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Groups Guide 2011 - cover:Layout 1 12/01/2011 09:26 Page 1

Manchester Group Travel Guide 2011

The Quays, p16

Markets not to miss, p19

Culture Vulture, p4

Groups Guide 2011 - cover:Layout 1 12/01/2011 09:26 Page 2

:lma^e^Z]bg`iZll^g`^kmkZglihkm\hfiZgrbgFZg\a^lm^k% LpZglMkZo^eEbfbm^]Zk^ie^Zl^]mhh__^khnkfZg\a^lm^k \hgg^\m^]]^lmbgZmbhgfZgZ`^f^gml^kob\^%li^\bÛ\Zeer _h\nl^]hgma^g^^]lh_Zee[nlbg^ll%e^blnk^mhnkblf oblbmhklmhma^\bmr' With our environmentally friendly fleet of fifty satellite tracked Mercedes Benz cars, coaches & MPV’s, we can guarantee maximum service delivery throughout Greater Manchester, from airport - station transfers to meetings, conferences, hospitality & leisure events. Please contact our dedicated ‘manchester connected’ team, who are available 24/7 to deliver a complete travel solution from one to ten thousand passengers.

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Groups Guide 2011 - inner:Layout 1 11/01/2011 10:27 Page 1


Culture Vulture, p4

Introducing Manchester


News and developments


Culture vulture


Shop til you drop


Markets not to miss


After hours


What’s on


The Quays


Sporting city


Greater Manchester


Manchester’s Countryside


A great day out in Bolton


Brilliant Bury


Days out with a difference


The Quays, p14

Parks, gardens and stately homes 24

Discover what’s great in Greater Manchester, p18

England’s North West


Where to stay


Manchester Airport


Travel trade service


Great Days Out Fair


We hope you have found this guide informative and look forward to welcoming you to Manchester in 2011! Visit Manchester has made every effort to ensure that the information contained in this guide is correct at the time of going to print, but changes can occur after publishing. Therefore we cannot accept liability for any loss or damage arising from its use. However, if you do spot any errors or omissions please contact No part of this document may be reproduced in part or wholly by any means, electronic, mechanical, without prior permission of the publishers in writing. Visit Manchester, Carver’s Warehouse, 77 Dale Street,

Parks, gardens and stately homes, p24 Manchester, M1 2HG


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Piccadilly Gardens National Football Museum

Introducing Manchester With its proud heritage, charming countryside and world class attractions, Manchester has something to offer your group, whatever your interest. Most of the region’s attractions are free so group trips are becoming ever more popular. The world’s first industrial city, Manchester has evolved into a vibrant, modern metropolis that’s home to a growing number of cultural and leisure attractions you won’t find anywhere else. Old gothic buildings juxtaposed with striking modern structures, the city’s landscape mixes old with the new. A compact city centre makes it easy to get around on foot and the free metroshuttle buses run three circular routes around the city centre every 5-10 mins.

There is plenty of coach parking, with short, medium and long stay bays avaliable. Many attractions offer added extras for visiting groups and coach drivers. A spectacular events programme prevails throughout the year, so whether its sport, performance, comedy or culture that makes your group trip great, you’ll be sure to find it in Manchester. 2011 sees a groundbreaking event series that’s not to be missed! Highlights include: • Manchester International Festival (MIF) • World premiere of Ghost the Musical

• Ford Maddox Brown at Manchester Art Gallery • National Football Museum opens in 2011. Out of the city, the ten surrounding boroughs offer distinct treasures, from picturesque country parks and stunning stately homes to waterfront views and quintessential places to eat. With so much to offer, you’ll need more than one day to see it all. Come explore, discover and enjoy.

Hard Rock Cafe Exchange Square, Manchester, M4 2BS | 0161 831 6700 | Upon entering a Hard Rock Cafe you will receive an authentic and unpredictable experience, whilst being surrounded by the world’s largest music memorabilia collection. We cater for groups of all sizes with the famed Hard Rock food and specially designed ‘Groupies’ menus. The venue boasts its own dedicated Sales Manager who will assist with your booking and oversee your event. Open daily: Sunday-Thursday 12pm-12am, Friday 12pm-2am, Saturday 11.30-2am (closed Christmas Day) Average length of visit: 2 hours Group Size: Min 10, Max 200 2

✓ Pre-booking required ✓ Gift shop ✓ Meet & Greet

✓ Restaurant

✓ Guide concessions ✓ Disabled access ✓ Group discounts

✓ Toliets

✓ Guided tours

✓ Study area

Ideal pupil to staff ratio: 10:1 ✓ Coach drop-off/pick up point

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News and developments

Manchester city-region is a dynamic destination that never stays still. A number of developments across the city have taken place over the last year, enhancing its reputation as a leading groups destination and making your visit more enjoyable

New hotels

New Manchester Visitor Information Centre

A number of new hotels have opened over the last twelve months, giving groups much greater choice of accommodation. These include Holiday Inn Express (Oxford Road), Holiday Inn (MediaCityUK). The Macdonald Townhouse Manchester (Portland Street) has recently been refurbished.

Located in Piccadilly Plaza in the heart of the city, the state-of-the-art visitor centre opened its doors in June 2010. The first stop for any visitor to the city, friendly staff can advise you on the latest things happening around Greater Manchester and you can buy a gift from the extensive range of merchandise on offer.

Manchester International Festival returns Spring 2011 sees the return of the biennial festival, MIF. With world exclusive premieres and performances from Victoria Wood and Marina Abramovic to name but a few, the 2011 MIF will be bigger and better than ever.

National Football Museum

People’s History Museum Following a two year redevelopment, the People’s History Museum reopened in February 2010 and has been a huge hit with visitors of all ages. Special group tours of the museum galleries can be booked in advance (nominal fee applies and subject to availability) and their Left Bank café is perfect for afternoon tea.

Autumn 2011 will be an exciting time for football fans across the country. The National Football Museum opens at Urbis, bringing a brand new visitor experience to Manchester and promises an amazing journey through football history.

Ordsall Hall re-opens The restoration process of this great Tudor Hall will be complete in Spring 2011. Haunted by three ghosts, the Hall hosts regular ghost evenings led by physic Gavin Cromwell and is a huge hit with visiting groups.


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Culture vulture

2011 is the year that Manchester’s cultural kudos really will shine. The third Manchester’s museums Manchester International and galleries are Festival takes place in cultural thriving, ranging from venues across the city in July contemporary modern and debuts never seen before to historical heritage works from renowned artists such as Antony & the Johnsons and Victoria Wood. The newly re-opened People’s History Museum (PHM) pays tribute to the struggle for democracy and social justice. Their interactive exhibitions make great group experiences and free guided tours take place on selected Friday afternoons. Don’t miss: Death & the Working Class, a captivating collection looking at funeral customs over the last 200 years. (Until 2 May 2011)

Creative Tourist

Fully re-open and glorious after an £8.5m redevelopment, MOSI (Museum of Science & Industry) celebrates the Year of Computing with the 60th Anniversary of the Ferranti Mark 1, the world’s first computer, made in Manchester.

Whitworth Art Gallery

Manchester Museum

The Whitworth Art Gallery, Wimslow Road, has a fantastic

MOSI (Museum of Science & Industry) Liverpool Road, Castlefield, Manchester, M3 4FP 0161 606 0177 | | Manchester’s largest cultural attraction, located on the site of the world’s oldest surviving passenger railway station. Explore many lively and inspirational galleries, showcasing the North West’s industrial, scientific and social achievements. Demonstrations of original mill engines and textile machines, plus tours by historical costumed characters, bring this amazing museum to life. Special lunch packages for groups now available in our brand-new restaurant located in the Great Western Warehouse. Open daily: 10am-5pm (ex. 24-26 Dec & 1 Jan) Admission: Free to main museum Average length of visit: 3-4 hours Group size: Min 10, no max 4

✓ Pre-booking required ✓ Picnic area ✓ Group discounts

✓ Disabled access

✓ Guided tours*

✓ Toilets

✓ Gift shop

✓ Teacher/pupil pack

✓ Restaurant/café

✓ Education officer

Ideal pupil to staff ratio: 7:1 ✓ Coach drop-off/pick up point. Parking 3.7km *pre-booking required

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reputation for its popular art collections. Feburary 2011 sees the largest collection of works from renowned artist Mary Kelly: Projects 1973 - 2010. The museum has free entry and the café and surrounding gardens make it perfect for a group day out. Further down Wimslow Road is The Gallery of Costume, Platt Hall. Re-opened following a major £1 million renovation, the grade II listed Georgian House, has one of the largest costume collections in Britain. Their permanent display Suffragettes to Super Models is one not to be missed! The Hatworks in Stockport is also worth a visit, their guided tours provide a great insight into the history of the hatting industry. The Manchester Museum, Oxford Road, has awe inspiring exhibitions in natural history, from dinosaurs to mummies. April sees the re-opening of the much loved Living Planet Mammals Hall. The Cornerhouse, Oxford Street, is a charming, contemporary art house

showing the best in modern art and film. Don’t miss the live broadcast of Donmar Warehouse’s King Lear in February. For Pre-Raphaelite art, Manchester Art Galley, Mosley Street, will not disappoint. The gallery offers guided tours for groups and the café is a favourite with locals and visitors alike. October 2011 see’s a major exhibition of the Pre-Raphaelite pioneer, Ford Maddox Brown which includes masterpieces never seen before in the UK. Situated in Manchester’s waterfront, The Quays is home to two very distinct centres of cultural and architectural importance. The Lowry is the permanent home of one of the largest collections of work by the Salfordian artist LS Lowry. Across the water, award winning Imperial War Museum North (IWMN) showcases how life is shaped by war. Fascinating and thoughtprovoking, May 2011 sees the largest UK exhibition of its kind, War Correspondent: reporting under fire since 1914.


For more information visit which gives you up to date information on what’s happening across the city-region.

Don’t Miss! In October, galleries across the city participate in the Asia Triennial Festival which sees themed collections, exhibtions and events taking place at: • Bury Art Gallery • Castlefield Art Gallery • Chinese Arts Centre • Cornerhouse • Cube • Jodrell Bank • Madlab • Manchester Art Gallery • MMU • People’s History Museum • The International 3 • The Lowry • The Whitworth Art Gallery • John Ryland’s Library

Manchester Art Gallery Mosley Street, Manchester, M2 3JL | 0161 2358 855| Visit Manchester Art Gallery in the heart of the city and discover our internationally renowned collection of paintings, sculpture and decorative art. Catch this year’s programme, which includes the major exhibition Ford Madox Brown: Pre-Raphaelite Pioneer. Book a tour and explore the gallery’s highlights. Relax over lunch or coffee and cake in our licensed café and browse a wide range of prints, books and gifts in our shop. Open: (ex. 24-26, 31 Dec, 1 Jan & Good Friday), Tue-Sun 10am-5pm Closed Mondays except Bank Holidays Admission: Free, tours from £3 pp Average length of visit: 3 hours

✓ Pre-booking required ✓ Tea room/café ✓ Meet & Greet

✓ Disabled access

✓ Guided tours

✓ Toilets

✓ Gift shop

✓ Teacher/pupil pack

✓ Restaurant

✓ Education officer

Pupil to staff ratio: 7:1 ✓ Coach drop-off/pick up point


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Shop til you drop!

From boutique chic to high street heaven, a group visit to Manchester would not be complete without some retail therapy The bustling Market Street and adjoining Arndale Centre - the largest inner-city shopping centre in the UK - offers over 240 stores, including high street favourites like Next, Dorothy Perkins, Primark and TK Maxx.

The Avenue King Street

Close by in Exchange Square, is the Triangle Shopping Centre, where a mix of trendy outlets and restaurants are housed in the beautifully restored Corn Exchange building. Take in panoramic views of the city on the Manchester Wheel which sits proudly in the middle of this shopper’s paradise. Around the corner, New Cathedral Street is where high-end designer stores Harvey Nichols and Selfridges take pride of place. Both department stores stock extravagant fashion brands and their fantastic food halls and bars mean you can indulge in a spot of people watching over lunch. Luxury brands such as Louis Vuitton, Reiss and Hugo Boss are also along this tree lined boulevard.

St Ann’s Square and King Street, a few minutes walk from Exchange Square, is where designer labels and unique boutiques reign. Prestigious brands such as Vivienne Westwood, Habitat and Russell & Bromley sit side by side with rare Manchester retailers like Edwards of Manchester, the oldest trading shoe shop in the city and Oasis front man Liam Gallagher’s Pretty Green store. Along the café lined Deansgate, department store, Kendals, home to House of Fraser, has remained a beacon in Manchester’s retail landscape for over 175 years. If you are visiting John Ryland’s Library or the People’s History Museum, you will discover Manchester’s newest shopping precinct, The Avenue, in Spinningfields. Cutting edge brands like DKNY, Mulberry and the flagship Armani store can be found here along with a fantastic mix of restaurants, bars and cafés that cater for groups.

The Trafford Centre The Trafford Centre, Manchester, M17 8AA | 0161 749 1717 / 1718 | The Trafford Centre is an award-winning shopping centre, conveniently situated alongside the M60. There are over 200 shops, including John Lewis, Selfridges, Debenhams and Marks & Spencer. It’s the only place outside London’s Oxford Street with this combination of stores. There are 60 restaurants and cafes to choose from and just next door you’ll find Trafford Quays Leisure Village, with everything from skiing to golf. Open: Mon-Fri 10am-10pm, Sat 10am-8pm, Sun 12noon-6pm, Bank hols 10am-8pm, Christmas times vary, see website for details Admission: Free Average visit: 3 hours Group Size: Min 10, No Max 6

✓ Pre-booking optional ✓ Picnic Area ✓ Meet & Greet

✓ Disabled access

✓ Group discounts

✓ Toilets

✓ Guided tours

✓ Education officer

✓ Restaurant/cafè

✓ Teacher/pupil pack

✓ Driver/Guide concessions ✓ Coach parking on site. Drop-off/pick up point

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Triangle Shopping Centere

Twenty minutes out of town, The Trafford Centre offers a spectacular shopping experience, ideal for groups. Winner of the ‘Best Shopping Venue 2010’ at the Group Leisure Awards, the opulent indoor mall is home to over 220 stores, an entertainment complex and a large food and drink area with over 60 restaurants to choose from. Pre-booking is a must, with a meet and greet welcome for coach parties, passenger discounts and driver meal vouchers also available. Free parking, late opening hours and the nearby hotels and leisure village mean that it’s the perfect destination for a group break.

Arndale Centere

Manchester Wheel

For groups who love a bargain, The Lowry Outlet Mall, The Quays, is the place to go. Brands such as M&S, Whistles, and Austin Reed all offer 60% off RRP and every Tuesday, seniors over 60 can get up to a further 20% off in participating stores. Coach parties that pre-book are rewarded with a 10% discount voucher booklet and coach drivers get a £10 gift voucher. The Lowry Outlet Mall’s Special Group Days are hugely popular with visiting groups that include an afternoon Tea Dance with Greg Francis and his Band.

The Trafford Centre

The Lowry Outlet Mall

Manchester Markets Various locations | 0161 234 1338 | Manchester’s wonderfully diverse selection of markets will keep you entertained all year long. Choose from local markets bursting with character or quirky city centre markets full of fresh and interesting produce. Seasonal markets such as the Spring Market and famous Christmas Markets are ideal attractions for groups. Or why not try a tour of all of Manchester’s traditional markets to experience that unique market atmosphere. ✓ Restaurant ✓ Food stalls

Admission: Free Group Size: No Min, No Max

✓ Disabled access ✓ Toilets


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Trafford Centre


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Manchester Christmas Market

Feast Market

Markets not to miss A visit to one of Manchester’s wonderfully diverse markets is a must for any group trip to the city. Seasonal specialist markets, from the quirky to the spectacular, take place throughout the year and the city streets are dotted with more permanent markets year-round. So whether your group are foodies, fashionistas, bargain-hunters or simply looking for great produce from independent traders, Manchester Markets will add bags of character to any group visit.

Piccadilly Craft and Gift Market

Arts and Crafts Market

Every weekend (Fridays and Saturdays) in April and September, Piccadilly Gardens Independent traders and craftspeople sell their wares over five consecutive weekends.

5 - 14 August, St Ann’s Square Multicoloured wares from across the globe including Oriental bags, fairly traded gift items from Africa, Indian crafts, and silk and cotton handbags from Thailand. Plus, a special summer beer garden, offering great food and drink.

Valentine’s Market 11 - 12 February, Piccadilly Gardens An eleventh hour saviour for lovers who don't know what to buy their special someone. You'll find lots of original, non-corny gifts.

Spring Market 9 May - 5 June, St Ann’s Square Stalls decked out in flowers sell everything from arts, crafts and jewellery to clothing, as well as a wide variety of fine food and drink.

Book and Art Market 17 - 18 June, St Ann’s Square Buy original pieces of art, including paintings, prints, photography and glass art all for sale by artists. Or purchase books directly from independent publishers and listen to some of the UK’s leading lights in Spoken Word.

Feast Market 5 - 16 October, St Ann’s Square One of the most popular markets in the calendar, food-lovers flock to this annual market to indulge in some delicious treats, as some of the best local and international produce is on offer.

Manchester Christmas Markets 18 November - 21 December, Various locations Spectacular and much loved Christmas market that trails through eight locations and transforms the city into a winter wonderland. An unrivalled festive experience. See for full details. Spring Market

Manchester Christmas Market


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After hours

With a fantastic night-time economy, no two evenings are ever the same Whether its ballet at The Lowry, plays at The Palace, musicals at the Opera House or contemporary dance at Contact, a variety of theatres will keep your group entertained. Pre-show meal promotions in many of the city’s restaurants offer great value for groups.

Contact Theatre

Manchester’s passion for music ensures there is a wide choice of venues where groups can catch live concerts.

The Bridgewater Hall, home to the Hallé orchestra, regularly host mid-week recitals whilst a favourite at the weekends is the Royal Northern College of Music’s classical performances. The MEN Arena, one of the largest concert venues in Europe, is where worldwide artists perform to thousands each week. Both the O2 Apollo and Manchester Academies are the places to go to see live bands and unsigned talent.

Royal Exchange Theatre St Ann’s Square, Manchester, M2 7DH | 0161 833 0483 |

”There was a buzz of excitement in the coach returning home… thank you for a memorable day.” We offer fantastic group savings with a friendly booking service. Save up to £3.50 off each ticket and receive free seats for every 20 that you buy! We are centrally located in Manchester city centre with easy access to all nearby coach parks. Open: Monday-Saturday 9.30am-Curtain up (ex 25 Dec) Admission: £4-30 Average visit: 2½ hours Group Size: Min 10, No Max

✓ Pre-booking required ✓ Tea room/café ✓ Group discounts

✓ Disabled access

✓ Guided tours

✓ Toilets

✓ Gift shop

✓ Education officer

✓ Restaurant

Pupil to staff ratio: 15:1 ✓ Coach drop-off/pick up point

The Palace Theatre & Opera House The Palace Theatre, Oxford Street, M1 6FT | The Opera House, Quay Street M3 3HP | 08443 72 72 72 (Monday-Friday 10am-6pm) | Offering the very best benefits to our group organisers including meal deal and afternoon tea packages, group discounts, tours and launch invites, The Palace Theatre & Opera House are two of the North West’s most prestigious venues. Get your group together and experience live theatre at its very best. • No booking fees • Dedicated groups line • West-End shows

✓ Pre-booking required ✓ Disabled access ✓ Group discounts

✓ Toilets

✓ Guided tours

✓ Bar/refreshments

✓ Gift shop

Open: The theatre is open all year (ex. 25 Dec) Average length of visit: 3 hours Group Size: Min 10, No Max


✓ Teacher/pupil pack Ideal pupil to staff ratio: 10:1

✓ Coach drop-off/pick up point

Groups Guide 2011 - inner:Layout 1 11/01/2011 10:29 Page 11


M A N C H E S T E R O P E R A H O U S E 2 8 M A R C H - 1 4 M AY 2 0 1 1 G R E AT R AT E S F O R G R O U P S

08443 72 72 72




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What’s on?

From festivals and cultural celebrations to show stopping tours and performances, here’s your guide to what’s on in Manchester in 2011

Festivals and events


National Winter Ales Festival Manchester 19 - 22 January

Chinese New Year Chinatown, 3 February ¡VIVA! Spanish and Latin American Film Festival Cornerhouse, March Eurocultured Street Festival City-wide, March Great Days Out Fair Museum of Museums, 5 March Manchester Irish Festival Manchester, 5 - 21 March Queer Up North The Gay Village, May Eurocultured Festival Castlefield, May FutureEverything City-wide, 11 - 14 May Hungry Pigeon Festival Northern Quarter, 27 - 29 May

Feb Mar

Apr May Jun

● ● ● ● ● ● ●

Dot to Dot Festival City-wide, 30 May

Manchester International Festival City-wide, 30 June - 17 July Wigan International Jazz Festival Town Centre, 9 - 17 July RHS Flower Show Tatton Park, 20 - 24 July 24:7 Theatre Festival City-wide, 21 - 29 July Manchester Jazz Festival City-wide, 22 - 30 July

● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ●

Family Friendly Film Festival City-wide, August

Bolton Food & Drink Festival Bolton Town Centre, 26 - 29 August

Manchester Pride The Gay Village, 26 - 29 August

Black Pudding Throwing Championships Ramsbottom, 11 September The Warehouse Project Start Under Piccadilly Station, September - January Asia Triennial Manchester Various galleries city-wide, October In The City Music Festival City-wide, October Manchester Comedy Festival City-wide, October Manchester Food & Drink Festival City-wide, October Manchester Literature Festival City-wide, October Manchester Science Festival City-wide, October Un-convention Festival Salford, October Grimm Up North Film Festival City-centre, 28 - 31 October Exposures Festival Cornerhouse, November



Manchester Day Parade City-wide, 19 June

Aug Sep Oct Nov

1940s Wartime Weekend East Lancashire Railway, Bury, 28 - 30 May Oldham & Saddleworth Whit Friday Brass Band Festival District-wide, 17 June Tameside Whit Friday Brass Band Festival District-wide, 17 June


● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ●

Groups Guide 2011 - inner:Layout 1 11/01/2011 10:29 Page 13

Exhibitions and attractions


MOSI (Museum of Science & Industry) Fully re-opens

Recorders: Rafael Lozano-Hemmer Manchester Art Gallery, until 30 January Mary Kelly: Projects, 1973-2010 Whitworth Art Gallery, 19 February - 12 June

Feb Mar

Aug Sep Oct Nov


● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ●

Anish Kapoor: Flashback Manchester Art Gallery, 5 March - 5 June

● ● ● ●

Living Planet The Manchester Museum, re-opening in April

● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ●

Ordsall Hall Salford, re-opens Spring 2011 Unlocking Salford Quays: The Inside Story The Lowry, until 1 May China: Journey to the East The Manchester Museum, until 25 June Tyneside Shipyards, 1943: Photographs by Cecil Beaton IWMN, 12 June - 3 July Wonders in the Dark: Tales from the Shadows Whitworth Art Gallery, August


Year of Computing MOSI, February-June

All Aboard: Stories of War At Sea Imperial War Museum North (IWMN), until 25 April Death and the Working Class People’s History Museum (PHM), until 2 May

Apr May Jun

● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ●

In the Spotlight: 9/11 IWMN, September

Ford Madox Brown: Pre-Raphaelite Pioneer Manchester Art Gallery, From October

● ● ●

Great Northern Contemporary Craft Fair Spinningfields, TBC

National Football Museum Opening Winter 2011

● ● ● ● ●

Manchester Christmas Markets Various locations city centre Spinningfields Ice Rink, Spinningfields

Music and performance A Doll’s House Library Theatre Company at The Lowry, 24 Februay - 12 March Strictly Come Dancing The Live Tour MEN Arena, 8 February Hamlet The Lowry, 8 - 12 February Blood Brothers The Lowry, 21 - 26 February


Feb Mar

Danny Boyle’s Frankenstein Cornerhouse - live broadcast from the National Theatre, 17 March

Footloose The Lowry, 28 March - 2 April World Premiere: Corrie! Palace Theatre, 4 - 9 April EVITA Opera House, 23 - 28 May Mamma Mia Palace Theatre, 26 April - 11 June Adre Rieu MEN Arena, 21 April

Aug Sep Oct Nov


● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ●

The Cherry Orchard Cornerhouse - live broadcast from the National Theatre, 30 June

Screenfields Spinningfields, throughout June

Sister Act Opera House, 29 September - 15 October


● ● ●

X Factor Live MEN Arena, 12 - 13 March

Ghost the Musical Opera House, 28 March - 14 May

Apr May Jun

● ●

● ●


Groups Guide 2011 - inner:Layout 1 11/01/2011 10:30 Page 14 Lowry bridge

Ordsall Hall

The Quays The Quays is a stunning waterfront destination spanning the Manchester Ship Canal with plenty of group attractions Cultural venues, the Imperial War Museum North and The Lowry, both architecturally impressive buildings are connected by the Lowry bridge. Both venues are free to enter, with an ever-changing programme of exhibitions, events and performances. The Lowry houses an art gallery, restaurant and two theatres, whilst the Imperial War Museum North hosts thought provoking exhibits using interactive technology. Groups are welcomed with guided tours, reserved areas and a selection of discounts available. Ordsall Hall reopens its doors in Spring, after a major restoration programme, which has seen the museum and gallery returned to their former glory. The famous ‘ghostcams’

have also been reintroduced and the landscaping of the grounds and gardens is the final stage before visitors and groups are welcomed back. Groups can also indulge in some retail therapy at the Lowry Outlet Mall, where a fantastic selection of shops and restaurants await. Discounts are available for pre-booked coach visits and special group days are hosted throughout the year. This is just a taste of The Quays; to fully appreciate the area you will want to stay overnight. Not surprisingly, there is a wide range of accommodation for groups to choose from, budget up to 4 star properties. For more information go to

Imperial War Museum North The Quays, Trafford Wharf Road, Manchester, M17 1TZ 0161 836 4064 | | The multi-award winning Imperial War Museum North is a great free day out for all ages. Designed by world-renowned architect Daniel Libeskind to represent a globe shattered by conflict, it reveals how war shapes lives. Groups options include a variety of tours and handling session (charges apply) plus free welcome session, access to Viewing Platform and coach parking.

Open: Monday-Sunday 10am-5pm (ex. 24-26 Dec) Admission: Free Average length of visit: 1-2 hours Group size: Min 10, Max 90 14

✓ Pre-booking required ✓ Café/picnic area ✓ Meet & Greet

✓ Disabled access

✓ Group discounts

✓ Toilets

✓ Guided tours

✓ Education officer

✓ Gift shop

✓ Teacher/pupil pack Pupil to staff ratio: 10:1

✓ Coach parking on-site

ll Hall

Groups Guide 2011 - inner:Layout 1 11/01/2011 10:30 Page 15 The Lowry

Day 1: Canals and culture Morning: Board a Manchester Ship Canal Cruise, departing from The Quays. This six hour cruise takes you along 35 miles of the UK’s oldest canal, with spectacular scenery and running commentary along the way. Learn about the waterway’s 100 year history in shaping the North West while you travel to your destination, Seacombe, Merseyside. (Price includes return to departure point by dedicated bus transfer). Afternoon: Arrive at the Imperial War Museum North for lunch at their Watershard Café which offers stunning quayside views. Afterwards, explore this fascinating museum that tells the story of how life is shaped by war. Thought provoking collections and changing exhibitions throughout the year, the museum is free and offers fantastic benefits to pre-booking groups.

Manchester Ship Canal

Just 5 minutes drive away, explore the newly restored Ordsall Hall. Reopening in Manchester United Stadium

Spring 2011, this magnificent Tudor Hall includes a working museum and newly landscaped grounds and gardens for you to explore. Evening: Have a pre-show supper in one of The Quays’ fabulous restaurants, chose from British (Lime), Italian (Bella Italia; Pizza Express), French (Café Rouge) or Oriental (Pond Quay) cuisines. Take in a show at The Lowry. This magnificent building has two theatres and an art gallery and hosts performances in ballet, drama, musical theatre and opera from some of the UK’s leading production companies.

Day 2: Shopping and sport Morning: Take Manchester United’s Museum and Stadium Tour where you can learn about the club’s history, see the impressive trophy collection, visit the players changing rooms and get a photo by the pitch. Afternoon: After lunch, spend the day shopping at The Lowry Outlet Mall. Over 80 stores offer up to 60% off in clothing, health and beauty, homeware and electrical goods. Pre-booking groups receive exclusive benefits like discount books and there are regular group friendly events throughout the year. The mall also includes a cinema and food court to explore at your leisure.


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Belle Vue


Sporting city Manchester will forever be synonymous with sport, after all, it was here in 1888 that the world’s first professional football league was formed Today, the region is home to four premier league clubs that have an avid army of fans. The atmosphere across the city when the local derby is played is an experience in itself!

Football tours Go Ape!

Don’t Miss! Chill Factore

18-20 February: UCI Track Cycling World Cup Classic, Sportcity 6-13 February: National Squash Championships, Sportcity 15 May: BUPA Great Manchester Run, city centre May:Two Cities Boat Race, The Quays 2 April: National Taekwondo Championships, Sportcity 16

Stadium tours are a great way to get behind the scenes and experience football at its finest. Both Manchester United and Manchester City offer guided stadium tours. At Old Trafford’s Theatre of Dreams you can explore the club’s museum of memorabilia and impressive silverware collected over its 100-year history. At The City of Manchester Stadium, just a few miles east of the city centre, groups can visit the players changing rooms, walk through the players’ tunnel and sit in the executive boxes. Both clubs have excellent retail stores so you can pick up a souvenir too. If football doesn’t take your fancy, there’s plenty more to see and do to satisfy your sporting needs. Sportcity in East Manchester is a major complex dedicated to sporting excellence. Facilities include the national centres for track cycling and squash, the regional tennis centre and athletic arena where major track events take place. Pre-booking groups can use these facilities with professional guided tours of the area available.

A night at the races For a memorable night out, why not try Manchester Greyhound Stadium Belle Vue. The venue has ample parking and the Grandstand Restaurant on site is perfect for a pre-race supper. Why not make a night of it, put a bet on and sit trackside, close to the action.

Active pursuits Spending a day at The Trafford Quays Leisure Village will ensure an action packed experience. Choose from snow activities like skiing and tubing at Chill Factore or feel the sensation of flying at indoor skydiving centre, Airkix. If golf is more your thing, then PlayGolf Manchester is the ultimate destination to tee off with great deals on group lessons. Go Ape! a tree-top climbing adventure land situated in Rivington, Bolton is not for those who are afraid of heights! With rope ladders, zip wires and rope bridges set in deep forest, an adventure packed day awaits. Group packages include a dedicated host and parking is free. Manchester Climbing Centre, West Gorton, is another great venue for climbing enthusiasts with impressive indoor climbing walls situated in the unique St Benedict’s Church.

Groups Guide 2011 - inner:Layout 1 11/01/2011 10:30 Page 17

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Chill Factore Trafford Way, Trafford Quays Leisure Village, Manchester, M41 7JA 0161 749 2222 | | Chill Factore - Manchester’s Indoor Real Snow Centre is the coolest North West leisure destination. • Experience a real winter wonderland, where groups can ski, board, climb, shop and dine. • Perfect for guests of all ages and abilities. • Group skiing and snowboarding lessons available with friendly and professional instructors. Open: Monday-Tuesday & Thursday-Saturday 7.30am-12am, Wednesday 7am-12am, Sunday 6.30am-12am Group size: Min 10, Max 120

✓ Pre-booking required ✓ Tea room/café ✓ Meet & Greet

✓ Disabled access

✓ Group discounts

✓ Toilets

✓ Gift shop

✓ Teacher/pupil pack

✓ Restaurant

✓ Education officer

Pupil to staff ratio: 10:1 ✓ Coach parking on site


Groups Guide 2011 - inner:Layout 1 11/01/2011 10:30 Page 18

Portland Basin Museum

Stockport’s Air Raid Shelters

Wigan Pier

Discover what’s great in Greater Manchester Beyond the hustle and bustle of the city centre you’ll find a range of hidden gems in the nine borough towns that surround Manchester. From great local shopping to quality heritage attractions, Bolton, Bury, Oldham, Salford, Stockport, Tameside, Trafford, Rochdale and Wigan are all within 20-30 minutes drive. The Fred Dibnah Heritage Centre has recently opened and pays homage to Bolton’s very own world famous steeple jack. It attracts visitors from all over the UK and pre-booked groups can have a private tour of the lovingly restored house and grounds. Contact Visit Bolton to find out more 01204 334271 or email


The Portland Basin Museum in Ashton-under-Lyne is set in a restored canal warehouse and is home to collections spanning the area’s industrial heritage. Groups can be taken back to a real 1920s Tameside street and experience bygone times. Stockport’s Air Raid Shelters take you through a labyrinth of tunnels and their fascinating group guided tours let you experience life in Blitz Britain. Board the East Lancashire Steam Railway. Operating at weekends from May September, groups can take the 12 mile journey, (taking one hour in each direction) across the Irwell Valley to Heywood, stopping at the quaint villages of Rawtenstall and Ramsbottom on the way.

For further information and itineraries in Greater Manchester, go to

Top attractions Bolton Fred Dibnah Heritage Centre Bury East Lancashire Railway Oldham Gallery Oldham Salford Ordsall Hall Stockport Air Raid Shelters Tameside Museum of Manchester Regiment Trafford Dunham Massey Rochdale Touchstones Arts and Heritage Centre WiganTrencherfield Mill Engine at Wigan Pier



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Peel Tower, Ramsbottom

Take a different view of Manchester Picturesque landscapes abound in any given direction, crisscrossed by a patchwork of quaint villages, glorious waterways and a rich rural heritage that conjures some surprising events and activities It’s hard to believe the hustle and bustle of cosmopolitan city life is within touching distance. Welcome to one of the North West’s best kept secrets... ...Manchester’s Countryside! With more than 500 square miles of surprising and breathtaking scenery this wonderful region’s rural attractions spread out from the Douglas Valley and West Pennine Moors to the north, across Holcombe and Saddleworth Moors to the east and down the Piethorne Valley to the Peak District fringes of the south. Discover evocatively named villages such as Diggle and Dobson and towns in country settings brimming with charm like the picturesque village of Ramsbottom. It is in such places that you can explore halls and gardens wrapped in all year colour and fascinating heritage. And as you might expect, along with vast and diverse countryside comes vast and diverse natural heritage - flora, fauna, birdlife and wildlife.

Hundreds of miles of trails and rural path provide interesting and inspiring walking opportunities. From challenging hikes to easy going ambles, walkers are spoilt for choice. But they’re not the only ones.

Manchester’s Countryside

Add to this bridleways and on and off road cycle ways; the ample supply of rivers, lakes and canals - Manchester’s Countryside is a haven for sporting enthusiasts. And after an exhausting day exploring this wonderful region a warm welcome awaits you in the region’s countryside hotels, rural restaurants and tea rooms. Manchester’s Countryside provides a stunning backdrop to wonderful rural events. Upper Mill, Saddleworth

There are farmers markets and food and drink festivals; country fairs and fetes; Christmas markets and walking festivals. There’s even The Black Pudding Throwing World Championships! For your next group day out or short break visit Manchester’s Countryside. For itineraries and information contact Sarah Challender on 01942 828204, email or go to


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A great day out... Bolton is packed with history and heritage, unique attractions and is ideally located near the M60 and M61 motorways. Come and enjoy a top day out and discover Bolton’s distinctive character for yourself. Bolton Market, famous for its fresh fish and food stalls was recently voted Best Indoor Market at the 2010 National Market Awards. Pre-booked groups can watch professional chefs at the market’s kitchen demo area. Market Place Shopping Centre in Bolton town centre is home to well known high street stores including Debenhams, Next, Zara and H&M, along with a range of independent shops, restaurants and cafés. Bolton has some wonderful attractions including Smithills Hall, one of the best preserved manor houses in the North West and the new Bolton Lives Gallery at Bolton Museum, Aquarium and Archive which tells the story of Bolton’s links with the textile industry. The award-winning Olympus Fish and Chip Restaurant is a firm favourite with groups thanks to its fresh food and excellent customer service and has recently been completely refurbished. Olympus is open between 8.30am and 7pm Monday to Saturday. The Last Drop Village, overlooking the West Pennine Moors, is a picturesque collection of Georgian farm buildings converted into craft shops, complete with a village pub, tea room and a spa hotel. Also here is The City Cottage where groups can book onto a range of specialist courses including cheese making, sausage making and bee keeping.

Visit Bolton is here to make your trip a success and offers a free service to help with itinerary planning, free coach parking and meal-stops. Call us on 01204 334271 to find out more. 20

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Slattery’s East Lancashire Railway

Brilliant Bury Take the short trip north of Manchester and it is clear why more groups are adding Bury to their itineraries

Bury Transport Museum

Fusilier Museum

The multi-award winning Bury Market is a unique shopping experience and a group visit ‘must do’. The beautifully restored East Lancashire Railway goes from strength to strength and in 2010 Bury Transport Museum reopened making a great addition to the East Lancashire Railway experience. Groups will enjoy the interactive displays and large scale, working exhibits and can book group programmes and joint museum and railway visit options. Call 0161 764 7790 or visit to find out more. Bury Market

Another newcomer, The Fusilier Museum, is proving popular with groups of all ages. The Fusilier’s collection records over 300 years of military history and the interactive galleries trace both army life and the regiment’s role in historic events. Groups can pre-book tours, talks and lunches. For details of the museums events programme visit or call 0161 763 8950. Slattery’s Pattisser and Chocolatier is Bury’s hidden gem, where their Dining Room is worth a visit for afternoon tea. Group chocolate or sugar pasting workshops are also available by pre-booking.

Bury Tourist Information Centre For more ideas and advice about your visit, a tailor made itinerary or group information pack call 0161 253 5111 or email


Groups Guide 2011 - inner:Layout 1 11/01/2011 10:31 Page 22



From awe inspiring architecture to engineering endeavour. Modern History showcases the best of the region’s museums, mills, railways, walking trails and attractions.

groups can

Unearth the stories that have shaped the modern world. For stimulating shorts breaks and days out with a difference, there are endless events and exhibitions for everyone…

discover days out


with a difference Always Ahead of the Game A city of social reformers, liberal thinkers and visionaries, where grand Victorian architecture stands alongside tall, sleek monuments of the 21st century. Where great wealth that came with industrial success grew up hand in hand with social responsibility and patronage of the arts, creating the cultural legacy that we all enjoy today. And if today’s Manchester is more fashion and football than cotton and canals, that same spirit lives on.



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Beyond the grand, gleaming engines and textile machinery of the Museum of Science and Industry - MOSI - are the stories of the Manchester people who, each in their own ways, have changed the world. Great scientists and engineers - inventors to whom nothing seemed impossible and who created a world capable of factory production, of computer technology, of ever quicker transport, of medical ‘miracles’. And as if to prove that in Manchester the sky’s the limit, within the museum you can stand on the platform of the world’s first passenger railway station and look up to Beetham Tower, the tallest residential skyscraper in Europe and a potent symbol that this is truly a city of innovation - after all, Manchester University is home to more than its fair share of Nobel Prize winners.

there have always been ideas worth fighting for

Nearby, beautiful trade union and society banners fill the People’s History Museum, every one of them a real, dazzling work of art, along with campaigning posters, satirical political posters and cartoons. From Industrial Revolution, the Peterloo Massacre, women’s suffrage and the Welfare State to gay rights, anti-nuclear and anti-war campaigns - these are colourful stories, colourfully told.



Between the two museums, the magnificent John Rylands Library stands at the heart of the new Spinningfields area of Manchester - sleek, prosperous, businesslike. Visit the Royal Exchange Theatre - the largest room in the world when it was rebuilt in 1874 - and imagine the noise in here in 1921 when the Manchester Exchange controlled almost half the world’s cotton production. The opening of the Manchester Ship Canal may have sealed Manchester’s fortunes - and you can cruise along the Ship Canal all the way to Liverpool’s Pier Head to understand just how important this waterway was - but it was the earlier canal network that opened up the possibilities. Canals weave in and out of Manchester to this day and provide a lovely leisure route through the city whether you are on the water, on bikes or on foot. Explore the canal system on a narrow boat trip from the Portland Basin Museum on the junction of the Ashton Canal and Peak Forest Canal. The stories of Industrial Revolution continue at Salford Museum and Bolton Museum. Hat Works tells Stockport’s fascinating side of the textile story - and explains why the local football club is known as the Hatters! A steam train ride from Bury on the East Lancashire Railway line will take you straight to the heart of Lancashire’s textile heritage that was so important to Manchester’s prosperity.




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Parks, gardens and stately homes Tatton Park

You may associate Manchester with the urban and industrial but a pleasant surprise awaits you at one of the many horticultural hidden gems and majestic mansions dotted around the city-region For grandeur and grade listed buildings set in stunning surroundings, Heaton Park, four miles north of the city centre, won’t disappoint. One of the largest municipal parks in Europe, it hosts large scale events and festivities throughout the year. With no less than eight listed structures, the grade II listed park is on English Heritage's Register of Historic Parks and Gardens. Nestled in 250 acres of park and woodland, Haigh Hall & County Park, Wigan was once home to the Earl of Crawford. Breathtaking views across the Douglas Valley to the Welsh Hills await you here and groups who pre-book can take advantage of activities such as themed walks, orienteering and archery.

Smithills Hall

Smithills Hall & Country Park, Bolton, just over 30 minutes drive from the city centre, is the oldest manor house in the North West, dating back to medieval times. The preserved architecture dates through Tudor to Victorian times and the hall offers private tours to groups. For something different, why not book an evening ghost tour. Further south of the city, in the rolling hills of Cheshire, Tatton Park in Knutsford is where groups can enjoy a year round programme of events set in glorious landscape. The Royal Horticultural Society Flower Show, Christmas Concerts and Classic Car Shows are just a few events that attract groups from all over the UK.

Tatton Park Knutsford, Cheshire, WA16 6QN | 01625 374 416 / 374 400 | Tatton Park is a beautiful historic estate with an impressive neo-classical Mansion, 50 acres of award winning Gardens, working historic Farm and Tudor Old Hall, set in 1000 acres of national deer park. Tatton was featured recently in BBC’s Countryfile and Antiques Road Show. The event programme includes the annual RHS Show, music, theatre, car shows and Christmas events. There are four interesting shops to enjoy and the Stables Restaurant sources the finest Cheshire produce. Open: Tue-Sun: Mansion 1pm-5pm, Gardens 10am-6pm, Farm 12pm-5pm Mon: Parkland 10am-7pm. All timings change for Low Season (Oct-Mar), please check website for details. Admission: Single Attraction: £4.00 / Totally Tatton Tickets: £6.50 (includes Mansion, Garden & Farm) Average length of visit: 3-4 hours 24

✓ Pre-booking required ✓ Restaurant/cafè ✓ Meet & Greet

✓ Disabled access

✓ Group discounts

✓ Toilets

✓ Guided tours

✓ Education officer

✓ Gift shop

✓ Teacher/pupil pack

✓ Driver/guide concessions ✓ Coach parking on-site. Drop-off/pick up point

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Tatton Park Heaton Park: Tram Museum

Itinerary ideas Explore England’s backyard with its picturesque parks and historical homes with these suggested itineraries

Day 2: Horticulture and honey Morning: Just 30 minutes drive from Manchester, Dunham Massey is a beautiful country estate with lots to see and do. Have an introductory talk on arrival followed by a guided tour of Britain’s largest Winter Garden, with 700 species of plants and 1600 shrubs. Drive to Heaton Park (30mins).

Day 1: City park and country manor Morning: Arrive at Fletcher Moss, 20 minutes south of the city centre in the charming suburb of Didsbury. The park has held a green flag award since 2000 and is the founding site of the Royal Society for the protection of birds (RSPB). Walk around its botanical gardens and discover plantings remincent of the park’s heritage - dating from the late 1800s. The rockery, orchid houses and parsonage gardens have an assortment of wildflower species. Drive to Tatton Park (one hour).

Afternoon: Arrive for lunch in The Stables Restaurant, that uses the freshest seasonal produce from the Tatton estate. Take a costumed tour of the Old Hall and be brought back to its colourful 500 year history with stories of its past inhabitants. Tour the Japanese Garden and admire the designs dating back 200 years. Explore The Mansion, home to the Egerton Family since the 18th century. It holds a fine collection of antiques with staterooms having an impressive library collection.

Afternoon: Arrive for lunch at the Boathouse Pavilion Café before taking a nostalgic tram ride from the Tram Museum around the rolling landscape of Heaton Park. (Tram rides only available on Sundays and Bank Holidays but can be privately booked). The ornamental ponds and neo-classical 18th Century Hall are a must see. Afterwards, explore the beautifully restored Dower House where Sundays from 2pm you can watch Manchester Beekeepers extract honey from bees. Buy a jar of Heaton Park Honey as you learn about the fascinating art of beekeeping. If you have time, visit the Hidden Gem Garden Centre where seasonal plants can be purchased.


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England’s North West In its central location, Manchester is the ultimate place to base a group while exploring the rest of the region, England’s North West just waiting to be discovered


Cheshire is famous for its spectacular scenery, rich cultural and industrial heritage, magnificent gardens, breathtaking historic houses, mouth-watering food and drink, and not forgetting the many festivals and events which take place throughout the year. Chester is home to many guided tours including History Hunter, Secret Chester, Roman Soldier Wall Patrol and the fantastic Ghost Tour. Visit the cathedral, cruise along the river, and marvel at the 2,000 year old Roman Amphitheatre.

Carlisle Castle Blackpool

The Lake District and Cumbria offer a wonderful combination of attractions in spectacular settings. One of UK’s favourite destinations, Cumbria is dotted with coach friendly things to do. Whether Carlisle and Hadrian’s Wall in the north, Penrith and the Eden Valley in the east, Keswick and the coast in the west, Coniston and the peninsulas in the south or Kendal and Windermere near the middle, Cumbria provides endless options for group visits. Step into Lancashire and discover a world of excitement and entertainment. From the bright lights of Blackpool to the striking landscapes of the Pennine hills, you’ll be amazed at the great events taking place throughout the year such as the August Air Show and illuminations in September.

Cavern Club Matthew Street

Liverpool’s UNESCO World Heritage waterfront is home to the Albert Dock, where you’ll find award-winning attractions including Tate Liverpool, International Slavery Museum and the Beatles Story. The world-famous Cavern Club on Mathew Street is a must for Beatles fans and offers live music eight days a week. See opposite for some two day hand-picked attractions and itinerary suggestions to discover the best of the North West.


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Day 1: Chester Just an hour’s drive from Manchester, is Chester Cathedral, a national treasure in the heart of the city. Marvel at its fascinating history dating back for over 1000 years. Groups who pre-book can have a tailored tour to include tea, coffee or lunch in its 13th century refectory. Afterwards, take a two hour ChesterBoat River Cruise and see the sights of this medieval city from the beautiful River Dee. With the captain’s commentary, learn about Chester’s evolution through Roman, Norman and Georgian ages to the modern day.

Day 2: Liverpool Just 40 minutes drive from Manchester, head for the Albert Dock, the largest collection of grade I listed buildings in the UK. Visit the Merseyside Maritime Museum, containing four floors of fascinating galleries that explore the city’s maritime legacy. After lunch taking in the waterfront, go to the nearby Tate Liverpool which is home to the North’s largest collection of modern art. Entry is free and the gallery features large displays from national and international artists.

Day 1: Lake District Make the journey of just under two hours to Ambleside, Cumbria, where you’ll find Dove Cottage and Wordsworth Museum, the home of historic poet William Wordsworth. Any group of ten or more get reduced admission and includes a fascinating free tour of the cottage and museum. Groups can enjoy a relaxing cruise from Lake Windemere Cruises, taking in spectacular scenery while sailing through secluded bays and wooded islands. Group organisers sail free if booked in advance.

Day 2: Lancashire Arrive at Pendle Heritage Centre in Barrowford for an introductory tale of the famous Pendle Witches. The main exhibitions are in the old part of the house which still evokes the atmosphere of the 17th Century. Take a tour around Queen Street Textile Mill, the last commercial steam powered weaving mill in the world. Visitors to the museum can see demonstrations of the Victorian steam engine, boilers and Lancashire looms.


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Where to stay

Groups have plenty of choice Staying Cool Apartments when it comes to selecting Isn’t it about time your group visited Greater accommodation inManchester? the city-region

Properties such as the Britannia Hotels and Days Hotel offer a large selection of rooms in the heart of the city. If you’re group is happy to share rooms, then take advantage of the variety of serviced apartments which provide the services of a hotel but with greater independence. The Place Apartment Hotel is one of many properties offering unique loft styled serviced apartments. Great value accommodation can be found across the Manchester city-region and into the outlying districts, all home to a range of properties including budget, B&B’s to boutique hotels. Many hotels offer discounts for groups, particularly if your group are flexible on the time of the week you wish to visit. It’s always worth phoning to enquire about any special rates that may be available. All types of accommodation, including hotels, B&Bs and guesthouses, are now assessed to the same criteria and awarded one to five stars. The more stars the higher the quality. If you prefer to spend your money on restaurants, shops and souvenirs, then check out the wide range of budget hotels available. Budget accommodation, such as Premier Travel Inn, which includes roadside or lodge style accommodation, do not have a star rating. More detailed information about where to stay is available online at

Ratings made easy: ★ Simple, practical, no frills ★★ Well presented and well run ★★★ Good level of quality and comfort ★★★★ Excellent standard throughout ★★★★★ Exceptional with a degree of luxury For more information on star ratings go to

How to book Go to for real-time availability and pricing. Alternatively, contact the team at the visitor information centre who can provide advice and assistance with your booking. Call +44 (0)871 222 8223 or email

The Place Hotel Ducie Street, Piccadilly, Manchester, M1 2TP | 0161 778 7500 | A beautiful four star Manchester apartment hotel, perfect for group bookings, couples and singles. Large and spacious, our Grade II apartments come fully equipped with the most up-to-date facilities, stylish furniture, large comfy sofas and elegant dining tables. Choose from 1 or 2 Bedrooms, Penthouses, Deluxe and Family Apartments… with the most up to date facilities, along with all the facilities and service you would expect from a leading Manchester 4 star hotel.

✓ Pre-booking required ✓ Tea room/café ✓ Group discounts

✓ Disabled access

✓ Restaurant

✓ Toilets

✓ Packed lunches available on request

Groups rates: Prices start from £30 per person, supplements apply for single occupancy Average visit: 2 nights Group Size: Min 2, No Max


✓ Conference rooms available on request ✓ Coach parking on site. Drop-off/pick up point

Groups Guide 2011 - inner:Layout 1 11/01/2011 10:32 Page 29


Britannia Hotels








8 Hotels - Over 1500 Bedrooms - Great Value Contact our Group Travel Team on:

0871 222 5502 email - Calls cost 10p per minute from BT landlines, other carriers and mobile networks may vary.

Manchester Conference Centre & Hotel Sackville Street, Manchester, M1 3BB | 0161 955 8000 | Manchester Conference Centre & Hotel provides our customers the opportunity to relax with its comfortable bedrooms offering the latest in style and comfort. A convenient retreat, yet you are on the doorstep of the city centre should you wish to explore Manchester further. Single, double and twin rooms are available, making MCC & Hotel the perfect place to accommodate your group booking.

✓ Pre-booking required ✓ Picnic Area ✓ Meet & Greet

✓ Disabled access

✓ Group discounts

✓ Toilets

✓ Restaurant

Group rates: Prices start from £30 per person, supplement for single occupancy will apply Average stay: 2 nights Group Size: Min 1, Max 2

✓ Tea room/café

Packed lunches available on request

✓ conference rooms available on request ✓ Coach drop-off/pick up point


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Manchester Airport

Your gateway to the North of England Situated in the heart of the UK, Manchester’s award-winning airport prides itself on being one of the world’s busiest and friendliest. As the largest UK airport outside of London, Manchester Airport handles over 19 million passengers per year, flying to over 190 destinations. Its facilities are world class with three terminals, two runways, over 250 check-in desks and 65 airline operators. Stylish new retail outlets and restaurants as well as increased security lanes, make your journey through the airport much easier. Connecting to the city centre couldn’t be easier with regular train services operating from the Station in terminal 2, every 10 minutes with a journey time of approximately 15 - 20 minutes. If Manchester is your gateway to exploring the many attractions the North of England has to offer, or alternatively the venue for a connecting flight, why not take advantage of the fantastic offers available from the array of hotels located on the doorstep of Manchester Airport. From budget to four star luxury, these hotels make for a perfect take off or touch down. See below for some of the largest wholesale tour operators specialising in bringing visitors to the UK.

Ground handlers Organisation



Discover Travel & Tours

+44 (0)870 290 1010

Europe Incoming

+44 (0)208 994 5001

Evan Evans Tours

+44 (0)207 950 1777

Great Days (Greater Manchester)

+44 (0)161 928 9966

GTA (Gullivers Travel Associates)

+44 (0) 207 716 2400

JAC Travel

+44 (0)20 8563 7878

Kuoni Destination Management

+44 (0) 20 7734 7061

MIKI Travel

+44 (0)207 507 5000


+44 (0)207 724 7711

Select Travel

+44 (0) 1480 455 850

Sovereign Tourism

+44 (0)20 7491 2323

Trafalgar Tours

+44 (0) 207 2357090


+44 (0)207 739 3333

Wiseguides (Manchester based)

+44 (0)161 773 0692


Groups Guide 2011 - inner:Layout 1 11/01/2011 10:32 Page 31

Visit Manchester Travel Trade Service Whether you are planning individual or group travel programmes, ensure that Visit Manchester is your first point of contact for free professional and practical advice. We can provide assistance on tour and itinerary planning for leisure, conference and incentive product, destination information and more. With 340 members in partnership we can offer the contacts including hotels, restaurants, transport providers and visitor attractions, to help you develop your packages and the support you need to ensure success. Visit our dedicated travel trade website for a ‘one-stop-shop’ which includes itinerary ideas, latest news, images, listings, sign up to our quarterly e-newsletter: Key contacts: Shay McGinty, UK Anh Nguyen, Overseas Emma White, North America


Groups Guide 2011 - inner:Layout 1 11/01/2011 10:32 Page 32


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For all the latest information on group travel in Manchester go to

Here you will find itineraries, ideas and information on group attractions that will make planning your group visit easy. You will also be able to keep up to date with all the latest news and developments in the group travel sector and register to receive regular email updates. Should you have any group enquiries, or would like to request more copies of the Manchester Group Travel Guide 2011, please email



Groups Guide 2011 - cover:Layout 1 12/01/2011 09:26 Page 3

we’ll make it happen... For more than 75 years and Coaches has developed the experience and professionalism that now drives our travel and transport services. The care of a family-run efficiency of a well-organised business, and the broad range of services we provide form the basis of our success is providing With Bullocks Coaches, you enjoy quality and service delivered by the smart, friendly, informed drivers of our fleet of modern, comfortable, luxury coaches. Whether it’s the school run, a day trip, a corporate event, or holiday, you can be sure that travelling with Bullocks will always be a pleasure.



18 46 31

Bullocks Coaches Commercial Garage, Stockport Road, Cheadle, Stockport, SK8 2AG

Tel: 0161 428 5265 or 0161 428 2423 Fax: 0161 428 9074 Email: Web:

There are three sites outside the city centre which require pre-booking: City of Manchester Stadium Imperial War Museum North Owen St, off City Road East

Long stay parking (over 4 hours)

16 Miller St (9 bays)

15 Great Ducie St (3 bays)

14 Cheetham Hill Rd (9 bays)

13 Byrom St (2 bays)

12 Water St (2 bays)

11 Store St (6 bays)

10 Grt Bridgewater St (1 bay)

9 Charles St (2 bays)

Medium stay stands (4 hours max)

8 Princess St (1 bay)

7 Peter St (1 bay)

6 Oxford St (2 bays)

5 Lower Mosley St (3 bays)

4 Liverpool Rd (2 bays)

3 Greengate (9 bays)

2 Cross St (3 bays)

1 Chorlton St (2 bays)

Short stay drop off bays (20 mins max)


Coach parking



For the latest information on coach parking across the city region, contact Manchester Parking on 0161 234 5004 or email 3





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Groups Guide 2011 - cover:Layout 1 12/01/2011 09:26 Page 4

Manchester Group Travel Guide 2011  

Manchester Group Travel Guide showcases the best attractions and events happening in Manchester in 2011 for groups and travel trade.