, today mainly eaten on Whit Friday, and tripe. Stalybridge is the location of the region's last remaining tripe shop.[53]


The Stalybridge Reporter weekly newspaper was established in 1855. With The North Cheshire Herald it now serves the wider district under the name The Tamesider Reporter. Its office, and that of The Glossop Chronicle is at Park House, Acres Lane. The weekly free newspaper The Tameside Advertiser was established in 1979 and is now owned by the Guardian Media Group and distributed throughout Stalybridge. The town has been used for location shoots for various film and television series. The most notable of these was the John Schlesinger film Yanks which featured Richard Gere and was released in 1979. The opening sequence of the film features Stalybridge war memorial on Trinity Street and the US army camp scenes were filmed at Stamford Golf Club in spring 1978.[54] In 1986 the BBC children's TV series Jossy's Giants was filmed in the town. In 2009 the BBC3 Comedy Show We Are Klang was filmed at the Victoria Market Hall,[55] and around the town centre. Scenes from Coronation Street, Making Out, Common As Muck and The League of Gentlemen have also been shot there. The town lies in the BBC North West television region and the ITV Northwest England Region, the franchise for which is held by Granada Television. In some northeastern parts of Stalybridge it is possible to pick up Yorkshire Television from the Emley Moor transmitter on UHF 47 (679.25 MHz).


Post Office on Trinity Street, over the Victoria Bridge

The Cheshire Building Society and Yorkshire Building Society have branches in Stalybridge, as do Lloyds TSB, Natwest and Yorkshire banks. All branches are located on Melbourne Street.[56] The General Post office is located on Trinity Street. The four sub Post Offices are Ridge Hill, Carrbrook, High Street and Mottram Road. The Police Station is located on Waterloo Road but is open only during working hours on weekdays. The Fire Station is located on Rassbottom Street.


The nearest point of access to the Motorway network is approximately 1-mile (1.6 km) from the southern boundary of the town at junction four of the M67. The M67 is a feeder to the M60 Manchester orbital motorway and the city of Sheffield. The A635 A road passes through the town and the A6018 commences at Stalybridge. The B61675 and B6176 Huddersfield Road also pass through the town.

The Huddersfield Narrow Canal, towards the Market Hall from lock 4W

Stalybridge railway station is served by three lines, the Huddersfield Line to Manchester Victoria or Huddersfield, the TransPennine Express line to Manchester Piccadilly or Leeds and beyond, and the Stockport to Stalybridge Line, which is notable for its infrequent Parliamentary train gaining it popularity with trainspotters.[57] Stalybridge station is unusual in providing direct services to nine English cites: Liverpool, Manchester, Leeds, Wakefield, York, Hull, Middlesbrough, Durham and Newcastle-upon-Tyne.

The Huddersfield Narrow Canal passing through Stalybridge is part of the South Pennine Ring and runs from the junction with the Huddersfield Broad Canal near Aspley Basin at Huddersfield to the junction with the Ashton Canal at Whitefields Basin in Ashton under Lyne. The canal was completed in 1811,[58] but was closed to navigation in 1951. It was reopened in 2001 and is now managed by British Waterways.


View of Wild Bank with Bower Fold, the home of Stalybridge Celtic, in the foreground.

From the end of the nineteenth century until 1909 the main football team in the town was Stalybridge Rovers. The club reached the 1st round of the FA Cup in the 1900/1901 season[59] and its players included Arthur Wharton and Herbert Chapman. Today the town's team is Stalybridge Celtic, founded 1909.[60] They are one of four FIFA recognised teams to be called Celtic. Usually based in non-league football, they are presently members of the National Conference - North, in the sixth tier of English football.[61]

There are two main cricket clubs in Stalybridge. Stayley Millbrook C.C. play in Millbrook and are members of the Saddleworth & District League. Stalybridge St Pauls C.C. play on Cheetham Hill Road, Dukinfield on the ground formerly used by the now defunct Stalybridge Cricket Club. They are members of the Cheshire League Pyramid, and for the 2008 season are in the first division of the Cheshire Alliance.[16]

Stamford Golf Club Clubhouse, Oakfield House

Stamford Golf Club on Huddersfield Road has an 18-hole course. The club was incorporated on Saturday 24 August 1901 and was named after the local landowner the Earl of Stamford. It is a member of the Cheshire union of Golf Clubs.[62]

Priory Tennis Club is situated next to Cheetham's Park on Mottram Road. There are four astroturf courts, all with floodlights. The club is fully affiliated to the Cheshire branch of the Lawn Tennis Association.[63] The Stalybridge Archery Club was founded in 1858 and is located close to The Priory.[64]

The local athletics club is East Cheshire Harriers which was founded in 1922 by an amalgamation of Dukinfield Harriers and Tintwistle Harriers. Th club headquarters were once in Stalybridge but their home is now the Richmond Park Stadium, Ashton-under-Lyne.

A snooker league is operated by The Stalybridge and District Snooker, Billiards and Whist League which has been in existence since 1910. The league starts around October each year and runs until May.[65]

There are two crown green bowling clubs in the town. One in Stamford park and one at Carrbrook village bowling green where there is also a petanque terrain.

In 1901 Joey Nutall, of Stalybridge, lowered the world swimming record for the quarter mile by 13 seconds, with a time of 5 minutes 38 seconds. In the same year he asserted his right to the title of the champion swimmer of the world beating three competitors in the 600 yards (550 m) championship race at Doncaster, covering the distance in 6 minutes 30 seconds to win by a length and a half. His share of the spoil was £10, a cup, and two-thirds of the gate money. By 1901 Nutall had held the 500 yards (460 m) world championship for over ten years. Stalybridge has a 25-metre 6-lane pool at Copley Recreation Centre which is home to the Stalybridge Amateur Swimming and Water Polo Club.[66]


Until the 18th century the Manor of Staley formed part of the parish of St Michael and All Angels, Mottram. The first church to be built in Stalybridge was Old St George's church, Cocker hill which was consecrated by the Bishop of Chester on 25 July 1776. The church collapsed on 15 May 1778. After the Industrial revolution, the rising population and the settlement of people from various parts of the country meant that Stalybridge became a centre for a wide range of denominations and sects. The history of these churches in the town is complex, with some churches having occupied many different sites. The influence of the churches in the town remained strong well into the twentieth century and formed part of the basis of Stalybridge's sense of identity.

The first Methodist chapel was erected in 1802 on the corner of Chapel Street and Rassbottom Street.. The Baptist chapel, King Street was opened by the Particular (Ebenezer) Baptists. This chapel was subsequently occupied by the Congregational Church on 3 October 1830. The Particular (Ebenezer) Baptists moved to a new chapel on Cross Leech Street on 28 October 1828.


Holy Trinity and Christ Church
Church of England

St George's is the parish church on the Lancashire side of the river in the Diocese of Manchester. It is known as New St George's and its foundation stone was laid on 24 June 1840. On the Cheshire side, the parish church of Holy Trinity and Christ Church, Diocese of Chester, is situated in the town centre on Trinity Street, beside the former market hall. The foundation stone of the parish church of St Paul's, Staley was laid by Stapleton Stapleton-Cotton, 1st Viscount Combermere on 2 February 1838. It is along with St James', Millbrook situated in the Diocese of Chester.

Roman Catholic

There are two Roman Catholic parishes - St Peter's, Stalybridge, the foundation stone of which was laid on 8 June 1838 and St. Raphael's, Millbrook. Both parishes are situated in the Diocese of Shrewsbury.


The octagonal Stalybridge Methodist Church on High Street opened in 1966.[3]


Stalybridge Congregational Church is to be found in a modern building on Baker Street. Its original building, which opened for worship in 1861 and was demolished around the turn of the 21st century, was situated between Melbourne Street and Trinity Street.


The Unitarian Church on Forester Drive was established in 1870 and is part of the East Cheshire Union of Unitarian and Free Christian Churches.

Evangelical / Non-denominational

Stalybridge Revival Church, on Mount Street, formerly known as Stalybridge Evangelical Church, was established in 2009.[67]


Prior to 1910 primary education was provided by the church schools. In 1910 the Borough opened its own school on Waterloo Road. In 1927, West Hill, a central school for boys was opened. The central school for girls opened in 1930. Until 1980 secondary modern education was provided by schools in the town itself; and grammar school education by Hyde Grammar School. For Roman Catholic pupils, grammar school education was provided by Harrytown, Bredbury and Xaverian, Rusholme. Catholic secondary modern education was available from 1963 at St Peter and St Paul, Dukinfield. In 1977 the Local Education Authority appealed to keep its Grammar Schools rather than be forced by the government to adopt a comprehensive system. The Lord of Appeal Lord Lane was personally critical of Fred Mulley, the Secretary of State for Education and Science for being "far from frank" about his reason for intervening in Tameside and joined in the judgement which found for Tameside and brought a halt to comprehensivisation. However, following the election of a Labour council in 1980 the local grammar schools were abolished and all the secondary modern and grammar schools in Stalybridge, Hyde and Dukinfield became comprehensives.

Primary schools

Secondary schools

  • Astley Sports College 11–16 Comprehensive Co-educational
  • West Hill School 11-16 Comprehensive boys school
  • All Saints' Catholic College 11–18 Comprehensive Co-educational. Voluntary Aided by the Diocese of Shrewsbury. Located in Dukinfield and serves residents of Stalybrige, Hyde and Dukinfield.
  • Trinity Christian School Christian Independent School
  • Copley High School located in stalybridge huddersfield road.


  1. ^ a b "KS01 Usual resident population: Census 2001, Key Statistics for urban areas". 7 February 2005.  Retrieved on 29 October 2008.
  2. ^
  3. ^ a b Alan Ross and Joyce Raven (1998). Stalybridge and Dukinfield. Chalford Publishing Company, Stroud. p. 7. ISBN 0-7524-1098-9. 
  4. ^ Nevell (1992), p. 38.
  5. ^ Nevell (1992), pp. 39–41.
  6. ^ Monument no. 78454,,, retrieved 1 February 2009 
  7. ^ Nevell (1992), pp. 60–62.
  8. ^ a b Dodgson (1970a), pp. 316–317.
  9. ^ Nevell (1994), p. 86.
  10. ^ Nevell (1998), pp. 60–61, 63.
  11. ^ Nevell & Walker (1999), p. 95.
  12. ^ Nevell (1998), p. 38.
  13. ^ a b Anon. "History of Stalybridge". Retrieved 2008-01-30. 
  14. ^ F.C.Mather (1974). "The General Strike of 1842: A Study in Leadership, Organisation and the Threat of Revolution during the Plug Plot Disturbance". George Allen & Unwin Ltd London. Retrieved 2008-01-30. 
  15. ^ Engels (2007), p. 63.
  16. ^ a b c Anon. "The Borough of Tameside". Papillon Graphics. Retrieved 2008-01-30. 
  17. ^ Anon (2005-06-01). "TMO Magazine" (PDF). National Federation of Tenant Management Organisations. Retrieved 2008-01-30. 
  18. ^ Tameside Metropolitan Borough Council (2004-04-28). "New start for Staley Hall". Retrieved 2008-01-27. 
  19. ^ Staley Hall and adjoining west wing: English Heritage: English Heritage
  20. ^ a b A Vision of Britain Through Time : Stalybridge Municipal Borough
  21. ^ Stalybridge: Coat of Arms information,,, retrieved 8 April 2009 
  22. ^ "Stalybridge Voluntary Twinning Association". Retrieved 2007-10-25. 
  23. ^ Stalybridge Weather Centre, Stalybridge Weather Centre,, retrieved 14 April 2009 
  24. ^ Nevell (1992), p. 10.
  25. ^ "KS06 Ethnic group: Census 2001, Key Statistics for urban areas". 25 January 2005.  Retrieved on 5 August 2008.
  26. ^ a b "Tameside Metropolitan Borough key statistics".  Retrieved on 12 September 2008.
  27. ^ "KS04 Marital status: Census 2001, Key Statistics for urban areas". 2 February 2005.  Retrieved on 29 October 2008.
  28. ^ "KS20 Household composition: Census 2001, Key Statistics for urban areas". 2 February 2005.  Retrieved on 29 October 2008.
  29. ^ "KS13 Qualifications and students: Census 2001, Key Statistics for urban areas". 2 February 2005.  Retrieved on 29 October 2008.
  30. ^ Greater Manchester Urban Area, United Kingdom Census 1991,  Retrieved on 30 October 2008.
  31. ^ "Dark Peak" (PDF). Retrieved 2008-01-27. 
  32. ^ Stalybridge Country Park
  33. ^ UDP Appendix 6
  34. ^
  35. ^ Tameside Unitary Development Plan
  36. ^ "Welcome to the website for Stalybridge Old Band". Stalybridge Old Band. Retrieved 2009-08-14. 
  37. ^ Bridget Haggerty. "It's a long way to Tipperary". Irish Culture and Customs. Retrieved 2006-03-24. 
  38. ^
  39. ^ Folk and traditional music in specific areas of England
  40. ^ Fivepenny Piece
  41. ^ Howard Jacobson. "The loneliness of LS Lowry - part two". Guardian Unlimited. Guardian.,,2043331,00.html. Retrieved 2007-04-03. 
  42. ^ Sheila Vaughan, Artist - Paintings by Cheshire, England artist |
  43. ^,/
  44. ^ "A Tribute to Beatrix Potter (1866–1943)". Tameside MBC. Retrieved 2006-03-24. 
  45. ^ "Tim Willocks". TW Books. Retrieved 2006-08-23. 
  46. ^ "Tim Willocks: Land of Pope and Glory". The Independent. 4 August 2006. 
  47. ^ Final Wakes Week Marks End Of An Era (from Craven Herald)
  48. ^ Nicholls (2004), pp. 121–122.
  49. ^ "Facts About Stalybridge". Tameside Council. Retrieved 2006-07-13. 
  50. ^ "Station Buffet, Stalybridge". Campaign For Real Ale (CAMRA). Retrieved 2006-03-24. 
  51. ^ Microsoft PowerPoint-presentasjon
  52. ^ "Fans sing the blues over City's tough line". Manchester Evening News. 31 January 2004. 
  53. ^ Rooth, Ben (24 November 2007). "It's offal, but we like it". Manchester Evening News. 
  54. ^ The 1970s - Nostalgia - Community - Tameside Advertiser
  55. ^
  56. ^ Tameside Banks and Building Societies
  57. ^ Mike Newman. "Parliamentary to the Pennines". Retrieved 2007-01-10. 
  58. ^ History of the Huddersfield Narrow Canal
  59. ^ Football Club History Database - Stalybridge Rovers
  60. ^ "Stalybridge Celtic". Retrieved 2006-03-24. 
  61. ^,14306,,00.html
  62. ^ Stamford Golf Club - Societies, Visitors and Private Functions WELCOME!!!
  63. ^
  64. ^ Stalybridge Archery Club
  65. ^
  66. ^ SASC Homepage
  67. ^ ,,, retrieved 2009-10-16 
  • Dodgson, J. McN. (1970a). The place-names of Cheshire. Part one: County name, regional- & forest names, river-names, road-names, the place-names of Macclesfield Hundred. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. ISBN 0-521-07703-6. 
  • Engels, Friedrich (2007 [1845]). The Condition of the Working-Class in England in 1844. BiblioBazaar. ISBN 978-1-4346-0825-3. 
  • Nevell, Mike (1992). Tameside Before 1066. Tameside Metropolitan Borough and Greater Manchester Archaeological Unit. ISBN 1-871324-07-6. 
  • Nevell, Mike (1994). The People Who Made Tameside. Tameside Metropolitan Borough with University of Manchester Archaeological Unit. ISBN 1-871324-12-2. 
  • Nevell, Mike (1998). Lands and Lordships in Tameside. Tameside Metropolitan Borough Council with the University of Manchester Archaeological Unit. ISBN 1-871324-18-1. 
  • Nevell, Mike; Walker, John (1999). Tameside in Transition. Tameside Metropolitan Borough with University of Manchester Archaeological Unit. ISBN 1-871324-24-6. 
  • Nicholls, Robert (2004). Curiosities of Greater Manchester. Sutton Publishing. ISBN 0-7509-3661-4. 

External links

Travel guide

Up to date as of January 14, 2010
(Redirected to Manchester article)

From Wikitravel

For other places with the same name, see Manchester (disambiguation).
Manchester is a huge city with several district articles containing sightseeing, restaurant, nightlife and accommodation listings — consider printing them all.

Manchester [1] is in the north west of England. The city proper has a population of around 450,000, while the larger conurbation, called Greater Manchester, has over 2,500,000 inhabitants.

Manchester is known by some for its influence on the histories of industry and music, and for its sporting connections. It has a large number of students. It is seen by many as the "capital" of the north of England, the second city of the United Kingdom and is home to the UK's largest airport outside London, which is owned by the ten local authorities of Greater Manchester.

City of Manchester (click to enlarge).
City of Manchester (click to enlarge).
East Central
Covers the area of the city centre bounded by the A57 (M), Oxford Road, and the A62. It covers the locales of Piccadilly, the Northern Quarter, Chinatown, the Gay Village, and Piccadilly Gardens.
North Central
Covers the area in central Manchester north of Piccadilly Gardens and east of Quay St and Peter St. It covers the locales of the Millennium Quarter, Deansgate, Albert square, and St. Ann's Square as well as the newly developed business district of Spinningfields.
West Central
Covers the area in central Manchester west of Quay St, Peter St and Oxford St. It covers the locales of Castlefield and St. Peter's Fields.
Covers the area north of the centre as far as the M60. Includes Sportcity.
Covers the area south of the centre as far as the M60. Includes the neighborhoods of Didsbury, Hulme, Moss Side, and Old Trafford.
University Corridor
Covers the Oxford Rd/Wilmslow Rd corridor from the A57(M) to the bottom of Fallowfield. Includes both universities, Rusholme, and Fallowfield.
Salford and the Western Districts.
Covers all of the City of Salford and also includes the regenerated Salford Quays with its award-winning architecture and museums.

Towns within the Greater Manchester Conurbation

The following towns are all within Greater Manchester but not covered by the scope of this article:

Manchester Town Hall
Manchester Town Hall

Manchester is in the northwest region of England, about equidistant between Liverpool and Leeds. Due to its proximity to the Pennines ( the range which forms England's spine, from just south of the Scottish border down into the region known as The East Midlands ), which force the prevailing Atlantic westerly clouds to rise, it receives more than its fair share of wet weather.

Manchester once had a negative reputation derived from its industrial past. Things have dramatically changed in the last decade and now the city has a vibrant, exciting air. Investment in the city's regeneration following the 1996 IRA bomb and 2002 Commonwealth Games has paid off and Manchester is well worth a visit, even if just for a couple of days, or for longer, if you plan to use it as a base to explore northern England and North Wales.

Manchester is becoming more and more a city where people are choosing to settle. It is seen by many as young, vibrant and cutting edge city, where there is always something happening. Many see their city as a rival to London, albeit on a more human scale; nevermind the ongoing battle with Birmingham for "The Second City" title. This feud seems to go on and on and hinges on how you add up the numbers. If you compare Greater Manchester's population to Birmingham's and its neighbouring towns and districts, Birmingham pips Manchester to the post by a 100,000 or so. However if you look at the actual population of the city of Birmingham, which is more than 1 million, it is more than twice as big, in terms of population, as the actual city of Manchester which has a population of around 450,000 people. But the city argues that population is just one aspect and that history and contributions to the world should also be considered.

Over the years, many have moved to Manchester from London. These people are by no means all returning to their northern roots. Some are from overseas, who stopped off down south on their way north in search of a more affordable urban existence. Manchester is a friendly city as well. Northerners do talk to each other and to strangers. Just compare asking for directions in London and Manchester and the difference is often clear. Of late, locals seem more proud than ever of Manchester and all it offers. Some outsiders may find this fierce pride in their city somewhat "un-British," but it is very similar to that of Australians in their country. Positive comments and praise go down a treat with the locals, and with all that has happened in recent years, such is often due.

The adjective associated with Manchester is Mancunian or simply Manc. The distinctive linguistic accent of the city's indigenous inhabitants is much more closely related to that of Liverpool with its strong north-Waleian (Welsh) roots than it is to the Lancastrian or Cestrian of the neighbouring cotton towns.

  • Manchester Visitor Information Centre, Town Hall Extension, St. Peter's Square, +44 (0) 871 222 8223 ( fax: +44 (0) 161 236 9900) [2] Mon-Fri 10AM-5:15PM (recorded information available by phone outside these times). The Visitor Centre has up-to-date lists of places to eat and sleep.


Manchester was the site of the Roman Fort Mamucium (breast-shaped) in AD 79 but a town was not built until the 13th Century. A priests' college and church ( now Chetham's School and Library and the Cathedral ) were established in Manchester in 1421. Early evidence of its tendency towards political radicalism was its support for Parliament during the Civil War and in 1745 for the Jacobite forces of the Young Pretender.

It was not until the start of the Industrial Revolution of the 18th and 19th Centuries that this small Medieval town would build its fortune. The presence of an existing cloth trade, coupled with the mechanization of spinning in nearby Bolton, created a thriving cotton industry in Manchester. Though the high and frequent rainfall may lower the spirits of today's inhabitants, the availability of copious supplies of clean, soft, water was of great utility to the various cotton processes particularly in the bleaching, printing, and dyeing of cotton cloth. Water power rapidly gave way here to steam invented by Boulton and Watt and a steam-driven factory was built in the Ancoats Northern Quarter section of the city. By the end of the 19th Century, Manchester was one of the 10 biggest urban centres on earth (even before counting the wider population, within 50 miles of the Northern England region, such as Liverpool, Sheffield, Bradford, Leeds, and Central Lancashire ).

Whitworth, inventor of the eponymous mass-cut screw thread, also manufactured his equally revolutionary rifled guns in huge quantities at his factory on Sackville Street. After their initial meeting at the Midland Hotel, still one of the city's most luxurious, Rolls and Royce began manufacture of their luxury motor cars in Hulme.

Trafford Park, in Trafford, was to become the first industrial estate in the world, housing the Ford Motor Company and much of the pre-wartime aircraft industry, notably the 'Lancaster' Bombers of the AVRO Co.

Manchester's success during the Victorian era and before is evident everywhere you look. Great Ancoats Street was a source of wonder to Schinkel, the neo-classical architect from Berlin. Equally grandiose neo-Gothic buildings line the old Financial District around King Street, and public institutions such as the University and the many libraries are dotted around everywhere. There is even a statue of Abraham Lincoln in Lincoln Square (Brazennose Street, straight across Albert Square from the Town Hall main entrance) commemorating his personal thanks for Manchester's support during a cotton famine created by Britain's refusal to run the Federal blockade of the slave-owning Confederacy during the American Civil War.

Continuing its radical political tradition, Manchester was the home of opposition to the Corn Laws and espoused Free Trade, as well as Chartism and the Great Reform Act. It was instrumental in the establishment of socialism in the UK. Both Engels and Marx frequented the city; the former conducted his famous inquiry into the condition of the working class, and the latter sought to draw universal rules from the particular circumstances of the early industrial revolution, with disastrous consequences in the 20th century. Cleaving to a more gently pragmatic English tradition it was the birthplace of the Trades Union Congress which led to the creation of the Labour Party. It was also home to a number of philanthropists of the industrial age, such as John Owens and John Dalton, who bequeathed large parts of their fortunes to improving the city.

In more recent times, Manchester has been famous for its influence on the UK music scene. The Madchester movement of the early 1980s, started by Factory Records and Joy Division, led to the creation of the Haçienda nightclub (now unfortunately demolished after standing empty for many years) and the birth of modern club culture. Manchester has given life to many hugely successful musicians, among them The Stone Roses, The Smiths, Joy Division/New Order, The Happy Mondays, Oasis, James, and Badly Drawn Boy.

At 11.20AM on Saturday 15th June 1996, Manchester's city centre was rocked by a huge IRA bomb blast. Although preliminary intelligence managed to clear people from the scene enough for there to be no fatalities, the very heart of the city was ripped to shreds. A huge amount of money and effort was put into regenerating this bomb damaged part of the centre, redubbed the Millennium Quarter. The area has renewed interest in the centre and contains the entertainment and shopping heart of the city.

Student life

Central Manchester is home to two of the largest universities in the UK. The University of Manchester (formerly Owens College and subsequently the Victoria University and its Institute of Science and Technology UMIST) [3] and Manchester Metropolitan University (aka 'Man Met', formerly the Polytechnic, itself a conglomeration of municipal colleges), as well as the Royal Northern College of Music. There is also a university in Salford, within one mile of the city centre, which is renowned as a European Centre of excellence in Media. Together they create a body of over 86,000 students living full-time in the city.

Manchester is often named 'best student city'. It is very welcoming to the student lifestyle and many establishments in the centre and South Manchester are geared towards students; eating and drinking in Manchester can be very inexpensive due to the high competition that goes on between these establishments.

However, if you don't like hanging around students, there are many places that are not frequented by students, although you may have to be prepared to pay a little extra. Also, some places have a strictly 21-and-over only policy, so take identification with you. Although, the number of bars or clubs that are for 21-and-over is relatively low. When visiting the student areas of Fallowfield and Withington, some venues operate a student only policy, so production of a student card (or something resembling a student card) is necessary.


Manchester is famous all over the world thanks to its football clubs, including Manchester United (Old Trafford) and Manchester City (City of Manchester Stadium, Sportcity).

Old Trafford is also home to the Lancashire County Cricket Club.

In 2002, Manchester was the host to the Commonwealth Games and a large area of East Manchester was converted into a new Sportcity, the centre-piece of which is the new athletics and football stadium.

The Manchester Velodrome started off the whole regeneration of East Manchester and formed part of the bid for the 2002 Commonwealth Games (and for Manchester's failed bid for the 2000 Olympics). Britain's great success in the cycling events in the 2008 Olympics is very much due this venue and most of the medal winners are based in and around the city. However the London-centric authorities, preparing for the 2012 London Olympics, plan to build a venue in the capital and are not seen as willing to share events around the country. Some still fear that Manchester may be sidelined furthermore in the future. The UK authorities have always been lukewarm to any Olympic bid that was not based on London, claiming that only a capital can host such a large event. Many cities who have hosted the games are not capitals, and this fact reinforces what a centralised country the UK is. Some reports in the press did suggest that the team wishes to keep their base in the city as they are also supported by a large administrative team.

In July 2009 it has been reported that the world's first purpose-built BMX Centre is also to be built on the site. Work on this addition to Sportcity is expected to start in January 2010 and is said to remove any lingering doubts that Manchester will be replaced by London as British Cycling's headquarters after the 2012 Olymipic Games. The centre will be used by athletes preparing for London 2012 and help bring major national and international events to the city. It will also be open to schools,clubs and the local community. In the Queen's New Year's Honours list, January 2009, some of the locally based cycling heroes were given awards, including a knighthood to Chris Hoy.


Manchester is a very mixed city. Many races and religions have communities in the city and it has a long history of being more tolerant than most cities to people of any background. The very large number of British Citizenship ceremonies, held in Heron House by The Town Hall, each year, is testament to this.

Manchester is also very gay-friendly and liberal-minded. The Village is an area concentrated around Canal Street and is very popular with people of all sexualities. It is also home to an annual Pride festival. The atmosphere of the village area is very friendly and welcoming; as is Manchester's very large LGBT community; known to be one of the most accepting in the country. It is certainly the most gay friendly major city by far. Most Mancunians have grown up with a tolerant attitude towards sexuality.


Manchester has a temperate maritime climate and rarely gets too warm or too cold. The city receives below average rainfall for the UK. It is not significantly far behind London in terms of the average number of hours of sunlight per day (within nine minutes per day, based on the last 100 years data from Met office) though it does have a few more days with rain. However, as a result of relatively mild winter conditions, there is never a period that one should avoid visiting due to extreme weather conditions.

Get in

By plane

Manchester International Airport (IATA: MAN) (ICAO: EGCC). [4] in the south of the city is the largest airport in the UK outside of London and is amongst the 50 largest airports in the world. Nearly 100 operators fly to and from hundreds of locations worldwide, including most major cities in Europe, along with services from North America, South America, Africa, and Asia.

Notable services include:

Car parks serving Manchester Airport
Address On/Off Airport Distance / Transfer Time Security Additional Information
Long Stay Parking (T1-3)
Manchester Airport
M90 3NS
0.5 miles / 5 minutes
Security lighting and fencing, entry/exit barriers and 24-hour security patrols.
Maximum vehicle height of 2.2 metres. Trailers are not permitted.
Long Stay Parking (T2)
Manchester Airport
M90 5PR
0.5 miles / 5 minutes
Security lighting, perimeter fencing, entry/exit barriers and 24-hour security patrols.
Maximum vehicle height of 2.2 metres. Trailers are not permitted.
Short Stay Parking (All terminals)
Manchester Airport
M90 1QX
.2 miles / Walking distance
CCTV, entry/exit barriers and regular security patrols.
Maximum vehicle height is 2 metres. Trailers are not permitted.
Multi-Storey Parking (All terminals)
Manchester Airport Terminals 1-3
M90 1QX
.2 miles / Walking distance
CCTV, entry/exit barriers and regular security patrols.
Maximum vehicle height of 2 metres. Trailers are not permitted.
Meteor Meet & Greet Parking
Car park does not disclose address for security reasons.
Customer is met at terminal. No transfer required.
CCTV, security lighting, 6ft security fencing and regular security patrols.
Meteor drivers are comprehensively insured to drive customers' cars.
Airparks Handforth Dean Parking
Car park does not disclose address for security reasons.
4 miles / 15mins transfer
CCTV, security lighting, security fencing and regular security patrols.
No trailers are allowed.
Airparks Manchester Ringway
Isherwood Road,Carrington,Wilmslow,Manchester,M31 4RA
4 miles / 15mins transfer
CCTV, security fencing and regular security patrols.
No trailers are allowed. Maximum vehicle height of 2.10m
Manchester Shuttle Park
Styal Road,Manchester,M90 1QX
3 miles / 10mins transfer
CCTV, security fencing and regular security patrols.
No trailers are allowed.

Direct trains run from the airport station (reached by Skyway, between terminals 1 and 2) to Piccadilly and Oxford Road stations about every 20 minutes and cost no more than £3. Taxis are available from outside each terminal, costing about £15 and taking about 30-45 minutes. You can also catch a coach/bus to Manchester Central Coach station.

John Lennon Airport, [5] in Liverpool is a budget airline airport with Easyjet [6] and Ryanair [7] serving it and is also relatively conveniently located for access to Manchester. A coach service runs connecting the airport to Manchester's central coach station and takes about 45 minutes. There is now a direct train link between Liverpool Parkway (ie the station near John Lennon Airport) and Manchester Oxford Road Train Station (in the city centre). Services currently run once per hour, but are planned to increase to every half hour.

By train

Manchester city centre is served by two major railway stations, Victoria in the north (the area around the station has recently undergone extensive redevelopment with much more to come) and Piccadilly (transformed in recent years and voted the UK's most popular station in 2007!) in the south. These stations are well-connected with the rest of the UK, although it is more likely that you will arrive at Piccadilly as it deals with the most services in and out of Manchester. Fares vary dramatically depending on time of day and rail operator.

Other stations in the city centre are Deansgate/G-Mex, Oxford Road, and Salford Central, but generally only local services bound for through services passing Wigan and Bolton or Manchester and Rochdale will stop at these stations.

Connections from London Euston to Piccadilly are run by Virgin Trains. The journey on the West Coast Mainline takes just over 2hrs in Pendolino trains that do not need to slow down when going round bends. Online Virgin Value fares can dramaticaly reduce the cost of this trip [8] if you book well enough in advance (at least 14 days is advisable), purchase two single tickets (one for each leg of the journey) and/or travel outside of peak times (after 9AM and before 3PM during the day, after 6:30PM in the evening).

By car

The outer ring road of the Manchester conurbation is the M60. It is accessible from Leeds or Liverpool by the M62 and from Scotland and the south by the M6. From the north and Scotland follow the M6 and then the M61. From the south take the M6 and the M56. The most direct route from the M6 to the M56 and South Manchester is to take the A556 leaving the M6 at junction 19, but note this has a 50mph speed limit for most of its length and can be somewhat congested at busy times of the day. It is signed Manchester and Manchester Airport.

Another route would be to carry on northbound up the M6, taking you directly to the M6/M62 interchange. Here you would follow signs for Leeds and Manchester North. This can, however, seem a longer way round, but it does also give you access, via the M60 orbital road, to places around the conurbation and is a much better option if you wish to access the northern part of Greater Manchester.

If a little lost in the city centre, follow signs for the inner ring road, as there are signs to most destinations from this road.

Parking in the city centre of Manchester can be expensive. Avoid the multi-storey car parks if you can and look for some open-air car parks. There are good ones by Salford Central Station, behind Piccadilly Station and opposite the cathedral.

If you have to use a multi-storey, the one by The Coach Station and The Village is handy. This is fine as a last resort if you have been driving around for an hour, looking for a place to park. There are increasingly more and more double yellow lines, which designate no parking at any time.

Ladywell Park & Ride [9] is situated near Eccles (M602, Junction 2); the car park is free and there is a tram station. Similarly, parking at the Trafford Centre (M60, junctions 9 and 10) is free and there are buses to the city centre and Stretford tram station.

A tip worth noting is that on Saturday from 12.30PM to Monday morning, just over from the city centre into Salford, you can park on a single yellow line (remember in The UK you can never park on a double yellow line!) or in a designated space without paying, unlike in the city centre where restrictions apply even during weekends. Streets like Chapel Street, Bridge Street, and the areas around them are a good bet and much safer now with all the new housing developments. There you are just a short walk from Deansgate. Problems are rare as long as you take the usual precautions and do not leave valuables on display. Try not to put things in the boot (trunk) after a shopping spree, if people are watching. Avoid parking under the bridges at all costs, and try the main roads, just off one or next to one of the many new blocks of flats where it is well lit. Watch out on Bank Holidays around here. Sometimes these are treated like a Sunday in the centre, but people have been known to get parking tickets on the Salford side. If in doubt treat a holiday, on the Salford side, as a normal day of the week or ask a warden if you can find one!

Also check out [10], a website that allows users to search and compare parking rates and locations for commercial and private parking facilities in Manchester.

By bus

Chorlton Street Coach Station is the central coach station in Manchester, located close to the centre, between Chinatown and The Village on Chorlton Street. Coaches run from all over the country and are generally the most reasonably-priced way to get into Manchester. London to Manchester on the coach can take about four hours, but it depends on the time of day and number of stops.

  • National Express [11] is a comfortable and frequent service which runs 24 hours a day from some cities, including London.
  • Stagecoach Megabus [12] is less comfortable, but can be very cheap (some cities have buses to Manchester for as little as £1). You must book in advance over the web.
Manchester trams
Manchester trams

Transport in Greater Manchester is overseen and co-ordinated by the GMPTE (Information: 0871 200 22 33) [13]. GMPTE sells a number of tickets which are valid for multiple operators, such as the any bus day ticket or the Wayfarer. If you are planning to do a lot of travelling in one day, these might be your cheapest option. Metromax day tickets are good value if using the tram network. There are tickets for single people and family tickets. The best value are valid after 9:30AM.


Dotted around the city centre in all the places you wouldn't look for them are the pedestrian-level street maps. They are usually placed in normal advertising hoardings, which makes them all the more difficult to spot. From a distance, the map looks like a light-brown horse's head on a blue background. Once found your position is marked by a blue circle. They cover the whole centre down to the university district.

As with any large UK city an A-Z map is often handy. These street maps, in book form, are available from newsagents or book shops and, depending on size, cover everything from the city centre to the whole Greater Manchester conurbation.

On foot in the city centre

Manchester city centre's many attractions are easily reached on foot, and walking provides the perfect opportunity to take in the architecture of the city. Manchester walking directions can be planned online with the [14] walking route planner.

By bus

Metroshuttle [15] is a FREE bus service run jointly by the local council, National Car Parks Manchester and First. It runs three routes which between them cover most of the major areas in the city centre. These bus routes can be caught straight from all city centre railway stations (Piccadilly, Oxford Road, Deansgate/G-Mex, Salford Central and Victoria) as well as many of the larger car parks. Areas on the fringes of the city centre (such as Spinningfields, Petersfield, Oxford Road Corridor, Millennium Quarter) are now easier to access from other parts of the city. Just note, that due to a high-level of pedestrian priority around areas such as Deansgate, traffic in the city centre is often slow.

Most of the buses in Manchester are operated by First [16] or Stagecoach [17] and serve most places you are likely to want to go in the conurbation. The main bus station for the south is Piccadilly Gardens and a new state-of-the-art £24 million interchange has been built at Shudehill for the north.

The South Manchester corridor that begins with Oxford Road and Wilmslow Road is the most-served bus route in Europe. Buses connect the centre with the universities and Rusholme, as often as every one minute. The general rule on this street is to get on any bus that is not operated by Stagecoach and your fare is likely to be under £1. Some buses have a student fare, which they will charge you if you look like a student, regardless of whether you ask for it or not. Be warned, though, during peak hours it can take as long as 30 minutes to make the relatively short three mile journey from Piccadilly Gardens to Rusholme. Route number 42 (operated by various companies) is usually the most frequent service, operating through the night from Piccadilly, Oxford Road, Wilmslow Road, Rusholme and beyond.

It is well worth noting that the number 43 bus not only runs all day to the airport, but also throughout the night at regular intervals. (Train services from Piccadilly also serve the airport all night).

Busses to the Trafford Centre include the Stagecoach-operated Route 250 [18], from Piccadilly Gardens to the Trafford Centre and the First-operated Routes 100 and 110 , from Shudehill, via Blackfriars (the stop is just off Deansgate) and Eccles, to The Trafford Centre. The quicker, more direct but less frequent option is the 100 bus route.They run about three buses an hour peak times. There are other bus services from Central Manchester to The Trafford Centre and additional services from other towns and suburbs in the conurbation. In the evening, or on Sundays and public holidays, your better bet for the Trafford Centre, from the city centre, is the tram and buslink to and from Stretford, as buses are much less frequent at these times.

Bus Tickets are usually purchased directly from the driver. First and Stagecoach both offer day-savers for unlimited travel on their company's buses, which cannot be used on other busses. A FirstDay is currently £4.00. If transfer between different bus companies is required then you can ask the driver for an "any bus day-saver", emphasising the "any"! These '"System One"' tickets can be used on any bus, details of current prices are available at [19]

Map of the Metrolink network
Map of the Metrolink network

Metrolink [20], also known as the tram, is the name for Manchester's local mass-transit system. With a map of the system it is very easy to understand.

Currently, Metrolink runs two lines, Altrincham-Bury (every 6 minutes at peak times, every 12 minutes off-peak, and Piccadilly-Eccles (every 12 minutes at peak times, every 15 minutes off-peak). At peak times trams run either Bury or Altrincham to Piccadilly, via Piccadilly Gardens, where you can change, or direct Bury to Altrincham. Off peak there are no direct Bury-Altrincham trams and your only option is to change at Piccadilly Gardens. A small part of the city centre from Piccadilly to Cornbrook is shared between the two lines. Metrolink stops serve major areas of the city centre and Central Zone tickets are quite cheap.

Work is now underway to extend the system to five lines, with three new destinations at Oldham,Rochdale,Ashton-under-Lyne and Tameside, and in the direction of Manchester Airport, which is already well served by trains and buses, as well as a link to the new BBC development at Salford Quays,MediaCityUK.

In part due to its financial difficulties, Metrolink is quite expensive to travel on and does not really provide good value for money. If you are going to be using it for more than one journey in a day, your best bet is to buy a Metromax ticket. Tickets must be purchased in advance from the automated vending machines at each station. Press the required destination followed by the required ticket type and then insert your money. Most machines accept notes, but if your note is anything more than even slightly crumpled, it will more then likely be rejected by the machine. Change is not guaranteed over £7 at any machines, or at all, at some machines with the appropriate warning lamp.

The following Central Zone stations might be useful to you:

  • Victoria — for Urbis, Chethams Library, Manchester Cathedral Visitor Centre, The Triangle and the Northern half of Deansgate,
  • Shudehill — for Bus Interchange, The Printworks, Manchester Arndale and parts of the Northern Quarter.
  • Market Street — for the main shopping area, including parts of Manchester Arndale.
  • Piccadilly Gardens and Mosley Street — for Coach Interchange from Chorlton Street Coach Station, Chinatown, The Gay Village, Manchester Art Gallery, Cube Gallery and parts of the Northern Quarter.
  • Piccadilly — for Rail Interchange and Metroshuttle and Oxford Road Link busses. Manchester Apollo is a 10 minute walk from here.
  • St. Peter's Square — for Central Library, The Library Theatre, Bridgewater Hall, The Midland Hotel, The Town Hall and Albert Square. Busses down the Oxford Road corridor to The Palace Theatre, The Green Room, Dance House and Contact Theatres and to the universities and beyond.
  • G-Mex — for Rail Interchange from Deansgate Station, Manchester Central (exhibition centre/concert venue), The Manchester International Conference Centre, MOSI (Museum of Science and Industry), the southern half of Deansgate and the beautiful canalside area of Castlefield.

Other interesting destinations include:

  • Harbour City — Around 10 minutes from the City Centre. Closest station at Salford Quays to the Lowry, Lowry Outlet Mall and Imperial War Museum North. When the weather is fine, if coming from the centre, alight at Salford Quays Station, walk just a few yards in the direction of travel, cross the road, turn left, and enjoy the tree lined waterside walk, past the Salford Rowing club, as far as the bridge linking The Lowry with The War Museum.
  • Heaton Park — Around 10 minutes from the City Centre. Alight here for Manchester's chief parkland. This is the biggest municipal park in the country and a great day out in summer. It has seen much investment of late. Inside you will find a pet zoo, tramway museum, boating lake, stables and golf centre with pitch and putt. The former stately home Heaton Hall is located within the park and is open to visitors in the summer months.
  • Old Trafford — Around 10 minutes from the City Centre. For Manchester United Football Club, and the home of Lancashire County Cricket Club.
  • Stretford — Around 10 minutes from the City Centre. Alight here for a connecting bus to the Trafford Centre. Joint tickets are available from the usual machines.Take care at night.
  • Ladywell — Around 15 minutes from the City Centre.There is a large, free car park for the Park and Ride service to Salford Quays and the city.

By taxi

Taxis are considerably cheaper than in London. As a general rule you should be able to get anywhere you need to go within the core of the city for £5-10. Because of the nature of local authority boundaries, within the conurbation, taxis cross these as a matter of course, and there are few problems as long as your journey stays within Greater Manchester. As a general rule, taxis are required to put the meter on for journeys within the M60 ringroad (and a little further in places) if you feel this would be cheaper than agreeing a fixed price although it is sometimes hard to convince them to do so at busy times (this is the law though and you can threaten to report them). If you are to travel further it is best to agree a price in advance. You may only flag down the black cabs (London-style Hackney carriages) — other taxis must be booked in advance over the phone and are marked with the yellow Manchester City Council sign on the bonnet, and the firm's phone number (again on a yellow strip) on the sides. These are often called minicabs or private hire cars. Avoid rogue mini cabs at all costs. Even if the car has a Manchester City Council plate, or one from one of the other metropolitan boroughs, you are not insured if the cab was not booked in advance.

You may find it difficult to get a black cab after the pubs shut on Friday and Saturday nights in the city centre, so it serves to have a back-up plan for getting back to your accommodation. Larger groups are most likely to be able to "flag" down a taxi on the road. If you're struggling for a taxi after midnight and don't mind waiting around drunk people, it can often be easier to join a queue outside larger clubs, such as those in The Printworks, as black cabs often stop here. The black cabs with the amber "TAXI" sign illuminated are the ones that are looking for fares.

There are a number of taxi ranks within the city centre, which are staffed by security/logistical staff during busy periods. These ranks are serviced only by black cabs, but there are also private hire taxi/minicab companies that you can walk to, and then wait (inside or usually outside) until a car becomes available.

By train

Local rail services run regularly and to most places in the surrounding area and beyond. Most trains will pass through Piccadilly or Victoria, but it will do to call National Rail Enquiries (08457 48 49 50) [21] to find out which one before setting off. If you plan to take several off peak journeys within Greater Manchester, you could consider a "Rail Ranger" ticket, which, as of January 2009, costs £4 per day. An "Evening Ranger" is also available for just £2. This is a large area and means you could travel as far north as Bolton and Rochdale, as far south as the airport and Stockport, as far west as Wigan and as far east as The Peak District. These can be bought at ticket offices or on the train.

GMPTE [22] has a "London tube-style" map of the Greater Manchester rail network, including Metrolink.

It is worth remembering that train services from Piccadilly serve the airport all night.

Piccadilly Gardens
Piccadilly Gardens
  • The Manchester Wheel, in Exchange Square in the Millennium Quarter. This is a good way of seeing Manchester from an elevated height! You can even hire an extra luxurious gondola with champagne for a special treat.
The Imperial Chinese Archway in Manchester's Chinatown
The Imperial Chinese Archway in Manchester's Chinatown
  • Manchester's Chinatown around George Street and Faulkner Street has been a feature of Manchester since the late 1970s. Of late there is much talk of its decline, as many middle aged people are taking their business to the suburbs rather than the centre, which many see as a place for younger people at night. You will find people on the streets of Chinatown speaking Chinese to each other and most of the signs are bilingual. It is home to the bulk of Manchester's east-asian restaurants as well as many traders in Chinese food and goods. As night falls upon Chinatown, the neon lights come on, adding to the ambient feel of the area. There many eateries to try too. All of them have an astounding quality, ranging from Chinese to Japanese; reaching out to a wide spectrum of tastes. There are also Chinese shops for the locals to buy items imported directly from China, such as newspapers, magazines, DVDs and medications. It also serves as a magnet for the Chinese population, from around the city region and beyond.
  • The Village, also known as the Gay Village, has built up around Canal Street out of the many cotton warehouses in the area. It is home to one of the oldest and most-established gay communities in Europe and is known for its tolerance toward all kinds of people. Many of Manchester's most famous bars and clubs are to be found here, most of which are as popular with heterosexual party-animals as they are with the gay crowd. The Village hosts a major Pride festival every year (August Bank Holiday; the last weekend of the month), when this part of town is closed to the public for a somewhat expensive and exclusive charity fundraising weekend for gay and gay-friendly people. Many thousands of Pounds are raised, each year, for various AIDS charities. There is a moving memorial service on the Monday evening to round the weekend off. Entrance is by wrist band. These are valid for the whole weekend or part of it, if required.

Check out the restaurants in The Village too. The best and longest established has to be Velvet, on Canal Street. Friendly staff, good food, and a cosmopolitan environment make it a hip and popular restaurant, bar, and hotel. Art works are also on display.

  • Check out the Curry Mile, a half-mile long stretch of curry restaurants, sari shops, and jewelry stores in Rusholme.
  • If you have time and want to mix with trendy, monied residents try an evening out in the very upmarket southern suburb of Didsbury. This is a popular nighttime destination for many from across the conurbation. "The village" as it is known is too far from East Didsbury station for comfort, but a taxi is possible from the city centre or there is a good bus service. On the all too rare, warm and fine Saturday evenings in summer, Didsbury can put on a good show with upmarket restaurants, where you can eat outside at the many great pubs and bars. Think London's Hampstead and Islington with similar media types and many others from elsewhere in town, who just want a piece of the action. This was THE place to live in Manchester, for many years, before the rebirth of the centre, and still is, for many, with very high property prices and a certain cachet!
  • Castlefield is the site of the original Roman settlement Mamucium and has been known as Castlefield since Medieval times. The walls that still stand over two metres high are from as late as the 16th Century. It is the centre of Manchester's canal network and a transport nexus of unique historical importance. The Castlefield Basin joins the Rochdale and Bridgewater canals, the latter being the first cut canal in Britain. The nearby Museum of Science and Industry contains Liverpool Road station, the first passenger railway station in the world. Very important in industrial times, it became run down in post-war times until it was completely regenerated in the 1990s and designated Britain's first Urban Heritage site. These days the area is like a small country oasis in the heart of the city, with regular events and a handful of great pubs around the canals and the neighbouring streets. It is also the only place to see wildlife in Manchester's centre.
  • The University of Manchester, on Oxford Road, where amongst other things, the atom was first probed by Rutherford, the first computer was built, and where radio astronomy was pioneered. It was here too that the element Vanadium was first isolated. The architectural style of the new curved visitor's centre contrasts with the old buildings on the opposite side of Oxford Road, within which Manchester Museum is to be found.
  • Manchester Cathedral, in the Millennium Quarter. The widest cathedral in England with important carved choir stalls (school of Lincoln) and pulpitum. The recently finished Visitor's Centre provides an initmate experience for newcomers to the cathedral. This is near to Harvey Nichols, Urbis and Victoria Station.
Manchester Cathedral
Manchester Cathedral
  • Manchester Town Hall, on Albert Square. This imposing and beautiful neo-Gothic masterpiece by Alfred Waterhouse is a symbol of the wealth and power of Manchester during the Industrial Revolution. Free tours can be arranged and the state rooms are generally open to visitors when not otherwise in use. The Great Hall contains a series of pre-Raphaelite wall paintings by Ford Maddox Brown depicting historical scenes (some rather fanciful) from Manchester's past. The corridors are often seen on television dramas standing in for the Palace of Westminster, although the Commons chamber itself is usually depicted in a permanent set at Granada TV studios. The Town Hall is on the wide cobbled area of Albert Square, which is all accessible from St Peter's Square Metrolink station.
  • John Rylands Library, on Deansgate. The bequest to the people of Manchester by who was once the world's richest widow, Henriquetta Rylands, in memory of her husband John, but now administered by the University of Manchester. It Contains the 'Manchester Fragment' the earliest known fragment of the New Testament, part of St. John's gospel found near Alexandria and dating from the first part of the second century, shortly after the gospel itself was first written. Tours can be booked around lunchtime. The library was designed by Basil Champneys and is the last building built in the perpendicular gothic style.
  • St Ann's Church is on one side of St Ann's Square and offers a quiet refuge from the noise of the city. There is always a warm welcome inside.

Cultural Manchester

There are many theatres and concert venues in Manchester, (The Opera House, Palace Theatre, Royal Exchange, Green Room, Dancehouse Theatre, Library Theatre, and The Contact, not forgetting The Lowry at The Quays, which has two theatre spaces). Further afield, The Bolton Octagon, Bury Met, Oldham Coliseum, The Garrick in Stockport, The Gracie Fields Theatre in Rochdale and Stockport Plaza are worth a mention, as are university and RNCM (Royal Northern College of Music) venues. You can catch the likes of Madonna and Kylie at The MEN Arena, which is the largest of its kind in Europe and seen as one of the best such venues in the world. Other such venues include the Apollo, Bridgewater Hall, and the revamped Manchester Central.

  • Central Library & Theatre, near Albert Square. As mentioned above. An interesting, round building from the 1930s.
  • The Cornerhouse on Oxford Road. This excellent art house cinema has three screens, three floors of exhibition space and a great bar on the ground floor, with a trendy cafe above. The house festivals, courses, and a bookstore as well. It is located around the former administrative and goods areas of Oxford Road station. This is the gateway to the University Area.
  • Imperial War Museum North [23], at The Quays. Great museum with fantastic architecture, located in Trafford Borough, across the water from The Lowry, near Manchester United's Stadium, and designed by Daniel Libeskind, who also designed The Jewish Museum in Berlin. The museum focuses on the people involved in war, whether it's the people who worked in the factories in World War two, or the soldiers who suffered in the battlefield. Tours are offered and displays are updated on a regular basis.
The award winning architecture of the Imperial War Museum North at the Quays.
The award winning architecture of the Imperial War Museum North at the Quays.
  • The Lowry, at Pier 8 on the The Quays Home to the City of Salford's collection of the paintings of L.S. Lowry. The centre also contains two theatres which put on everything from "Opera North" productions to pantomime and quality touring productions.
  • Manchester Art Gallery, near Chinatown. Designed by Sir Charles Barry architect of the Houses of Parliament. The gallery has a particulary fine collection of pre-Raphaelite paintings.
  • Manchester Museum, on Oxford Road. Highlights include a fossil skeleton of Tyrannosaurus Rex and Egyptology, including painted mummy masks of the Roman era.
  • Gallery of English Costume, in Platt Hall Rusholme will be closed until early 2010.
  • The Museum of Science and Industry [24], in Castlefield. This is very popular with families and school groups and offers a vast number of displays. The first ever railway station is part of the museum. Currently they are celebrating the centenary of the first all-British flight in 1909.
  • People's History Museum, on Bridge Street between Deansgate and the now much improved Salford Central Station. On Bridge Street, to the left, fans of modern architecture should look out for the new Manchester Civil Justice Centre. It is slowly becoming known to Mancunians as "the filing cabinet". You will see why! For a better view, take it in from the new square, on the other side, into the Spinningfields district, itself worth a detour.
  • Urbis, in Millennium Quarter. A "museum of the modern city" in its unmistakable all-glass building. Exhibitions change regularly, so check ahead to see what's on. The top floors house The Modern, a bar and restaurant with panoramic views.

It now seems that The Urbis is soon to be the home of The National Football Museum when it moves, in part if not wholly, from Preston.

  • The Whitworth Art Gallery on Oxford Road. This gallery houses modern and historic art, prints, and a collection of rare wallpapers. During the summer, forget the bus and walk down Oxford Road through the University area, looking out for The Aquatics Centre (a legacy of The Commonwealth Games) and The Royal Northern College of Music. Walk even further and seek out The Museum of Costume (currently closed) at Platt Fields, near the famous Curry Mile in Rusholme, which is unique in Britain. At the Whitworth The Gallery Cafe has been declared "Best Family Restaurant" by the prestigious "Which?-Good Food Guide 2009". It has been described by its owner as "a fresh food cafe" with food of "restaurant quality". The menu is simple with an emphasis on seasonal, local produce.
  • Bridgewater Hall, near St. Peter's Square and Manchester Central Exhibition Centre, was completed 1996 and is the home of the Halle Orchestra, the world's first municipal symphony orchestra, and also houses traveling famous musical acts. The centrepiece of the hall is the 5,500 pipe organ by Rasmussen. An elegant bistro and restaurant are open at normal meal times to the general public. There is also a bar next door down the wide steps, overlooking a pleasant water feature. Look out, too, for the polished stone sculpture outside!
  • Manchester Jewish Museum, 190 Cheetham Hill Road, Manchester. This is a safe, 10-15 minute walk up the road behind The MEN Arena. You can also catch any bus that goes up Cheetham Hill Road from the stop by the side of the Urbis, opposite The Printworks. The 135 bus is an option; a reliable service running at least every ten minutes. It is about three or four stops from the Urbis, but it is best to ask the driver when to alight. Open Mon-Thu 10:30AM-4PM, Sun 11AM-5PM. Closed on Jewish holidays. Tells the story of the large Jewish population in Manchester. Adults £3.95, concessions £2.95. The museum is in the former Spanish-Portuguese synagogue in what was once the heart of the old jewish quarter. The community has long since moved up the road to Cheetham Hill and Higher Broughton and, in later years, many less orthodox people have moved to Prestwich and Whitefield.
  • Manchester City Football Club, located in Sportcity.
The B of the Bang - the tallest sculpture in the UK. Sadly dismantled for reasons of safety in 2009. It may be put elsewhere in the future.
The B of the Bang - the tallest sculpture in the UK. Sadly dismantled for reasons of safety in 2009. It may be put elsewhere in the future.
  • Manchester United Football Club [25], the self-proclaimed world's most popular Football Club, located in Old Trafford. The club is one of the most succesful in England, and are the first English club to become European champions when they did it in 1968. They have a very heated rivalry with Liverpool FC, considered by most football fans to be the biggest rivalry in all of England; a rivalry which stems from the traditional city rivalry between Manchester and Liverpool since the Industrial Revolution, and further fuelled by the fact that both clubs are the most successful English clubs in European competition. Matches between the two sides are always very charged affairs which attract sell-out crowds. Crowd violence is rare though, as there is always a strong police presence at big matches to keep things in order.
  • Sportcity is the "largest concentration of sporting venues in Europe." It is located to the east of the city centre, about 30 minutes walk from Piccadilly Station. It was built to host most of the events for the 2002 Commonwealth Games and is home to the National Cycling Centre, Manchester City FC, and other important sporting venues, as well as the tallest sculpture in the UK, which is to be dismantled in spring 2009, for reasons of safety. Some are happy but many will miss it, it is reported.
  • Manchester Phoenix Ice Hockey Club, located in Altrincham, are the newly formed (2003) team to replace the once most supported team in European Hockey, Manchester Storm. The Phoenix also host the UK's most sucessfull ice hockey player in the form of Tony Hand the team's player/manager.
  • Chetham's Library is Manchester's best kept secret - even most residents of the city are largely oblivious to its existence. Europe's oldest English language Public Library is tucked away next to the futuristic Urbis just off Millenium Square. One of Manchester's oldest buildings, it still has the original collection of books, all chained to their shelves. This is where Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels would visit while in Manchester and where Engels wrote the world-changing book 'The Condition of the Working Classes in England', a key influence on the development of Communism. You can still sit in the window seat where they would talk. The 15th century structure is part of Chetham's Music School - despite the lack of signs, simply ask at the security hut and they will happily let you in for free.
  • St. Mary's, The Hidden Gem, near Albert Square. The oldest post-Reformation Catholic church in the country, dating from 1794. It contains one of the greatest pieces of art in Manchester, and the altar is quite magnificent. This is a quiet refuge from the noise of the city.
  • The futuristic Trinity Bridge, designed by the Spaniard Santiago Calatrava, who was heavily involved in the designs for the Olympic village in Barcelona, is in the Chapel Wharf Area. This links the twin cities of Manchester and Salford, leading to the five star Lowry Hotel on the Salford bank. It is all a block behind Kendals, near The Freemasons' Hall. A nice pleasant view.
  • The Hulme Bridge in Hulme and The Merchant's Bridge in Castlefield, by Catalan Square, are also worth a look.
  • Parsonage Gardens is at the back of the House of Fraser (Kendals) Department Store. This is a quaint garden. Nice to relax in when the weather is fine and to read a book. Nearby there is also an observation platform which looks over the River Irwell and is ideal for taking photos of Trinity Bridge and The Lowry Hotel. This does also serve as a carpark, on an overhang, for one of the office blocks, but you may use it. It is a little hidden away but you access this to the right of 20 St Mary's Parsonage, which runs along one side of the gardens.
  • Portico Library and Gallery, near Piccadilly Gardens. Home of the Manchester Literary and Philosophical society. Speakers here have included Dalton, the father of Atomic theory and describer of his own colour blindness, the Salford physicist Joule for whom the S.I. unit of energy is named and Roget (who compiled his celebrated Thesaurus here). The Austrian Philosopher Wittgenstein here claimed to have attempted to repeat Franklin's celebrated kite and lightning experiment in the Peak District while employed at Manchester University.
  • Midland Bank Building (was the King Street branch of HSBC) is a domineering piece of architecture from 1928, reminiscent of Dublin's General Post Office. Go inside for a look if you can once it reopens. It is located at the upper end of King Street near Armani and Vivienne Westwood, towards Mosley Street.


Manchester's shopping district may not be quite as diverse as London's, but it is much less spread out and the vast majority of city centre shops are within walking distance of each other. Even in the most upmarket stores you are treated in a friendly manner, which many think is not the case in the capital. The recently redeveloped Arndale Centre is a large 1970's city-centre shopping mall, with 280 stores, including the largest Next store in the world. The place retains some of its 1970's concrete charms and STILL some of the infamous yellow tiles that are a testament to bad urban planning of that era. Part awaits an update to the exterior, but the section modernised after the 1996 bomb is a great improvement, although not quite up to the standards of The Trafford Centre. The inside has had a total revamp. It does get very busy at weekends and, unlike at The Trafford Centre, there are far too few places to sit down.

There are a lot of large shops aimed at lower income families ,including the largest Primark in the country, which is great for a bargain and much loved by US cabin crew when in town, and an Aldi food hall on Market Street (just off Piccadilly Gardens).

The Millennium Quarter (at the back of the Arndale Centre) is now quite smart and good for shopping. There's The Triangle, an upmarket shopping centre based in the beautiful old Corn Exchange, worth a visit for the building alone and Selfridges, with its large Louis Vuitton concession and fantastic food hall in the basement. You will find everything from sushi to fine chocolates, kosher foods, to a juice bar, etc. Harvey Nichols, opposite the Triangle, offers luxury fashions and produce to Manchester's rich and famous. The centre of Manchester's shopping area has traditionally been St. Ann's Square, and there are many shops nearby. King Street and Spring Gardens city centre offer a Vivienne Westwood store (a local girl, from the nearby Peak District), Joseph and DKNY, as well as Emporio Armani and Collezione; these catering for, amongst others, the city's Premiership footballers, soap stars ("Coronation Street" has been produced in the city since the early sixties!), and the many media types who can also be found in the area.

Deansgate has a fair number of decent shops, as do some of the roads off it. The House of Fraser store, considered by many to be the top people's shop, (still known as "Kendals" to most Manchester people and "Kendal Milne's" to an even older generation) is on Deansgate and has been on roughly the same site since the mid-19th century. It is somewhat old school and the eating places are worth a visit. The new Champagne bar, on the third floor, is the latest addition. One of central Manchester's few quiet green squares is just behind the store. This is Parsonage Gardens.

There is also an outlet mall at The Lowry, in Salford, near the future site (2011) of a new media village and BBC development.

The Trafford Centre is a huge out-of-town shopping centre and accessible by car, taxi, or a bus/tram journey. It does not yet have a tram station of its own. It has been designated the Temple to Consumerism, and is one the largest, and possibly the grandest, such centres in Europe. It has its own branches of Selfridges, Debenhams and the best of Greater Manchester's two John Lewis stores. The other is in suburban Cheadle. The centre is spectacular, luxurious, and 'posh' inside and out. Look out for the biggest chandelier in Europe, near the eating places! If confused how to get there by bus and not too worried about the cost, opt for a through ticket on the tram and catch the link bus from Stretford station on the Altrincham line, (turn right out of station and take the first right for the bus stop). If you already have a Metromax day ticket for the tram, just pay extra on the link bus. You can catch the same bus back to the station from a couple of stops around the centre or from the centre's own bus station. The cinema is also one of the best in the area and has even hosted some UK premieres in the past. The centre is now also linked to an annex offering homewares and furniture, built in an italianate style around a very large outdoor fountain. With supermarkets and DIY outlets nearby, mancunians can buy everything in this area without venturing into the city or any other town centre.

  • Merchandise from the football club Manchester United is popular with some tourists. There is a dedicated superstore in the stadium at Old Trafford.
  • Manchester City FC also has its own dedicated retail outlet at the City of Manchester Stadium in Sportcity, as well as in the Arndale Centre.
  • Afflecks Palace in the Northern Quarter is "an emporium of eclecticism, a totem of indie commerce," and a shopping arcade in a five story Victorian building, featuring a range of 50+ independent stalls catering to a young alternative crowd. It's a lot of fun: strange costumes, lots of goths, punks, and teenagers. Saved from closing in April 2008, it is now simply known as Afflecks.
  • The Northern Quarter is Manchester's answer to Soho, and there is a mishmash of stores which sell music, art, and clothing. More and more bars and cafes are opening too.
  • Every Christmas time, continental style Christmas markets take place in Albert Square, in St. Ann's Square, and along both New Cathedral Street and Brazennose Street. You can buy all the usual continental and British Christmas curios as well as various foodstuffs. Good fun and very atmospheric at night when it's all lit up.
  • Also at Christmas, into the new year, there are open air skating rinks in Piccadilly Gardens and, for the first time in 2008, at Spinningfields infront of the new Justice Centre and The Royal Bank of Scotland building. There is also a bar at the Spinningfields location.
  • The small but perfectly stocked food section of Harvey Nichols has a particularly fine wine department. Wines range from relatively inexpensive to the highest levels, e.g Chateau Latour, vertical ranges of Petrus, Vega Sicilia, etc. They are still remarkably good value in context, e.g. 1990 Krug Clos de Mesnil 1990, arguably the greatest Champagne ever made and incomparably finer than the footballer's wildly overrated Crystal is about £150.00 cheaper than usually quoted elsewhere.
  • Of late, there is a flower market at the Market Street corner of Piccadilly Gardens Thursday through Saturday from 10AM-6PM.
  • Also hunt out the Craft and Design Centre, in the old Smithfield Market Building, in The Northern Quarter. The complex is full of artist studio space and boutiques, as well as a cafe.
  • There are regular events in both Albert Square and St Ann's Square, all year around, where you can buy art, listen to music and sample foods from far and wide.
  • If catering for yourself, there are several Sainsbury's Local stores located around the city centre (at Oxford Road, Mosley Street, Quay Street, Bridge Street, Piccadilly Station). Tesco Metro supermarkets can be found on Market Street (the largest supermarket in the centre), on Piccadilly and on Quay Street, which is near the aforementioned Sainsbury's and Granada TV. M&S food outlets are located within the M&S store next to Selfridges and there are also M&S Simply Food stores at Piccadilly Gardens and within Piccadilly Station. You will find increasingly popular Coop food stores near both Victoria, by the movement's headquarters, opposite the Arndale Market, at Piccadilly Gardens and just outside Piccadilly station. For more upmarket food products, Harvey Nichols has a deli and foodhall as does Selfridges. At the other end of the spectrum there are the Arndale Market and a large Aldi store in the Arndale Centre, which is, in common with most UK outlets, much more upmarket than the stores in Germany. This is also accessible from Market Street. There is also a Lidl and a Tesco on Oxford Road near Manchester Royal Infirmary.
  • For something a little bit different, the newly refurbished Manchester Arndale Market features many food stalls, including a rather large fish store and a butchers. Chinatown has many specialist shops and the landmark Wing Yip superstore on Oldham Road in the Northern Quarter is excellent for everything oriental.
  • There are various other mini-markets and late night stores around the city centre and in Piccadilly station. There is at least one 24 hour Spar opposite the BBC Studios on Oxford Road. Just out of the centre are a large Sainsbury's, in Regent Retail Park, Salford, an Asda store in Hulme, a Tesco Extra Hypermarket in Cheetham Hill.
  • Not of particular interest maybe, but it is worth knowing where the main public toilets are about town! Clean conveniences can be found at Piccadilly station (less reliable ones are to be found at Victoria) and there are a few pods around the centre (one is on the corner of John Dalton Street and Deansgate). There are pay toilets in the basement and on the top floor of The Triangle Centre, Exchange Square. You can also find FREE toilets in The Arndale Centre and at the following locations;
  • Kendals House of Fraser, Deansgate, (basement, 3rd, and 6th floors).
  • Selfridges,Exchange Square. (basement ,in the corner, near TV department).
  • M&S, St Mary's Gate. (basement, near the food hall).
  • Harvey Nichols, New Cathedral Street (Near the food hall, bar, and restaurant).
  • Debenhams, Market Street. (Near cafe, top sales floor).
  • Royal Exchange Theatre, St. Ann's Square. (by bars and restaurant — not available to public during performances).
  • Town Hall. (entrance opposite Beluga restaurant, on Mount Street, just off Albert Square).
  • Central Library, St Peter's Square (in the basement, by the Library Theatre)

Most museums and galleries include free toilets. There is nothing stopping you popping into any busy pub to use their conveniences! At busy times you would hardly be noticed.

  • Free copies of The Manchester Evening News are given out, around the city and available at the airport, on Thursday and Friday, as well as inside and outside some selected newsagents in town. There is a charge of 42 Pence for the other days of the week including Saturday's edition. This is very good for listings, especially on a Friday, with the City Life pull out section. The free Metro newspaper is handed out in the mornings. This too has some listings.
  • Visit the Trafford Area of this area of fascinating industrial heritage.
  • Manchester has a couple of big multi-screen cinemas located centrally, AMC off Deansgate (as cheap as £3.20 if you're a student) and Odeon in the Printworks show the usual Hollywood fare; the Cornerhouse on Oxford Road tends to show smaller, independent, art house and foreign language movies. there is an Imax inside the Odeon in the Printworks.
  • Shows in Manchester [26], Manchester has many theatres and live music venues so see what's on when and where.
  • Hire a supercar in Manchester [27]; Northern Ferrari hire offer self drive supercar hire in Manchester.


There is no doubt that Greater Manchester's universities continue to be a big draw. The University of Manchester is the most over subscribed university in Europe. More and more language schools are also now opening and offer a more reasonable option than the likes of London and other southern venues.


There are numerous temporary agencies in the city and there is work in the hospitality industry to be had. There have been reports, of late, of teacher shortages (though not quite on par with London), and this could be of interest to overseas candidates with the relevant qualifications.

If you are qualified to work in Britain, work can be found. Many thousands of East Europeans have been drawn to the city in recent years, but according to the press reports, a great number are now returning due to perceived job insecurity and the falling value of the Pound, as a result of the economic downturn. Many, to date, have found work in the building trade, where there has been a boom as of late. In some areas of employment, you could find yourself competing with the many students who need to finance their studies.

Manchester is an important financial centre and the media are also well represented, as can be seen in the BBC's forthcoming partial move to The Media City at Salford Quays and the ITV-Granada (makers of Coronation Street) presence on Quay Street. The BBC already has a strong foothold at Broadcasting House on Oxford Road. This is home to BBC Radio Manchester, BBC North West Tonight (regional TV news) and The Religious Affairs Department of The BBC.

Retail is a large employer, in and around the city, and there are many gyms in need of trainers for the growing city centre population.

Manchester is a huge city, so all individual listings should be moved to the appropriate district articles, and this section should contain a brief overview. Please help to move listings if you are familiar with this city.

As you would expect from such a cosmopolitan city, Manchester has a huge selection of restaurants and eateries that serve a vast array of cuisines. Look hard enough and you will be able find any type of international food. It is also worth exploring some of the suburbs for superb, small independent bistros / restaurants. West Didsbury and Chorlton are noted for their large number of great eateries. If you can get there, the quaintly named and somewhat trendy village of Ramsbottom, just north of Bury, directly north of Manchester, is said to be "the new Chorlton", as regards restaurants, and THE place to eat. Ransoms has won many awards both regionally and nationally. The usual, well established UK chains like Cafe Rouge, Pizza Express, Bella Italia etc are all to be found in Manchester city centre and out of town too.


Revolution on Oxford Road has a policy where your food is either ready within a 15 minutes wait or it's free. Worth going at busy times of the day!


There are hundreds of kebab and pizza shops on Oxford Road and in Fallowfield and Rusholme. In Rusholme, in particular, locals speak of the £10 curry, where if you bring your own drinks into the curry house, you should leave with change from a ten pound note.

Some of the cheapest, long-established curry cafes, though, are still to be found in the back streets of the Northern Quarter. The Little Aladdin cafe at 72 High St (on the corner of Turner St, near Arndale centre) is a tiny little curry house with real charm. They serve a range of delicious curries and kebabs for £3-£4. Here's the menu: [28].

On John Dalton Street, on the left, just up from Deansgate, going to Albert Square, is a gem of a cafe,Essy's, (imagine a cross between an American diner and an old style British "cafe"). It is run by a group of Iranians, for whom nothing is too much trouble. You can be satisfied there for under £5 with clean, welcoming table service. There are a couple of other similar places around town; in the Northern Quarter and one just behind Kendals, on King Street West.

On the opposite of Manchester Metropolitan University at 121 Oxford Road, there is a small fast food restaurant called "Pizza Co". Try their spicy chicken wings with fries, which are a hit among students in Manchester, for under £3. The spicy wings are very flavourful and are really not very spicy.


There are plenty of all-you-can-eat buffets in [Manchester/East Central|Chinatown]] for less than £10.00 (€ 13.00). Prices tend to change with the time of day and likely demand. If you eat earlier in the day, you can have a full all-you-can-eat meal, including soup, starter, and desert for around £5. Really cheap Chinese buffets include Number 1's at 48 Whitworth Street (between Oxford Road Station and the Gay Village) Tai Wu at 44 Oxford Street next to McDonalds.

Wing's Dai Pai Dong in the Arndale Market city centre is set around a sushi counter. It serves a variety of mainstream Cantonese (Hong Kong), Thai, and Japanese dishes. The Hong Kong style roasting dishes are particularly good value and well-made. Typically any mixture of Char Sui, Duck, Pork Belly, Jelly Fish, and Cold Cuts can be paired with Rice, Soup Noodle, or other fried noodles, typically for around £4.50 for a very large and filling bowl/plate. Teamed with a bottle of Asahi Beer, the bill per person will be well under £10.

Mid range


Amongst the enormous range of Cantonese restaurants in Chinatown, the Great Wall at 52 Faulkner Street offers authentic, reasonably priced food, including many one bowl/plate dishes (Roast Pork and Roast Duck in soup noodle is particularly popular). The only downside is that the service charge increases the bill.

  • Red Chilli on Portland Street and Oxford Road (next to McDonald's) is of a very good standard and is unusual in Manchester in specializing in Beijing and the very spicy Szechuan cooking. It has a large Chinese following, which is always a good sign.

Outside Chinatown, the increasingly esteemed Tai Pan on Upper Brook Street and Brunswick Street. Visit the huge, Hong Kong style restaurant from Mon-Fri after 12PM for half price dim sum.

  • Fuzion Noodle Bar at 264 Wilmslow Road in Fallowfield has very good, speedy pan-asian noodles.


Rusholme's Curry Mile is, as the name suggests, home to a lot of Indian restaurants! Due to the high concentration of curry houses, and all the competition, you should be able to get a really good curry in just about any restaurant.

In the centre Shimla Pinks is upmarket as is a new venture by the side of The Museum of Science and Industry. This is Akbar's on Liverpool Road and they claim, on the side of buses, to be "probably the best Indian restaurant in the North of England". Also popular in town are the two EastZEast; the original is under the Ibis Hotel, behind The BBC building, and the new, very luxurious one is on Bridge Street, opposite The Manchester Central Travelodge, off Deansgate. Look out for the doorman at the riverside location. There they also offer free valet parking to all guests. These two are classy but not overpriced. Some have claimed the menu could be a little more adventurous, in view of all they seem to have invested. The riverside branch seems popular for Asian weddings, lately, which must say something about the quality of the venue.

Also just off Oxford Road on Chester Street is a new indian restaurant which has won lots of awards zouk tea bar & Grill. They have a good mix of people dining there and it is open lunch as well as evenings. This is in the top 10 resaurants in Manchester. conntact them at

Further out, Moon in Withington and Third Eye in Didsbury, both in south Manchester, are excellent. Individual takes on traditional dishes are served alongside local specialities, and cost about £6 a dish.

In Chorlton, you should be able to find Coriander Restuarant, Azid Manzil and Asian Fusion, they are all on barlow moor road.


  • Yechan Foods, 95 Mauldeth Road, Manchester M14 6SR, ph: (0161) 225 4447.
  • Koreana Restaurant — A Long established Korean Restaurant at 40a King Street West in city centre just off Deansgate. A regular stop for Manchester United's Korean football star Ji-Sung Park.


  • Wagamama's, (located in the Printworks), is one of the chain of Japanese restaurants popping up all over the country. Wagamama's serve the best ramen, ebi gyoza, and many other different Japanese cooked dishes... perfect with a hot flask of sake! Their second venture in town is into the Spinningfields district just off Deansgate.
  • New Samsi, 36 Whitworth Street, city centre. A great sushi restaurant that also caters well for those that don't like raw fish. With a well-stocked, but small Japanese supermarket below (accessed from inside the restaurant) [29].
  • Selfridges Food Hall has a YO! sushi bar with conveyor belt.
  • Wasabi, 63 Faulkner St, Manchester, M1 4FF, +44 161 228 7288, [30]. Great sushi from the conveyor belt in a fun atmosphere. £7.95 for 6 dishes and miso soup or 3 dishes and a noodle/rice dish. £12.95 for 10 dishes and a miso soup. £14.95 for 10 dishes and a rice/noodle dish..  edit Needless to say, you will be full.


  • Kosmos Taverna, 248 Wilmslow Road, Manchester, M14 6LD (in [[Manchester/Universities|Fallowfield]]), +44 161 225 9106, [31]. Good Greek food, but quite pricey. Not the most attractive interior, but good service and atmosphere.  edit


During the period leading up to Christmas from November, there is a Christmas Market stretching from the Town Hall towards The Arndale (Market Street). By the Town Hall section there is a spectacular range of international cuisine. Those not to be missed are the crepes (£3.50-4.50 each, but they are really large) which are some of the best in Europe and the paella (£4.50 a box) which is genuinely Spanish. Other popular stalls include German hotdogs and Dutch pancakes. There is also a stall selling German salamis. If you go there nearer Christmas, you may be able to get a bargain packet of 7-8 salamis for just £10.

  • Search out the upmarket restaurants in the city's top hotels (The Lowry Hotel, The Midland, SAS Radisson, and the Hilton, Deansgate to name just four). Less grand, but very popular, is the restaurant in The Malmaison hotel, by Piccadilly station. The restaurant at the top of the Urbis building,The Modern , reopened at the end of 2007 to much acclaim. It also has a great bar which shares the good view of the city's skyline. The Market Restaurant, in The Northern Quarter, is long established and has an excellent reputation. Heathcote is well represented with a place off Deansgate and a new, modern, Spanish-style venture behind Piccadilly Gardens on New York Street called Grados. Abode at 107 Piccadilly is also believed to have brought something new to the Manchester dining scene.

Harvey Nichols is a traditional style restaurant and cocktail bar at 21 New Cathedral Street, with views onto Exchange Square, and is hard to beat if you like rubbing shoulders with Manchester's wealthy set. When the store is closed there is a dedicated entrance and lift at the side of the building. Their afternoon tea is worth a try, but you may prefer the older style version at The Midland Hotel or a new take on the theme at The Lowry Hotel.

At the top of King Street, in what was once Karim's Indian restaurant, the footballer Rio Ferdinand has recently pumped a load of money into Rosso an upmarket "Italian", which has so far had good, if not excellent, revues in the local press which praised the decor and very professional waiters more than the food.


The Armenian restaurant, very long established, hidden in a basement on Albert Square (by the Town Hall) is good, and full of atmosphere. It's to the left with the Town Hall facing you.


  • Yang Sing at 17 George Street by Princess Street at the south-western edge of Chinatown has long been considered the best Cantonese restaurant in the country (and perhaps in Europe).


There are the usual chains to be had on Deansgate, but try to search out El Rincon de Rafa, hidden away behind Deansgate, near St. John's Gardens. This is an authentic Spanish restaurant, established for many years, and popular with Spanish and South American people, based in the city. It is a stones throw from The Cervantes Centre.

On Deansgate, opposite The Cervantes Centre at number 279, is Evuna another Spanish tapas establishment. This newish venture has had very good reviews.


Manchester has a diverse nightlife and can offer a wide range of night-time activities. It has a vibrant and varied nightlife scene, including numerous clubs as well as a huge range of drinking establishments from traditional pubs to ultra-chic concept bars. Very high-profile, of late, is the Cloud 23 bar on the 23rd floor of The Hilton, Deansgate. A bit pricey, but with attentive table service, and worth it for the views alone. To avoid the sometimes 2 hour long queues, try it during the week. The bars in The SAS Radisson and The Aurora Hotel are also upmarket. For other upmarket venues (there are some very discrete ones catering for the most privileged in town ), your hotel concierge should be of help in pointing you in the right direction.

For a slightly more querky place to have a drink, The Temple of Convenience is aptly named as it is a converted underground public toilet in the city centre. The bar receives many high reviews although it's quite small and may be crowded.

Famed for its musical past, the University of Manchester Student's Union on Oxford Road hosts almost nightly gigs in its three venues on Oxford road ranging from local unsigned bands to international superstars. The Manchester Apollo in Ardwick is a slightly bigger venue having boasted appearances from Blondie to new-comers like Kasabian. Smaller bands can also be seen at a range of excellent venues in the city including the Roadhouse, Night and Day, both in the Northern Quarter, and Jabez Clegg, a pub/club off Oxford Road.

The club scene in Manchester is varied with the dance-orientated clubs you'd expect from a city setting alongside indie, rock, and gay clubs. For the commercial dance music fan, the "place to be" would be Deansgate Locks (four bars and a comedy club in a converted railway complex) in Peter's Fields where the clubs and bars can be expensive, but are always full of fashionable types and members of the local student population. More eclectic dance music styles are played at the Music Box and The Phoenix, both on Oxford Road.

For fans of rock music, Jillys on Oxford Road is something of an institution. On a Thursday, it costs just £1 to get in, while Fridays see them open until 6 or 7AM. It has three rooms incorporating punk, ska, metal, goth, and everything in between. Next door to Jilly's is Music Box, home to the very good (and increasingly famous) Mr. Scruff. Come here once a month to have a good dance and a cup of tea! Also check out Rock Kitchen on a Saturday night for cheap drinks at the Manchester Metropolitan University Student's Union, again on Oxford Road. If you are interested in Rock and Metal paired with cage dancers and a lapdancing lounge, try the monthly Caged Asylum night at the Ruby Lounge, the self proclaimed craziest place to be in Manchester at 28-34 High Street.

For fans of indie and alternative music, there are a whole host of new exciting clubs opening. Any late evening walk up Oxford Road should enable you to collect a variety of fliers for club nights. The Friday edition of The Manchester Evening News has a good listings section, which is handy for the weekend. Papers are handed out free of charge Mon-Fri, at various points in the centre and at some newsagents.

The Retro Bar on Sackville Street, hosts live acts upstairs and a club downstairs with play lists that include Blondie, The Ramones, and Le Tigre. Joshua Brooks on Charles Street is also another club where you can expect a mix of indie, electro, punk, and rock in a budget-friendly, student atmosphere. Weekly, Smile at the Star and Garter [32] in East Manchester is something of a local indie institution with a great playlist. Be warned, it sells out very early and can often be unbearably busy as a result of this. Saturdays also play host to Tiger Lounge near the Town Hall. This plays more in the way of lounge alongside experimental and indie sounds.

If you want to hear music by Manchester bands like The Stone Roses, visit Fifth Avenue on Princess Street, often brimming with students — unsurprising when you see the cheap drinks prices! They also feature themes such as toga and foam parties. The other, rival centre club for indie music is 42nd Street, just off Deansgate. It plays a mixture of classic and modern indie, 60's pop, and 70's funk and soul.

To enjoy Gay Manchester, it is probably best to visit Canal Street with its concentration of bars and clubs and visit places that appeal along the way. Just off Canal Street, the most popular gay clubs are Essential, a multi-floor super-club open until the early hours (sometimes as late as 8AM), Cruz 101 (Manchester's longest running gay club) and Poptastic, a two-room pop and indie club held at Alter Ego every Tuesday and Saturday night. Although entry can be expensive, this is usually reflected in a reduced price bar inside the club.

For bars, try the cocktail lounge Socio Rehab in the Northern Quarter (ask a taxi driver where it is) and Tribeca on Sackville Street (in the popular Gay Village). Trof, a funky student bar in Fallowfield, has recently opened a second venture, Trof North, on Thomas Street in the Northern Quarter.

Although there are still plenty of cafes and traditional pubs in Manchester, bars and restaurants with much more bohemian and cosmopolitan feels to them are now dominating. The better traditional pubs include:

  • Lass O'Gowrie at 36 Charles Street.
  • Salisbury at 2 Wakefield Street off of Oxford Road.
  • Peveril of the Peak. Behind The Bridgewater Hall at 27 Great Bridgewater Street.
  • Britons Protection. 50 Bridgewater Street, behind the stage door entrance of the Bridgewater Hall. It is here where many a poor mug "took The King's Shilling" and found himself pressganged into the army.
  • Sinclairs. This is just by Harvey Nichols store at 2 Cathedral Gates.
  • Grey Horse Inn at 80 Portland Street.
  • The Old Wellington Inn, the oldest pub in Manchester. It was opened in 1552. Along with Sinclair's the whole place was moved, a couple of hundred yards down the road at number 4, as part of the development of New Cathedral Street, after the IRA bomb of 1996.
  • The Marble Arch Inn, 76 Rochdale Road. Real ale brewed on the premises and cask ale from micro-breweries nationwide.

Comedy wise, Manchester has a fair number of offerings: The Frog and Bucket at 96 Oldham Street offers student friendly prices and The Comedy Store at 1a-3 Deansgate Locks is the largest comedy venue in town. XS Malarkey at 341-343 Wilmslow Road in Fallowfield is cheap but good.

  • Hilton Chambers, 15 Hilton Street Manchester, M1 1JJ (, +44 (0) 161 236 4414, [33]. A popular youth hostel which is part of the 2nd most popularly rated hostel chain worldwide. Their accommodations include 24-hour check in, wifi, a guest kitchen, TV, common area, and a continental breakfast included in the rate. They also have a BBQ on the rooftop deck. £15-25 for dorms, £45-70 for private rooms.  edit
  • YHA Manchester, Potato Wharf Castlefield Manchester, M3 4NB (, +44 (0) 845 371 9647, [34]. This hostel is centrally located by the canal, and offers a game room, TV, cafe and restaurant, guest kitchen, laundry, internet access, and parking facilities. £18 for a dorm bed.  edit
  • Manchester Hotels, City Centre Manchester, [35]. This Manchester Hotel provides all types of accommodation in Manchester aswell as Manchester City Centre Accommodation. £19 for a single room.  edit
  • Trafford Hall Hotel, 23 Talbot Road, Old Trafford, Manchester, M16 0PE (, +44 (0) 161 848 7791, [36]. This hotel is located near old trafford football ground and has great transport access to Salford and the city centre. £50 for a hotel room.  edit
  • Sach Hotel, Tib Street Manchester, [37]. Britannia Sachas is a popular hotel located near Manchester city centre. from £26 for a single room.  edit
  • Sizzly Hotel Manchester, Manchester Piccadilly, [38]. Hotel is located near Manchester Piccadilly train station. from £32 for a single room.  edit
  • Arora International Manchester, 18-24 Princess Street Manchester, M1 4LY (, +44 (0) 161 236 8999 (fax: +44 (0) 161 236 3222), [39]. A modern hotel inside a fine old building with restored facade. Rooms are reasonably spacious for the UK, bathrooms modern and there is air conditioning. The beds are comfortable and the rooms have irons, safes, fridges and heated bathroom mirrors. It is very centrally located in the Manchester city centre, being just across the road from the Manchester Art Gallery, close to China Town and a wide variety of entertainment venues and restaurants. Even reluctant walkers will not need wheeled transport to get around. The staff are friendly and helpful. Residential floors are secured; access requires your room key card. Breakfast has a good selection and may be included in the room rate. It is eaten in the hotel's own Obsidian Restaurant and Bar located in the basement and accessible by lift if you don't want to leave the hotel. The Obsidian also has its own separate street entrance. In room broadband internet is available for a fee. The reception area is modest. Parking is a few hundreds of yards away in a multi-storey public park; the hotel has none of its own. £130.  edit
  • SACO Apartments, 5 Piccadilly Place, Manchester, M1 3BP, +44 (0) 117 970 6999 (fax: +44 (0) 117 974 5939), [40]. checkin: 16:00; checkout: 10:00. Serviced apartments set over the top of the new piazza in Piccadilly Place. The apartments are very conveniently located, with Manchester Metropolitan University, Manchester Art Gallery, Chinatown and The Palace Theatre only a stones throw away. Rooms are well-equipped with necessities like wireless Internet, a direct dial phone, separate showers, digital tv and CD/DVD player and more. The lobby includes a lift, off-site gym and car parking. From £72.  edit
  • Marriott Victoria and Albert Hotel, Water Street Manchester, M3 4JQ (, +44 (0) 161 832 1188, [41]. Built in 1844 and restored immaculately in 2005, this 4-star hotel is one of Manchester's most deluxe accommodations, on the banks of the Irwell River. The hotel is within walking distance from the Opera House and the Palace Theatre, and has a gourmet restaurant, bar, and lounge. The hotel is totally smoke-free except for designated rooms on the 2nd floor. £150.  edit
  • Radisson SAS Hotel Manchester Airport, Chicago Avenue, Ringway, Greater Manchester, M90 3RA, +44 (0) 161 490 5000 (fax: +44 (0) 161 490 5100), [42]. Very convenient location for corporate and leisure travellers, with stunning views in Business Class with direct access to both its own station and to Manchester Airport. The high-speed wireless internet is reasonably priced, with a fantastic restaurant and lavishly equipped health club. £75-250.  edit

There are thousands of hotel beds in the city ranging from 5 star establishments to bed and breakfast. If in doubt consult the tourist office, behind the Town Hall on St Peter's Square. See City Information section for contact details and address.

Self Catering

Self catering apartments in Manchester are now becoming popular alternatives to 'traditional' hotel stays. There are thousands of self catering apartments available throughout the city centre and outskirts - providing accommodation for up to 8 people at a time, for stays of anything from one night to 1 year. You can expect noisy neighbours at weekends! Do also take care of the place you are staying in as, according to the local press, there have been some horror stories of people being charged for breakages etc for which they were not resposible.


Although you will find a whole bunch of available wi-fi hot spots in central Manchester, they can be very expensive. Until the free municipal wi-fi network comes live in a few years, make best use of the free wi-fi available at:

  • Cornerhouse, 70 Oxford Street - art gallery, cinema, bar.
  • Oklahoma Cafe, 74 - 76 High Street - organic, vegetarian and fair trade coffee shop.
  • The Castle Pub, 66 Oldham Street - traditional pub *Note: currently being refurbished so may have limited service or be closed.

Stay safe

If you're uncomfortable around thousands of intoxicated young people, then you should probably avoid Friday and Saturday night taxi queues in the city centre. You should also avoid any conflict with door staff at bars, clubs and pubs.

Manchester is generally quite a safe place, especially in commercialised and tourist orientated areas. If you should wander into a less desirable area you should be very wary of street gangs hanging around. Should you encounter a group which looks suspicious, either avoid them all together and walk the other way, or try to walk past them quickly (at a distance if possible) and don't behave in a way that they may perceive as disrespectful or confrontational. This can include eye contact or accidently brushing past them with your shoulder.

Caution would be advised in the following areas:

  • Longsight. This is a somewhat rundown residential area in the shadow of the city centre, which has as yet avoided the gentrification of nearby Hulme.
  • Moss Side. This area has a notorious reputation, but it is very multicultural and worth a visit if you looking for something different, but only during the day. At night the area can be very dangerous. This area is renowned for gang warfare and knife and gun attacks on youths are not uncommon although recent police operations have been reducing this.
  • Parts of Hulme. Although this young, trendy, regenerated area would be of interest to many with its new town houses, quirky architecture and blocks of flats; just a stones throw from the centre!
  • Cheetham Hill. Not at night maybe, but during the day this suburb, to the north of Victoria Station, is a lively, colourful mixture of cultures: Jewish, Asian, and newer arrivals to the city from various parts of the world! The shopping area around "The Village" is very much like an inner London high street.
  • Wythenshawe. Much of this is a vast public housing district out towards the airport.
  • Ordsall. This area is on the up and following the example of Hulme with lots of new developments.
  • Parts of East Manchester, particularly Beswick.
  • Salford. Unless you have good reason, do not wander too far on foot at least, over the river Irwell, into Salford, from the city centre. With the great number of new residential developments in the area, it does feel more relaxed, of late, and should continue to improve over time. The straight route from Manchester centre, via Salford Cathedral along Chapel Street, to Salford University is safe.


Many countries have consulates and commissions in Manchester. For others, you may have to travel to London.

  • Australian Consulate, Chatsworth House, Lever Street, Manchester M1 2QL. Tel. 0161 228 1344 Fax: 0161 236 4074.
  • Consulate of Belgium, 76 Moss Lane Bramhall, Stockport SK7 1EJ. Tel. 0161 439 5999.
  • Consulate General of The People's Republic of China, Denison House, Denison Road, Rusholme, Manchester M14 5RY. Tel.0161 248 9304.
  • The Royal Danish Consulate, Century Buildings, St. Mary's Parsonage, Manchester M3 2DD. Tel: 0161 214 4370.
  • Trade Commission of France, 24th Floor, Sunley Tower, Piccadilly Plaza, Manchester M1.
  • Consulate of France, Davis Blank Furniss, 90 Deansgate, Manchester M3 2QJ. Tel. 0161 832 3304.
  • Trade Board of Ireland, 56 Oxford Street, Manchester M1.
  • Consulate of Italy, Rodwell Tower, 111 Piccadilly, Manchester M1.
  • Consulate of Monaco, Dene Manor, Dene Park, Manchester M20.
  • The Royal Consulate of the Netherlands, 123 Deansgate, Manchester M3.
  • Vice-consulate of Pakistan, 4th Floor Hilton House, 26/28 Hilton Street, Manchester M1.
  • Consulate General of Spain, La Brook House, 70 Spring Gardens, Manchester M2 2BQ.
  • Consulate General of Switzerland, 24th Floor, Sunley Tower, Piccadilly Plaza, Manchester M1.
  • Swedish Consulate, Lincoln House, 1 Brazennoze Street, Manchester M2 5FJ. Tel. 0161 834 4814.
  • Norwegian Consulate, International Trade centre, Churchgate House,6 Oxford Street,Manchester M60 7HF. Tel. 0161 236 1406.
  • Consulate of Iceland, 28 Macclesfield Road, Wilmslow SK9 2AF. Tel. 01625 524133.
  • Consulate of Finland, 5 Bramway,High Lane, Stockport SK6 8EN.Tel. 0161 376 4799.
  • Consulate of Czech Republic, 20 Stamford New Road,Altrincham WA14 1EJ. Tel(mob).07729834759.
  • High Commission of Cyprus, 304-306 Oxford Road, Manchester M13 9NS. Tel. 0161 276 5013.

Get out

Manchester is well placed at the heart of Northern England. Everything is within an hour away of Manchester's Piccadilly and Victoria stations; major cities, National Parks, picturesque scenery, seaside resorts and swanky suburbs can all be reached by train, usually for under/around £10 return.

  • Blackpool — Around 1 hour by train. Previously known as 'The Playground of England'. Famed for a wild night out and favoured by Stag and Hen parties. An education, with some fantastic gay clubs to rival those anywhere! Blackpool's attractions including Britain's busiest theme park Pleasure Beach, Blackpool and the famous "Lights" from end of August to the first weekend in November.
  • If you want a quiet day by the seaside try Southport, north of Liverpool, and the Northwest's best kept secret! Lord Street is a must. Upmarket shopping and tea rooms combine with the beach to make Southport a nice relaxing day out. Accessible by train from Manchester in around one hour.
  • The North Wales seaside resorts of Rhyl , Prestatyn and Llandudno are around an hour and a half to two hours away from Manchester.
  • Formby near Southport is a nice day out. Some picturesque sand-dunes, red squirrel preservation area, an ice cream van and a lovely beach, without the usual British seaside resort junk (arcade games, amusements etc). A change of train is required, so journey times are over an hour away. You can access the northern end from Southport quite easily.
  • Leeds — Less than an hour from Manchester, in West Yorkshire, this is the largest city in Yorkshire and now a major financial centre, as well as home to The Royal Armories Collection, good museums and galleries and the much praised West Yorkshire Playhouse Theatre. There is great shopping to be had, some of which is housed in elegant victorian arcades, and many excellent restaurants too. Get there by coach/bus from Manchester Central Coach Station, Chorlton Street (cheaper by far, as many locals will confirm, and often more reliable than the train).
  • Bradford. This city is next door to Leeds, so close their suburbs merge into one, and boasts the fabulous Alhambra Theatre, The National Media Museum, with a giant IMAX screen, and the German Merchants' Quarter, which is also well worth a visit.
  • Liverpool was 2008 European Capital of Culture, and is booming again, being seen by many in The North West as a strong rival to Manchester. Often seen as quicker than the train is the hourly coach service to Liverpool from Chorlton Street Coach Station. A day return is a real bargain and you are in Liverpool in about an hour. This can be a little longer, at times, but the friendly staff at the coach station can advise you how long the trip takes at busier times. The River Mersey and Liverpool's Albert Dock, along with the city's breathtaking skyline and cosmopolitain character, make it definitely worth a visit, with museums of national importance, a wealth of fine victorian and georgian buildings as well as two very contrasting cathedrals.

"Liverpool One", the new city centre shopping centre, might not yet boast a Harvey Nichols or Selfridges, but all other big names are there including an excellent John Lewis and great eating places too, overlooking Liverpool's own wheel and a fantastic urban park leading through to Albert Dock.

  • Chester — Take a Direct train from Manchester Piccadilly or Oxford Road stations to this compact Roman city in Cheshire on the edge of North Wales. Old buildings and cobbled streets will greet you as well as the unique shopping streets with two storeys. You can also walk around the city centre on the Roman Walls. Lots of inviting tea rooms and pubs await you too as well as the cathedral and Roman remains.
The city's zoo is one of the best in the country, and can be found on the edge of the city, near the main Park & Ride car park, which is easily reached from Manchester or Liverpool and well signposted. The "Blue Planet Aquarium" and "Cheshire Oaks Outlet Centre", near to each other, are but a short drive from the zoo also.
In Chester listen out for all the accents, including a lot of Welsh voices, mixed with those of nearby Liverpool, Manchester and beyond!
  • Sheffield, in South Yorkshire, is less well known to Manchester people, due to poor road links, but it is less than 40 miles away and the train service from Piccadilly is good and the journey a scenic one. This fine, industrial city is said to be built on seven hills and was once home to a thriving steel industry.
  • Preston — This Lancashire town still retains an "old northern" culture and is the UK's newest city, having been at last granted that status. The city centre is currently undergoing a £700 million redevelopment project. Preston is about a 40 minute drive north of Manchester and also accessible by train or coach. Preston is well worth a visit. It is the administrative centre of the County of Lancashire and home to County Hall, The National Football Museum (this is now due to move, in part or wholly, to Manchester's Urbis Building) and one of the region's newer universities.
  • Peak District for grass and hills. About 15 miles to the east of the city. A National Park and one of the most beautiful parts of the country. Buxton and the villages around are worth a look. Hadfield and Glossop are around 30 minutes train ride away from Piccadilly. Edale and Buxton are under an hour away.
  • The Lake District — For a bit of greenery in a National Park, go to the north. Of international poetic repute and one of the most beautiful parts of England. About an hour away.
  • Heaton Park — Ok, not exactly deep countryside but the nearest suburban Manchester can offer. Heaton Park is served by Metrolink trams around 10 minutes away from Manchester Victoria on the Bury Line, so it is great if you want a break from the city but are short on time! The tram station is on the Prestwich side of the park. The 135 bus from Manchester centre will take you to the same entrance, as will the 137 and 138. Some other buses will take you to the Middleton Road side to the east of the park. You could easily spend a whole day in this expansive park, with loads of attractions including pitch and putt, the boating lake, the tramway museum, former stately home "Heaton Hall". Finish off with the excellent views of the City and surrounding countryside from the highest point in Manchester "Heaton Park Temple".
  • Delamere Forrest and Tatton Park are beautiful areas of Mid-Cheshire on the Manchester-Chester via Stockport line. Alight at Delamere and Knutsford stations respectively.
  • Huddersfield — A solid Victorian gem! Around 30 minutes away by Transpennine Express. This fine town is in West Yorkshire.
  • Wigan — The western part of Greater Manchester, home to the 1970's Northern Soul scene, famous for it's premier league football league team 'Wigan Athletic' and pies. The shopping district has been greatly expanded with the grand arcade shopping centre opening in 2007. Wigan is around a 20-35 minutes by train ride from central Manchester depending on the service and line or 1 hour by services 32 & 33 by bus.
  • Rochdale — Also within Greater Manchester and home town of Gracie Fields, boasting a Victorian Gothic town hall to rival Manchester's. The town is around a 15-20 minute train ride from Victoria or bus from Shudehill Interchange. The Cooperative Movement started here and there is a dedicated museum.
  • Stockport is in the south of the conurbation and boasts the Hat Museum and the 1930's Plaza Cinema and Theatre. Trains from Piccadilly take around 13 minutes and there are also excellent bus links. You can visit the underground, former World War II bomb shelters..
  • Bolton - The most northern district of Greater Manchester, famous for Bolton Wanderers FC, Bolton Market and the home of comic Peter Kay. Bolton is around 20-25 minutes by train or 1 hour by bus on services 8, 36 & 37
  • Bury, Oldham, Ashton-under-Lyne, and Altrincham are all satellite towns, within Greater Manchester, each with their distinct feeling and market-town atmosphere. They are all under 25 minutes way from the city centre by train or Metrolink tram or a little more by bus.
This is a usable article. It has information for getting in as well as some complete entries for restaurants and hotels. An adventurous person could use this article, but please plunge forward and help it grow!

1911 encyclopedia

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From LoveToKnow 1911

STALYBRIDGE, a municipal and parliamentary borough of Cheshire, England; the parliamentary borough extending into Lancashire. Pop. (1901), 27,673. It lies on the river Tame, in a hilly district, 6 m. E. of Manchester, and is served by the London & North-Western, Great Central, and Lancashire & Yorkshire railways. Immediately to the west lie the towns of Dukinfield, and across the river in Lancashire, Ashton-underLyne; while 2 m. south of Stalybridge is the town of Hyde. The whole district is thus very densely populated. Stalybridge is one of the oldest seats of the cotton manufacture in this locality, the first cotton mill having been erected in 1776, and the first steam engine in 1795. There are also machine works, nail works, paper mills, and iron and brass foundries. The development of the town is modern, as it was created a market town in 1828, incorporated in 1857, and created a parliamentary borough, returning one member, in 1867. It is under a mayor, 7 aldermen and 22 councillors. Area, 3130 acres.

<< Johann Gottfried Stallbaum

Stefan Stambolov >>


Got something to say? Make a comment.
Your name
Your email address