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Manchester Magazine 09

2-3 News & Developments 4-5 Discover Manchester An overview of the city centre’s distinct neighbourhoods.

6 - 10 Manchester International Festival A sneak preview of the 2009 event.

10 - 13 Free Radicals The city's museums live up to Manchester's pioneering past.

16 - 17 Sir Mark Elder CBE An interview with the Hallé Orchestra's music director.

58 - 59 Mr Scruff An interview with the local music producer and DJ.

60 - 61 Maxine Peake An interview with the local actress and former 'Mancunian of the Year'.

62 - 63 The Best Of Manchester Find out who is cream of the crop in the city right now.

64 - 65 John Amaechi An interview with the former American NBA basketball star from Stockport.

66 - 69 Village Fête Manchester’s Gay Village.

18 - 21 What's On in 2009 22 - 25 Always in Style The low-down on trendy Manchester with the city's fashion king, Dale Hicks.

27 The Trafford Centre Manchester's shopping paradise.

28 - 30 The Ultimate Shopping Experience 32 - 33 Manchester’s Markets 34 - 39 Local Heroes - Food & Drink Regional recipes from Manchester's top chefs.

40 - 47 Days Out in Greater Manchester: Walking tour of the Northern Quarter. The city centre using Metroshuttle. The metrolink tram to Bury. The train to Stockport.

48 - 49 Southern Gateway An interview with Maria Balshaw of the Whitworth Art Gallery.

50 - 51 Campus Life Two international university students tell us why they chose Manchester.

52 - 53 MediaCity:UK An update on MediaCity:UK.

54 - 55 Andrew Critchley An interview with the managing director of Red Productions.

56 Piccadilly The heart and soul of Manchester.

57 24-Hour Party People Manchester's world-famous nightlife.

70 - 72 Fantastic Fiction The works of Manchester's literary heroes are explored by an avid reader.

74 - 77 Wheels of Fire William Fotheringham talks of Manchester Velodrome’s part in Team GB's success at the Beijing Olympics.

78 - 79 Industrial Heritage The city's legacy as the world’s former industrial centre.

82 - 83 Manchester's newest audio trail... and its free!

84 The Quays Greater Manchester's waterfront and its attractions.

86 - 87 The Midland Hotel Glamorous decadence in the heart of the city.

89 - 107 Where to Stay 109 - 110 Manchester Airport The international gateway to the Northwest.

112 - 117 My favourite Place Lonely Planet writer Fionn Davenport takes us on a tour of the Northwest.

119 Getting Around Manchester Everything you need to know about the city-region.

120 Greater Manchester's Tourist Information Centres Back cover Greater Manchester map

FIRST WORDS FROM ANDREW Welcome to the second edition of MCR, the destination magazine for Manchester. This year, the city has played host to no fewer than six world championship sports events, welcomed prime minister Gordon Brown and the rest of the Labour Party for their annual conference and seen the city’s ‘other’ football club, Manchester City, become the richest in the world. Over the next 120 pages we aim to give an insight into life in Manchester, not only its museums, galleries and other tourist attractions, but also its cuisine, fashion, literature and most of all, its people, through a series of interviews with key personalities from across the city. These include: a glimpse into the Manchester we see through our television with Andrew Critchley from Red Productions, the company that brought ‘The Street’, ‘Casanova’ and ‘Queer As Folk’ to our screens; the lowdown on Stockport and the city’s gay village from former American NBA basketball player and human rights campaigner, John Amaechi; an update on the city’s music trends and local tea from producer and DJ, Mr Scruff; and local actress, Maxine Peake, star of such Manchester classics as ‘Shameless’ and ‘Early Doors’, tells us about life in Manchester and its theatre world. You’ll also find details of the latest developments taking place across the city centre, an insider’s guide to the thriving independent retail sector of the city’s Northern Quarter, a handy ‘where to stay guide’, flight listings for Manchester Airport and information about the wider Northwest region and what its historic towns and stunning countryside has to offer the international visitor. We hope you enjoy the read and look forward to seeing you soon! Andrew Stokes, Chief Executive, Marketing Manchester November 2008


NEWS & DEVELOPMENTS Concorde Construction has begun on a new £1 million home for British Airways’ flagship Concorde at Manchester Airport’s Aviation Viewing Park. The stunning glass-fronted hangar, located alongside the airport’s runways, will boast its own restaurant with spectacular views across the airfield, a gift shop and unique conference facilities. It is expected to open in early 2009. For more information, call 0161 489 3932 or visit:

Revolution MOSI ‘Revolution MOSI’ is the exciting title given to MOSI’s (The Museum of Science and Industry) very ambitious expansion plans. Occupying the site of the world’s oldest railway station, and sat in the heart of the historic Castlefield district, MOSI tells the story of Manchester’s significant contribution to the world as we know it. This £60 million project will see MOSI transformed into a truly world-class cultural destination, with very broad appeal to the discerning international visitor to the city. Yang Sing Oriental

Victoria Baths

Hotel Developments

Victoria Baths was designed as a prestigious baths complex by Manchester’s first city architect, Henry Price. Opened in 1906, the facade has multi-coloured brickwork and terracotta decoration and many windows have intricate stained glass. Thanks to its success in the BBC’s Restoration programme in 2003, this listed building is currently undergoing its first phase of restoration work. Public open days with guided tours are now running. For more information visit:

Manchester continues its seemingly endless phase of reinvention and development with a whole host of new hotels, offering both leisure and business visitors an even better choice of quality accommodation. Hotels that opened in 2008 include: ABode, Ramada Manchester Piccadilly, Yang Sing Oriental, Crowne Plaza Manchester City Centre and ETAP. Some hotels that will be opening soon include: Velvet Hotel on Canal Street, Sleeperz Hotel, The Manchester in Spinningfields, The Park Inn at Old Trafford and W Hotel Manchester on the corner of Whitworth Street and Princess Street.


NEWS & DEVELOPMENTS A £200m ‘New Trafford’


Lancashire County Cricket Club has revealed its eagerly-awaited plans for the radical redevelopment of Old Trafford cricket ground. The project, which would see the historic venue transformed into one of the country’s premier sporting destinations, will also ensure that Old Trafford regains its rightful place on the International Test Match circuit in time for the 2013 Ashes Test. Building work could commence as early as 2009 and will be phased over consecutive years until completion in late 2012.

MediaCity:UK is set to be the country’s first dedicated digital and creative community, a vibrant nucleus that not only will be home to the BBC, but will accommodate and inspire creative and new media businesses from all over the world. In addition to the waterfront business zone, the area will comprise apartments, shops, cafes, bars, restaurants, hotels and leisure services. Due to be completed by 2011, this will further enhance the visitor offering of The Quays area.

Irwell Sculpture Trail Extensions The Irwell Sculpture Trail is set to be transformed by a redevelopment worth £420,000 awarded by the Arts Council England. Additional trails are being formed to extend the Irwell Sculpture Trail to Salford Quays and Rossendale and are predicted to be launched in 2010.

The People’s History Museum The People’s History Museum is in the middle of a multi-million pound redevelopment project that will see The Pump House, a former hydraulic power pumping station, renovated to its former glory. The four-storey extension adjacent is now being constructed and the buildings will be joined together by a spectacular walkway. Re-opening in late 2009, the new People’s History Museum will be bigger and better than before. During the redevelopment period the museum has an interim gallery at MOSI.


DISCOVER MANCHESTER To help you explore, we’ve broken down the city centre into a number of distinct districts. You’ll find there are other areas in addition to those outlined below - some of the locals might even refer to places by different names because that’s Manchester, always changing and always evolving.

CASTLEFIELD Escape from the hustle and bustle of city life and retreat to the place where it all started. Castlefield sits proudly on the location of the original Roman fort of ‘Mamucium’. See signs of the Industrial Revolution, captured in shimmering waters, bridges, viaducts, walkways and railways. See page 82 for details of

PETERSFIELD This is where some of Manchester’s main conferencing facilities are positioned, including Manchester Central, The Bridgewater Hall and The Midland and Radisson Edwardian hotels. International meetings, conventions and events are held in this district throughout the year.



Manchester’s creative heart offers many independent fashion stores, quirky cafés and bars, record shops and galleries. This vibrant area is an individual and inspirational extension to city centre Manchester.

An enchanting area that is home to the UK’s largest Chinese community outside London. Look out for authentic Chinese, Thai, Japanese and Korean restaurants, as well as gift shops, banks, supermarkets and more. Standing prominent in the centre of Chinatown, the Chinese Arch displays symbols of luck and prosperity.


SPINNINGFIELDS Perhaps the most striking of Manchester’s recent developments. Spinningfields provides a welcome retreat from bustling Deansgate and leads right down to the attractive waterfront of the River Irwell. The new business district has award-winning contemporary architecture, premium business services, luxury apartments and restaurants.



The main gateway into the city centre. Manchester Piccadilly rail station connects visitors and workers to Manchester’s core. The area offers some of Manchester’s finest hotels and its newest developments. From Piccadilly Gardens to the many shops, bars and restaurants, this is where you get the true live, work and play feeling.

Celebrate education with the University of Manchester, Manchester Metropolitan University and attractions including the Manchester Museum, Contact Theatre and Whitworth Art Gallery. Student life keeps the Oxford Road corridor incredibly busy with great bars and live music from popular spots like the Deaf Institute and Manchester Academy.

NEW EAST MANCHESTER / SPORTCITY Home to the Velodrome - the UK’s National Cycling Centre, Eastlands (Manchester City Football Club) and the National Squash Centre, New East Manchester has already proved its potential and is now the one to watch over the coming months. Multi-million pound redevelopment projects will set the standards of city centre living in the UK.



A FESTIVAL LIKE NO OTHER When the Manchester International Festival launched in 2007, it promised to be one of the most adventurous and high-risk festivals the UK had ever seen.


Rufus Wainwright

Festival Pavillion

Monkey: Journey to the West

Zaha Hadid

“Manchester is the beating cultural heart of Britain" Billed as the world’s first international festival of original, new work, it featured some 25 world premieres, attracted an audience of more than 200,000 people and led The Observer newspaper to declare that "Manchester is the beating cultural heart of Britain". As an artist-led, commissioning festival, it presented new works from across the spectrum of performing arts, visual arts and popular culture. Among the world premieres were ‘Monkey: Journey to the West’, an opera directed by Chen Shi Zheng, composed by Damon Albarn and designed by Jamie Hewlett and ‘Il Tempo del Postino’, a group show by 15 of the world’s leading contemporary artists such as Matthew Barney, Tacita Dean, Douglas Gordon, Philippe Parreno and Olafur Eliasson. There were also new theatre productions including a site-specific work by Stewart Lee and Johnny Vegas, debates, food inventions by Heston Blumenthal and an international music series featuring Lou Reed, Kanye West, Happy Mondays, PJ Harvey, and The Gossip.

The result: a triumph for the organisers and one hell of an event to live up to in 2009, when the biennial festival returns for round two. Although the full programme for 2009 has yet to be released, the planning and preparation is well underway. The three items that have already been confirmed by the festival HQ have most definitely caught the eye of the UK’s culture vultures. Acclaimed singer-songwriter Rufus Wainwright is penning his debut opera for the festival. Entitled, ‘Prima Donna’, it will tell the story of a fading Parisian diva and will be performed in French at The Palace Theatre for five performances during the festival. Following his success at last year’s festival with ‘The Pianist’, director Neil Bartlett will pay tribute to a very British institution: Bingo, in ‘Everyone Loves A Winner’. The theatrical performance will see the Royal Exchange transformed into a bingo hall for the duration of the Festival and will continue to run post Manchester International Festival. And finally, at Manchester Art Gallery, Zaha Hadid Architects have been commissioned to design a unique environment for Bach’s solo piano, violin

and cello works, some of the most sublime chamber music ever written. The performers will be Piotr Anderszewski, Jean-Guihem Queyras and Alina Ibragimova. On the strength of these first three commissions it seems that the second festival will be as impressive as the first. The festival team can take pride in the fact that their first attempt went on to receive numerous awards, including Tourism Experience of the Year at the Manchester Tourism Awards 2008. And success was not limited to the festival organisers themselves. It launched many performances onto the world scene. Indeed, ‘Monkey: Journey to the West’, which headlined the launch festival, has since taken to the stage in Paris, the US and at the Royal Opera House in London. Whilst we wait for the full programme to be unveiled, it’s safe to say the Manchester International Festival 2009 is definitely not to be missed. The Manchester International Festival 2009 takes place between Thursday 2 and Sunday 19 July 2009. The full programme will be unveiled in March 2009. For more information, visit:


Free Radicals Jonathan Schofield looks at the way Manchester’s museums and galleries are living up to the city’s pioneering reputation in their forthcoming exhibitions. It’s good when people get it without prompting. A couple of years ago I was in Manchester Art Gallery with a German journalist, exploring the ‘Attitude’ section of the Manchester Gallery. Drawing on iconic moments in Manchester’s history, it uses images of the 1819 Peterloo Massacre (where 15 people died protesting the lack of Parliamentary representation), the Free Trade Movement (aka the Manchester School), the Suffragettes, even recent album covers to illustrate the city’s abiding commitment to change and progress and its bloody-minded zeal for pushing on regardless of polite opinion.


"I remember my Manchester School lessons at college, whilst at the same time I loved the Happy Mondays," the journalist said. "But I never thought I’d see them both celebrated on the same wall in an art gallery." This inclusive and provocative way with museums and galleries is part of a Manchester tradition that is at once radical, popular and contrary. Since its emergence as an industrial powerhouse in the nineteenth century, the city has taken a bold and sometimes revolutionary approach to engaging people from all walks of life in high art and popular culture. Modern day echoes of this credo are all around you in 21st century Manchester. Take Imperial War Museum North, Daniel Libeskind’s fractured evocation of a world shattered by war. Rather than a temple to set piece moments concerning military strategy or big machines, what you get here are bold topics tackling hidden truths, examining often unregarded corners of history. Typically, exhibitions might include ones exploring homosexuality in the armed forces, the lifelong impact of being a prisoner of war and the bittersweet experiences of wartime women when ‘heroes’ return home.

It’s no surprise either that Manchester is home to the People’s History Museum, containing the labour movement’s national archive. Located in a fascinating historic Pumphouse building, the museum will reopen following a full revamp including a new extension in late 2009, giving insights into the city’s role in radicalising not just Manchester, but the rest of the country. It's true that where Manchester goes first, others follow. As a distillation of this spirit Darwin's Children (part of the national Darwin 200 series) at The Manchester Museum during 2009 will be hard to beat. The museum itself was founded in the 1880s specifically to promote the incredibly controversial - at the time Darwinian view of evolution. It was thought that Manchester - more so than London - could cope with the debate that such a project might create.

So, 200 years on from Darwin’s birth and 150 years on from the publication of ‘Origin of the Species’, a major exhibition will look at his life and the impact of his theory of evolution, charting how this leap in knowledge lies at the core of subsequent work in medicine and biology and the contributions of Manchester’s men and women of science. More controversially the Museum will also explore the darker side of Darwinism, including the grabbing of his phrase ‘survival of the fittest’ to justify eugenics and even genocide.


The Light of the World, 1852, William Holman Hunt © Manchester City Galleries

Manchester’s historic acceptance of diverse voices and opinions is also highlighted in other forthcoming exhibitions. The Autumn 08 blockbuster at Manchester Art Gallery, ‘Holman Hunt and the PreRaphaelite Vision’, harks back to the city’s early enthusiasm for the Pre-Raphaelites, embracing their radical desire for clarity and honesty in art. Private collectors bought heaps of the stuff, so did the Royal Manchester Institution, later the Art Gallery. Hunt was a favourite, and the exhibition brings together the three versions of the groundbreaking ‘The Light of the World’, examining its continuing pulling power as a Christian icon. Seen by an astonishing seven million people, it was the most viewed painting in the world. Hunt’s contemporary Ford Madox Brown was meanwhile working in Manchester Town Hall, creating his famous series of murals about the city’s history. Preparatory drawings for these appear in an exhibition at the Whitworth Art Gallery ‘Art and Labour’s Cause is One: Walter Crane and Manchester’. This was a time when Manchester was a crucible for the merger of art and politics, and the civic belief that this would deliver social progress. In spring 2009 Whitworth Art Gallery will bring us to the cutting edge today. ‘Subversive Spaces: Surrealism and Contemporary Art’, featuring international names like René Magritte, Salvador Dalí and contemporary artists Sarah Lucas and Louise Bourgeois, concentrates on the use and neglect of urban space. It will include a series of walks through the city via places with historical significance, such as the site of the Peterloo Massacre, to catch, as the surrealists love to do, any lingering echoes of the event. At the same time, ‘Kinderzimmer’, a new site-specific installation by the acclaimed German artist


Peterloo Massacre © Manchester Archives & Local Studies

Gregor Schneider will evoke a sense of abandonment and time passed. His installation may refer to the destruction of a German village to make way for an open-cast mine, but he has chosen Manchester as its location because of the resonance with the city’s reinvention. Almost every part of Manchester has layers of history hidden away, with elements that are disused or destroyed and then renewed, often as something completely different. MOSI, the museum showcasing Manchester's credentials as the industrial and scientific powerhouse is a case in point. Housed in the earliest surviving passenger and goods railway complex in the world, the 1830 warehouse combined revolutionary rail, road and canal on-and off-loading that was copied the world over. When it first opened as a museum in the 1980s it was a pioneer of the trend for museums to house themselves, cuckoolike, in redundant buildings. 20 years later the industrial architecture and thematic resonance here is still as good as it gets. Late in 2009, there’s more surrealism, with another blockbuster show at Manchester Art Gallery. ‘Angels of Anarchy’ will focus on women and surrealism, shining a light on an often unregarded area of art history that takes in iconic artists such as Frida Kahlo and Lee Miller. Given Manchester’s pivotal role at the centre of the fight for universal suffrage and the development of feminist thinking, it’s another logical link into the city’s pioneering spirit. And if, in Autumn 2008, you want to make connections with Manchester’s importance in the struggle for equality and fairness, then take in the new exhibition at Urbis which explores Black Civil Rights in the 1960s through the compelling graphic design work of Emory Douglas, once Minister for Culture of the Black Panther Party.

But back to the German journalist described at the beginning of this article. "Do you still have this radical spirit?" he asked. It’s a big question and one that Manchester is actively asking itself in its drive to figure out what it takes to be original and modern in the 21st century world. Perhaps it comes down to Darwin’s natural selection - how does Manchester take what’s strongest and adapt it to changed circumstances? Undoubtedly the city’s pioneering spirit is one of those strengths and one that Manchester’s galleries and museums, as cultural leaders and as public faces of the city, are determined to reflect. So is Manchester still a radical city? Forthcoming exhibitions would indicate it is. A generous streak of liberalism runs through all the museum institutions, from the first build to the last. What binds them is a shared desire to reflect the city’s heritage, its global impact, its pioneering spirit and its international perspective. They show that a sense of civic identity is alive and well today, not just the preserve of our Victorian forefathers and that Manchester’s ability to be radical, popularist and inclusive is ever present.

MANCHESTER ART GALLERY: Holman Hunt and the Pre-Raphaelite Vision 11 October 2008 - 11 January 2009 Angels of Anarchy: Women Artists and Surrealism 26 September 2009 - 10 January 2010 THE MANCHESTER MUSEUM: Darwin’s Children October 2009 - June 2010 THE WHITWORTH ART GALLERY: Art & Labour’s Cause is One: Walter Crane and Manchester Until September 2009 Subversive Spaces: Surrealism and Contemporary Art Kinderzimmer: an installation by Gregor Schneider 6 February 2009 - 4 May 2009 URBIS: Black Panther: Emory Douglas and the Art of Revolution 30 October 2008 - April 2009 IMPERIAL WAR MUSEUM NORTH: PEOPLE’S HISTORY MUSEUM: MOSI:


Manchester Art Gallery Mosley Street, Manchester M2 3JL T. +44 (0)161 235 8888

Manchester Art Gallery is one of the city’s most popular attractions, with around 400,000 visitors a year. The collections include world famous Pre-Raphaelite paintings, a Manchester themed gallery and contemporary art, craft and design. Visitors can relax in the café over coffee or lunch or browse for cards, books and gifts in the gallery shop. Families are welcome too: bring the kids to the Clore Interactive gallery or pick up one of our guides or trails. Manchester Art Gallery’s future exhibitions include Holman Hunt and the Pre-Raphaelite Vision (11 October 08 -11 January 09), Ten Drawings by Leonardo de Vinci from the Royal Collection (14 February - 4 May 2009) and Angels of Anarchy: Women Artists and Surrealism (26 September 2009 -10 January 2010). The Gallery is easy to find, in the city centre, near the Visitor Information Centre. Free entry Open Tuesday-Saturday 10am - 5pm. Closed Mondays except Bank Holidays. Winner: Large Visitor Attraction of the Year, Manchester Tourism Awards 2008 Finalist: The Guardian Family Friendly Museum Award 2008

MOSI Museum of Science & Industry, Liverpool Road, Castlefield, Manchester M3 4FP T. +44 (0)161 832 2244

Experience an amazing day out at MOSI - Located on the site of the world’s oldest surviving passenger railway station, in five listed buildings, the Museum tells the story of the people and a region that helped shape the modern world. Enjoy demonstrations of original mill engines and textile machinery, crawl through an atmospheric Victorian sewer, have fun in Xperiment, and visit Baby, the world’s first stored-program computer. With fifteen galleries to explore and lots of fun things to try, there are so many things to see and do at MOSI, that one visit might not be enough! Open daily 10.00am - 5.00pm (except 24 - 26 Dec and 1 Jan) Visit for more information on the exciting programme of events and exhibitions taking place throughout the year.


Urbis Cathedral Gardens, Manchester, M4 3BG T. +44 (0)161 605 8200

Located at the heart of the city, Urbis is an exhibition centre focusing on city life. Urbis’ exhibition programme explores the culture and dynamism of cities around the world, covering photography, design, architecture, music, contemporary art and much more. Urbis runs thought-provoking events, which include tours, talks, workshops and family activities. The building is also home to a shop packed with original gift ideas and The Social, Urbis’ stylish café bar and Modern, the top floor Bar and Restaurant. Visit for up to date listings of the dynamic programme of changing exhibitions. Open daily 10am - 6pm. Closed Christmas Day, Boxing Day and New Year’s Day.

The Bridgewater Hall Lower Mosley Street, Manchester, M2 3WS t. +44 (0)161 907 9000

The Bridgewater Hall is Manchester’s international concert venue, offering the best in classical music, rock, pop, jazz, world music and much more. Make the most of your visit with drinks or a pre-concert meal in Touchstones Café Bar or the award-winning Charles Hallé Restaurant, or take time out for some retail therapy in our gift shop. You can also experience the Hall’s stunning architecture on a behind-the-scenes building tour. To find out what’s on, please call the Box Office or visit the website.

John Rylands Library 150 Deansgate, Manchester, M3 3EH, England t. +44 (0)161 306 0555

Experience the Gothic splendour of one of Manchester’s most beautiful buildings and discover the library’s world famous collections through themed displays and hands-on activities. Enjoy a full and inspiring programme of exhibitions, talks, and family events throughout the year. Entry to the library and all exhibitions is free, and there is a fabulous café and gift shop to enjoy during your visit.


Manchester Voices Sir Mark Elder Sir Mark Elder CBE is the music director of the Hallé, Britain’s longest-established symphony orchestra founded in Manchester by Sir Charles Hallé in 1858. Under Sir Mark’s direction the Hallé has received increasing acclaim both in Manchester and across the world. The Royal Philharmonic Society honoured Mark with the Conductor Award at the 2006 ceremony and the previous year, the Hallé was presented with the Ensemble Award. Making over 40 appearances annually throughout the rest of Britain, the Hallé attracts large audiences at home and outside Manchester. Its reputation for artistic excellence and versatility has led to many international tours as well as frequent broadcasts and televised performances. We caught up with Sir Mark to find out what the Hallé means to him, in this, its 150th year.


Forthcoming highlights with Sir Mark Elder include: Vaughan Williams’s Pastoral Symphony Thursday 27 November 2008 at 7.30pm The Nielsen Symphonies Thursday 15 January 2009 at 7.30pm & Thursday 29 January 2009 at 7.30pm Holst’s The Planets Thursday 26 March 2009 at 7.30pm Wagner’s Götterdämmerung Saturday 9 May 2009 at 7pm & Sunday 10 May 2009 at 6pm For more information about the Hallé, visit

Since your appointment in 2000, the Hallé has achieved widespread acclaim from both audiences and critics alike and The Times newspaper famously posted the Hallé at Number One in a list of the country’s top symphony orchestras. Is it possible to choose a personal highlight looking back over the past eight years? Three years ago, at the 2005 BBC Proms, the Hallé and the Hallé Choir performed Elgar’s ‘Dream of Gerontius’, and for me, it was a ‘dream’ performance! In 2008, the orchestra celebrated its 150th birthday. How does it feel to be at the helm of such a respected institution at this point in its history? The sense of tradition handed down from Charles Hallé to all my predecessors, especially Sir John Barbirolli, is one I cherish and enjoy. I hope we will go on and on making wonderful music. You received a knighthood in the Queen’s Birthday Honours in June 2008. How does it feel to be awarded one of the United Kingdom’s highest honours?

Thrilling! For the Hallé, for Manchester and for music. The orchestra’s home, The Bridgewater Hall, is one of Manchester’s top cultural attractions. To you, it’s a ‘working office’. How do you feel it compares to the other venues that you have conducted across the world? It compares very favourably, indeed it is one of the best anywhere. The Boston Symphony has a great hall, and so do the Dutch in Amsterdam, but The Bridgewater Hall is up on that level. Other than a performance by the Hallé (of course!), what would you recommend as a cultural ‘must do’ during a visit to Manchester? I would urge people to walk about Manchester! They should see the evidence of the city’s growing confidence. The way Castlefield, for example, has made so much of its past but cherishes the present at the same time. Visit the newly reopened John Rylands Library. Enjoy the many, many high quality stores and restaurants.


WHAT’S ON? Manchester’s festivals and events

Manchester is a place to explore new things, whether it’s the latest band at ‘In The City’ or the hottest graffiti artists at ‘Eurocultured’. It’s a city where ideas are bold and events are entertaining and challenging. The city is a cultural melting pot so it doesn’t come as a surprise that Manchester’s festivals are so diverse. Enjoy the spectacular Golden Dragon Parade at the Chinese New Year, the St Patrick’s Parade at the Irish Festival or Latin American film at the ¡Viva! Film Festival. Manchester is alive all year round with an exciting mix of events and festivals. Here’s a taster to help you choose the right one.

FESTIVALS Chinese New Year February 2009 Manchester’s events calendar starts with the Chinese New Year. The year of the Ox is celebrated with fantastic dance performances, plenty of stalls, spectacular fireworks and a colourful parade around Chinatown, in the UK’s second largest Chinese community.

Manchester Irish Festival March 2009 One of the biggest Irish Festivals in Europe returns to Manchester with a programme packed with events held at various venues across the city. Its highlight is the St Patrick’s Parade through the city with over 70 floats, bands and walking groups.

¡Viva! Spanish and Latin American Film Festival March 2009 Cornerhouse plays host to the largest Spanish language film festival in the UK. A mix of independent films, Spanish blockbusters, comedies and documentaries and a superb line-up of classics guarantee something for everyone. Not to be missed are the popular ¡Viva! parties and the themed food and drink offers.

24:7 Theatre Festival Queer Up North 9th – 25th May 2009 See page 67 for details.

Futuresonic 14th – 16th May 2009 Manchester has never been just about the mainstream. As a radical and ideasled city it’s no surprise that Manchester is hosting Futuresonic. As the name suggests, the event is about future trends in modern culture: newly commissioned artwork; world-renowned music from art-punk to hip hop and up-and-coming artists.

Eurocultured May 2009 Manchester – Dublin – Bratislava. This growing annual festival brings together the very best of European bands, DJs


and graffiti artists. Live performances, plenty of stalls and on-site art turn this event into a colourful celebration of new and established talents from all over Europe.

20th – 26th July 2009 Manchester has a reputation of being at the forefront of innovation, being the city where the UK’s first repertory theatre was established in 1908. The 24:7 Theatre Festival ties in with the city’s rich theatrical history and celebrates new and original work in a variety of nontheatre venues in Manchester.

Manchester Jazz Festival July 2009 The programme of Manchester Jazz Festival is just as cutting-edge as the city’s attitude. The organisers of this annual event are committed to championing new ideas from young musicians and showcasing exciting commissions and collaborations that are unique to Manchester.

Manchester International Festival

In The City

2 – 19 July 2009 The Manchester International Festival is the world’s first festival of original new work and special events. The biennial festival is returning to Manchester in 2009, with a new programme of world premieres and major artists. See page 6 for further details.

Manchester Pride

October 2009 It’s seen as an institution in the music industry and as the premier new music event in the world. In The City has an astonishing track record of helping launch the careers of bands like Oasis, Radiohead, Coldplay and Foo Fighters and over the past 15 years has hosted now-legendary gigs by The Chemical Brothers, Daft Punk, Arctic Monkeys and many more.

21st – 31st August 2009 See page 68 for details.

Manchester Literature Festival

Greater Manchester Food & Drink Festival October 2009 Sample some of the region’s best food and drink with events taking place in Manchester, Bolton, Stockport and Salford. Enjoy live cooking demonstrations, celebrity chefs, tastings, masterclasses and entertainment.

October 2009 This festival is all about the power of writing challenging the traditional perceptions of a literature event and promoting diverse, experimental and independent work from local and international talents across all creative and technological media.

Manchester Comedy Festival October 2009 The Manchester Comedy Festival can easily be listed along big names such as the world-famous Edinburgh Fringe. It’s

one of the city’s pillar events and brings the best of comedy to town, be it oneman stand-up shows, cabaret nights, films or plays. Various venues across the city centre and beyond, from traditional pubs to swanky bars and opulent theatres showcase local comics alongside famous acts such as Jimmy Carr and Ricky Gervais.

Manchester Christmas Lights Switch-on November 2009 An event for the whole family. Join in the celebrations to start the festive season with special celebrity guests, live music to sing along to, costumed characters and a fantastic firework finale.

Manchester Christmas Markets November 2009 – December 2009 Manchester’s Christmas Markets are amongst the very best in Britain and Europe. The city centre is transformed with twinkling, traditional wooden chalets full of gift ideas and seasonal produce from across Europe.


WHAT’S ON? Manchester’s festivals and events

Exposures UK Student Film festival November 2009 Having started 15 years ago as a two two-hour screening slot to reflect the developing filmmaking courses appearing in the city region, Exposures has since become the UK’s largest festival of students’ moving image work, bringing you the very best in both national and international student filmmaking, presented at Cornerhouse.

CULTURE Darwin200 February - 2009, Manchester Museum An exhibition celebrating 200 years since the birth of Charles Darwin along with recreational and educational events for adults and families. The exhibition draws on the museum’s history as a civic evolutionary museum and includes objects collected by Darwin himself.

Subversive Spaces: Surrealism and Contemporary Art 7 February – 4 May 2009, Whitworth Art Gallery Explores the continued influence of Surrealists such as Magritte and Salvador Dali on the work of today’s artists, including Tacita Dean, Sarah Lucas, Lucy Gunning and others.

Weaving Stories 13 February 2009, MOSI (Museum of Science & Industry) Explore the global impact of Manchester’s cotton and textile industry through objects and stories of individuals and communities originating from the southern


Prisoners of War May 2009 - January 2010, Imperial War Museum North Extraordinary stories of Prisoners of War during the Second World War, featuring British prisoners in Europe and the Far East, and civilian internees. Encounter the powerful stories of endurance, friendship and survival from a wide range of prisoners experiencing very different conditions, from the Isle of Man to Japan.

Inspired by Lowry: Maggi Hambling October 2009 to March 2010, The Lowry One of the most respected English painters and sculptors working today presents her dramatic seascape paintings, developed in part through her admiration of LS Lowry’s own seascapes.

Angels of Anarchy: Women Artists and Surrealism 26 September 2009 - 10 January 2010, Manchester Art Gallery A once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to see outstanding works by artists including Frida Khalo, Dorothea Tanning, Leonora Carrington and Lee Miller, from public and private collections around the globe. This major new exhibition is the first of its kind and an opportunity to explore what made these artists radically different to their male counterparts.

For up-to-date information, check out before your visit

SPORTS BUPA Great Manchester Run

National Squash Championships

17 May 2009, Manchester City Centre

February 2009, National Squash Centre The annual National Squash Championships will see some of the world’s best players battling it out for the coveted British Champion title.

English National Badminton Championships 30 January – 1 February 2009, The Velodrome, National Cycling Centre Watch the UK’s best badminton talent competing to become the next National champion.

Cornerhouse 70 Oxford Street, Manchester, M1 5NH t. +44 (0)161 200 1500

Housed in an iconic building with three floors of galleries, three cinema screens, two bookshops and a popular café bar, Cornerhouse is the destination for lovers of good art, films, food and drink in Manchester. The combination of a vibrant meeting place for business or leisure during the day and night and the best place to catch films and exhibitions from around the world makes Cornerhouse an essential destination for visitors to the city.


always in style It’s no secret that Manchester is one of the most fashionable cities in the UK. From high street brands and designer labels to quirky vintage junk shops - Manchester really is in a league of its own. Home to a creative hub of new design talent and unconventional retailers Mancunian’s are most definitely leading the way in the fashion pack. Keep your eye on the following designers currently based in Manchester:

Designed by Hasan Hejazi


Hasan Hejazi

David Mallon

Vicky Martin

womenswear designer

founder of Ringspun

owner of Vicky Martin Clothing

Since graduating from Manchester Metropolitan University’s renowned B.A. Fashion course in 2007, Hasan has set up his own label selling bespoke womenswear. Drawing on eighties Madonna amongst his inspirations, Hasan’s designs will definitely appeal to fashion conscious women.

Launched almost ten years ago by David Mallon, Ringspun has been responsible for some serious trend explosions including their 2007 Military range and their 2003 Brasil and Italia world cup sweaters. Ringspun now sits alongside David’s highend Elvis Jesus range which sells in Harvey Nichols, the exclusive members only Circle Club and the Ringspun General Store on Manchester’s Deansgate, which offers Religion and Buddhist Punk brands to name a few.

1987 saw the launch of the bespoke womenswear label Vicky Martin. Named after its founder, Vicky set her sights on designing glamorous daytime and evening wear that would be accessible to the everyday woman. Following in the footsteps of other Mancunian fashion factories, Vicky began to spread her wings reaching down to London and has developed a strong presence online and in print catalogues.

Combining tough materials such as leather and sheepskin with delicate lace and embellishment, Hasan’s creations have statement appeal and are utterly wearable. Not content with designing fashion, Hasan is also a stylist, with celebrity bibles Hello! and OK! on his client list. For more information and to make orders with Hasan, please visit,

David is proud of his roots, still embracing the unique fashion boom that took place in Manchester in the late eighties and early nineties with the influx of rave culture. His very own store in the historic Affleck’s Palace allowed him to get to know and build a loyal customer base before launching Ringspun menswear in 1999. This fresh and innovative label has been applauded throughout the industry, filling in a much needed gap in the youth market for urban rock clothing. Over the years, Ringspun has gone from strength to strength and now David has some serious fashion credentials with his brand operating in locations around Europe, the US, Japan, Australia and the Middle East.

Even today in this globalised apparel industry Vicky still insists on designing, developing and creating all pieces in house (in Manchester) as well as selling out of her store in the Triangle on Exchange Square. Recently her classic and beauty driven brand moved into bridal and knitwear with an exclusive limited edition range also due soon. There is no sign of Miss Martin slowing down; a trait which seems to be ingrained within the very soul of Manchester’s finest. Vicky Martin’s range is available from the Vicky Martin Store in the Triangle Shopping Centre on Exchange Square (0161 796 7788). Check out Vicky’s online store at;

The Ringspun General Store is located at Barton Arcade on Deansgate, Manchester, (0161 228 1261). Find out more at /


In Vogue Serving the needs of Mancunian fashion on a daily basis is the stylish Dale Hicks, managing director of the Manchester Fashion Network Ltd. Dale and his team continually strive to seek out new art and design talent in Manchester and around the Northwest. We asked Dale to recommend a typical day for shopaholics exploring Manchester for the first time... AM

Cup (Thomas Street) No time for breakfast? Don’t worry, get a coffee on the run from this independent Mancunian eatery. Better still, have a cup of tea! ‘Make us a Brew’ is the tea brand launched by DJ, producer and ‘Cup’ co-owner Mr Scruff (£1.20 a brew). You can also fuel up for the day with toasted sandwiches for under £4 or a bowl of magnificent porridge (£3).

Northern Quarter Shopping ‘Retro Rehab’ (Oldham Street) is full of vintage and re-styled clothes. You can pick up your own original frock for around £30. There are a whole host of other unique stores in this area; ‘Rags to Bitches’ (Tib Street) and ‘Ryan Vintage’ (Oldham Street) are just two that you must try.



Oklahoma (High Street)

Chaophraya (Chapel Walks)

After a morning browsing the rails you should go and re-fuel in ‘Oklahoma’. Full to the rafters with enough paraphernalia to occupy even the shortest of attention spans, it also provides excellent grub. Beans on toast or a bowl full of moussaka will set you back less than a fiver. And you can’t leave without trying the home made banana cake!

This place oozes exotic charm and the alluring menu contains some of the tastiest Asian offerings in the Northwest. The Thai Fisherman soup is heavenly and the tender lamb with mango and rock lobster is mouth watering. With affordable prices and a rich atmosphere, this gem can’t be beaten.

Urbis (Cathedral Gardens) Urbis is an uber-hip exhibition centre whose architectural exterior is as striking as what it holds within. It prides itself on exhibiting the culture of the modern city. Urbis also explores design, art, fashion and award-winning photography - there’s enough to inspire anyone. Admission is free and exhibits change around every six months.

Bacchanalia (Chapel Walks) Unwind after a full day of exploration in one of Manchester’s most elegant haunts. As the sun goes down this place really comes to life. Rustic exposed brick and sumptuous brown leather is the look whilst the menu is extensive. With drinks starting at £3.50 you can afford to spoil yourself. Go on, have a cocktail!

The Northern Quarter The list of super cool bars in the Northern Quarter runs the length of your arm and it’s definitely the most popular spot for Manchester’s night owls. ‘Common’ (Edge Street) and ‘Odd’ (Thomas Street) are the pick of the bunch though you should explore a whole host of independently owned bars and pubs in this area. You’ll find foreign beers, locally brewed cask ales, continental spirits, eclectic DJs and live bands on almost every corner.

Dale’s top five places to shop in Manchester 1 The General Store 7 Barton Arcade, Manchester, M3 2BB t. +44 (0)161 839 3864

2. Oi polloi 70 Tib St, Manchester, M4 1LG t. +44 (0)161 831 7870

3. Cast 49-51 Thomas St, Manchester, M4 1NA t. +44 (0)161 832 5100

4. White Label 53 Church St, Manchester, M4 1PD t. +44 (0)161 833 3666

5. Ryan Vintage 46/50 Oldham St, Manchester, M4 1LE

Special thanks to; Manchester Fashion Network Ltd Dale Hicks Ryan Cooper-Brown Anna Fenlon


Day and Night at The Trafford Centre The Trafford Centre offers a unique, varied and everchanging experience to visitors right at the heart of the UK. From exquisite designer shopping at The Trafford Centre itself, to an invigorating real snow experience at the new Chill Factore indoor ski slopes, and from spectacular golfing facilities at PlayGolf, to restful tranquility at a variety of hotels, the recipe for a perfectly rounded weekend is laid on here. From tea dances and Mall Walking to fashion shows, book signings, pop concerts and film premieres, there’s always something going on both day and night. The Trafford Centre presents 230 topnotch stores, more than 60 restaurants, cafés and bars, the largest ODEON megaplex in the UK, plus fantastic leisure facilities such as Namco bowling and Laser Quest all under one roof.

The shopping offer is constantly refreshed and rejuvenated, most recently with the spectacular opening of the £80million Barton Square; the most modern homeware and furniture store development to hit Britain. A stellar collection of household names including M&S Home, Next Home, HomeSense, Habitat, British HOME Stores, Laura Ashley Home and Dwell have come on board to present an inspiring collection of goods that can turn any house into a home. There’s also plenty to keep smaller children occupied whilst mum and dad do their own things, including a crèche, soft toy play area, fun buggies, Barney Bear kid’s club, and various child-focused performances on stage on special weekends and during every half term holiday. Big name high street retailers and quirky specialist emporia bring a constantly changing selection, guaranteed to tempt everyone from teenagers to the mature

shopper. Apple, Molton Brown, Hugo Boss, a flagship John Lewis, and 4-levels of Marks and Spencer rival the offering on Oxford Street. New stores opened in recent months include Vivienne Westwood, DKNY Jeans, A/X Armani Exchange, Thomas Sabo, Fossil, All Saints, Puma, Calvin Klein Jeans, Bench, G-Star and Zavvi. You can wander the world from the comfort of your table at The Orient, the location for more than 60 restaurants, bars and cafes including Albert Roux, Harry Ramsden’s, Barburrito and Rice. Meanwhile, the stunning Great Hall draws the crowds to fine dining under the world’s largest chandelier. Come and fill a memorable day with Trafford Centre experiences we’re always ahead...


The Ultimate Shopping Experience Whether you love hunting down vintage gems or go weak at the knees for designer labels - Manchester city centre has it all. Cutting edge and unique, Manchester has style and attitude! With an array of malls, upmarket stores alongside markets and boutiques, Manchester offers one of the greatest shopping experiences in the North of England. The bohemian Northern Quarter is a treasure trove of independent retailers bursting with second hand clothing, funky accessories, records, furniture and books. It’s also home to an alternative indoor arcade, Afflecks, a maze of fascinating shops featuring local designers, retro fashion and accessories, as well as tarot readers and piercing studios.


At Manchester Craft and Design Centre local artists create their masterpieces whilst you watch. From hand-made jewellery and gifts to photography, sculpture and paintings, this tranquil retreat is the perfect place to pick up a unique gift or have a coffee break away from the bustle of the city. Northern Quarter favourites include Rags to Bitches, Pop Boutique, American Graffiti, Ryan Vintage, Retro Rehab and Junk for individual style and tailor-made reworked vintage. For the latest records or obscure rarities, Piccadilly Records, Vinyl Exchange and Fat City Records attract local DJs and music lovers alike.

Nearby, Manchester Arndale and Market Street boast the best known high street brands such as Topshop, Urban Outfitters, Next, Marks & Spencer and Primark. With its recent refurbishment, Manchester Arndale is the UK’s largest inner city shopping centre and plays host to 240 stores. Open seven days a week, and until late on weekdays, there’s plenty of time to indulge. Manchester Arndale Market is a popular destination for the region’s food lovers, selling fresh local produce, specialist goods, and a superb range of value fashion along with services such as hair salons and nailbars. In Exchange Square, Harvey Nichols and Selfridges offer luxury, from Chanel to Louis Vuitton, Prada and Gucci, with fantastic beauty counters providing the latest in the most sought after brands and wonderful food halls. A short walk along Deansgate brings you to House of Fraser (formerly known as Kendals), one of the most established department stores in the city - where you can kit yourself out, head to toe, with the help of a personal shopper. If you’re not shopped out by now, King Street is just minutes away; Vivienne Westwood, Armani, Mulberry and Tommy Hilfiger all have outlets on this exclusive street. Triangle Shopping Centre, formerly the Corn Exchange, is conveniently situated between Victoria train station, Manchester Arndale and Exchange Square. Opposite Selfridges, Triangle Shopping Centre features luxurious brands, including Calvin Klein, Adidas,

Jigsaw, Karen Millen and more. A regular venue for fashion shows, this is more than an ordinary shopping mall, offering another touch of class to the city’s shopping. A newcomer to the city centre landscape will be the new premier shopping destination at Spinningfields, providing haute couture fashion and luxury goods. The area will form the nucleus for a concentrated cluster of international fashion retailers such as Armani. These will be complemented by an exciting range of restaurants providing a wide range of cuisines to enjoy. Offering a world of fashion and food will ensure Spinningfields becomes a destination for the highest quality national and international brands. If it’s not yourself but your living space you’re looking to furnish, look no further than Deansgate: if you head up to the Great Northern, choose from state of the art technology at Bang and Olufsen, stylish, modern furniture in Dwell, Feather and Black bedrooms and Luxwell Kitchens - luxury for every room. For stylish furniture and homeware, Habitat can also be found off St. Ann’s Square, a retail area leading to other upmarket shopping arcades where you’ll find exclusive outlets offering jewellery, art, designer clothing and more. Then after a long day’s shopping, you’ll find a multitude of bars and restaurants just waiting to help you put your feet up and enjoy one of the varied cuisines on offer. Manchester is a shopper’s paradise: whether you’re a regular

visitor to the city or it’s your first time, you’re sure to discover something to satisfy your need for retail therapy. It’s the ultimate shopping city, compact and diverse - you’re guaranteed to find something that fits your taste and budget.

Manchester Craft and Design Centre 17 Oak Street, Northern Quarter, Manchester, M4 5JD T. +44 (0)161 832 4274

Manchester Craft and Design Centre is in the city’s creative Northern Quarter. Discover their exciting exhibition programme, be inspired by their talented resident artists and enjoy the tasty café food. For almost three decades, this former Victorian Fish Market has been home to two floors of studios where work ranges from ceramics, jewellery and textiles, to accessories, furniture and painting. Buy from the makers, watch them at work or commission something completely unique. You can’t afford to miss a visit.



Rags to Bitches

52 Church St, Northern Quarter, M4 1PW T: +44 (0)161 839 0718

60 Tibb St, Northern Quarter T: +44 (0)161 835 9265

The four floors of independent retailers sell everything from retro clothing, army surplus to new innovative gift ideas.

Rags to Bitches sell unique and affordable vintage and customised clothes. They wash, polish, dry clean and iron all of their handpicked stock.

Great Northern 235 Deansgate, M3 4EN T: +44 (0)161 832 8136 The Grade 2* listed Great Northern Warehouse is a lively leisure and retail complex with shops, bustling bars, cafes and restaurants and an elegant landscaped public square.

Harvey Nichols 21 New Cathedral St, M1 1AD T: +44 (0)161 828 8888

Selfridges 1 Exchange Square, M3 1BD T: +44 (0)800 123 400 Think retail therapy AND a stylish venue to meet friends - all over five spectacular floors, each designed by an internationally renowned architect.

The Lowry Outlet Mall Salford Quays, M50 3AH T: +44 (0)161 848 1850

Harvey Nichols is an international luxury lifestyle store, renowned both in the UK and internationally for its exclusive fashion merchandise. It offers many of the world’s top brands in clothing, beauty, food and homeware.

The Lowry Outlet Mall is located in the heart of The Quays, Manchester’s unique waterfront destination and is within walking distance of the other Quays attractions.

House of Fraser

The Trafford Centre

Deansgate, M60 3AU T: +44 (0)844 800 3744

Manchester M17 8AA T: +44 (0)161 749 1717/18

Department store with hundreds of designer brands under one roof, from beauty to furniture.

A shopping and leisure destination with 230 stores, 60 restaurants and cafés and the recently opened Barton Square home stores.

Manchester Arndale Manchester City Centre, M4 3AQ T: +44 (0)161 833 9851 Here you will find a huge selection of exciting shops from the leading high street names to lots of smaller, stylish specialists.


Triangle Shopping Centre Exchange Square, M4 3TR T: +44 (0)161 834 8961 Situated in Exchange Square in the heart of Manchester the award-winning Triangle is more than a retail area, it is the urban essential. All your shopping and relaxation needs can be satisfied here: fashion, food and drink, health and beauty.

Manchester Arndale: City Centre Manchester, M4 3AQ T. +44 (0)161 833 9851

Manchester Arndale is the UK’s largest in-town shopping centre, attracting over 30 million visitors every year. Bursting at the seams with the latest fashion, footwear, accessories, music and entertainment, the centre forms the heart of the city’s shopping district. It boasts more than 240 retailers including Next and All Saints flagship stores. Hot high street fashion names such as Topshop, Oasis and Warehouse, stand next to cult independents like Superdry, G-Star, and new concept stores from Puma and Disney. The centre also offers customers a completely free, unique Style Advisor service; a personal shopping experience like no other where Style Advisor, Debs Hatfield, offers customers stuck in a fashion rut the chance to revive their wardrobe. As well as the hot high street names Manchester Arndale has a great selection of tasty places to eat. For a quick fix, indulge yourself at of the many eateries or coffee shops such as Starbucks, Eat, Costa Coffee, Bagel Nash and Baskin Robbins. Or for a more leisurely dining experience, try Bella Italia, Est Caffe or Nandos restaurant. Manchester Arndale’s Food Court is also home to Pizza Hut Express, Subway, McDonalds and Wings, so there’s something to suit everyone! With so much to choose from, Manchester city centre isn’t complete without a visit to Manchester Arndale. For more information log onto


MANCHESTER’S MARKETS: where chaos and creativity meet; and where commerce and multiculturalism combine...

In 1066 William the Conqueror granted the people of Manchester the right to hold markets and fairs within the city limits. Today, almost 1,000 years later, they still hold him to his word, with a range of markets selling everything from bonsai trees to bratwurst sausages. With such a wide variety of things on offer, it’s no surprise the locals flock here when they want to indulge in a spot of shopping with a difference... Lets take a look at some of the markets hitting the streets of Manchester this year...


Christmas Markets 18 November - 20 December 2009 Albert Square, Exchange St, Exchange Square, St Ann’s Square New Cathedral St and Brazenose St, 10am to 8pm Manchester’s Christmas markets take place in six picturesque squares throughout the city centre, the focal point of which is in front of the Town Hall in Albert Square. The best time to visit is early evening when you can soak up the atmosphere beneath the twinkling lights and enjoy a sizzling bratwurst washed down with a warming glüwein.

Farmers and Producers Markets Second and fourth weekend (Friday and Saturday) of each month, 10am to 6pm, Piccadilly Gardens With over a decade of supplying top quality, locally sourced, fresh products, the Farmers and Producers markets are always popular. Treat yourself to a selection of farm baked delicacies, freshly made soups, smoothies or Caribbean patties. The whisper around the stalls is to ‘try before you buy’ and enthusiastic stallholders are often also the producers and will gladly answer any questions you have about the foods on offer. week

Manchester Arndale Market

Manchester Fashion Market

Manchester Flower Market

High St, Manchester Open seven days a week

Tib St, Manchester City Centre Every Saturday 10am to 5pm

Piccadilly Gardens 10am to 6pm Every Thursday, Friday and Saturday

Over at Manchester Arndale there is a fantastic selection of regional and international cuisine on sale with cheeses, fresh meat, fish, flowers and health and beauty products conveniently situated under one roof.

For fashion lovers - or just those looking for a one-off designer outfit, piece of jewellery or handbag - Manchester Fashion Market is a haven. You can browse the unique, but affordable, items and think of an excuse to buy practically anything.

Piccadilly Gardens, Manchester’s busiest public square, hosts its traditional Flower Market on a weekly basis. The floral treat sells a wide range of exotic and traditional cut flowers, potted plants, shrubs and bonsai. The quality of the products and fantastic prices ensures this is a favourite haunt of ardent garden-lovers.

For more information about Manchester’s Markets, visit:


Local Heroes Pies and Pints... the region's pantry laid bare. How Manchester's cuisine plays as big a part in defining its character as its architecture and people.


Think of a Paris without French bread and croissants, a New York with no hotdogs or hamburgers, and can you imagine a Dublin without Guinness? Surely such times will never exist! And so what of the culinary delights of Manchester and the wider Northwest of England? While the first-time visitor might struggle to name a meal that encapsulates the region's pantry or palate, Mancunians themselves would struggle even harder to choose just one. Pinpointing a single dish from the long list that has become the region's signature menu isn't an easy task. For the Northwest is the land of Lancashire hotpot, corned beef hash, golden vegetable soup and black pudding. Our rich coastal waters provide delicacies such as Morecambe Bay and Southport shrimps, whilst the fields and fells of the Forest of Bowland are pasture to the highest quality beef and lamb. To finish, there are Chorley cakes, treacle toffee, Eccles cakes, Manchester tart or good old Uncle Joe's mint balls. And it's not just food. Manchester and the Northwest have a reputation for producing some of Britain's finest ales and bitters Hyde's, Holt's and Robinson's to name but a few. And then, of course, there's Boddingtons, which is perhaps the city's most famous alcoholic export. Affectionately known as 'The Cream of Manchester’, it earned something of a cult patronage after 90's Manchester pin-up girl, Melanie Sykes, asked us: 'do you want a flake in that, love?'.

What you'll find common in all of the region's signature dishes is that they are all what we call 'real food' - the type your mum made when you were young and the sort of meal that leaves you with a warm feeling on the inside - comfort food if you will. Mancunians like hearty grub - and they're not afraid to admit it! But don't be fooled into thinking that Northern standards are any less than those of our friends in London. Quality and presentation has never been more important and the expectations of Mancunians have fuelled a transformation of the city and wider-region's culinary offering. In the true spirit of 'try before you buy', over the next few pages, three of Greater Manchester's best-known chefs present dishes for you to try, that make the most of the fantastic produce available on our doorstep. Prepare to feel hungry...


Image by Colin McPherson

Loin of Wissal Lamb robed in chicken and herb mousseline

Serves 4

Sauce Madère

4 x 100gms lamb loin, cleaned

Farce 300g chicken breast 1 egg 100ml double cream 50g butter 50g shallots Tarragon, chervil, parsley, rosemary, salt and pepper Method 1 Place seasoned lamb in a hot, oiled sauté pan and seal. Remove and cool as quickly as possible.

Robert Kisby Robert Kisby is a familiar face in some of Manchester’s most iconic buildings. His career in the city began at the Midland Hotel, followed by a number of years as Executive Chef at The Bridgewater Hall and as Chef-Manager at the acclaimed Le Mont restaurant at Urbis. More recently, Robert has worked as a consultant to the recently opened Yang Sing Oriental, Manchester’s most unique boutique hotel.

2 Finely chop shallots and sweat off in sauté pan 3 Remove any sinew from chicken and blend in a food mixer, adding the egg and cream. 4 Pass chicken farce through a fine sieve, add shallots and chopped herbs. Refrigerate. 5 Take a square of foil large enough to wrap around the lamb. Butter and season well. 6 Spread a layer of farce (approximately 0.25 cm thick) onto the foil and lay the lamb on top of it. Roll into a cylinder and refrigerate. 7 To cook: - heat a sauté pan and place meat inside (still inside the foil cylinder), rolling round to commence the cooking, before placing in hot oven and roasting for approximately 12-15 minutes, keeping the lamb pink. 8 Rest for five minutes, remove foil, carve as you wish. Present on plate with sauce

Image by Colin McPherson


50g ½ cm diced onion, leek, carrot and celery 125ml Madeira 350ml Veal/Beef stock 1tsp tomato puree 1tsp flour 25g butter salt and pepper 1 bay leaf Method 1 Whilst the lamb is resting, heat the sauté pan used for the lamb, fry off vegetables to caramelise, add bay leaf, salt and pepper. 2 Add tomato puree, cook out for a couple of minutes. 3 Add flour to take up excess fat. 4 Deglaze the pan with Madeira, bring to the boil and reduce by half 5 Add beef stock and reduce to sauce consistency. 6 Pass sauce through a fine sieve, check seasoning Slice lamb at an angle, arrange your choice of vegetables around and pour sauce around.

Pan-fried Cheshire sirloin steak with roasted shallots, celeriac purée, wild mushrooms and a Madeira cream sauce.

Serves 4 4 x 200/250g Cheshire sirloin steaks 120g mixed wild mushrooms 10g shallots, chopped finely 200g young spinach 20 shallots, peeled and blanched Sherry vinegar Unsalted butter Vegetable oil Salt and pepper

Celeriac Purée

Michael Caines MBE With his own restaurant empire, two Michelin stars under his belt and having cooked for the prime minister at 10 Downing Street, Michael Caines MBE is one of Britain’s most acclaimed chefs. He is also the operational partner and director of ABode, a group of boutique hotels that he co-founded with his partner Andrew Brownsword. ABode Manchester, which incorporates a Michael Caines Restaurant, opened in 2008.

300g celeriac trimmings, chopped 25g celery, chopped 25g onions, chopped 250ml water 250ml milk 2g chicken bouillon powder or stock cube 25g unsalted butter 3g salt Pinch of ground white pepper

Madeira Cream Sauce 40g shallots, sliced 50g button mushrooms, sliced 100ml Madeira 150ml chicken stock 150ml cream 50g butter 2 sprigs thyme Salt and pepper 1 Firstly make the celeriac purée. Place the onions, celery and salt in a saucepan with the butter and sweat. Then add the milk, chicken stock and water, then the celeriac and pepper. Bring to the boil, then reduce to a simmer and cook for 30 minutes. Allow to cool.

4 Add the chicken stock and reduce by half again, then add the cream and reduce this by half. To finish, add the remaining butter and pass through a fine sieve and season with salt and pepper. 5 Using a thick bottomed pan take some butter and slowly roast the blanched shallots with a little salt and pepper, turning from time to time. When soft, deglaze with the sherry vinegar and leave to rest. 6 Season the steaks with salt and pepper and seal them in a hot pan with a little vegetable oil and butter then cook them in the resulting foaming butter, turning as you go until you reach the required degree (rare, medium etc). Remove the steak from the pan and leave to rest on a tray for a few minutes. 7 Remove the excess fat from the pan the steaks were cooked in and add a little water before adding some Madeira sauce. Bring to the boil and reduce to a sauce consistency. Then in a separate frying pan heat some butter and sweat the finely chopped shallots, then add the wild mushrooms and sauté until cooked. Now add these to the Madeira sauce. In the same pan as the shallots and mushrooms were cooked, wilt the spinach and season with salt and pepper. 8 To serve, place the spinach onto the right side of the plate, slice the steaks and fan on top of the spinach. Using a large spoon, place a tear drop of celeriac purée onto the plate. Dress five roasted shallots around the plate and then spoon the mushrooms and sauce over the meat.

2 Pass the mixture through a colander and place into a mixer and mix until fine. Remove from the mixer and place into a blender and blend to a very fine puree. Place back into the pan and add a little butter and correct the seasoning. Keep warm. 3 Next, make the Madeira cream sauce. Sweat the shallots in 25g of the butter, add the salt and cook until transparent. Add the mushrooms and continue cooking until they are slippery in texture, then add the thyme. Add the Madeira and cook until reduced by half. Images courtesy of Michael Caines


Seared Salmon fillet with ‘Nutters’ Lancashire Rarebit

Serves 1 100g Lancashire cheese - roughly chopped 50g Stilton - roughly chopped 50ml milk 10g Plain flour 20g breadcrumbs 1 egg 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard Worcestershire sauce to taste 1 x 200g salmon fillets Splash of olive oil A few leaves of fresh basil To Serve

Andrew Nutter Andrew Nutter is one of the new breed of celebrity chef: his food is exciting and innovative, using the best of local and regional produce with the infamous Nutter twist. His restaurant, now in its 15th year, is housed in a gothic, Tudor-style manor, set in six and a half acres of groomed parkland, with stunning views across the Manchester landscape. In 2008, Nutters Restaurant was named Restaurant of the Year in the Manchester Tourism Awards and Andrew was the recipient of the award for Outstanding Contribution at the Manchester Food and Drink Awards.

Images courtesy of Andrew Nutter


6 Baby Roma Tomatoes 1 shallot chopped fine ½ clove garlic Few sprigs fresh thyme and rosemary 1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar 1 tablespoon olive oil Drizzle basil oil Few mixed salad leaves

Tomatoes 1 For the tomatoes slice in half, place on a tray cut side up and scatter with shallot, garlic, thyme, rosemary, balsamic vinegar and olive oil and seasonings. 2 Place in a hot oven for eight minutes until slightly blistered.

Lancashire Welsh Rarebit 1 In a pan, add the Lancashire cheese and Stilton cheeses with the milk and heat until the cheeses melt, (about five minutes), stirring frequently. 2 Stir in the flour and breadcrumbs and cook until the cheeses thicken and come away from the edge of the dish (about one minute). 3 Cool slightly and then place in a food processor. Add the egg, yolks, mustard and Worcestershire sauce, blend until smooth.

Salmon 1 In a frying pan, heat the olive oil and seal the salmon on both sides. 2 Place the basil on top, and top with the welsh rarebit. Grill until golden brown (about two minutes). To Serve Arrange the salad leaves and Roma tomatoes on a plate, add a little Worcestershire sauce and finally top with the grilled salmon.

RESTAURANT LISTINGS BRITISH Choice Bar & Restaurant Castle Quay, Castlefield T +44 (0)161 833 3400


Olive Press Manchester


Brasserie @ Princess on Portland

4 Lloyd St, off Deansgate T +44 (0)161 832 9090

The Bay Horse

101 Portland St T: +44 (0)161 236 5122

City Café

18 Market Place, Ramsbottom T +44 (0)1706 825 070

One Piccadilly Place, Auburn St T +44 (0)161 228 0008


The French at The Midland


Peter St T +44 (0)161 236 3333

Chapel Walks (off Cross St) T: +44 (0)161 832 8342



New York St, Piccadilly T: +44 (0)161 238 9790

92 - 94 Oldham St, Northern Quarter T: +44 (0)161 238 9088

Isinglass 46 Flixton Rd, Urmston T: +44 (0)161 749 8400


35 - 37 Thomas St, Northern Quarter T +44 (0)161 661 1041

Cord Bar 8 Dorsey St, Northern Quarter T +44 (0)161 832 9494

Dukes 92 18 Castle St, Castlefield T +44 (0)161 839 8646

Hard Rock Cafe Exchange Square, Corporation St T +44 (0)161 831 6700

The Lass O’Gowrie Market Restaurant

Grill on the Alley

104 High St, Northern Quarter, Manchester, M4 1HQ T +44 (0)161 834 3743

5 Ridgefield, Deansgate T +44 (0)161 833 3465

Charles St T +44 (0)161 273 6932

The Living Room Las Iguanas

A Northern Quarter fixture since the 1980s, the Market Restaurant is famed for its cosy, cottagey style and award-winning Modern British food. The menu changes every six weeks and opening hours have recently been extended: Tuesday to Saturday 12 noon until 10pm (last orders) and 12 noon until 5pm on a Sunday.

Mr Thomas’ Chophouse 52 Cross St T +44 (0)161 832 2245

Nutters Edenfield Rd, Norden, Rochdale, OL12 7TY T +44 (0)1706 650 167

Opus One Peter St T +44 (0)161 835 9929

80 Deansgate T +44 (0)870 44 22 537

The Trafford Centre T +44 (0)161 747 6119

Love Saves the Day, Deansgate Malmaison Brasserie Piccadilly T: +44 (0)161 278 1000

Manchester 235 Restaurants Numero (Italian) & Linen Modern British) The Great Northern, Watson St T +44 (0)161 832 3927

Northern Quarter Restaurant & Bar 108 High St, Northern Quarter, T +44 (0)161 832 7115

Sapporo Teppanyaki 91-93 Liverpool Rd, Manchester, M3 4JN T +44 (0)161 831 9888 F +44 (0)161 839 4030 E. A unique and exciting dining experience awaits you at Sapporo Teppanyaki, from the entertaining theatrical show done at your own grill to the more relaxed sushi and noodle bar.


Vermilion & Cinnabar

2 Canal St T +44 (0)161 236 9003

Hulme Hall Lane, Lord North St, Miles Platting T +44 (0)161 202 0055


Yang Sing Restaurant

Albert’s Shed

34 Princess St T: +44 (0)161 236 2200

Room Restaurant 81King St, Spring Gardens T +44 (0)161 839 2005

Sam’s Chop House Back Pool Fold, Chapel Walks (off Cross St) T +44 (0)161 834 3210

Slattery’s Patissier & Chocolatier 197 Bury New Rd, Whitefield T +44 (0)161 767 9303

The Modern Urbis, Cathedral Gardens T +44 (0)161 605 8282

20 Castle St, Castlefield T +44 (0)161 839 9818


Carluccio’s The Great Hall, Trafford Centre, Trafford T +44 (0)161 747 4973

2 - 4 Little Peter St T +44 (0)161 834 2266

Obsidian Bar & Restaurant 18-24 Princess St T: +44 (0)161 238 4348

Opus The Printworks, Withy Grove T +44 (0)161 834 2414

Panacea Bar & Restaurant 14 John Dalton St T +44 (0)161 833 0000

Seven Oaks 5 Nicholas St T +44 (0)161 237 1233

Soup Kitchen 31 - 33 Spear Street (off Stevenson Sq), Northern Quarter, T +44 (0)161 236 5100

Taurus Royal Balti House


78 Lower Market St, Farnworth, Bolton, BL4 7NY T +44 (0)1204 573 515

57 Whitworth St West T +44 (0)161 237 5458

Shimla Pinks

1 Canal St T +44 (0)161 236 4593

Dolefield, Crown Sq T +44 (0)161 831 7099


A Wander through the Northern Quarter Manchester’s a great city to explore on foot. It’s very pedestrian friendly and although it appears huge, most districts are fairly compact.


In recent years the Northern Quarter has become one of the city’s most popular locations. You can spend a whole afternoon here and still have plenty left to see and do. Music lovers in particular will get distracted by the numerous record shops dotted around the area.

You must also try Manchester’s ‘Craft and Design Centre’ located on Oak Street. Artists and crafty folk rent out studios in the building where they produce new works and then offer them for sale. It’s perfect for picking up a unique present or to just simply browse the exhibition space.

‘Vinyl Exchange’ on Oldham Street is a great start, offering two floors of CD’s, records and DVDs. Look out for expromotional copies which are always much cheaper than the high street equivalents.

Near to the Craft and Design centre, you’ll stumble across the Richard Goodall gallery (103, High Street), with regular exhibitions of photography, street art and design.

Tip: Next door in ‘Fat City’, you’ll be able to find great UK hip-hop and music from their very own label, ‘Fat City Recordings’, as well as details on their regular Manchester club night, ‘Friends and Family’. Across the road, ‘Piccadilly Records’ is another essential stop – keep an eye out for in store performances by some of the UK’s best up and coming bands. If you’re looking for vintage clothing or something a little different, you’re in the right place. The well regarded ‘Cafe Pop’ on Oldham Street stocks retro clothes upstairs from the Northwest’s very own ‘Pop Boutique’ label. Once you’ve finished looking, you could get a tasty bite to eat in the quirky basement cafe. Around the corner is Afflecks on Tib Street. This is arguably the hub of the Northern Quarter: an ex-warehouse of four floors occupied by independent retailers and local brands. You’ll see alternative fashion in all its glory, from neon outfits and glo-sticks to gothic wear, army gear and pirate costumes. You could get some of your body parts pierced whilst you’re at it... if you really want.

Tip: Don’t miss the Chinese Arts Centre, with a regular roster of fantastic contemporary Chinese-artist exhibitions. During the day, Oklahoma Cafe, 74-76 High Street, offers veggie food, unusual gifts and inspired surroundings. If you feel the need to reflect on life afterwards, Manchester’s Buddhist Centre on Turner Street offers meditation and Buddhism classes throughout the week.

For more information about the attractions mentioned in this itinerary, check out:

Images from top to bottom: Manchester Craft and Design Centre Richard Goodall Gallery Manchester Buddhist Centre Afflecks

Manchester Art Gallery

Exploring Manchester on the free Metroshuttle Whilst easily explored on foot, you can also discover what the city centre has to offer using Metroshuttle – the free city centre bus service.

Linking the major rail stations and car parks with the main retail, commercial, leisure and cultural destinations, the Metroshuttle services are perfect for hopon, hop-off exploration. Starting your journey at Manchester Piccadilly, take the number three bus along Portland Street and jump off in Chinatown. Nestled between Piccadilly Plaza, Portland Street, Moseley Street and Princess Street, it is one of Manchester’s most vibrant and colourful districts. Don’t miss the magnificent Chinese Arch on Faulkner Street or the opportunity to sample the delights that can be found in the restaurants, shops, bakeries and supermarkets that sit side by side in this area. On the edge of Chinatown, you’ll find Manchester Art Gallery, home to the city’s internationally renowned collections of fine art, decorative art and costume. With a wide range of events throughout the year,


John Rylands Library


Manchester Art Gallery

from tours, talks, exhibitions and activities, there’s something for all the family. Their award-winning gallery cafe is also one of the city’s best-loved lunch spots, with food served throughout the day. Just around the corner, on Peter Street, jump back on the number three bus and alight at the bottom of Quay Street, where you can walk down Lower Byrom Street to MOSI (The Museum of Science & Industry). Built on the site of the oldest passenger railway station in the world, MOSI is spread across five historic buildings and is packed with exciting exhibitions, hands-on activities, and historical working machinery that highlight the region’s rich and continuing contribution to science and industry. The museum also plays host to special exhibitions which change throughout the year.

On leaving MOSI, take the number two bus from outside the main entrance and ride as far as the John Rylands Library on Deansgate. As if being home to over four million printed items – and the largest collection of electronic resources in the UK – wasn’t enough, the John Rylands building is an attraction in itself, being a splendid masterpiece of Victorian gothic architecture. It sits at the gateway to the ultra-modern Spinningfields development which is another area worth exploring if you have the time. For more information about the free Metroshuttle Bus and the attractions mentioned in the itinerary above visit: downloads/metshuttlemap.pdf


Services from Eccles, Altrincham and Bury through the city centre, mean that a change of scenery is within easy reach. The Bury line will take you to North Manchester, where you’ll discover a bustling market, heavenly chocolatiers and an elegant 18th century hall set in acres of parkland, all offering visitors a unique experience. Before you board the Metrolink, ensure that you purchase a ticket from a machine at any of the main Metrolink stops in the city centre (St. Peter’s Square, Piccadilly Gardens, Market Street). Services are approximately every six minutes on weekdays and every twelve minutes on weekends. Tip: When exploring a return ticket or day pass provides good value for money.

Slattery’s Patissier

North Manchester by Metrolink Manchester’s tram network, the Metrolink, is a fast and convenient way to travel within the city and further afield.


Bury Market (open everyday except Sundays) can be found at the last stop on the line: a traditional market that has been thriving for over five hundred years. The main action takes place in the Meat & Fish Hall (closed Tuesday afternoon and Sundays) a sea of colourful fresh produce. With over 50,000 product lines from the latest fashion, footwear, books, gifts and more, you’ll be sure to find a bargain. Take a journey back in time on a steam train at East Lancashire Railway, only a five minute walk from Bury Market. Take the pleasant trip up to Rawtenstall and back through rolling hills and moors. Tip: If you’re fond of a full English breakfast, its not complete without the famous Bury Black Pudding available at the Market. Depart at Whitefield for Slattery’s Patissier & Chocolatier, a place you dreamed of as a child, like a grown-up Willy Wonka’s chocolate factory, bakers and sweet shop all rolled into one - heaven. Lollies in sparkling cellophane tied with ribbons, beautiful handmade wedding cakes, delicious treats alongside jars of preserve and other unique gifts.

To the back of the shop there’s a window through which you can watch the bakers behind the scenes building their masterpieces and adding finishing touches. Take a break and sample a dreamy cake in the dining room on the third floor. Slattery’s is a once in a lifetime experience, not to be missed. Tip: This family run business holds cookery classes where you can learn about chocolate, moulding sugar, baking, icing and more. Visit the website for further information. Four miles north of Manchester, you can escape to a tranquil retreat: Heaton Hall and Park. The neo-classical house built for the Earl of Wilton by James Wyatt in 1772, is open to the public and home to fascinating temporary exhibitions. This 600 acre park is perfect for families, with an Animal Centre, boating lake and plenty of green space. There’s also horse riding, fishing, golf and bowling for those in need of recreation. For magnificent views of the city and beyond take a walk up to The Temple, located at the highest point in Manchester. At the end of the day hop back on the Metrolink and you’ll be back in the city centre in fifteen minutes. East Lancashire Railway

Don’t forget the Metrolink can also take you over to The Quays where you’ll find Old Trafford, home to Manchester United and attractions such as Imperial War Museum North, The Lowry and The Lowry Outlet Mall.

Bury Market

For more information on the Metrolink and the attraction included in this itinerary please visit:


Discover Stockport by train The local rail network that links Manchester to its surrounding borough towns opens up a host of other attractions you can discover during your visit. Take the historic market town of Stockport for example. With regular services from Manchester Piccadilly and a journey time of just over ten minutes, it makes a perfect day trip from the city centre.


Stockport Air Raid Shelters

Just a five minute walk from Stockport Railway Station you’ll find the 15th century Market Place, home to more than 200 stalls selling just about anything: from meat and fish to fresh fruit and vegetables. No visit to the town would be complete without experiencing the hustle and bustle that market day provides. Trading days are Tuesday, Friday and Saturday.

Your final port of call in Stockport really should be the Stockport Air Raid Shelters. This labyrinth of tunnels once provided shelter, and a way of life, for families from Stockport through the dark days of the Blitz. Nearly a mile long, the shelters have been imaginatively restored to give the feel of the era and struggle that Britain was facing. It’s definitely an eye-opener for all!

Whilst you’re in the Market Place, step back in time and experience every century from 1460 to World War Two with a visit to Staircase House. You’ll learn how people used to live and how society and our attitudes have changed over time. With the help of a state of the art audio guide, the fascinating history of the house will unfold into a magical journey through 500 years of history.

With Stockport well and truly explored, make your way back to the railway station and catch one of the trains heading into the city centre. You’ll be back at your hotel before you know it!

For more information about visiting Stockport, check out the following websites:

A short walk across town brings you to ‘Hat Works - the Museum of Hatting’Stockport is, after all, the country’s most famous hatting town. Entrance to the museum is free so you can visit at your leisure. The Hat Works is home to a fantastic collection of hats and headgear with some hats dating as far back as the 18th century. The museum also houses a vast collection of Victorian millinery machinery which has been restored back to full working order.

Southern gateway With the continued redevelopment in Manchester, city centre boundaries have blurred somewhat. Manchester’s expansion into its suburbs has materialised through individual projects by a number of partnerships. Manchester City South incorporates an area from St Peter’s Square, along Oxford Road, to the University campuses and beyond. The City South partnership is overseeing a total investment of £1.5billion to develop infrastructure, transport and community projects within the area. Culture, entertainment and sport are at the very heart of City South. The area includes purpose built venues like Manchester Aquatics Centre, Contact Theatre and Whitworth Art Gallery. There’s also Cornerhouse cinema, Manchester Museum and Manchester Academy to name just a few.


Maria Balshaw

Maria Balshaw, director of the Whitworth Art Gallery is heavily involved with the plans to enhance this area. Here, she explains why visitors should make a trip to the gallery and her vision of its future in this thriving part of the city. What can you tell us about the Whitworth Art Gallery? We’re surrounded by a beautiful green park that had some hard times in the past, but in recent times it has really been developed as a social space. The gallery has an eclectic range of collections. We have a really important fine art collection, with fantastic modern art. We have a stunning historic collection; beautiful 18th and 19th century landscapes painted by people like Constable, Girtin, Gainsborough and Turner: The gallery has 54 works by Turner alone. You can also look at textiles. From ancient Egyptian textiles (we have works in the collection that are nearly 2,000 years old and show the beginning of really important cultures and traditions), to works from the 16th Century in England: incredibly

beautiful tapestries. And we have works made out of new technological fabrics: stretched lycra and digitally screen printed. And lots of these are made in and around Manchester. You also have a great wallpaper collection. What can you tell us about that? It’s really unusual and the only other collection like ours is at the V&A in London. It’s popular because we’re all now into designing interiors and have really high aspirations for good design in our homes. Our collection goes from the 17th century: beautiful historic papers, to those being made now by top design companies and artists. There’s a real playfulness and fun in the wallpaper collection which is surprising to most visitors. And it’s uniquely Manchester because much of the wallpaper industry was based in the Northwest and so Manchester historically has been a kind of showroom for the industry. How are you looking to develop the gallery over the next few years?

We’ve got really ambitious plans. We want to extend out into the park. We’re putting in a bid to the Heritage Lottery Fund so we can create a second entrance that will take you directly into the park. We want to put more exhibition space there for our landscape works. We’d like an outdoor cafe with canopied picnic tables too. And a really lovely shop selling craft by local makers and artists. Around the outside of the gallery we want to commission three international artists to develop the landscape outside. They will create sculptural shapes, spaces to sit in, relax, play and socialise. Enjoyment and family fun are an important aspect of your annual calendar. What can families expect from a visit to the Whitworth? It’s really important to me and the team that our gallery is for everybody from 0 to 90. We have a very active programme of events for families. They’re always on a drop-in basis; always free, always led by artists and always in relation to our collection. We do things like arty picnics (outdoors or indoors, dependent on the weather), smelly/sticky art sessions where

the kids are given things like potatoes, chocolate and jam for printing, and beauty walks where an artist leads a group of children to go and explore something in the park, bring it back to the gallery and then make a painting, a collage or a sculpture. Where else do you recommend to visit in Manchester? Visitors don’t always step outside the city centre enough. There are some fascinating places like Victoria Baths, partially renovated now, which people know from the BBC television programme ‘Restoration’. There’s a programme of artists work going on there at the moment. Along from there, is Elizabeth Gaskell’s House. She’s one of the famous 19th Century novelists that wrote about Manchester. Her rather beautiful residence is often open for visitors to see. If you go further along into Didsbury, there’s Fletcher Moss Gardens which are absolutely beautiful, you can walk through meadows and a secret hillside formal garden that has the most extraordinary collection of plants. You can be down there in 20-25 minutes from the city centre and feel like you’re a hundred miles from an urban centre.

FAVOURITE PLACES IN MANCHESTER Favourite restaurant Red Chilli on Portland Street. The best Sichuan food in Manchester. Really, really, fiery hot! Favourite shop Vivienne Westwood because the Manchester store is better than the others. They always seem to have the nicest things. Must do / see in Manchester Absolutely a visit to the Whitworth! My other recommendation is the Chinese Arts Centre. It has really unusual exhibitions around the year. For more information on the Whitworth, check out: For Manchester City South, visit:


Campus Life Manchester is home to one of the largest and most exciting university campuses in Europe. We tracked down two students from the University of Manchester to gather their personal perspectives on life in the city... Chaiwat Yoonoo is from Thailand and currently studying Chemical Engineering (PhD) at the University of Manchester. Sarah Azlina from Malaysia is also at the University, for her second year of PhD studies at the Law School. Her studies are sponsored by the Central Bank of Malaysia. Why did you choose Manchester above all the other cities in the world?


CY: I was looking for a place that I would be happy living in. My old supervisor in Thailand had studied here so I already had a good insight to what Manchester was like and knew a little about the city. Of course, I was also looking for a good University where I could study my chosen subject and Manchester is well known world-wide for these reasons. SA: After my previous post-graduate education, coming back was a natural choice. Besides, on a personal level, the location and cost of living in Manchester is suitable for students with young children comparative to London.

Did you find it hard to adjust to life in Manchester?

Does your family ever get the chance to come and visit you in Manchester?

What is your favourite thing about Manchester?

CY: When I first came here I was quite frightened because it was the first time I had travelled abroad. However the city itself is fantastic and it has being very exciting exploring the theatres, musicals and shows, which I never got chance to do in Thailand.

CY: They haven’t been yet. The first thing I would show them would be the city centre, Town Hall and public library as there are so many beautiful works of architecture. Then Old Trafford because it’s well known to people around the world, especially in Thailand. The Manchester Art Gallery, Museum of Science & Industry and the Whitworth Art Gallery are places I very much enjoyed, so I would take my family there too.

CY: One of my favourite things is the range of good food available. For Thai people, it’s very important for us to still eat our own food, as well as trying other countries’ food too. Therefore, Chinatown is very convenient for this. My favourite restaurant is called Chaophraya, it is very nice there.

SA: It was daunting moving to a new city alone, let alone bringing a young family. But I received a lot of support from the University’s International Advice Team which has been really brilliant helping me to arrange my new life in Manchester. We received a lot of help from people in Manchester from bank managers, childcare administrators, Law School administrators and our accommodation supervisor. The list is endless.

SA: My family came for my graduation. We took them to various places in Manchester such as the Manchester United Stadium, the Trafford Centre, the curry mile and other places around the Northwest.

SA: I would say that my favourite thing about Manchester is its international community. As learning does not stop in the classroom, being in Manchester makes the learning experience more wholesome.


MediaCity:UK When an organisation like the BBC decides to up sticks and shift five major departments from London to Manchester, people naturally take notice. Their plan to relocate 1,500 jobs has been at the centre of public attention, ever since it was announced back in 2004.


After some months of deliberation, the BBC chose a site for its relocation, in Manchester’s neighbouring borough of Salford. For those who are new to the city (and with technicalities cast aside), Salford is very much part of Manchester in the same way that Brooklyn is a part of New York. And more importantly for the BBC, MediaCity:UK is to be built there. The exact location for MediaCity:UK is on Manchester’s former docklands; known as The Quays. Preparations for this purpose built city of excellence in the creative and digital industries have already begun. When the first phase of the project completes in 2011, MediaCity:UK will proudly stand as the country’s first media-orientated landscape. Although the BBC ‘moving north’ is a big deal in itself, this project is about far more than that. Its visionary plans will create a site where thousands of people literally live, work and play. And far from being an exclusive centre for workers in the audio-visual industries, outsiders will also be very much welcome to visit. At the heart of the £3 billion development (being led by property connoisseurs Peel), a five-acre piazza twice the size of Trafalgar Square is being put in place, capable of accommodating up to 9,000 people. Think of huge screens, street theatre, oneoff performances, music and entertainment, and you have a snapshot of how things intend to come to life in this unique setting.

A vast studio technical block will also form an integral part of the site for casual tourists. Within the block, a hotel is to be built, offering 216 beds. There will be an ‘open centre’ set on two levels within the building, adding retail space and various food and drink outlets. Audiences for live shows will congregate here whilst additional visitors will still be welcomed by cultural and educational facilities. These highlights come amongst additional open spaces, landscaped gardens and tiny squares, set within a sustainable environment that promises to be truly futuristic. Those keen to see this innovative area in action will have the option of being dropped off at the doorstep of the complex via the Metrolink tram (just a 12-minute ride away from the city centre). Whilst trams currently coast around the site, a purpose built station will ensure that visitors and workers can easily reach the very heart of this new location. Overall, MediaCity:UK is expected to create employment opportunities for 15,500 people with a further 1,500 trainee posts per year. With space for up to 1,150 creative and related businesses, it is expected to bring £1 billion to the regional economy over five years. So whilst speculation mounts about which businesses will join the BBC in its new home, one thing is certainly clear - this is one of the most ambitious and exciting projects of our time.


Manchester Voices Andrew Critchley

Andrew Critchley is the managing director of Red Production Company, based in Manchester city centre. Red was established in 1998 and since launching a tireless amount of entertaining series and one-off dramas, it has won an impressive list of awards.

What’s new with Red? We’ve won a BAFTA and a Golden Nymph award for the ‘best TV film’ at Monte Carlo for ‘The Mark of Cain’. We’ve also begun pre-production on a three-parter for ITV called ‘Unforgiven’ by Sally Wainwright (author of ‘At Home With The Braithwaites’). How does Manchester rate as a filming location? Unless the setting demands that we film elsewhere, we film everything within the region. Manchester is a great base because we could shoot in urban, suburban and rural areas all within the same filming day if needs be.


Manchester’s broadcast history has been long and varied. Are there any shows in which you feel the character of the city has been perfectly captured? ‘Queer As Folk’, ‘Clocking Off’,’ The Street’, ‘See No Evil’, ‘Shameless’, ‘Cracker’, ‘Cold Feet’, ‘Royal Family’, ‘Early Doors’ and ‘Cops’ were all shot in the region and were all fantastic award-winning dramas. Looking to the future, there are a lot of changes afoot; MediaCity:UK will draw many of Manchester’s creative organisations to The Quays. How do you think Red will need to adapt?

‘Casanova’ © 2004 Red Production Company

We may have to move offices but more importantly we’re going to have to adapt our approach on a number of levels decreasing licence fees from UK broadcasters mean that we have to learn to make our programmes cheaper. And the emergence of new digital platforms means that we have to include, for example, provision for mobile and online content in our pitches and production. Is there anything with regards to MediaCity:UK that you’re especially excited about? The whole thing is a huge opportunity for the city region and hopefully we’ll prove ourselves worthy of it. There’ll be a whole new range of career prospects for the region’s young people which haven’t

existed on such a scale for decades. It’s important that we start to not only provide buildings and other infrastructural aspects, but also ensure there’s an appropriately skilled workforce ready to take the new jobs. Another exciting possibility is that other media hubs will evolve to nurture the next level of entrepreneurial producers. After completing production, where is your ideal place to have a wrap party in Manchester? We’ve had them at Dukes, Barca, Living Room, Ampersand and One Central Street amongst others.

Finally, you have to be a runner to get into the television industry these days. With that in mind, have you ever taken part in the Great Manchester 10k run? I never have and I’m unlikely to next year. A nagging injury has left me about 95% short of full match fitness this last decade. Favourite restaurant Juniper Favourite shop Richard Creme Must do / see in Manchester It’s very compact so you can do and see lots in a short time - Manchester Art Gallery, Whitworth Gallery, MOSI, Cornerhouse, Urbis, the Town Hall, the Library, The Hallé, The Peveril of The Peak, The Britons Protection, The Northern Quarter.


PICCADILLY - THE HEART AND SOUL OF MANCHESTER Piccadilly is undoubtedly one of Manchester’s most exciting and vibrant places to live, work and play. Often dubbed ‘the heart and soul of Manchester,’ Piccadilly has undergone a complete transformation in recent years and is perpetually evolving, continually attracting new businesses and individuals alike to its cosmopolitan, bustling community.

Standing out from the purpose-built ‘villages’ within Manchester, Piccadilly is a traditional urban core with an abundance of history, life and personality all of which is widely recognised and appreciated by the rich blend of businesses and individuals who have chosen to set up their operations and homes within the district.

Thousands of people gathered to watch the exhilarating performances aimed at highlighting the cityscape and architecture of Manchester. Around the gardens and within Piccadilly are also a wide variety of boutiques, café bars, restaurants and hotels with something to suit every taste, earning Piccadilly its reputation as the ‘bustling’ part of the city.

Well Connected Through its superb train, tram and bus connections, Piccadilly connects Manchester with the rest of the country and via frequent train links to Manchester Airport, the rest of the world. Piccadilly Train Station handles over 83,000 passengers and 1,000 train movements every day. It is the northern terminus of Virgin’s flagship route to London and offers direct services to other major UK cities, including Glasgow, Edinburgh, Birmingham, Cardiff and Norwich. Over the last three years, Network Rail has invested a further £60M at Manchester Piccadilly to transform the station into a world-class travel facility for the region. Wherever you might be travelling from, or travelling to, Piccadilly has a way to get you there.

A hub of activity The impressively remodelled Piccadilly Gardens is central to Manchester life and is home to a broad range of exciting and unique events throughout the year. The Gardens were among the venues for the 2008 Urban Moves International Dance festival which was sponsored by the Piccadilly Partnership.


Regeneration Piccadilly has benefited from an influx of inward investment injected by prolific developers who recognise the desirability of the urban centre. This renaissance of regeneration has witnessed key new office, residential, hotel and retail developments breathing new life into Piccadilly in addition to the preservation and restoration of historic buildings within the area. A key development is the award winning £250M Piccadilly Basin waterside scheme located next to the train station which encompasses a unique blend of new architecturally striking and historically significant listed buildings. The sustainable mixed use development has achieved several notable awards for its contribution to ‘green’ urban regeneration. The exemplar BDP Manchester Studios within Piccadilly Basin, which was the first naturally ventilated commercial building in Manchester to be awarded a BREEAM ‘Excellent’ rating for environmental sustainability, is also home to the city centre’s first ‘living’ rubble roof for the preservation of Redstart birds within the Basin.

Piccadilly Partnership Pioneering the regeneration of Piccadilly is the Piccadilly Partnership. The Partnership is a strategic and pioneering alliance of public and private sectors, uniting key landowners, Manchester City Council, Cityco, other public sector services and local occupiers. Established in 2003, the Partnership’s goal is to drive forward the regeneration of Manchester’s traditional heart, through the provision of a forum for consultation, discussion and debate on all issues influencing the area. Born from a desire to shape Piccadilly as the ultimate destination, the groundbreaking Partnership has witnessed immense success in its three years of operation, collectively preparing the way for around £1.2billion of investment into the area’s transport facilities, public realm, buildings and land use. The united, high profile partners work in harmony and with integrity towards their shared goal of transforming Manchester’s gateway.

Visit us Whether you are looking for a place to locate your business, set up home or just have a day out, visit Piccadilly. For more information please visit or call the Piccadilly Partnership on +44 (0)161 238 4598

24 HOUR PARTY PEOPLE Manchester’s creativity and diversity is reflected in its music scene and nightlife. Household names to emerge from its melting pot of influences include The Hollies, Bee Gees, New Order, The Smiths, Happy Mondays, Oasis and Take That.

Manchester was the place where some of the most iconic gigs took place, it’s where Madonna made her first UK appearance, Bob Dylan was branded ‘Judas’ for going electric, and punk band, the Sex Pistols gigs inspired some of the audience to start a revolution of their own - cue Joy Division, The Smiths, Factory Records and Simply Red. Thanks to Mr Manchester himself, Tony Wilson, founder of the legendary Factory Records and Haçienda, the birth of the Madchester movement and the endless list of popular Mancunian artists - the city will always be remembered for its key role in the evolution of music and nightlife. Nightlife was all about music, and still is, with countless live music venues hosting local singer songwriters or the latest international acts. Night & Day, Roadhouse and numerous bars in the city host up and coming artists, whilst the Carling Apollo and Academy present the more established. The city’s music scene is thriving today, with Mancunian veterans Elbow being awarded the prestigious Mercury Music Prize in 2008 and the emergence of bands such as the Ting Tings, Courteeners and The Whip. There’s also a host of independent record labels supporting new artists.

The Northern Quarter is the hub of the creative community, bursting with independent, quirky bars and venues. Award-winning Odd offers continental beers against a funky setting, try cocktails in the sultry Socio Rehab, or listen to the latest up and coming DJ at Common. There are old favourites such as newly refurbished Cord Bar or Centro, and jazz bar Matt & Phred’s. This area represents the essence of Manchester’s character, individual and laid back, yet welcoming. One of the most talked about highlights is the Warehouse Project, a series of club nights that has taken the city by storm. Taking place between October and January in unique venues such as an old air raid shelter, it presents a range of artists, DJs and genres. Beginning at Boddingtons Brewery three years ago, renowned headline acts and word-of-mouth has made it one of the hottest tickets in town. Other popular nights to look out for are Blowout and High Voltage, the latter launched by the winner of the recent Best of Manchester Awards (see page 62). Here you’ll see the fashion conscious, vintage clad, skinny jean-wearing hipsters dancing to the latest records. There’s are also Manchester favourites, Sankeys and Star & Garter, and those making their mark such as Mint Lounge and Moho. There’s such a diverse nightlife offering, including the trendy Deansgate Locks and Printworks, not to mention the vibrant Gay Village. There are also an array of traditional British pubs where you can enjoy a pint of Manchester brewed beer and meet the locals. Other entertainment includes comedy, theatre, classical music concerts such as the Hallé Orchestra at The Bridgewater Hall and more. Whether you want to dance the night away, be entertained by live music, or wind down in a bar, Manchester is the place to be.

Guy Garvey of ‘Elbow’. Mercury Music Prize Winners, 2008


Manchester Voices Mr Scruff Andy Carthy aka ‘Mr Scruff ’ grew up in Stockport and has spent the best part of his life DJ-ing, producing music, drawing and drinking tea. He is known across the UK for his eclectic six-hour DJ sets and his feel-good music. His latest projects include Make us a Brew - Mr Scruff ’s very own brand of tea, and Cup, a cafe and shop in Manchester’s Northern Quarter. Why is Manchester so important to you? I came here to buy records and hang out since being a teenager. For anyone who’s into music I think Manchester is as important as Detroit, New York or Chicago. Manchester’s a real Mecca for music and has attracted so many people over the years. I was no different. Who are you really enjoying from the city’s current music scene? The Elektrons are doing really well at the moment. That’s the recording name of Manchester DJ duo, the Unabombers. Other acts I’d recommend are Broke N English, Zed Bias, Johnny Chimpo, Virus Syndicate, Jamie Finlay, Garth Be, Konny Kon, Ghost, Fallacy, Rainy City and Nucleus Roots. Where can visitors seek out new music in Manchester and are there any quirky events you would suggest trying out?

For new music, Fat City and Piccadilly Records (both on Oldham Street) are perfect because they’re both very established. Fat City is more for hip-hop, funk, soul, jazz and reggae. For events, obviously my own night in the Music Box (Keep it Unreal is on the first Saturday of every month). Sketch City is very good too. That’s once a month on a Sunday at the Contact Theatre. It’s an event that makes you think wow, this city’s brilliant. There are a lot of fine local ales to be sampled in Manchester. Which do you suggest and where can they be found? I really like the Marble Arch on Rochdale Road. It’s an amazing old pub with loads of green and glazed tiles. Another good bar is Dulcimer in Chorlton. Andy Votel (Twisted Nerve / Finders Keepers) plays there, they have a lot of live music, a really nice sound system and great beers. For local ales, there’s also Robinson’s brewery in Stockport and Hydes in Moss Side. There are just so

many local breweries, it’s crazy. We have a lot of beer festivals as well. It’s a very British thing and Manchester’s very well represented in that department. And speaking of drinks, you’re also a big fan of tea. How did ‘Make us a Brew’, take shape? When we started the Music Box nights, we had space in the foyer so I thought, ‘I like tea, let’s do a tea shop!’ and it was just a daft idea but people got really into it. Soon after, we were taking the tea shop on tour around the country. I became very associated with the whole thing. So the next step was to do my own tea that we could serve at gigs. It’s quite a random transition from serving tea in a club in Manchester to having your own brand sold in Selfridges!

‘Make us a Brew’ tea and products can be bought online at: For more information on Mr. Scruff, please visit;


Manchester Voices Maxine Peake Maxine Peake is one of Manchester’s favourite actors. As well as being cast in some of the city’s most iconic television programmes, like ‘Shameless’ and ‘Early Doors’, she also treads the boards at Manchester’s finest theatres and in 2005 was declared ‘Mancunian of the Year’. We caught up with her between filming to get the lowdown on what she really thinks about Manchester. You’ve starred in some of Manchester’s most popular drama series like ‘Shameless’ and ‘Early Doors’. What do you think it is about Manchester that makes such a good setting for comedy programmes? It’s the characters and the stories they appear in. These all come from the writer’s experiences which are northern based. We are so lucky to have produced writers of the calibre of Paul Abbott, Craig Cash and Phil Mealey. Their talent is to observe and Manchester is a great hot bed of inspiration. We’re an eccentric lot! You were City Life magazine’s last ever Mancunian of the Year back in December 2005… How did it feel to be given such a prestigious title from the people of Manchester? That so far has been my proudest moment! It means so much when you’re appreciated by your own folk. It was such a great publication. Bring back City Life! While you’re here though look out for the Salford Star. It’s really pushing the boundaries. It’s informative, fun and it’s there to help and inspire the community.

Your home town of Bolton (one of the borough towns that make up the cityregion) has something of a reputation for turning out great TV and radio talent like Peter Kay, Sara Cox and Vernon Kay… and your good self, of course. Sounds like there’s something in the water... What is it that you like most about the town? I think Boltonians are good at being able to laugh at themselves. We’re humble but hardworking. A great mix, I think. We have a strong accent but I think that makes us good wordsmiths. Look at Hovis Presley. He was a genius. We hear your style icon is Vivienne Westwood, herself a Northern girl having been born in Glossop in the bordering county of Derbyshire. Do you find yourself drawn to her King Street store when you’re out and about in the city? I do have a nosy when I’m down that way. Manchester has great shops. The vintage shop Rags to Bitches, Ran and Piccadilly Records are among my favourites. You’ve already trodden the boards at the Royal Exchange Theatre in Manchester... Is there anywhere else in the city that you would particularly like to perform?

I’m a huge fan of what they are achieving at Studio Salford. The Kings Arms is a great pub. Well worth a visit. So what next for Maxine Peake? I’m just finishing a job for Channel 4 called ‘The Devil’s Whore’ starring John Simm and Andrea Riseborough. I have a small but fun part playing Elizabeth Lilburne who was the wife of John Lilburne the leader of the Levellers during the English Civil War. Then I’m off to play Miss Wade in the BBC’s ‘Little Dorrit’. If you could recommend just three things that any visitor to Manchester shouldn’t leave without seeing / doing, what would they be? Hit the Northern Quarter for shopping at the great vintage and record shops. A light lunch at Mr Scruff’s Cup or Oklahoma. Then a mini pub crawl taking in The Northern, Trof and Cord finishing off by catching a gig at Night and Day. Or you could jump on a bus for a short ride to The Working Class Movement Library in Salford and have a look round this beautiful building and its world famous archive. On your return a swift half in The Oxford Arms before a short walk to the Kings Arms and a show at Studio Salford.


Celebrating innovation in art, music and fashion. From vintage fashion to catwalk, from multimedia music to pioneering record labels, and conceptual art to a politically motivated artists’ collective, the Best of Manchester Awards recognise Manchester’s success in creativity and innovation. Organised by Urbis, led by Manchester’s creative director, Peter Saville, and judged by a panel of industry experts, The Best of Manchester Awards spotlight the work of some of the city’s most creative professionals from the art, music and fashion scene.


For the winners and nominees, it’s the start of a close relationship with Urbis, Marketing Manchester and the city. On top of the cash prize and an exhibition at Urbis, each winner is the recipient of a tailored professional development package, with the hope that this support will enable them to develop their business. ‘There are plenty of competitions for young people,’ said Urbis chief executive, Vaughan Allen, when asked to describe why he set up the Awards. ‘But there’s very little for those who’ve spent years grafting at the coalface of the creative industries. This is a chance for Manchester to recognise and support its creative professionals - when they’re on the verge of making it to the next level of their career.’

Naomi Kashiwagi, the winner of the Best of Manchester Art Award, illustrates her artistic credibility and represents Manchester’s rapidly developing reputation of innovative, intelligent visual art. Conceptual artist Kashiwagi is fascinated by the poetic potential of everyday tasks, rituals and obsolete technology, and in the case of the work for which she won the Best of Manchester Award, composed a musical score designed to be played on typewriters. Kashiwagi has continued to develop her practice and is being represented by the Castlefield Gallery at Manchester’s Buy Art Fair, several art fairs in London and has a solo exhibition in Tokyo in 2009.

Richard Cheetham, the winner of the Best of Manchester Music Award, represents just some of Manchester’s musical diversity. This music promoter is the brains behind independent record label, club night and fanzine, High Voltage - which is likely to turn into one of the UK’s leading independent record labels, alongside this he has also launched a bi-monthly fanzine and website. His work started when just a student, and over the past five years this record label has gone on to launch some of Manchester’s best new acts. ‘Our consistency and ambition is the key thing,’ said Cheetham.

And last, but by no means least, as the shopping capital of the North, Manchester has a sterling fashion pedigree, as illustrated by the winner of this year’s Best of Manchester Fashion Award. Simon Buckley and Flic Everett, owners of Rags to Bitches, argue that a boutique is much more than simply a space to sell fashion, but an opportunity to sell unique items of clothing that are beautiful and lasting. The fabulous vintage clothes they stock - ranging from vintage pieces, 80s skirts, dresses and accessories - are all handpicked, cleaned and altered to suit contemporary fashion lovers. ‘There is a real thirst for longer lasting garments and one-off outfits,’ said Everett.

For more information on the Best of Manchester Awards, visit: For more information on the work of Richard Cheetham and High Voltage, visit: For more information about Rags to Bitches, visit:


Manchester Voices John Amaechi John Amaechi is, without doubt, the UK’s biggest contribution to North America’s NBA basketball league. Having retired from the sport in 2003, John returned to Greater Manchester, where he now works as a public speaker and political activist.


You came out in your autobiography, ‘Man in the Middle’; in February 2007 and by August 2008, the UK Gay Times had declared you the most important out sports star on the planet. That’s quite a whirlwind! How does it feel to be seen in such a light? It is certainly an honour to be held in that kind of esteem, even if it is by just one editor! I think the whole coming out process was an overall success for me. I wanted to have a cohesive message, hence the book, and become an agent for change in the UK, the US (a country where it is illegal to be gay in more than 30 states) and as far as my voice would carry. Sport has always been a valuable vehicle for change and progress; it isn’t always used to its fullest, but I have always been dedicated to being more than just a man who threw a ball in a hole - I wanted to use my small amount of celebrity to do something useful, in this case shatter some stereotypes and change misconceptions. Manchester’s known for having a vibrant gay scene. The annual Pride festival has been named the best in the UK more than once and television programmes like ‘Queer As Folk’ have put Manchester on the international gay map. How aware of the city’s gay scene were you as a youngster? Sadly, not at all. I always viewed Manchester as so daunting and inaccessible when I was a shy youth. Much has changed since then! ‘Queer as Folk’ was a jaw-dropping revelation. Now, I live in the heart of the city and enjoy going out in the village as well as other areas like the Northern Quarter; each area seems as embracing to

diversity as the other, which is the sign of a truly evolved city. I try to make it to Pride every year - I missed it in 2008 as I was in Beijing for the Olympics. I’ll be there next year! You are only the sixth professional athlete from one of the major American sports to come out. Did the fact that you grew up in Manchester - a fairly liberal city – help in your decision at all? It is remarkable to me that although most Americans think I came out in 2007, I was out on the scene in Manchester as far back as 1997! For ten years I have been out in the UK and certainly the normality with which people’s differences are respected in Manchester was fundamental in me growing up feeling resilient and well adjusted. The Amaechi Basketball Foundation opened its first centre in Manchester in 2000. It’s been a massive success, winning 36 national titles to date. How important was it for you that the scheme launched in your former hometown? The ABC Foundation’s first centre, the ABC Manchester, has been another example of best practice in Manchester; our partnership with Manchester City Council and Manchester Leisure has been instrumental in bringing basketball to over 80,000 children this year alone. Manchester was the natural place to start this venture and the people of Manchester have really embraced it.

What do you think of the sports facilities in Manchester in general? (Did you return to see any of the Commonwealth Games in 2002?) I didn’t come back for the 2002 Games, but their enduring legacy is apparent in the city in venues available for public and community use as well as those at the elite levels. A smart investment! And finally, before the bright lights of LA, home for you was Stockport, one of the borough towns that surround Manchester. What would be your five ‘must do’ activities or attractions for international visitors to the region? Hmm, when you say Stockport, everyone thinks ‘hat museum!’ It is certainly worth a look. I would say also check out the town hall; I have M.C.’d a couple of events there and it is spectacular. I also love to find a slightly elevated position above the valley of the town centre and take a good look at the viaduct. It really is spectacular and apparently one of the biggest in western Europe. When it comes to Manchester, first I suggest you visit my centre in Whalley Range to see a great example of community partnerships working to great effect, then I suggest rewarding yourself with a night out on the town - it is hard to go wrong in Manchester but I do recommend the Northern Quarter and the village - if you stop in at Bluu, Velvet or Via Fossa, mine’s a gin and tonic.

For more information about John and the Amaechi Basketball Foundation, please visit:


VILLAGE FÊTE Manchester’s LGBT community does a great festival. If you want to let down your hair and dust off your party dress, there’s no better place to be. Read on for an insider’s guide to some village fêtes with a difference.

Great British Bear Bash Thursday 30 April 2009 – Monday 4 May 2009 Queer Up North Saturday 9 May 2009 – Monday 25 May 2009 T. +44 (0)161 234 2942

‘If you go down to the woods today...’ Well, don’t! Come to Manchester instead! Over the last few years, the Great British Bear Bash (GBBB), has risen to the top of the list of not only European, but also worldwide gay events for the Bear community to attend. In 2009, the GBBB celebrates its 12th birthday and the number of guys attending just keeps growing. Over the five day event (30 April – 4 May 2009) approximately 1,500 hairy guys from all over the world will make Manchester their home. And don’t the pie shops know it! Events over GBBB 12 include club nights, pool party, Show Bears entertainment, Cabaret at The Birdcage, the final of Mr Bear Bash competition, open air Fun Day and the premier of the new Manbears fun films (one of their previous films won the Audience award at Vermont Film Festival).

Manchester Pride 21 - 31 August 2009 T. +44 (0)161 236 7474

For all the news and information on Manchester’s Gay Village, great competitions and exclusive discounts, visit:

Great British Bear Bash


Sparkle Friday 10 July 2009 – Sunday 12 July 2009 T. +44 (0)1226 754 252

Each event has its own theme, and for GBBB 12 it is ‘Back To School’ – and what have they got lined up? Well, apart from all the usual stuff, there promises to be a school trip to Blackpool Pleasure Beach, a (not so) traditional school fête and sports day (forget the egg and spoon race, think more spoon and pork pie!). Oh, and lashings of ginger beer! What ho! And it’s not only the party animal that’s catered for. Sessions are organised for such things as the Gay Heritage Walk and access to any events at Manchester’s many galleries and museums; on previous occassions, guys were directed to the Dr Who exhibition, Kylie exhibition and the Body Worlds 4 exhibition. Manbears, the organisation behind the GBBB concept, continues to be an innovator in the world of gay bear events. It is to Manbears’ credit that once Manchester has blazed the trail at a GBBB event, the following year it is copied at other events in other countries. But the aim and goal of Manbears, is to keep Manchester as the home of the best BEAR event in the world.

Queer Up North Queer Up North is a queer arts festival. We put together an annual festival of events - mainly performance - that is all in some way provocative, a bit edgy, or experimental. That’s what we mean by queer, as opposed to the more familiar ‘gay’. In a way, our job is to complement a festival like Pride by bringing a bit of grit to the calendar of lesbian and gay events in the city. There’s a bit more to it than that though: Queer Up North exists partly to challenge the idea that we all divide up nicely into either the L, G, B, or T box. We try to stir things up a little, complicate the familiar, which we think sort of makes sense when it comes to art. The most interesting and engaging stuff tends to be that which throws interesting new light on things, looking at something we thought we knew, from a new perspective. Getting the balance right is vital: we want to combine established artists and new talent, and we always want to set UK and Northwest-made work in the context of particularly interesting pieces of international work. As a festival, it’s our job to bring something to Manchester’s cultural calendar that would not otherwise be there - something a bit different. So we encourage audiences to try something new, to take a chance and we hope that the international work we bring to the city feeds the creativity of artists and performers who make things here in Manchester. That’s the ideal. International performers always enjoy coming here, that’s why lots of them keep returning. Manchester audiences are usually up for something interesting, and performers always enjoy it when an audience is out for a bit of adventure. There’s something about the city’s character that suits that: we’re not necessarily the prettiest city in the UK, but there’s an energy here, a creative energy above all else, that can bring performers and audiences together in a way that you don’t find everywhere.

The next few years will see artists and performers from all over the world come to Manchester to make work for Queer Up North. There’ll be shows from Italy, Germany, Poland, France, Canada, the USA, and South Africa, as well as Manchester and the Northwest. The hot new performers from the USA in particular will often come to Manchester for QUN before they hit London. But it goes further than that: the stuff we make here and that Manchester audiences see first usually goes on to be seen around the world. In 2008 you could see Queer Up North commissions in over thirty cities around the globe, each of these taking the city of Manchester and the name of Queer Up North to a new audience. That’s really exciting. But if you want it first, you’ve got to come to Manchester. Audiences come from all over the place to the festival, as much because of the city as the festival programme. It’s the combination of the two that works. If you’re coming to Manchester for the first time I reckon there are few things you should take a look at; apart, of course, from hanging out with Queer Up North. My tips for top Manchester culture would be the orchestras. The pop music gets lots of attention (justifiably) but Manchester has orchestras that rival anything on offer in London. And we’ve got three of them. If you’ve not heard the Hallé, get yourself there right now. What else? Check out Futuresonic Festival: it overlaps with Queer Up North in the diary so you can squeeze in a bit of both, and it’s a brilliant weekend of cutting edge digital technology and music. Like Queer Up North, it’s unique to Manchester. And if you want the best fry up to start the day (before hitting Futuresonic and QUN) then seek out the Koffee Pot Café on Stevenson Square. Does that count as culture? It does in my book.

Manchester Pride Manchester Pride is the city’s annual festival that celebrates all aspects of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender life. Taking place at the end of August, it brings ten sparkling days and nights of sport, film, heritage, arts and entertainment, debating and fantastic partying to the heart of Manchester’s gay village. The festival culminates in the Big Weekend - 72 hours of hours of non stop partying, revelling and general bawdiness, a highlight of which is, without doubt, the Manchester Pride Parade. Taking the city centre streets by storm, a carnival atmosphere enthrals thousands of spectators - young and old, gay and straight, friends and family - who come down to see the glamorous and the outrageously fabulous people who take part.

Sparkle Adding extra shine to a jewel of the North!

Within the gay village, the main stage sees a whole juice box of artists perform for the crowds. In recent years, this has included: Gossip, Roisin Murphy, Alphabeat and Boy George, to name just a few. There is also the Lifestyle Expo, which has proved immensely popular and seen exhibitors ranging from the Royal Air Force to The Gay Wedding Show. The festivities draw to a close with an HIV Candlelit Vigil in Sackville Park. This is the spiritual heart of the weekend and there is a truly magical and moving atmosphere as revellers stand in quiet reflection in the flickering candlelight to remember those people lost to the virus around the world. Since 2003, the festival has raised over £500,000 for local LGBT groups and projects and in 2007, it realised its long-term vision to become a charity in its own right. Manchester Pride 2009 takes place between Friday 21st and Monday 31st August 2009.

Sparkle is the annual transgender celebration weekend, held in Manchester, England - started in 2005 as a one day event, it has grown dramatically during subsequent years. 2009 will see our fifth fabulous Sparkle, now a weekend long festival of all things transgender! There is nothing quite like Sparkle anywhere else in the world: not only do we attract visitors from all over the UK, but also now from Europe and even a few from the USA! For one weekend in the year we can all be proud of our gender diversity and join together to celebrate who we are and how we want to live our lives. Sparkle welcomes all transgender people, those who live full-time as their chosen gender and those who may only crossdress for the occasional weekend. We are also pleased that Sparkle 2008 at last started to attract female to male TG people to come and join the celebrations. The range of people attending the weekend is what makes it so much fun - and all are welcome to join our festival and celebrate gender diversity with us!


We really love returning to Manchester year after year as it’s just the perfect place for an event like Sparkle. The Village plays the perfect host for us and Manchester City Council, allowing us to use Sackville Gardens, gives us a fantastic central focus for our weekend. Bars and restaurants are in abundance and there are literally dozens of hotels and apartments within an easy walk. Manchester is also a central location within the UK, with excellent travel links, via motorway, mainline rail and air. The highlight of every Sparkle weekend has to be the events taking place in Sackville Gardens throughout the Saturday - at Sparkle in the Park. We have a large stage and sound system, and try to make the day into a showcase of TG talent, with a few other guest performers and the glamorous and fun Miss Sparkle pageant! The park also plays host to trade and information stalls, refreshments and a bar - very much the English village fête meets the glamour of Ascot!


BARS Baa Bar 27 Sackville St, M1 3LZ T: +44 (0)161 832 4446 Bar Below 34 Canal St, M1 3WD T: +44 (0)161 923 4720 Coyotes 14 Chorlton St, M1 3HW T: +44 (0)161 237 9329 Kink Bar 100 Bloom St, M1 3LY T: +44 (0)161 236 6005

Taurus Café, Bar & Restaurant 1 Canal St, M1 3HE T: +44 (0)161 236 4593

Cruz 101 101 Princess St, M1 6DD T: +44 (0)161 950 0101

Rembrandt Sackville St/Canal St T: +44 (0)161 236 1311

Tribeca Bar & Bed 50 Sackville St, M1 3WF T: +44 (0)161 236 8300

Essential Nightclub Bloom St, M1 3EF T: +44 (0)161 236 0077

The Thompson Arms 123 Sackville St, M1 3LZ T: +44 (0)161 228 3012

Vanilla 39-41 Richmond St, M1 3WB T: +44 (0)161 657 8890

Legends & The Outpost 4 – 6 Whitworth St, M1 3 QW T: +44 (0)161 236 5400

Velvet Bar & Restaurant 2 Canal St, M1 3HE T: +44 (0)161 236 9003


Manhattan Show Bar 54 Bloom St, M1 6HS T: +44 (0)161 236 6151

Via Bar and Restaurant 28 – 30 Canal St, M1 3EZ T: +44 (0)161 236 6523

Manto 46 Canal St, M1 3WD T: +44 (0)161 236 2667

View 40 Chorlton St, M1 3HW T: +44 (0)161 236 9033

New York, New York 94 Bloom St, M1 3LY T: +44 (0)161 236 6556


Queer 4 Canal St, M1 3HE T: +44 (0)161 228 1360 Spirit 63 Richmond St, M1 3WB T: +44 (0)161 237 9725

Charlie’s Karaoke Bar 1 Harter St, M1 2PP T: +44 (0)161 237 9898 Club Alter Ego 105-107 Princess St, M1 6DD T: +44 (0)161 236 9266

Churchills 37 Chorlton St, M1 3HN T: +44 (0)161 236 5529 Monroe’s 38 London Rd, M1 2PF T: +44 (0)161 236 0564 Napoleons 46 Canal St T: +44 (0)161 236 8800

RESTAURANTS Brasserie on Portland 101 Portland St, M1 6DF T: +44 (0)161 236 5122 New Samsi 36 – 38 Whitworth St, M1 3NR T: +44 (0)161 279 0022 Tropeiro Brazil St, M1 3WF T: +44 (0)161 923 6846 Villaggio Canal St, M1 3WD T: +44 (0)161 244 5222

New Union Hotel & Pub 111 Princess St, M1 6JB T: +44 (0)161 228 1492 Paddy’s Goose 29 Bloom St, M1 3JE T: +44(0)161 236 1246


Fantastic fiction From cobbles and Cracker to wizards and Wonderwalls, David Jones introduces us to some of Manchester’s literary heroes.



Portrait Miniature of Elizabeth Gaskell, William John Thomson, 1832 (University MSS Box P). Reproduced by courtesy of the University Librarian and Director, The John Rylands University Library, The University of Manchester.

When asked to describe Manchester in words, an obvious few spring to mind, such as football, Oasis and Boddingtons. But long before the Gallaghers wrote of "Wonderwalls" and "Supernovas" the city had been the birthplace and inspiration for many writers, poets and playwrights in print today. The most famous perhaps, and some might say mother of all those who came from the Northwest and chose a life putting pen to paper, is Elizabeth Gaskell. Gaskell, like me, first glimpsed the city through the eyes of a child, spending much of her youth visiting relatives in the towns and surrounding countryside. Many of these towns, like Knutsford which still thrives and can be visited today, became the backdrop for the lives of her protagonists in novels such as ‘Cranford’ and ‘Mary Barton’, and it was with these works that Gaskell managed to paint a portrait of a city whose heart pumped the life and soul into the industrial revolution. The differences between today’s city and the one frequented by Mary Barton are clear to see: the cobbled streets her heroine walked no longer lead to the workhouses and mills, with wine bars, theatres, international markets and Topshop, none the less, paving the city streets instead. Much of the Manchester depicted in Gaskell’s writings has long since gone, faded and changed by the hands of Father Time. Her slums, the plight of the mill workers and the poverty she saw - which during Victorian England was rife - are

now more or less only stories in her books. On closer inspection however, any avid bookworm with the passion to do so can still walk many of the streets and lanes that inspired a young Elizabeth to pen some of our greatest literature. The hustle and bustle she evoked in her tales that saw her characters wander on King Street, Cross Street and through Exchange Square can still be found in these areas of the city and is very much alive today in modern Mancunia; even her house - 84 Plymouth Grove - in Chorltonon-Medlock just outside the city centre still occupies its original foundations. Not far from this house, the playwright Shelagh Delaney grew up in 1950’s Salford and like the great lady Gaskell before her, sought from the city the inspiration needed to write - what is now considered by some - one of the greatest plays of the 20th century - ‘A Taste Of Honey’. In a similar fashion and of more recent times, Bafta award winning screenwriter Paul Abbott used his experiences of Manchester to pen some of Britain’s most popular television shows including ‘Shameless’, ‘Clocking Off ’ and ‘Cracker’; all of which were set in the city and filmed on its streets. The bubbling pot of literary inspiration however doesn’t just stop at the city gates. A stone’s throw away - 20 minutes by train in fact - lies the home of children’s author Alan Garner, in Alderley Edge. His stories including ‘Elidor’ and ‘The Weirdstone of Bresingamen’, tell of witches, wizards and lands without sunshine and have for many

years been the bedtime reading for children all over the world. It’s clear when engrossed in one of Garner’s novels, that the caves, caverns and magical folklore, all synonymous with this beautiful area of Cheshire, act as the stage on which his fairytales come to life, with now even a wine bar called ‘Brazingamens’ close by to boot! Calling Manchester my home and reminiscing nostalgically about teenage days spent in Affleck’s Palace and Piccadilly Gardens means it’s not difficult for me to see how such a diverse and cultural city could be the hometown and birthplace of many a famous bard. The colour and buzz you feel when in any of the city’s quarters that include Piccadilly, the ultra-modern Spinningfields and the aptly named Northern Quarter - regarded by most as its artistic centre - is more than easy to soak up. This vibrancy is perhaps why each year in September 90,000 students choose Manchester and arrive in autumn to study at one of its three universities.


the queue at Waterstones, bookmark in hand, spurred on by the many new and exciting authors coming from the city. The Gaskells and Rileys et al, plus all those who find joy in the written word have much to be thankful for, as it seems the ever great Manchester still has a fair few pages yet to turn. After all, Benjamin Disraeli in his 1844 novel ‘Coningsby’ said "certainly Manchester is the most wonderful city of modern times"... And who I might ask, are we to argue with that? Manchester Central Library


The University of Manchester, Manchester Metropolitan University and The University of Salford are all homes to writers past and present, each one with an abundance of courses on offer in Literature and Creative Writing. A selection of courses I feel compelled to note - as every writer should - that honed the skills and talents of many successful creatives in print throughout the world today. The alumni of Manchester’s academic institutions incorporate a wealth of British literary talent with poet Simon Armitage, award-winning voice of the youth Gwendoline Riley and Anthony Burgess famed for his bleak yet ever so psychedelic prediction of an urban future in his classic ‘A Clockwork Orange’ - present on their classroom registers. Each year in October, Manchester opens its doors in celebration to all that is written, with its annual literature festival taking place all over the city. In its own words, the 2008 festival featured an eclectic mix of authors, events and participatory activities that aimed to capture the public’s imagination and of course encourage people to engage with all things literary. The 2008 festival presented amongst other things a conversation with screen writer Russell T Davies. An adoptive Mancunian - he was born and bred down the road in Wales - Davies has for much of his career worked in and around the Northwest, with contributions


in production and writing at Granada and a rather prolific partnership with the Manchester based independent Red Production Company under his belt. For those who don’t already know, Davies along with Red is the brains and brawn behind Manchester based 90s breakthrough classic ‘Queer as Folk’ and the fellow, who in my humble opinion, by resurrecting the gloriously camp ‘Doctor Who’ - single-handedly gave life back to the phrase “exterminate”! Russell himself along with many of the city’s writing school graduates were on hand to discuss their work, giving any budding Shakespeare the opportunity to hear it all from the horse’s mouth. A vast array of events completed the festival, ranging from ‘Past Crimes’ to Romantic Fiction and Poetry in Translation - a kind of ‘something for everyone’ to cater to all literary tastes, Further details of the festival’s plans for the future can be found by visiting: All this considered, when taking the train to work each morning, book in hand, it’s easy for any bleary-eyed commuter like me to overlook the never ending list of talent they may be carrying around in their rucksacks, easier still to forget the notable wealth of writers associated with Manchester. However, I predict that at some point in the not too distant future, I along with many others will be found in

Central Library is one of the city’s best known and well-loved landmarks. Visitors are often surprised to learn the building only dates back to 1934, although Manchester is home to the UK’s oldest free public lending library service, founded in 1852. Manchester Central Library is open from 9am, Monday to Saturday. For information, call 0161 234 1900 or visit

Chetham’s Library Chetham’s Library was founded in 1653 and is the oldest public library in the English-speaking world. Located within the medieval buildings of Chetham’s School of Music, the library began acquiring material in 1655. Members of the public are welcome to visit the library by prior appointment. To make an appointment, call 0161 834 7961, or visit:

Portico Library and Gallery The Portico Library and Gallery was opened in 1806 and is situated on Mosley Street, in a Grade 11 listed stone building, designed in the neo-classical style by Thomas Harrison. Whilst the library itself remains open to private subscribers only, members of the public are welcome to attend a varied programme of literary and cultural events, held in the Gallery. For more information, call 0161 236 6785, or visit:

John Rylands University Library This Victorian building is possibly Manchester’s finest example of Gothic architecture, dating from 1899. Commissioned by Rylands’ widow to commemorate her textile-magnate husband, the library is home to some of the most significant books and manuscripts ever produced. For more information, call 0161 275 3751 or visit:

Want to explore Manchester in comfort?

Coming to Manchester? Want to get closer to where you want to be? Why not park with NCP Manchester at one of 46 car parks in the heart of the city. Time is precious – to make the most of your break why not visit or call +44 (0)161 817 8900


WHEELS OF FIRE At the Beijing Olympics, Great Britain’s track cycling team achieved a magnificent haul of twelve medals, seven of them gold. William Fotheringham traces the triumph over adversity of the Manchester-based team and its spirit of ambition and determination to succeed, so typical of the city itself.



Images courtesy of British Cycling

In the bowels of Manchester’s velodrome, it’s easy to lose your bearings. There is one corridor, and it runs part of the way round the oval building. It has no windows, just a never-ending series of doors: changing rooms, bike stores, shower rooms, the canteen. It is nicknamed the dungeon because once you enter, it feels as if you will never see the sun again. Visitors get lost, but the velodrome’s inhabitants have a clear sense of direction: onwards and upwards. The building, with its 250m banked track, its offices, its mechanics rooms, its secret corners where widgets are adjusted, its state of the art gym; all this is the home of Britain’s most successful sporting programme - the national track cycling team. When the world championships were held here in March, the cyclists landed nine gold medals, half the titles available. They were tipped to be Team GB’s most successful performers in Beijing, favourites in eight disciplines, with two potential triple gold medallists in Bradley Wiggins


and Chris Hoy and two of the glamour girls of the games, sprinter Victoria Pendleton and pursuiter Rebecca Romero. Wiggins, Hoy, Pendleton and Romero are just the tip of a massive pyramid of twowheeled talent that includes the charismatic road racer Mark Cavendish this year a four-time stage winner in the Tour de France at just 23 years of age - and the undisputed star of BMX, Shanaze Reade. As well as the Olympic stars, the cycling system goes down to 16-year olds across the country, already groomed as cycling stars of the future. And this is just the beginning: the future includes potentially cycling’s biggest ever sponsorship deal, with Sky Television, and a possible British team in the Tour de France. All planned and plotted and formed within the oval building in Eastlands.

It all seems set in stone now, the momentum unstoppable, but in the mid1990s no-one knew what to do with the velodrome. There was debate over whether it should be used for cat shows or cycle races, its roof leaked rain onto the expensive timber boards that form the great bankings, and Britain could barely scrape a single world championship medal. Back then, the track was the only visible legacy of Manchester’s now forgotten Olympic bid. Something had to be built to prove that the city could host the Games. There was some energetic lobbying from the then President of the British Cycling Federation, a cycle clothing maker named Ian Emmerson, on the back of an unexpected Olympic cycling gold medal in Barcelona for an unknown called Chris Boardman, and that gave birth to the velodrome. The bankings were designed by the finest cycle track maker in the world, the Australian Ron Webb, and there it sat in Eastlands, surrounded by postindustrial desolation, a splendid facility. No-one knew what to do with it.

It’s a Revolution 10 January 2009 / 21 February 2009 Many of Great Britain's Olympic track stars will be in action during the 2008/09 series of Revolution, at Manchester Velodrome. For more information and to buy tickets for the events visit: or telephone +44 (0)207 261 1177

How Hard Can That Be? If you fancy your chances on one of the world's fastest indoor cycling tracks, Manchester Velodrome offers the opportunity for cyclists of all levels to test their skills against the boards, under the supervision of an experienced coach. You can also hire a bike, shoes and helmet for the occasion. For more information and to book a session, visit: or telephone 0161 223 2244

"In 1996 it was close to bankruptcy. We were within a few days of saying we couldn’t make it work, closing the doors, giving the keys to Manchester City Council, and saying we couldn’t do it," recalls Brian Cookson the current president of the national governing body. That was only part of the problem: the BCF were almost bust thanks to internal disputes and bizarre financial deals. Now, rechristened British Cycling, they are flourishing as well. The problem was - and is - that track cycling in itself could not make enough money to cover the running costs. Entry fees from the amateur cyclists who race at the velodrome had to be sensibly priced. Even now, not all promoters can get enough bums on seats to make professional meetings pay. Cookson recalls that the only way to make cash was to stage other events - car launches, squash championships - hence the famous occasion when the cyclists were pushed out to make way for the moggies.

The turning point, in every way, was the influx of cash from the National Lottery through the foundation of what was known back then as the World Class Performance Programme, dedicated to winning track cycling medals, under the guidance of Boardman’s former trainer Peter Keen, who turned up one day, found a vacant room and put some second-hand office furniture in it. The programme used the velodrome for its offices - in former storerooms which still have no windows - and its cyclists booked the track for training. The rental income from the Programme set the track on an even keel, while its credibility as a venue slowly mounted with the ever-increasing British medal hauls. Around the track, with the Commonwealth Games in 2002, the wasteland was transformed: the City of Manchester Stadium, a giant supermarket, the English Institute of Sport, where the happy symbiosis between the scientists and the cyclists is another Manchester success story in itself. The Programme now has

60 staff, and a pyramid of over 150 cyclists under them. The constant flow of medals and the emergence of stars people will pay to see means the glitzy Revolution series of winter track meets pay their way. Cookson has no difficulty pinpointing a day and a time when, abruptly, there was an end to any questions about the velodrome’s usefulness. "It all changed in a single minute, 1min, 01.609 seconds, to be precise, when Jason Queally won the gold medal in the kilometre time trial at the Sydney Olympic Games in 2000. "In the public’s perception, the velodrome went from being a white elephant to a gold medal factory. People realised something special was going on. They realised that if we wanted Olympic medals we needed to invest in facilities and people. That squared the circle and we never looked back."


Industrial Heritage Manchester is the former centre of the Industrial Revolution. As ‘King Cotton’ or ‘Cottonopolis’, it played a unique part in changing the world for future generations. The Northwest is, of course, well known as the world’s former Industrial Powerhouse. Heritage paints a vibrant picture here, from the textile mills of Lancashire to the bustling docks of Liverpool and Blackpool’s role as the workers preferred holiday destination. This and plenty more is celebrated in the contemporary attractions and museums that now reside across the region. In Manchester city centre, try the Museum of Science and Industry (MOSI) or head to one of the borough towns like Stockport for places like the Hat Works and Staircase House. Further afield in Cumbria, steam boats and trains are the preferred choice of transport for those keen to mix tradition with beautiful lakeside scenery. Industrial


Powerhouse is about discovering the unexpected with attractions like St. Helen’s World of Glass (see glass production in all its fiery glory) and Port Sunlight on Merseyside, a Victorian village purposebuilt for the workers of the time. There’s simply too much to mention here far too many great trips can be plotted around the region’s industrial history. So to help you get started, visit the website: Here, you can explore the attractions for yourself and prior to your visit, you might like to download a number of audio guides and tourist trails to help you explore the area.

ATTRACTIONS MOSI (Museum of Science and Industry) Castlefield T. +44 (0)161 832 2244

Quarry Bank Mill Wilmslow T. +44 (0)1625 527468

Honister Slate Mine Borrowdale T. +44 (0)1768 777230

World of Glass St. Helen’s T. +44 (0)8700 11 44 66

Helmshore Mills Textile Museum Rossendale T. +44 (0)1706 226459

Queen St Mill Burnley T. +44 (0)1282 412555

Merseyside Maritime Museum Albert Dock T. +44 (0)151 478 4499

Macclesfield Silk Museum Macclesfield T. +44 (0)1625 612045

Hat Works Wellington Mill T. +44 (0)845 833 0975

East Lancashire Railway Bury T. +44 (0)161 764 7790

79 for events listings, itineraries, maps and the best deals on accommodation.


ROCHDALE CANAL REVEALS MANCHESTER’S SECRETS For more than 150 years the Rochdale canal was the lifeblood of Manchester’s industrial might - connecting the city to the wider world. Today, over 200 years since the canal opened, it has found a new lease of life as a tourist trail - showcasing Manchester’s vibrant history to visitors from around the world. The canal forms the centrepiece of the trail which is made up of ten audio episodes, covering various topics from music and wildlife to gay heritage and literature.

The audio trails are presented by musician and journalist John Robb and feature over 30 special guests ranging from city councillors, experts in development, psychogeographers to popstars and general body-poppers They are available to download from and can be used on PC, i Pod and mobile phones.

UNSUNG Manchester’s musical heritage is as famous as any part of its history and culture - discover world names that came from Manchester and their untold stories.

INSPIRED The city has an amazing scientific pedigree which has changed the world, and a lot happened in Manchester. It’s not something we shout about, and we should.

EN-ROUTE GREEN Amongst the warehouses and factories there is a whole swathe of wildlife - if you know where to look.

The Rochdale Canal was the first major transport system to make its way into the city centre, and soon it became a hub for one of the most sophisticated transport networks in the world.

For more information about Manchester and the wider Northwest’s rich industrial heritage, check out:


UNDERGROUND The majestic Beetham Tower glistens on the skyline, but its what’s below which is really interesting: a subterranean world of tunnels under the surface.

HUMAN Notice how the city has sprung up to suit the new breed of urban dwellers, and the impact Manchester has experienced as a result of individuals and their ideas.

RADICAL Events and circumstances that shaped the history of Manchester, including its famous tradition of political and cultural radicalism.

INDUSTRIAL The story of the former centre of the industrial revolution. At the turn of the 19th century this was the Britain’s boom town, thanks mostly to cotton - explore the famous history.

PROUD POETIC The canal is fantastic place to come and sit or wander and there is a good chance you could come over all poetic as you take the sights in and learn about literary works that have come from the heart of the city.

The city’s gay history from its secret origins to coming out and being proud. Canal Street, the heart of the gay village, is a symbol of Manchester’s vitality and its rich and diverse population.

The audio programme was launched by Visit Manchester with funding from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF). Other supporters of the project are Marketing Manchester, British Waterways, Mersey Basin Campaign, Cityco and Manchester City Council.


THE QUAYS - A WATERFRONT DESTINATION Dramatic architecture and the Manchester Ship Canal set the scene for Greater Manchester's waterfront. Only ten minutes from the city centre by tram, the Quay's is home to some of the most iconic buildings in the region. A cultural treasure trove of art, music, dance and sport, the area packs everything you can do in a big city into one spectacular square mile. Daniel Libenskind's striking masterpiece, the Imperial War Museum North, represents pieces of a shattered globe - the effect of war on the world. Every inch of space, floor and wall, is thought out with meticulous detail to purposefully disorientate, provoke and inspire.


Across the water is the impressive Lowry, home to an extensive collection of local contemporary art including works by L.S. Lowry, Salford's most renowned artist. The Lowry's two main theatres present everything from awardwinning productions to musicals, comedy and popular music acts. As a former host of the World Cup Triathlon, The Quay's has also gained a reputation as a venue for world-class sport. The magnificent Lancashire County Cricket Club plays host to top international cricket matches as well as some of the world's best pop acts.

Cultured out, chill out, The Quays offers an eclectic range of food and drink, some quirky niche shopping and 50% off high street prices at the Lowry Outlet Mall. To experience the true heart of The Quays, take a relaxing full day trip along the Manchester Ship Canal with Mersey Ferries and enjoy an overnight stay in a great hotel, try the Premier Inn Old Trafford, The Copthorne, Old Trafford Lodge or the brand new Ramada Manchester Salford Quays. For more information call the Salford Tourist Information Centre on +44 (0)870 420 4145 or visit

Imperial War Museum North The Quays, Trafford Wharf Road, Manchester, M17 1TZ T. +44 (0)161 836 4000

Imperial War Museum North is about people and their stories, how lives have been and still are shaped by war and conflict. The award-winning building, a symbol of our world torn apart by conflict, is situated at The Quays, two miles from Manchester city centre. The Museum uses thought-provoking and innovative display techniques such as the Big Picture, which puts you right in the centre of the experience. As the lights fade down, giant screens and powerful surround sound immerse you in the heart of the action, a complete sensory experience which is totally involving, and often very moving. The Main Exhibition Space also houses thousands of objects from a Harrier Jump-jet to clothing, diaries, works of art and a series of family interactive Action Stations. A fascinating day out for all.

“Moving and incredibly thought-provoking, it's a must see that remains with you long after your visit” Visitor. FREE entry. Open Daily. 10am - 6pm (Mar- Oct) 10am - 5pm (Nov-Feb) Silver Winner - Enjoy England's Large Visitor Attraction of the Year 2007

Lowry Outlet Mall The Quays, Salford Quays, M50 3AH T. +44 (0)161 848 1850

Manchester’s only factory outlet, the Lowry Outlet Mall is open seven days a week and offers top quality high street names at up to 50% off. Whether you’re looking for designer brands or a high street bargain, top to toe fashion and accessories or unusual home furnishings - the mall has it all under one roof. When your arms are wilting from the weight of your shopping bags seek solace in one of the restaurants that overlook The Lowry Plaza, or catch the latest blockbuster at the Vue Cinema, where the exclusive Gold Class has reclining chairs and waiter service! Located within The Quays, with over 80 stores and free parking for shoppers, the Lowry Outlet Mall is like no other. Plus - don’t miss clearance times in January and July, when you can save even more!


THE MIDLAND HOTEL 105 years of glamorous decadence in the heart of the city.

There are some hotels so synonymous with their location that a full address is hardly ever required. The Savoy in London, The Ritz in Paris and The Plaza in New York. In Manchester, The Midland Hotel has held such status since the very day it opened back in 1903. The city has grown and expanded around The Midland, making it not only Manchester’s oldest purpose-built hotel, but also one of its most famous buildings and an attraction in itself. Built by the Midland Railway Company as a Northern base for its weary, yet incredibly wealthy, business travellers arriving into Central Station, the hotel played host to virtually everyone who was anyone who came to Manchester.

And they didn’t just sleep here; it’s where they came to do business. The most famous such meeting took place between the Honourable Charles Rolls and Frederick Henry Royce. Their rendezvous resulted in the formation of Rolls-Royce Limited, an appropriately luxurious brand considering the venue. And it wasn’t just the day’s business leaders that were attracted to the hotel. It is alleged that Adolf Hitler admired the building so much he planned to use it as his Northern HQ if he had won the war. Some say it was on the order of the Führer himself that The Midland never suffered a direct bomb attack during the war!

The hotel inspired Barbara Frost, one of Manchester’s Blue Badge Tour Guides to research and publish a book dedicated to the history of the hotel and the people who have worked there. ‘Memories Of The Midland’ recalls such days when the Marks & Spencer heiress held her wedding reception on the roof terrace (sadly no longer open to the public), when the King and Queen of Afghanistan’s bodyguards slept in a pile in front of their bedroom door by way of protection and when a certain band from Liverpool – The Beatles – were turned away from The French Restaurant for being inappropriately dressed. Over the years the hotel has changed hands many times. The Midland Railway Company’s Central Station is now the city’s most high-profile conference venue, Manchester Central, and the weary figures that flock through its doors are conference delegates rather than kings of the cotton trade, but The Midland remains.

A question always asked of ‘Grandes Dames’ like The Midland is whether or not they can compete with the new super-sleek and uber-cool hotel properties that open up all around them, especially in Manchester, when the hotel scene is forever expanding. Of The Midland it can certainly be said that the answer to this question is yes. A recent refurbishment has left the hotel looking better than ever and its reputation as one of the places to stay in the city is firmly intact. Recent additions to the hotel’s visitor book include Tony Bennett, Paul McCartney, Mike Tyson, Jennifer Lopez and Their Royal Highnesses The Earl and Countess of Wessex who stayed for ten days during the Commonwealth Games in 2002. The French Restaurant was also where David and Victoria Beckham had their first date - so it would appear The Midland has been given the thumbs up from Hollywood royalty as well as the real thing!

For more information about The Midland Hotel,visit: To purchase a copy of ‘Memories of the Midland’ by Barbara Frost, please telephone +44 (0)1625 532 045.


FREE full colour pocket map of Manchester, featuring listings of hotels, attractions and restaurants. Order your copy online at or call into the Manchester Visitor Information Centre on St. Peter's Square.


WHERE TO STAY Manchester has achieved an international reputation as a vibrant and dynamic leisure and business destination. This could not have happened without the quality accommodation to go with it. All the accommodation in this section has been quality assessed by either Quality in Tourism or The AA, or has recently applied for a rating and is awaiting assessment. All types of accommodation including hotels and guest accommodation (B & Bs, guesthouses etc) are now assessed to the same criteria and awarded one to five stars; the more stars the higher the quality. Budget accommodation such as Premier Travel Inns which includes roadside or lodge-style accommodation do not have a star rating. 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 You can rest assured that wherever you choose to stay in Manchester, you can book with confidence that the highest standards of service, facilities and comfort await you. For more information on star ratings go to

More detailed information on accommodation facilities are available online at Greater Manchester has a huge variety of accommodation available from chic five star hotels to stylish boutique hotels to traditional B&B’s. If you prefer to spend your money on restaurants and shops and Manchester’s nightlife, than you should check out the wide range of budget hotels and youth hostels available. Price Bands: All establishments are listed within a price band, that shows the minimum charge per person, per night, based on two people sharing. AAA AA A B C D E

How to Book Go to for a huge selection of accommodation in Greater Manchester. Real-time availability and online pricing make it easier than ever to book your accommodation. Alternatively contact the team at the visitor information centre who can provide advice and assistance with your booking. Manchester Visitor Information Centre Town Hall Extension, Lloyd Street, Manchester M60 2LA T. +44 (0)871 222 8223 E.

£80.00 and above £66.00 – 79.99 £50.00 – 65.99 £36.00 – 49.99 £26.00 – 35.99 £16.00 – 25.99 under £16.00

Price bands are given as guidance only, as rates can often fluctuate due to availability and demand. All prices should be confirmed at the time of booking to avoid any misunderstanding.


Britannia Hotels Price Band: C/D

Britannia Hotels - over 1300 rooms in Manchester. Britannia Hotels have seven hotels in and around Manchester, all offering comfortable accommodation and excellent facilities for business or leisure guests.

The Britannia Ashley Hotel in leafy Hale offers comfortable accommodation with easy access to much of Manchester and the Cheshire countryside. Hale itself offers exclusive shopping, bars and restaurants.

The Britannia Hotel Manchester and Britannia Sachas Hotel are both located in the city centre and boast a range of restaurants, bars, conference facilities and well-appointed rooms. In addition, Britannia Sachas offers a health club with swimming pool and gym. Each of these hotels are ideally situated for all major entertainment and shopping venues in the city centre, as well as the tram and rail network.

The Britannia Airport Hotel and the Britannia Country House Hotel are both located just a few miles from the Airport, offering Airport Accommodation, Transfers and Parking packages as well as leisure breaks. Both hotels are also just minutes from the motorway network allowing access to Manchester City Centre and the many attractions in the city.

Staying in Manchester before or after a flight? Why not use our Stay and Fly service, with airport accommodation, parking and transfers included. The Britannia Hotel Manchester and Britannia Sachas have great city centre locations, perfect for shopping breaks, sightseeing trips or a night out on the town! The Britannia Sachas Hotel and Britannia Country House Hotel have pools and health club facilities. Why not pamper yourself with a leisure break? Britannia Wigan is located just off J27 of the M6. It offers a bright airy lobby and modern bedrooms, as well as a Health Club with Swimming pool & Gym. Britannia Bolton is a modern 98 bedroom Hotel located just off the M61, and a short drive from Manchester and the Trafford Centre. The Hotel offers comfortable rooms and has a welcoming Restaurant & Bar.

Britannia Hotels offer the following, please contact us for details: Free places available to parties of 20 or more Free Bar Packages Festive Packages from £160 pp Turkey & Tinsel Murdery Mystery Packages

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Please Contact our Travel Trade Team on +44 (0)871 222 5502 E:

Britannia Airport Hotel «««


Britannia Ashley Hotel ««

Britannia Manchester Hotel

Britannia Country House Hotel «««

Britannia Manchester Hotel «««

Britannia Sachas Hotel «««


City Inn Manchester One Piccadilly Place, 1 Auburn Street, Manchester, M1 3DG T. +44 (0)161 242 1000 Price band. AA

City Inn Manchester is an award-winning, stylish, contemporary hotel in the heart of the dynamic city centre of Manchester and just opposite Piccadilly train station. Canal Street, the gay village, China Town, Piccadilly Gardens and shopping galore are all just on the doorstep. Our 285 guest rooms, including City Club and City Suites all come complete with a light, fresh design, floor to ceiling windows, personal bars, fabulous Apple iMac entertainment systems, complimentary wi-fi, bespoke toiletries, bathrobes, walk-in power showers, 24 hour room service, library of movies and music and of course the best of beds! The hotel also has two stunning bars - the Piccadilly Lounge and the Blue Bar - two fantastic spaces to relax and chill out. City CafĂŠ is our critically acclaimed restaurant offering innovative, modern European food using seasonal, fresh ingredients. Or why not eat alfresco on our lovely, sunny terrace. And if all the food and drink is too much, then we have a really great gym on the first floor.


Travel is more than just A to B. Travel should refresh your spirit. Welcome to Hilton Manchester Deansgate – a landmark hotel for a dynamic city. With exhilarating architecture, dramatic public spaces and indulgently comfortable bedrooms, plus a convenient city centre location – it’s a feast for the senses. Whether you’re savouring the space in our LivingWell Express gym, spending a long, languid evening at our sophisticated Podium Restaurant, Bar & Lounge or drinking in the spectacular views over a cocktail at Cloud 23, you’ll enjoy experiences that are every bit as sensational as your surroundings. The height of pleasure in the heart of the city. For further information or to book call 0161 870 1600 or visit

Macdonald Manchester Hotel

It’s the little things that matter at Macdonald Manchester Contact us now on 0844 879 9088 quoting Manchester Magazine. Macdonald Manchester Hotel & Spa, London Road, Manchester, M1 2PG Hotel Group of the Year Winner 2007-8

The Midland Hotel


Peter Street, Manchester, M60 2DS T. +44 (0)161 236 3333 Price band. A

Standing proud in the heart of the City Centre, The Midland Hotel is one of Manchester’s most famous landmarks. It is the recent subject of a £15 million restoration programme, designed to restore this fantastic building to its former grandeur whilst bringing it up to date with the needs of the discerning, well travelled hotel guest. The restoration has seen The Midland return to its position as the City’s finest hotel and conference location. This beautiful hotel now boasts a magnificent lobby, 312 bedrooms and two superb, but distinctly different restaurants, including the double AA rosette award-winning French Restaurant. Its two bars include the Wyvern bar located at the front of the hotel and the Octagon Lounge where you can relax and enjoy a traditional Afternoon Tea. Residents of the hotel can also enjoy complimentary use of the hotel’s fully equipped leisure club. It’s excellent, central location makes The Midland an ideal choice for visiting Manchester’s many attractions which include Manchester’s Palace Theatre and Opera House, the fabulous Bridgewater Hall, Old Trafford football stadium - home of Manchester United, a whole host of shopping opportunities including the exclusive Harvey Nichols and Selfridges stores and a wide variety of nightlife options.


The Palace Hotel


The Palace Hotel, Oxford Street, Manchester, M60 7HA t. +44 (0)161 288 1111 Price band. A

Situated in the heart of the city in the Conference Quarter, The Palace Hotel is a recognised landmark in Manchester with its distinctive 217ft tall clock tower. Set within easy walking distance of Manchester Central, China Town and Manchester’s chic bars, restaurants and clubs, the hotel is ideally located. The magnificent terracotta Grade II listed building has had an investment of £10 million ensuring that the 275 bedrooms are of the highest upper four star standard and that the vast public areas have been given a new contemporary style. The Tempus Bar and imposing restaurant provides the ideal setting for cocktail parties and informal dining. Unrivalled in the Northwest, The Palace Hotel contains the single largest conference room. The Grand Room hosts many high profile events and is the ideal venue for a wide range of conferences and events for up to 1000. With 18 further function suites, each individual in character and style, the hotel has the capacity to hold one to one meetings or conferences for up to 200. Included in the array of conference and meeting facilities is our Business Centre which has seven meeting rooms which are ideal for use as breakout rooms or smaller meetings.


The Radisson Edwardian Hotel


The Radisson Edwardian Hotel, Free Trade Hall, Peter Street, Manchester, M2 5GP T. +44 (0)161 835 9929 Price band. AA

The acclaimed Radisson Edwardian Hotel on Peter Street, voted the city’s Best Large Hotel at the Manchester Tourism Awards 2007, Large Hotel of the Year in the North West at the Regional Tourism Awards 2007, and joint Silver at the Enjoy England 2008 awards, continues to be first choice for leisure and business visitors, offering the perfect fusion of luxury and city centre convenience. With 263 rooms, ranging from king-size doubles to a range of 23 newly refurbished suites, each room is dramatic and indulgent containing everything expected of an up market hotel. The hotel offers guests dining opportunities for every occasion from the newly redesigned Alto Restaurant offering guests a relaxing and inviting dining experience; to the dramatic Opus One restaurant, which continues to gain acclaim for its stunning interiors and honest British food. Sienna Spa and Health Club provides an urban retreat for guests, with five treatment rooms and two inviting relaxation rooms, as well as a swimming pool and full gym, sauna and steam room. Conveniently positioned for Manchester’s vast business, cultural, retail and night life, the 5* Radisson Edwardian Hotel offers the ultimate city break experience.


Ramada Manchester Piccadilly


Portland Street, Manchester, M1 4PH T. +44 (0)161 236 8414 Price band. B

Ramada Manchester Piccadilly, look no further. Following the completion of an £18 million pound investment restoring this iconic building now making this the ideal location for your perfect choice. Overlooking Piccadilly Gardens and situated in the heart of the city centre, we are just seconds walk away from the Village and a stones throw away from Canal Street, you can also enjoy the vast array of local attractions, shops, bars, theatres and restaurants all on your doorstep. This Manchester Icon is easily accessible from motorways and within short walking distance to Piccadilly train station. All 280 contemporary bedrooms are fitted with flat screen LCD TVs, digital on-demand movies, high-speed internet access and offer 24 hour room service to make your stay as relaxing as possible. Enjoy a visit to the Arts Brasserie, serving modern Bistro food in stylish, contemporary surroundings, room service is available 24 hours a day, alternatively take time to relax with a refreshing drink in the Bar on 3, with panoramic views. Experience this striking new look and enjoy a fantastic evening or weekend.


Hotel Yang Sing Oriental

awaiting inspection

Hotel Yang Sing Oriental, 36 Princess Street, Manchester, M1 4JY T. +44 (0)161 880 0188 Price band. AAA

Yang Sing Oriental is a modern take on luxury – stylish design, intimate spaces to relax and the opportunity to personalise your experience. Each of our 48 rooms is uniquely designed, ranging from the Mandarin, Oriental, Grand Mandarin and Grand Oriental rooms to the luxurious fifth floor Emperor duplex apartments and the magnificent Grand Emperor Suite. The mood and atmosphere in the hotel has been carefully created with subtle lighting, bespoke music and custom blended aromas. Guests can tailor make their stay using the online booking system, selecting from our extensive personalised menus from pillows and Japanese silk duvets to your complimentary bathroom products and even which scent will fill your room. Each room features a top of the range en-suite bathroom or wet room, a specially created in-room dining menu and a selection of complimentary refreshments. An oriental inspired breakfast is served in the bar area. Guests can sample the extensive cellars in the lively Oku Champagne Bar, along with our oriental infused bar menu. Or simply unwind in the sumptuous Sutra Lounge, work out in our private gym or select a treatment from the East meets West Spa menu.


The Arora International Manchester


18 - 24 Princess Street, Manchester, M1 4LY T. +44 (0)161 236 8999 Price band. A - AA

Contemporary in design yet maintaining its unique Grade 2 listed heritage the Arora International, is ideally situated in the heart of Manchester within close proximity to Manchester Central, the Art Gallery, Arndale Shopping area, and the tram link to Old Trafford and the Trafford Centre. All 141 rooms are appointed to a very high standard, featuring our Arora beds, power showers, air conditioning and unique design touches such as heated bathroom mirrors. Complementing the Hotel is the award winning Obsidian Bar & Restaurant offering a selection of classic cocktails, whilst using locally sourced ingredients to create a dining excellence reflecting modern day Manchester. All of this and an absolute focus on customer service makes the Arora your ultimate City Centre hotel.

Blue Rainbow Apartment Hotel


Hill Quays, 8 Commercial Street, Manchester, M1 5NZ T. +44 (0)161 236 6439 Price band. AA

Located in the heart of Manchester city centre the 5* Blue Rainbow Apartments offer all the luxury of a boutique hotel but with more space, privacy and freedom. With a range of apartments to suit all needs, from one bedroom apartments that luxuriously sleep two people, to spacious two bedroom / two bathroom apartments with spectacular city views. All of the apartments are furnished to a high standard, contain a fully fitted kitchen, lounge/dining area, luxury bathrooms and a complimentary welcome basket containing the essential food items to help you settle in. Whether you are travelling for business or leisure, need somewhere to stay for just one night, or longer, give Blue Rainbow a call next time you’re visiting Manchester.


Campanile Hotel Manchester

budget hotel

55 Ordsall Lane, Regent Road, Salford, Manchester, M5 4RS T. +44 (0)161 833 1845 Price band. C

Ideally situated just 15 minutes walking distance from Manchester city centre and its many attractions, our location makes our hotel perfect for all business and leisure visits to Manchester. Campanile hotel Manchester has 104 comfortably furnished en-suite bedrooms. The Café-Bistro Restaurant offers a large variety of rustic seasonal food, daily and chef’s specials, with the quality you would expect to find in a French owned Hotel-Restaurant chain. The hotel also has excellent facilities for your meetings, seminars and training sessions. The two conference rooms have natural daylight and can accommodate up to 40 delegates each. Hotel guests also benefit from free car parking on site.

Chancellors Hotel


Chancellors Way, Moseley Road, Fallowfield, Manchester, M14 6NN T. +44 (0)161 907 7404 Price band. B

Chancellors Hotel, a "hidden gem" blends the elegance of a country house with contemporary conveniences, and although being set in five acres of landscaped gardens, is situated just three miles from the city centre and mainline rail networks, and only four miles from Manchester International Airport. This peaceful haven set in a historic house also offers free on-site car parking for visitors and guests. Each of the 71 en-suite bedrooms is non-smoking, and elegantly furnished with comfort in mind. Four of the bedrooms have been specially designed to accommodate disabled guests with impaired mobility. The light and airy Carriage House Restaurant overlooking the courtyard, offers a range of healthy and tempting options created with fresh locally-sourced produce and with the emphasis on quality and guest satisfaction.


Crowne Plaza Manchester City Centre


70 Shudehill, Manchester, M4 4AF T. +44 (0)161 828 8600 Price band. AA

The Crowne Plaza Manchester City Centre is the hottest new hotel to land on the city centre in 2008 and encapsulates the vibe, heart and soul of Manchester from the inside out. Located in the heart of Manchester on the edge of the captivating nightlife and excellent entertainment area including the trendy Northern Quarter – the hotel provides a gateway to everything the city has to offer. Situated right next to the MEN Arena and well located for Manchester Central. The hotel is only minutes away from Manchester Arndale Shopping Centre, Harvey Nichols and Selfridges. Offering 228 individual bedrooms, an edgy modern design and contemporary luxury facilities. The Glasshouse Bar and Restaurant is the latest spot in which to enjoy a cocktail tapas or fine dining. The Crowne Plaza Manchester City Centre also accommodates meeting and events for up to 200 guests and is the perfect venue for business or pleasure.

Days Hotel Manchester City


Weston Building, Sackville Street, Manchester, M1 3BB T. +44 (0)161 955 8400 Price band. A

Days Hotel Manchester City offers the combination of great value for money with a convenient location in the city centre just 300m from Piccadilly Station. It is within walking distance of Manchester’s shopping and cultural activities, as well as its famous nightlife. Rooms feature TV with satellite channels, direct dial phone, iron and ironing board, hairdryer and tea/coffee making facilities. Broadband Internet access is available for a fixed cost of £5.


Holiday Inn Manchester West


Liverpool Street, Salford, Manchester, M5 4LT T. +44 (0)161 743 0080 Price band. B

The Holiday Inn Manchester West is a brand new refurbished, modern, stylish hotel offering exceptional standards of comfort and service. Combined with a distinctive personality and ambience, the hotel is the top choice amongst business and leisure travellers. With 82 comfortable guest rooms, every detail has been carefully thought out to create a modern and pleasurable stay. All bedrooms are en-suite and have climate control to suit the ever-changing weather. There are also five Executive Rooms and 13 Family Rooms to cater for all guests. The hotel is ideally located for exploring nearby attractions - there is certainly plenty to see and do in Manchester including Manchester United Football Club and Museum, the Lowry Outlet Mall, City of Manchester Stadium, Trafford Centre and city centre shops including Harvey Nichols, Selfridges and Heals.

The Lowry Hotel


50 Dearmans Place, Chapel Wharf, Salford, Manchester, M3 5LH T. + 44 (0)161 827 4000 Price band. AA

Rocco Forte’s The Lowry Hotel is the leading five star hotel in the Northwest and one of the most talked about hotels in the country. Offering 165 bedrooms including six suites and the Charles Forte Presidential Suite, you will be assured of luxury and excellent service. Why not enjoy a superb dinner at the award-winning River Bar and Restaurant, one of the region’s most celebrated dining spots. The River Bar and Restaurant combine contemporary and classical design overlooking the waters of the River Irwell situated at the heart of the city. You can indulge yourself with a treatment in The Lowry Spa the hotel’s award-winning Urban Spa - choose from holistic therapies to beauty treats, to make sure your break is pure luxury.


Novotel Manchester Hotel


21 Dickinson Street, Manchester, M1 4LX t. +44 (0)161 235 2200 Price band. B

Located in Manchester’s famous China Town district the Novotel Manchester Centre is just a short walk away from the commercial hub of the city, which includes Manchester Central and The Bridgewater Hall. All of the central entertainment and shopping areas are just a short stroll away. The full service Novotel hotel offers 164 comfortable and spacious double bedrooms. The Elements Restaurant and Bar is a great place to dine or simply relax and unwind with friends. For the more energetic the free leisure facilities include a sauna, gym and steam room. Finding Novotel could not be easier, it is served by Manchester Airport, all road links, the Metrolink and even the coach and bus station is nearby.

The Place Hotel


Ducie Street, Piccadilly, Manchester, M1 2TP T. +44 (0)161 778 7500 Price band. A

The Place offers a unique loft style living in the centre of Manchester; all the service and convenience of a hotel, with the comfort and space of home. Each apartment has either one or two bedrooms, lounge and fully equipped kitchen, Sky TV, DVD player, CD player, two telephone lines, internet access, microwave, dishwasher, laundry and ironing facilities. It is an ideal base for both business and leisure visits by individuals, couples, groups and families. For a special treat, enjoy panoramic city views from the roof terrace in our penthouses. Enjoy coffee, fine wines, continental beers and patisserie in The Place Bar. Full English and Continental Breakfasts, plus a dining menu, are available. Car parking available on site and Piccadilly rail station is a short walk away.


Princess On Portland


101 Portland Street, Manchester, M1 6DF T. +44 (0)161 236 5122 Price band. C

Formerly a Victorian cotton warehouse, the Princess on Portland is your base in the centre of the city - just minutes from great shopping, vibrant nightlife and a wealth of culture at your doorstep. From the moment you arrive you’ll notice the difference: a keen eye for detail and a quality of service which comes from being the only independent, family-run hotel in Manchester city centre. Of all the 85 rooms, yours is the most important. Your room offers comfort and relaxation within the bustling city. Contemporary decor, soft white duvet and largescreen satellite TV give you the comfort you deserve. En-suite bathrooms, FREE Wifi and data-ports also come as standard. Enjoy the superb dining experience at Brasserie on Portland, relax in the evening in the intimate candlelit atmosphere, or watch the city bustle during the day while your meal is prepared in the theatre kitchen. The kitchen team create fine dishes using quality ingredients, and an extensive wine list offers unforgettable treats from around the world. Take your choice from a superb à la carte menu, or tempting daily specials.

Thistle Manchester


3-5 Portland Street, Manchester, M1 6DP T. +44 (0)870 333 9139 Price band. B

Thistle Manchester is situated in the city centre, a five minute walk from Piccadilly Station and a short walk to the central shopping districts. This traditional hotel has 205 bedrooms including 12 individual suites. The Portland Street Bar & Restaurant offers a contemporary style menu from our award-winning chefs together with a tempting bar menu for light refreshments. Thistle Manchester has nine meeting rooms, the largest seating 300 theatre style. All meeting rooms have air-conditioning. Discover a city that has something to offer everyone! For culture lovers there is The Lowry, the Trafford Centre offers you the chance to shop on a grand scale, and for football supporters there is the chance to visit the hallowed ground of your favourite team.


ABode Manchester


107 Piccadilly, Manchester, M1 2DB t. +44 (0)161 247 7744 Price band. AAA

Opened in March 2008, ABode Manchester is a new and exciting proposition only two minutes walk from Piccadilly Station and the main business and shopping districts. ABode rooms are categorised as Comfortable, Desirable, Enviable and Fabulous. All rooms at whatever level, are beautifully and sumptuously furnished with comfort cooling, complimentary wireless and broadband, hand built beds, secondary glazing, LCD televisions and personal DVD players. ABode is also home to Michael Caines restaurants and bars serving Michael’s innovative and award-winning modern British cuisine.

Castlefield Hotel


Liverpool Road, Manchester, M3 4JR T. +44 (0)161 832 7073 Price band. B

In its idyllic canalside setting, the hotel is a perfect base for exploring the city’s attractions, shops, theatres, nightlife and sporting venues. 48 beautifully appointed and spacious rooms with TV, tea/coffee making facilities, hairdryer, direct dial telephone with modem and voicemail, wireless broadband in public areas, versatile conference suites and a stunning indoor marquee for weddings and parties up to 230.

Copthorne Hotel Manchester


Clippers Quay, Salford Quays, Manchester, M50 3SN T. +44 (0)161 873 7321 Price band. B

Only a short distance from the city centre, the Copthorne Hotel Manchester overlooks the waterfront, offering stunning views onto The Quays. This modern, four star hotel, offers unrivalled service and extensive complimentary guest car parking. A total of nine meeting rooms can accommodate up to 150 delegates, making this the ideal location for any event. Manchester city centre is easy to reach via the Metrolink tram stop opposite the hotel and offers direct links to Piccadilly train stations.

Lancashire County Cricket Club & Old Trafford Lodge ««« Talbot Road, Old Trafford, Manchester, M16 0PX T. +44 (0)161 874 3333 Price band. D

The superb 68-bedroom hotel is situated in Old Trafford Cricket Ground, one of the world’s great international sporting arenas and home to Lancashire County Cricket Club. With free parking, en-suite facilities and complimentary breakfast along with 36 executive bedrooms overlooking the famous Old Trafford pitch, where else can you relax on your own balcony at the end of the day as well as being close to the city centre and The Quays?


YHA Manchester


Potato Wharf, Castlefield, Manchester, M3 4NB T. +44 (0)161 839 9960 Price band. D

Some call it the best youth hostel in the world! Contemporary city centre hostel offering the highest quality budget accommodation in Manchester. Rooms are for two and four persons, and all are en-suite. Modern furnishings and décor compliment the stylish canalside location. New in 2008 is The Wharf bar and restaurant, offering the best of British food and beers with an international flavour.

THE MANCHESTER VISITOR INFORMATION CENTRE Need a room for tonight? Time to kill while in town and want some ideas on what to do? Want to find out more about Manchester and the Northwest of England? Call in and just ask! The centre is located to the back of Manchester Town Hall. Manchester Visitor Information Centre and Gift Shop Town Hall Extension Building, Lloyd Street (off St. Peter's Square), Manchester M60 2LA T: +44 (0)871 222 8223 E: W: Open: Mon-Sat 10am-5.30pm, Sun and public holidays 10.30am-4.30pm


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 airport outside of London, Manchester Airport handles over 22 million passengers per year. Its facilities are world class with three terminals, two runways, over 250 check-in desks and 100 airline operators. Over 200 destinations worldwide are served from this international hub and a comprehensive European and domestic air network enables visitors to use the city as a convenient base for transfers to the rest of the UK and indeed Europe. A £35m investment in the redevelopment of Terminal 1 will see the unveiling of stylish new retail outlets and restaurants as well as increased security lanes, to make your journey through the airport so much easier.

In fact, it has never been easier to fly to Manchester with a variety of competitive fares and direct scheduled flights offered by major US, UK and European airlines daily. 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 venues make for a perfect take off or touch down. When you arrive at Manchester Airport, head for The Station, a £60 million ground transport interchange which brings rail, coach, bus and taxi under one roof, offering frequent and direct transport services to Manchester city centre, York, Leeds, Windermere, Blackpool and Newcastle to name but a

few. State of the art technology with an impressive ticket sales facility provides up-to-date travel; visitors will enjoy a relaxing introduction to the region. Alternatively pick up a hire car at the airport and take to the open roads of Greater Manchester. Trains to and from Manchester Airport a service to Manchester Piccadilly train station operates every 10 minutes, with a journey time of approximately 15–20 minutes. For further details of the many airlines that fly into Manchester, visit


DOMESTIC SCHEDULED FLIGHTS Aberdeen Belfast - International Belfast - City Cork Dublin Edinburgh Exeter Galway Glasgow Guernsey Inverness Isle of Man Jersey Kerry Knock London - City London - Gatwick London - Heathrow London - Stansted Newquay Norwich Plymouth Shannon Sligo Southampton Waterford

bmi bmibaby Flybe bmibaby, Aer Lingus Aer Lingus, Ryanair bmi, Flybe Flybe Aer Arann bmi, Flybe Aurigny, Flybe Eastern Airways Flybe bmibaby, Flybe Aer Arann bmibaby VLM British Airways bmi, British Airways Eastern Airways bmibaby, Air Southwest Flybe Air Southwest Ryanair Aer Arann Flybe Aer Arann

INTERNATIONAL SCHEDULED FLIGHTS Abu Dhabi Alicante Almeria Amsterdam Antigua Antwerp Athens Atlanta Barbados Barcelona Basel Billund Bordeaux Bratislava Brest Brussels Budapest Chambery Chicago Cologne Copenhagen Crete Dalaman Damascus Doha Dubai Dubrovnik

Etihad Airways Thomsonfly, Monarch Scheduled,, bmibaby, easyJet Monarch Scheduled KLM, bmibaby bmi VLM Olympic Airlines Delta Air Lines bmi, Virgin Atlantic Monarch Scheduled, bmibaby Swiss International Air Lines British Airways bmibaby SkyEurope Flybe Flybe, Brussels Airlines, Ryanair American Airlines, bmi TUIfly SAS easyJet Kibris Turkish Airlines Syrian Qatar Airways Emirates Thomsonfly

Dusseldorf Faro Frankfurt Geneva Gothenburg Hamburg Hanover Helsinki Innsbruck Islamabad Istanbul Jeddah Karachi Lahore Lanzarote Larnaca La Rochelle Las Palmas Las Vegas Lisbon Luxembourg Lyon Malaga Malta Marrakech Milan Munich Murcia New York (Newark) New York (JFK) Orlando Oslo Paderborn Palma Mallorca Paphos Paris Perpignan Philadelphia Pisa Prague Rennes Rotterdam Reykjavik Riyadh Salzburg Sharm El Sheik Singapore Sofia Stockholm Stuttgart Tel Aviv Tenerife Toronto Tripoli Vancouver Zurich

Flybe, Lufthansa, Monarch Scheduled, Thomsonfly Flybe, Lufthansa, Ryanair bmibaby,, Saudi Arabian Airlines, easyJet, Swiss International Air Lines City Airline, SAS Lufthansa Flybe, TUIfly Finnair easyJet Air Blue, Pakistan International Airlines Turkish Airlines Saudia Arabian Airlines Pakistan International Airlines Pakistan International Airlines Monarch Scheduled, Cyprus Airways, Monarch Flybe bmi bmibaby VLM bmi bmibaby,, easyJet Monarch Scheduled, Thomsonfly, Air Malta, easyJet Thomsonfly Flybe, Ryanair Lufthansa, Monarch Scheduled, Continental Airlines Delta Airlines, Pakistan International Airlines Virgin Atlantic SAS Air Berlin bmibaby, Monarch Scheduled, Cyprus Airways, easyJet Air France, Flybe bmibaby US Airways bmibaby, CSA Czech Airlines Flybe VLM Icelandair Saudi Arabian Airlines Thomsonfly Thomsonfly, Singapore Airlines Bulgaria Air, easyJet SAS TUIFly Thomsonfly Monarch Scheduled,, easyJet Air Transat Libyan Arab Air Transat, Flyglobespan Swiss International Air Lines


TAKE OFF, TOUCH DOWN 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 hotels located close to the airport. There are many benefits of staying close to the airport, excellent transport links, close proximity to the stunning countryside Greater Manchester has to offer and a range of superb facilities. As expected of an international awardwinning airport, Manchester has a large selection of high quality hotels conveniently located around its perimeter. You can spend the night (or two!) in comfort before you fly, enjoy a good breakfast and arrive refreshed before your flight. With a first rate train service in operation from the airport taking you direct to the city centre in under twenty minutes. There is no excuse for not hitting the shops, absorbing the culture and admiring the architecture before heading back to your hotel and taking off the next morning. Special short break packages are offered by all hotels in the immediate vicinity of the airport. Free or reduced rate parking and airport transfers are also available. Let us help you to make your journey as smooth as possible, leave the arrangements to us and make the most of your time in this vibrant and cosmopolitan city.


My Favourite Place Fionn Davenport is a travel writer from Dublin. Well-travelled as a child, this has clearly stuck with him throughout his career. Following education, he spent his years globe-trotting and writing for publications such as the Lonely Planet. With stints in a number of countries, Fionn has now returned to his native home country.


“What’s your favourite place?” For a travel writer, there is no answer, except maybe one’s own home. I love my home, but I also love hot weather, the mountains, the beach, stunning scenery, good street food, skiing and ambling slowly in a pair of flip flops, which itself suggests a lack of urgency due to the glorious absence of work. Short of the impossible gathering of all these elements in one magical destination, I am essentially an urban dweller: I love cities and the life therein, but I need the reassurance of respite from the grey concrete. I like to live in a city that I can get out of quickly and then into the kind of

breathtaking scenery that reminds me that beauty is, essentially, still the preserve of nature. I also love being surprised. Before I began writing about the Northwest – a decade or so ago – I had imagined it to be the epitome of northern grimness, a sorry collection of down-at-heel cities bleeding into one another across a grey suffocating landscape of industrial wasteland. I was, invariably, wrong. Joyfully, completely wrong, to the point that I can say, unequivocally, that there is no finer stage to experience the full extent of the great drama that is England than the Northwest.

The Northwest is, of course, a collection of great cities. From Chester to Manchester, the Northwest’s urban conurbations are pretty close to one another, but not close enough as to lose their individual identities, which makes exploring the likes of Liverpool and Lancaster entirely separate pleasures. But between them and beyond them was the real surprise of my first visit: the gentle, undulating landscapes of the rural countryside, as beautiful as anything I’d ever seen in England. From the Wirral and the farmlands of Cheshire to the Ribble Valley and the moorlands of the Forest of


Bowland, the Northwest provides ample respite from Man’s concrete paw-print – and you don’t have to travel any more than 30 miles from the comfort of your city centre hotel to find yourself immersed in the brooding, lush countryside that makes this part of the world a favourite with walkers, nature-lovers and those addicted to the fresh outdoors. Back to the full drama that is England. Great cities and beautiful countryside are all well and good, but in the Northwest they serve as the backdrop for what sets the region apart not just from every other in the country, but virtually everywhere else too: for this is the region that changed the world. A bold statement, no doubt, but one easily substantiated. This is the place where the Industrial Revolution first spluttered into life and where Capitalism was born and raised into the global force it is today. It is where, in Manchester, the world’s first modern city was conceived and where the endless possibilities of the Age of Reason were put through their original paces. The Northwest served as the midwife of Communism and Feminism; it was home to the world’s first submarine (designed by Manchester curate the Rev George Garrett in 1880) and the birthplace of the very first computer – a giant machine called ‘the Baby’ in 1948. And, if that weren’t enough, the Northwest was the cradle of football and the home of the world’s favourite band ever, not to mention a handful of contenders for title of the world’s best band too. Accomplishments mighty enough to rival those of Ancient Greece or Rome. At the heart of it all is Manchester, the only city that can truly rival London for the nation’s capital. Just ask the BBC, who are in the midst of transferring five of their most important departments – Sports, Children’s, Five Live, New Media and Research – to the brand new MediaCity:UK complex in the suburb of Salford. For Mancunians, though, this is just deserts, as they’re used to living in a city that has spent the last two hundred years setting the pace for pretty much everyone else.


Tarn Hows, Cumbria

Tatton Park, Cheshire

The Bridgewater Hall, Manchester

‘this is the region that changed the world’.

Witton Weavers Way, Lancashire

Hardly one to sit on its laurels, Manchester has barely slowed down in recent years. Not only does Manchester have a wealth of fascinating museums that reflect its unique role in the pioneering developments of the Industrial Age, but it has managed to weave the mementos of its past with a forward-looking, ambitious programme of urban development based on the allimportant principle that form must follow function and that cities, above all, are human dwellings. The glass-and-chrome revolution that has resulted in a slew of magnificent new museums, concert halls and civic centres has added a futuristic dimension to a city that has an alreadyestablished reputation for superb dining, top quality hotels and an almost mythical nightlife. Yes, the nightlife. Madchester burnt bright a decade or so ago, and made the city a mecca for global nomads in search of the planet’s wildest party. That party’s over and its most notable landmarks have disappeared – the Haçienda has been turned into an apartment block – but

England’s largest student population have ensured that Manchester remains one of the best cities in Europe to go out in. A mere 30-odd miles away but separated by centuries of rivalry in industry and on the football pitch, Liverpool’s primacy may have been knocked by the construction of the Manchester Ship Canal in 1894, but this is a city very much on the comeback trail. In 2008 Liverpool stuck on its glad rags and went about its duties as European Capital of Culture with admirable enthusiasm, but the city’s draw extends far beyond its duties as temporary cultural host. Everyone is familiar with the notion of hometown pride, but Merseysiders’ love for their home runs that bit deeper. It’s a stubborn kind of love, born as much out of their refusal to give up on themselves when others gave up on them as it is out of genuine pride in what their city has to offer. The city’s superb collection of museums – all free – are an easy rival for any city in Britain, but it’s their sheer quality that


Liver Building, Liverpool


Blackpool Pleasure Beach

makes them that little bit special. If I had to pick my favourite museum in England, an easy winner would be the International Slavery Museum on the UNESCO World Heritage site that is the Albert Dock, which manages the almost impossible task of making historical exhibits come alive by making us, the viewers, responsible for the lessons imparted within.

workers in their tens of thousands, you’re in for a big surprise. Sixteen million-plus annual visitors tell their own story, but what makes Blackpool top dog is that brilliant combination of traditional bucketand-spade-by-the-sea with 21st-century high-tech amusements: I have never had my innards wrenched or my eyes water as much as on the collection of rollercoasters here. And even the cynic in me couldn’t help but find the Illuminations a wondrous site, even if they mostly serve to extend the summer season into temperamental autumn.

Liverpool’s museums also put paid to the scurrilous rumour that the city’s cultural credentials climaxed with the Beatles, although walking around the city centre it’s hard to ignore the Fab Four’s role in putting the city on the global map, just as it is difficult to ignore the role of football in the development of the city’s character – in this arena, at least, Liverpool’s candle burns just as brightly as the one down the East Lancs Road in Manchester. A visit to the grounds of either city’s pair of football clubs is always a worthwhile experience (although not nearly as satisfying as going to a match), but if you need a reminder of the Northwest’s role in the game’s origins, you’ll find it at the National Football Museum in Preston, home to the world’s first professional club.

There is only so much city this city-lover can take, which makes the Northwest’s green bits that bit more appealing. Gentle Cheshire and its ye olde Englande feel is great if you want a little rural pampering, but the extremist in me is pulled ever northward, toward the gorgerous Ribble Valley and beyond, into simply magnificent Cumbria. Sure, the Lake District National Park is worth every superlative, but the softer, less explored Eden Valley to the east is proof that England’s most beautiful county has more than one trick up its sleeve.

Just north of Preston is the Queen Bee of England’s traditional seaside resorts, but if you think Blackpool is a tired old relic of its 19th-century self, when it served as the preferred holiday destination for mill

Put simply, the Northwest has it all, whether you’re into a luxurious spa treatment after a long day’s hill-walking or a gourmet meal before a night of clubbing. It offers enough retail therapy to satiate

even the worst case – and you don’t have to even think about going to London. Even those heaving hulks of its industrial past have been given the once-over and turned into hotels, museums and entertainment centres, just another example of the progressive thinking that gave birth to them in the first place. What’s my favourite place? In England, it is unquestionably the Northwest, for all of the reasons outlined above, but it’s the people themselves that really make it special. One time, while having a spectacularly bad night on stage, a Liverpool comic was being heckled by the crowd. “Get off,” yelled one punter. Refusing to give up without something of a fight, the comic responded, “Come on, that’s not fair: give me something topical to work with!” Without missing a beat, the heckler came back with “get off now.” If steely self-confidence combined with self-deprecating humour are the measure of an admirable person, what can you say about a whole region that seems to embody those qualities? I want to go back now.


Skipton Town and Country T. +44 (0)1756 718009

www.cavendishpavilion T. +44 (0)1756 710245 T. +44 (0)1756 710614 T. +44 (0)1756 792442

Escape to the Yorkshire Dales and discover a breathtaking landscape full of history and legend. For over 900 years Skipton Castle has been the gateway to the Dales. Take a look inside the best-preserved medieval castle in England and imagine what it would have been like! The castle is open daily. The Lords of Skipton gave the Augustian Canons a plot of land at nearby at Bolton Abbey. Wander around the ruins, explore the riverside and woodland walks, indulge in a little retail therapy or simply relax by the river and soak up the scenery whilst the children play in the sand. Rather than a picnic why not enjoy local produce and a tasty bite to eat in the Cavendish Pavilion, built in 1898 to serve tea and cake to masses who arrived by train. Enjoy a steam train ride between the award winning station at Bolton Abbey and Embsay station. Trains run every Sunday throughout the year and up to 7 days a week in summer.

GETTING AROUND GREATER MANCHESTER Manchester’s central location, coupled with excellent transport links, makes it one of the most accessible cities in the UK. Whatever your preferred mode of transport, Manchester has it covered, offering a comprehensive local public transport system. So once in Manchester you’ll have no problems getting around using buses, trains and trams.

BUS Buses are an excellent way to see the city and the wider region of Greater Manchester. A comprehensive network of buses offer fast and frequent services to many destinations. In the city centre hop on one of the Metroshuttle buses. Metroshuttle buses are free and link the main rail stations, shopping areas and businesses in the city centre.

TRAMS Metrolink is Manchester’s innovative tram system. It allows easy travel in the city centre and further afield. Because Metrolink runs every few minutes you don’t need a timetable, you can just turn up and go anytime from early morning until late in the evening. Remember to purchase your ticket from the machine before you board.

TRAINS There are four key train stations in the centre of Manchester - Piccadilly, Victoria, Oxford Road and Deansgate. Piccadilly is the main hub and is most visitors’ principal arrival point into the city. There is a comprehensive network of local services to many local destinations and beyond. Trains run every 10 minutes or so from Manchester Airport to Manchester Piccadilly Station. The journey takes around 15 to 20 minutes. or phone +44 (0)8457 484950.

DAYSAVER SYSTEM ONE TRAVELCARD DaySaver is a Travelcard that is accepted by most bus, train and tram companies and allows you to transfer effortlessly from one form of transport to another, as many times as you wish. Available from Piccadilly Gardens, bus drivers, tram ticket machines and train stations. or phone +44 (0)8717 818181.

For more information about public transport in Greater Manchester visit: or phone Traveline on +44 (0)871 200 22 33 (7am - 8pm Monday to Friday and 8am - 8pm at weekends and public holidays).

TRAVELLING FURTHER AFIELD National Express operates from the modern Chorlton Street Coach Station to cities throughout the UK. or phone +44 (0)8705 808080. Frequent rail services run to London and many other major UK cities, including Birmingham, Leeds, Newcastle and Glasgow. or phone +44 (0)8457 484950.


Bag the perfect gift at... Manchester The Gift Shop Manchester Visitor Information Centre, St Peter Square, Manchester, M60 2LA T. +44 (0)871 222 8223 Mon-Sat 10.00am - 5.30pm Sun 10.30am - 4.30pm

GREATER MANCHESTER VISITOR INFORMATION CENTRES ALTRINCHAM 20 Stamford New Road, Altrincham, WA14 1EJ T. +44 (0)161 912 5931 E.

OLDHAM Gallery Oldham, Greaves Street, Oldham, 0L1 1AL T. +44 (0)161 770 3064 E.

STOCKPORT Staircase House, 30 Market Place, Stockport, SK1 1ES T. +44 (0)161 474 4444 E.

BOLTON Central Library, Le Mans Crescent, Bolton BL1 1SE T. +44 (0)1204 334 321 E.

ROCHDALE Touchstones, The Esplanade, Rochdale, OL16 1AQ T. +44 (0)1706 924 928 E.

TAMESIDE Wellington Road, Ashton, OL6 6DL T. +44 (0)161 343 4343 E.

BURY The Met, Market Street, BL9 0BW T. +44 (0)161 253 5111 E.

SALFORD The Lowry, The Quays, Salford, M50 3AZ T. +44 (0)161 848 8601 E.

MANCHESTER Town Hall Extension, Lloyd Street, M60 2LA (off St. Peter’s Square) T. +44 (0)871 222 8223 E.


WIGAN 62 Wallgate, Wigan, WN1 1BA T. +44 (0)1942 825 677 E.


Marketing Manchester, Carver’s Warehouse, 77 Dale St, Manchester, M1 2HG T. +44 (0)161 237 1010 F. +44 (0)161 228 2960 Designed & Published: Marketing Manchester, October 2008 Contributors: In addition to the authors of our feature articles and all our Manchester Voices, Marketing Manchester would like to thank everyone that has provided editorial for this issue of MCR.

Cover Photography: Manchester Caribbean Carnival by Jan Chlebik Photography: Photolink, Jonty Wilde, Jan Chlebik, David Millington, Northwest Regional Development Agency, Paul Jones, Britain on View, David Lake, Darren Holman of, Robert Portillo, Sparkle 2008, Northwest Vision & Media, Manchester City Council, Ian Howarth, MIDAS, Joel Fildes, Victoria Baths. Whilst every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy in this publication, Marketing Manchester cannot accept liability for any loss or damage arising from its use. As changes often occur after publication date, it is advisable to confirm the information given.

The information contained within this guide is copyright and no part of the guide may be reproduced in part or wholly by any means, be it electronic or mechanical, without the prior written permission of the publishers. Marketing Manchester is the agency charged with promoting the city-region on a national and international stage. Visit Manchester is the Tourist Board for Greater Manchester and is a division of Marketing Manchester. They are funded by 360 commercial members and the organisations below.

MCR2 Magazine  
MCR2 Magazine  

The Destination magazine for Manchester