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e e: e e s t

l n! e


PRIME SPOTS: d’ Nt

PRIME SUSPECT: d y What was the best gig you went to? The best gig I went to was Oasis at Earls Court in London but I have to say it’s a tough choice to make. I’ve seen some brilliant gigs in the Northwest over the years. What’s your favourite Northwest originated song or piece of music? There’s so many to choose from! I guess ‘in my life’ by John Lennon gets me more and more over the years but I am a big fan of Shack and The La’s.

Originally hailing from Liverpool’s Knotty Ash, David Morrissey started acting at Everyman’s Youth Theatre in Liverpool and went on to RADA, the RSC and the National Theatre.


Prime is published by the Marketing Department of the Northwest Development Agency. Issue one – June 2007. To register for future issues of Prime please visit or call 0845 600 6040. Prime is edited and designed by Hemisphere Design and Marketing Consultants. Printed by Gyroscope on paper manufactured using elemental chlorine-free pulp and woodpulp sourced from sustainable forests. Cover photography of B of the Bang by Jan Chlebik. First Off feature: illustrations by Martin Geraghty, colours by James Offredi. Prime Cuts photography/imagery: Monkey: Journey into the West by Jamie Hewlett; Carlos Acosta by Johan Persson; Kylie Minogue © Darenote Ltd 2004; the Hacienda by Ian Tilton; Chester Races by Jan Chlebik; Peter Blake by Eamonn McCabe. Essentials and Culture List photography by Jonty Wilde and Jan Chlebik with additional material courtesy of Marketing Manchester, the Samling, Cock O’Barton, Staying Cool, Inn at Whitewell, and the Three Fishes. All maps are source: Ordnance Survey, Crown Copyright, All Rights Reserved. GD 021102. All information correct at time of going to press but event information may change, so please check directly with venues for up-to-date information.

Made his name in a string of top TV dramas such as Blackpool and State of Play, plus his uncanny performance as Gordon Brown in The Deal. Now making waves in Hollywood starring in films with Sharon Stone and Hilary Swank. No relation to Steven Patrick.

What was your first/best experience of going to a gallery or museum? I spent so much time in The Walker Gallery in Liverpool when I was a child that they should have charged me rent! I love the place. What’s your favourite painting/ piece of art/sculpture? And when did you last see your father? will always have a special place in my heart. The painting itself, but also my eldest brother explaining the story behind it is a very fond memories of mine. What was your first/best experience of going to the theatre? I spent nearly five years at the Everyman Youth Theatre in Liverpool and all the theatre I saw at the main house over those years had a massive effect on me. I suppose Ken Campbell’s The Warp stands out. Do you have a favourite Northwest pub or restaurant? The Everyman Bistro was a place I spent many happy hours in. I’d hassle the actors from the theatre down there and also saw some great bands. Also, the Philharmonic pub on Hope Street is a great place.

Can you suggest a ‘hidden gem’ in your home town/neighbourhood? The Northwest is full of ‘hidden gems’. I am a big fan of the Gormley Men on Crosby Beach, Liverpool. What’s the one thing in your home town/neighbourhood that people really shouldn’t miss if they go there? I would say a visit to Tate Modern at the Albert Dock is a must see for anyone visiting Liverpool. Was there anything particular about the northwest culture that inspired you to do what you’ve done/what you do now? The writing of Alan Bleasdale and Willy Russell were inspiring to me. To see people I recognised on TV made me feel I could become an actor. Blue Monday or Happy Monday? Happy! Bunny Men or Diddy Men? Too hard to choose – I love both. Morrissey or McCartney? McCartney (just) Peter Blake or Peter Saville? Blake. Peter’s brother Jimmy always lets him down! Beatrix Potter or Brian Potter? Bill Tidy! Welcome to the Pleasure Beach or Welcome to the Pleasure Dome? Pleasure Beach because Blackpool has a special place in my heart. Eccles Cake or Kendal Mint Cake? Neither, my body is a temple.

Do you have a favourite Northwest local food? I’ve never found anything to compare with my mum’s gravy!


PRIME NUMBERS: s e e, e e, e e, Pe e… If culture is the key to appreciating what life has to offer, you can expect to have your cake and eat it in England’s Northwest. As you would expect in the region that gave birth to the very idea of the modern city, the Northwest has it’s own particular take on culture. It’s not a case of high brow or low brow, alternative or mainstream – in England’s Northwest all shades of the cultural spectrum not only coexist, but intermingle in inventive and eccentric ways. We call it liveable culture - culture that’s ‘always on’. A visit to England’s Northwest is a voyage of discovery into what happens when you take all that rich heritage and tradition and mix it with an unmatched drive to explore the ‘what if?’ Self-belief, bloody-mindedness, chutzpah call it what you want, but the result is an energy and excitement that delivers a tangible buzz. You can feel it in the remarkable face-lift taking place on the streets of Liverpool as it gears up for its moment in the spotlight as European Capital of Culture 2008. You can feel it in the ambition of Manchester’s first International Festival in 2007 the world’s first ever festival of newly commissioned works. So isn’t it time you decided to put culture first and take a trip to where it’s all happening? In this issue of Prime you’ll find everything you need to know to enjoy a great cultural break in England’s Northwest. Enjoy!


FIRST OFF: r l l

The original modern city makes it another first with this feast of original new work and performances.

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PRIME LOCATIONS: 48 s n r

Make the most of a weekend in one of the UK’s most dynamic cities.


Page 10 s r r 2007

There’s no shortage of fabulous cultural events and festivals to enjoy in England’s Northwest this summer.

Page 15 800 t t

Liverpool celebrates its big birthday with one humdinger of a party.


Page 35 d y

The Knotty Ash-born British actor lets us have his view on what makes Northwest culture great.

THE ESSENTIAL LISTS: Where to stay, where to eat, what to see and do...

Page 16 Page 22 Page 28 Page 30 Page 32

r l r d e e a THE CULTURE LISTS:

Everything you need to know about museums, galleries, theatres and music venues...

Page 20 Page 26 Page 29 Page 31 Page 34

r l r d e e a 3


r l l


“I n o s o, u w...”

Getting one of the country’s most anarchic comedians to be serious is just one of the the all-time ‘firsts’ on offer in Manchester this summer. The city that brought you the world’s first computer, the first canal, the first professional UK symphony orchestra and the first British repertory theatre is setting its sights high by presenting the world’s first arts festival to consist entirely of new performances and original work – the Manchester International Festival.

For 18 days from 28 June to 15 July, Manchester will be buzzing with music gigs, theatrical performances, on-street installations, circus operas, epic club nights, intellectual debates and much more besides. If you want to sample the festival vibe in a more light-hearted and informal way, there’s going to be a special, architect-designed Festival Pavilion in the centre of the city that will act as a Festival ‘hub’ – a place that that you can wander into at will for music, film, food and drink, whether you’re a festival ticket holder or not.

But with so much going on, which events should you choose to go to? Overleaf, some of Manchester’s great and good (past and present, real and imaginary) give you the lowdown on what not to miss….






4 9 6


3 8

1. LS y

2. CP t

Britain’s favourite 20th Century painter lived and worked in Manchester all his life, producing over 1000 paintings.

Legendary editor of what was originally known as The Manchester Guardian, which moved to London from Manchester in the 1960’s.

“I think Jamie Hewlett’s artwork is rather marvellous – Tank Girl is a particular favourite of mine – so what he makes of designing an opera should be quite something to see.”

“I rather like Mark E Smith’s use of language, so I should imagine that this collection of short stories inspired by The Fall should make interesting reading. Apparently, the Fall will also perform a special live set alongside a recitation by three of the authors. I’ll definitely be there in spirit.”

Gorillaz collaborators Damon Albarn and Jamie Hewlett are sure to come up with something remarkable in this transformation of an old Chinese legend into a 21st century opera. With a myriad of acrobats, musicians and martial artists, expect to be dazzled at Monkey: Journey to the West at the Palace Theatre, 28 June-7 July.

Readings by comedian Stewart Lee and authors Rebbecca Ray and Andrew Holmes, with live music by John Peel’s favourite band. Perverted by Language/The Fall at The Ritz, 1 July

3. s é German-born pianist and conductor, who, after fleeing the Paris revolution in 1848, made his home in Manchester and founded the famed Hallé Orchestra.

“It’s good to see that 150 years on, my orchestra is going from strength to strength, being singled out by music critics as one of the best in the country. I’m looking forward to seeing how they tackle the world premiere of a new work based on Salman Rushdie’s novel The Ground Beneath Her Feet, a fulllength concert piece for orchestra, film, singers and narrator.” A new composition by Victoria Borisova-Ollas, this timeless tale of two star-crossed lovers is performed by full orchestra and features a new film directed by Mike Figgis, and narrated by Alan Rickman. The Ground Beneath Her Feet, with the Hallé conducted by Mark Elder, takes place at The Bridgewater Hall on 29 June.

4. b e r Altrincham-based construction superhero.

“Apparently, that Johnny Vegas is going to be trying to sell you a house. If I were you I’d make sure you get it properly checked out for rising damp first.” Co-written with Stewart ‘Jerry Springer: The Opera’ Lee, Interiors is Johnny Vegas’s first theatrical offering, a performance piece that takes place in front of an audience of just 20 people! Expect something suitably anarchic. 29 June-15 July. Venue advised on booking.

5. h s Important political thinker who lived in Manchester for 21 years from 1849-1870 and whose thoughts on the life of the working class were very influential on the work of his big pal, Karl Marx.

“I like the sound of Manchester: Peripheral, a project which gives the people of the city the chance to make their own interactive soundscape, engaging them with what an urban community means. There’s also the premiere of a new film called Kapital - I think I’ll invite Karl along for that.”

Interactive audio-visual installation, allowing audience members to act as ‘urban sound jockeys’, remixing and replaying the sounds of Manchester to create an aural map of the city. Manchester: Peripheral: Piccadilly Gardens, 29 June-9 July. Kapital: Cornerhouse, 4, 7, 9, 14 & 15 July.

6. h l Famous 19th century Manchester-based novelist whose books chronicled the new industrial age through the eyes of the working and middle class.

“I’m not sure if I approve of the amount of time the people of today spend in front of their televisions, nor the large number of those reality shows that seem to be on all the time. I’ll be interested to hear what Germaine Greer and Adam Curtis have to say about the issue at one of the Festival’s big debates.” Adam Curtis, Germaine Greer and Rod Liddle chew the fat on the rights and wrongs of the impact of the goggle box, from reality shows and the future of public service broadcasting to the greater choice that the digital world brings. Is TV good for society?, Exchange Auditorium, Manchester Central, 14 July.

7. t d Described as the father of nuclear physics, the Nobel prize-winning scientist was the first person to split the atom in an experiment he conducted at Manchester University in 1917.

“I’ve heard that this Heston Blumenthal chap is considered a bit of a scientist, known for splicing together bizarre combinations of food particles. He’s creating three new futuristic ice creams for the Festival, called Chilled Summer Treats – I’d like to know how he does it. There’s also somebody called William Orbit who sounds like he might be up my street…” Heston Blumenthal’s Chilled Summer Treats will be on sale at the Festival Pavilion from 30 June-15 July. A new Orchestral Suite by William Orbit for orchestra, choir and percussion will be premiered by the BBC Philharmonic at The Bridgewater Hall on Sunday 8 July.

8. s n One of Britain’s best-loved comedians, Manchester-born Les Dawson was also known for his penchant for tickling the ivories…

“I was thinking of treating the motherin-law to a topnotch piano recital... seeing as it’s in a disused warehouse attic down at the Museum of Science and Industry she’ll feel right at home!” The wartime memoirs of Wladyslaw Szpilman that inspired Roman Polanski’s Oscar-winning film of the same name are turned into a spine-tingling performance piece. Actor Peter Guinness narrates and Mikhail Rudy, one of the world’s leading concert pianists, plays Chopin’s gut-wrenchingly beautiful melodies. The Pianist, Museum of Science and Industry, 3-15 July.

9. r e Eye-patch wearing secret agent rodent, hailing from Chorlton cum Hardy.

“I’ve recently got into dance music seeing as there’s a producer with the same name as me who’s supposedly rather good at it. There’s going to be a fantastic weekend of top DJ’s at Manchester Central – it’s massive in there, it’ll feel like an indoor festival especially with the huge multi media projections that are going on as well.” Industrial Resolution takes place on 6 and 7 July at Manchester Central (formerly G-Mex) with a roll-call of who’s who in DJ-ing, from Laurent Garnier, Fatboy Slim and Gilles Petersen to Carl Cox, Frankie Knuckles and Sasha.

10. e t That’ll be Detective Chief Inspector Hunt to you... Manchester copper and ‘70’s throwback from the BBC TV hit series Life on Mars.

“Men in tights? Not on my manor…” Witness the remarkable talent of the man they call the world’s greatest male ballet dancer. Carlos Acosta in performance at The Lowry, 13-14 July.

Manchester International Festival runs from 28 June to 15 July at venues across the city. For full event listings and to book tickets, visit www.manchesterint 7

PRIME LOCATIONS: 48 s n r g e Take the super speedy Pendolino trains up the West Coast mainline and you can get from London to Manchester in just over two hours. Trains from Glasgow take a bit longer, clocking in at just under four hours, Newcastle is just under three and Birmingham just under two. There are frequent scheduled flights into Manchester Airport from most UK airports, plus a number of lo-cost airline options to boot. Plan to arrive for 7-ish so you’ve got time to check in before a leisurely introduction to the Manchester nightlife.

A e o y r d If you fancy a bedroom in the clouds you can head for the Manchester Hilton (1) in the sleek new Hilton tower, the tallest residential building in the UK. Alternatively you can try the Radisson Edwardian (2), a sensitive transformation of the city’s old Free Trade Hall that has kept a lot of the building’s original character. The Jury’s Inn Manchester (3) is a bit easier on the pocket, as is the Premier Travel Inn Manchester Central (4). For a real treat, try the Great John Street (5), an old school-house transformed into an 30-room boutique hotel with a fantastic roof terrace and a view of the Coronation Street set.

n r d Whether you’re staying there or not, take the lift up to the 23rd floor Cloud Bar at the Hilton for a cocktail with a view – on a clear evening you can see as far as the Lancashire coast. No shortage of quality restaurants to choose from nearby – the Restaurant Bar & Grill (6) on John Dalton Street is a place to be seen, or for impressive British cooking in a canalside setting try Albert’s Shed (7) or Choice (8) down at Castlefield. For something lighter, try Evuna (9) on Deansgate for authentic tapas and a superb selection of Spanish wines.

l t After breakfast, head off for a bit of culture at one of the city’s numerous museums and galleries. There’s quite a diverse selection, 8

ranging from top quality art and sculpture at Manchester Art Gallery (10) and fascinating exhibits at the Museum of Science and Industry (11) to the more individual and quirky offerings such as Urbis (12), devoted to all things relating to urban culture, and the contemplative Chinese Arts Centre (13).

A t f h After your cultural morning you can either lunch in situ (the galleries and museums have all got noteworthy cafés too) or head off to the café hot spots of Canal Street or the Northern Quarter. Alternatively, aim for Exchange Square and start off an afternoon of retail therapy with a trip to the 2nd floor brasserie at Harvey Nichols (14) or choose from a great selection of counter eating options in Selfridge’s funky food hall (15).

l y From Exchange Square you can head down the shop-lined New Cathedral Street towards St Ann’s Square (16) and King Street (17), taking in Armani to Zara and everything inbetween. Manchester Arndale has undergone a major revamp, with a host of new stores, including the UK’s second largest Top Shop. The city has also rediscovered markets in a big way – there’s a year-round programme of themed outdoor markets, ranging from the inevitable continental options to the more unusual fashion market, where new designers tout their wares.

n e Make Saturday night a bit of a performance. You can catch a concert at The Bridgewater Hall (18) or experience the UK’s first theatre in the round at The Royal Exchange (19), where every notable British thesp from Tom Courtney to Helen Mirren has trodden the boards. You can also take the 20-minute tram ride out to The Quays to catch what’s on at The Lowry (20) which could be anything from comedy and ballet to musical and theatrical performances.

l t z Later on you can find out why Manchester’s nightlife is justifiably famous. Funakademia at One Central Street (21) is a good Saturday night bet, with fantastic old-school funk classics, or if your prefer your music live, head into the Northern Quarter to Matt and Phred’s (22), an intimate jazz club which always has something on worth listening to.

t o h After a long lie-in, head into the Northern Quarter where brunch is undergoing a bit of a Mancunian reinvention at independent bars and cafés such as Trof (23), Odd (24) and Oklahoma (25). If you really want to push the boat out, try the Sunday special at one of the Northern Quarter’s authentic curry houses – it normally involves a slow-cooked lamb dish made to mother’s special recipe and it‘ll set you up for the week!

n g The Northern Quarter’s also the place to go if you prefer your shopping a little more offbeat, with its warren of independent shops and galleries. It’s where you’ll find vintage clothing emporia such as Rags to Bitches (26) and a slew of specialist record shops such as Vox Pop (27) (where you can also pit-stop for coffee and cake at the small but perfectly formed Love Saves The Day café). Unique jewellery, clothing and furniture are all on offer at the Manchester Craft and Design Centre (28) and the Richard Goodall Gallery (29) does a great line in art, photography and music memorabilia.

Te n e w Blow away the cobwebs with a tram ride out to The Quays, where you can add in more cultural brownie points with a saunter round the Lowry galleries or the thought-provoking exhibitions at Imperial War Museum North (30). Alternatively, take the 40-minute train journey to Liverpool, where you can see the world’s second most famous waterfront (after Manhattan’s) and grab some extra culture at Tate Liverpool and the Walker Art Gallery.


PRIME CUTS: JUNE – SEPTEMBER s s r Highlights of what’s on across England’s Northwest

until 6 January 2008

until 9 September 2007

16 June - 30 September 2007

e s’ r

e f e e e: l d e t-e

e t f h y

Imperial War Museum North, Trafford T: 0161 836 4000 W:

They also served… From mine-sniffing pigs to secret agent pigeons, this major exhibition tells the amazing stories of animals in conflict, from the First World War to the present day. Housed in a stunning waterfront building designed by Daniel Libeskind. until 31 December 2007

y s The Lowry, Salford T: 0870 787 5780 W:

See why LS Lowry is still Britain’s favourite painter with a new selection of his work on display from The Lowry’s own collection. until 5 November 2007

r o – p-e Museum of Science and Industry in Manchester T: 0161 832 2244 W:

Let loose your inner sci-fi geek with this new exhibition devoted to everybody’s favourite Time Lord, now given a new lease of life by Russell T Davies, David Tennant et al.


Tate Liverpool, Liverpool T: 0151 702 7400 W:

A unique look at Liverpool’s art scene over the last 50 years, exploring how the city has inspired the imaginations of artists from home and abroad and helped to create an external view of Liverpool that is an intriguing mixture of both fact and fiction. Until 7 July 2007

e Tt Royal Exchange Theatre, Manchester T: 0161 833 9833 W:

Don’t miss Pete Postlethwaite as Prospero in one of Shakespeare’s late, great magical masterpieces.

Walker Art Gallery, Liverpool T: 0151 478 4199 W:

Visions of weird worlds, fantastic and magical creatures, monsters, maidens and much more at this exhibition of work by the Liverpool born, sci-fi artist whose work includes the first cover of Ian Fleming’s Moonraker and the poster for Monty Python’s Life of Brian. Best known for his illustrations of Terry Pratchett’s Discworld series. 16 June - 29 July 2007

e Ps The Bridgewater Hall, Manchester T: 0161 907 9000 W:

7-24 June 2007

Blow away the cobwebs with the Hallé Orchestra’s rousing summer concerts, featuring blockbusting classical favourites and the inevitable Last Night.

l y l

26-28 June 2007

Various venues, Liverpool W:

Where better to have your funnybone tickled than in the city that has mirth as its middle name? Names on the bill for this summer include Jimmy Carr, Sue Perkins, John Hegley, Stewart Lee and that legendary Liverpool humourist, Mr Tom O’Connor.

e n e Pk Williamson Park, Lancaster T: 01524 33318 W:

While away a summer’s evening in beautiful parkland surroundings with a performance of Romeo and Juliet by the Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre company on their inaugural tour.

28 June - 15 July 2007

r l l

FESTIVAL INCLUDES: y: y o e t

Venues throughout Manchester T: 0871 230 1888 W:

28 June - 7 July Palace Theatre An opera from the creators of Gorillaz

See feature on page 4. This is just a selection of what’s on offer at Manchester’s festival of firsts. For full event listings, venue details and to buy tickets, check out the festival website.

e d h r t

29 June The Bridgewater Hall World premiere with Mark Elder and the Hallé

u d: n

29 June Manchester Apollo First ever UK live performance of his cult album


29 June - 15 July Johnny Vegas tries to sell you a house

r l e g s

30 June - 14 July Contact Theatre New production from rising star Lies Pauwels

e l

1 July The Ritz John Peel’s favourite band in performance

e Pt

3-15 July Museum of Science and Industry Based on the memoirs of Wladyslaw Szpilman


4-15 July Cornerhouse New film by Greg Hall set in Manchester

d g

5-7 July Library Theatre New work by cult puppet company Faulty Optic

l e y m t 8 July The Bridgewater Hall BBC Philharmonic perform new commission

s e o

12 July The Bridgewater Hall Urban music from Barcelona

l To l Po

12-14 July Opera House Experimental time-based art show

t h h h n d d r 13 July The Bridgewater Hall Legendary guitarist and guests

s a

13-14 July The Lowry Cuban ballet superstar in performance

e e Ne

14 July The Bridgewater Hall A rare concert by Scotland’s finest

n Ps t e s

15 July The Lowry Plaza Free outdoor concert with Gossip, The Horrors, New Young Pony Club and The Whip


30 June - 4 November 2007

e h f e Nh The Lowry, Salford T: 0870 787 5780 W:

So you think it’s all smoking chimneys, driving rain, flat caps and whippets? An art exhibition taking a tongue-in-cheek look at the stereotypical views of Northerness that have rightly or wrongly pervaded visual culture. 4-22 July 2007

l r Ps Aintree Pavilion Arena, Liverpool T: 0870 151 4000 W:

The Liverpool Pops packs them in using the format of the latest stars and big names from the past. On this year’s team sheet are Girls Aloud, Amy Winehouse and James Morrison, with the old guard represented by Steely Dan, Van Morrison and the hometown favourites, Orchestral Manouevres in the Dark. 5-26 July 2007

r r c l Various venues around Chester T: 01244 320722 W:

This year celebrating its 30th anniversary, the festival offers an elegant musical programme of classical and jazz concerts, with a number of open air performances to challenge the British summer weather. 13-14 July 2007

r s d 29 June - 23 September 2007

30 June - 2 September 2007

Pr e e

e: e n

Tate Liverpool, Liverpool T: 0151 702 7400 W:

As a curtain raiser for Capital of Culture in 2008, Tate Liverpool are presenting the largest retrospective exhibition of Peter Blake’s work since 1983. Focussing on Blake’s two-dimensional work and in particular his painting, the exhibition will present a diverse body of work ranging from the 1950’s to the present day.


Manchester Art Gallery, Manchester T: 0161 235 8888 W:

Ms Minogue: international performer, style icon and wearer of the most famous hot pants in history. Featuring costumes, accessories, photographs, sound and video, the exhibition looks into Kylie’s career and chameleon-like image changes, as well as giving a glimpse behind the scenes of her blockbuster touring shows. The Manchester leg of this world-touring exhibition will also include a number of new outfits that weren’t seen in the V & A show earlier in the year.

The Roodee, Chester T: 01244 304600 W:

Everything a race event should be – top level horses, fabulous outfits and lots of bubbly. Fancy a flutter? 14 July 2007

l e Philharmonic Hall, Liverpool T: 0151 709 3789 W:

Rare UK appearance by this legendary Lebanese oud player and composer, one of the most celebrated figures in Arab music. This concert performance with the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra is the grand finale of the Liverpool Arabic Arts Festival, the only one of its kind in the UK.

19-22 July 2007

RHS r w Tatton Park, Knutsford,Cheshire T: 01625 534400 W:

Rub shoulders with Monty, Diarmud, Bunty et al at this annual horticultural bonanza in the grounds of one of Cheshire’s finest country homes.

There’ll be quite a lot of hoopla surrounding the anniversary, but this exhibition will be a good place to start. On display will be artefacts from the club, graphic work by Saville, Kelly et al – Adidas are even producing a commemorative trainer, with smiley faces on it one presumes… 21 July 2007

19 July 2007 - 17 February 2008

y k t

a 25 e n

Cholmondeley Castle, Malpas SY14 1EZ T: 0870 400 0877 W:

Urbis, Manchester T: 0161 605 8200 W:

It may be the site of an apartment block now, but the Hacienda still occupies a piece of hallowed ground in the Manchester psyche.

Another stately Cheshire pile, this one echoing to the sounds of champagne corks and fireworks as the Manchester Camerata

perform an Italian-inspired programme. A truly idyllic setting for an outdoor concert so get that hamper packed. 21-28 July 2007

r z l Various venues, Manchester T: 0161 228 0663 W:

Sample the finest contemporary jazz from the Northwest and beyond, in indoor and outdoor venues across the city. The daytime gigs are free, with evening performances featuring the likes of legendary female vocalist Norma Winstone and a new commission by New Cinematic Orchestra guitarist, Stuart McCallum. 13

26,28,31 July and 2,4 August 2007

t’ n i Clonter Opera Theatre, Congleton, Cheshire T: 01260 224514 W:

Cheshire’s equivalent of Glyndebourne is the perfect way to spend a summer’s evening. Set in the heart of the countryside, the indoor opera theatre is surrounded by beautiful woodland. Free car parking and informal picnicing, or posh nosh for those that prefer. 27-29 July 2007

Pt n e Pk Hutton-in-the Park, Penrith T: 017684 83820 W:

A positive plethora of pots as ceramic artists from across the UK and Europe display their wares in marquees and in the elegant grounds of this beautiful stately home, which according to local legend was the Green Knight’s castle in the Arthurian tale of Sir Gawain and the Green Knight. 28-29 July 2007

c l f n Dorford Hall, Nantwich T: 01270 610983 W:

Keep it real at the UK’s biggest festival of unplugged and acoustic music with everything from Celtic folk to rock, pop and ska. Ever wondered what people like Jethro Tull, Hazel O’Connor, Midge Ure and Squeeze’s Chris Difford get up to these days? Well now you know… 3-19 August 2007

e t r c l Various venues in Cumbria T: 0845 6 44 21 W:

Classical music in gorgeous settings, with concerts from top name chamber performers such as The Skampa Quartet, the Leopold String Trio and pianist Arnaldo Cohen. 17-27 August 2007

r Pe City centre and Gay Village, Manchester T: 0161 238 4515 W:


Manchester turns rainbow-coloured for one of the UK’s biggest festivals celebrating lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender culture. Events take place over 10 days, culminating in a wonderfully over the top parade round the city centre on August 27. Expect some serious partying. 23 August 2007

l y m g International Slavery Museum, Liverpool T: 0151 478 4499 W:

Building on the success of the award-winning Transatlantic Slavery gallery at Merseyside Maritime Museum, this new museum will be formally opened on the 200th anniversary of the abolition of the slave trade in Britain. Situated next to the Merseyside Maritime Museum at Liverpool’s Albert Dock. 25-27 August 2007

l s Cartmel Racecourse, Cumbria T: 015395 36340 W:

Horse racing in the home of sticky toffee pudding? Maybe an odd-sounding combination but this traditional bank holiday weekend racing bonanza takes place in gorgeous countryside in Cumbria’s latest gastronomic hotspot, with Michelin-starred restaurant L’enclume right on the door step. 2-22 September 2007

g n

DATES FOR YOUR DIARY 6 October 2007 – 27 January 2008

r t Ts: 150 s n Manchester Art Gallery, Manchester T: 0161 235 8888 W:

In 1857, the Manchester Art Treasures exhibition was described as ‘the Greatest Show on Earth’. Over 1.3 million people came to see the world’s largest-ever temporary art exhibition housed in a bespoke Crystal Palace-type structure on the site of the current Old Trafford cricket ground. This 150th anniversary exhibition brings together some of the amazing artworks from the original, including Michelangelo’s Manchester Madonna.

The Lowry, Salford T: 0870 787 5780 W:

19 October 2007 – 13 January 2008

25-29 September 2007

Tate Liverpool, Liverpool T: 0151 702 7400 W: exhibitions/turnerprize2007

Liverpool Empire, Liverpool T: 0870 606 3536 W:

A brand new musical by Cracker author Jimmy McGovern is definitely a thing not to be missed – even more so when it’s under the guiding hand of Liverpool-born theatre director Jude Kelly. A co-commission with Liverpool Capital of Culture to mark the 200th anniversary of the abolition of slavery, this promises to be an emotional and inspiring piece of musical theatre.

Tr Pe 2007

Love it or hate it, you can’t ignore it. The Turner Prize will be presented outside London for the first time since its launch in 1984 as a bit of a curtain raiser for the Capital of Culture at 2008. Expect art at its most provocative from this year’s four shortlisted artists: Zarina Bhimji, Nathan Coley, Mike Nelson and Mark Wallinger.

24-28 August 2007

l’ 800h y W:

Getting to the ripe old age of 800 sounds like a good reason to have a party – and Liverpool’s planning to make it one to remember. The August bank holiday weekend will see a four-day extravaganza of on-street entertainment and activities, culminating in Europe’s largest ever fireworks display.

800 NOT OUT King John of Magna Carta fame doesn’t tend to get a good write-up from historians (or Hollywood scriptwriters for that matter), being the bad guy who claimed the throne of England while good old Richard the Lionheart was off fighting the crusades. So you could say that founding the city of Liverpool in 1207 was his greatest achievement, granting the then settlement by the Mersey its royal charter. 800 years on, England’s fifth largest city is gearing up for one humdinger of a party, with a whole series of events leading up to its official birthday on 28 August. And this is just the curtain raiser, as the city undergoes a frenzy of regeneration in preparation for its year in the spotlight as Capital of Culture 2008. Not that you have to wait until 2008 to get overdosed on culture in Liverpool – this summer alone, you’ve got a whole host of festivals to chose from, including the Brouhaha festival of street theatre (14 July - 5 August), Africa Oyé, a celebration of African music and arts (16-17 June), and the Arabic Arts Festival (1-14 July). Liverpool’s also been upping the ante in the visual art stakes too. The continuing success of the Liverpool Biennial over the last few years has been grabbing the attention of the Britart posse, so much so that this year’s Turner Prize is taking place at Tate Liverpool this October, its first ever trip outside London. In the meantime, you can catch Tate Liverpool’s major retrospective (29 June - 23 September) of works by Peter Blake, whose Fab Four connections have made him something of an adopted son in Liverpool. With a mix of well-known Blake classics and some new and rarely-seen works, this promises to be a fascinating insight into the life and work of the man many consider to be the godfather of British pop art.


THE ESSENTIALS: r

Manchester’s looking up, both figuratively and literally. There’s a buzz about the place that means it’s as vibrant and immediate as any European capital. But for those who still imagine that it looks like Weatherfield, the most noticeable thing is the number of shards of steel and glass beginning to pierce the sky as Manchester comes over all Manhattan. The city’s now the ideal destination for the cosmopolitan weekender, but its contemporary attitude is still mixed with the down-to earth humour and genuine, no nonsense approach to life that you’d expect in the city that’s consistently shown that there are no limits to its imagination and its ambition.



y e

n r

One of the top 20 airports in the world, you can fly into Manchester from over 200 worldwide destinations. There’s a direct half hourly rail service into the city centre that takes about 20 minutes or alternatively you can take a cab for the approx 9-mile trip.

y n

On the west coast mainline service from London to Glasgow – services are frequent so one of Mr Branson’s Pendolinos will get you to Manchester from London in just over two hours. There are frequent direct trains from Manchester to Liverpool, so you can sample a bit of what both cities have to offer without too much difficulty.

y d

Manchester’s at the centre of the extensive Northwest motorway network so it’s easy to get at from all sides of the country. London’s about a 3-hour drive and you can nip down the M62 to Liverpool, just 35 miles away, in no time at all.

GET THE INFO… W: T: 0871 222 8223


303 Deansgate, M3 4LQ T: 0161 870 1600 W:

One of the best places to observe Manchester’s metamorphosis is from the new Beetham Tower, the gleaming glass edifice that now punctuates the Manchester skyline. The bottom half of the tower is given over to the Hilton Manchester, a chic, modern take on the large-scale city centre hotel. It’s cool, Scandinavian-esque look and top-notch facilities bagged it a place on Condé Nast Traveller’s hotlist for 2007. Take the trip up to the lush cocktail bar on the 23rd floor with its giddying panoramic views over the city and the countryside beyond.

e y l 50 Dearmans Place, Chapel Wharf M3 5LH T: 0161 827 4000 W:

Manchester’s first 5-star hotel and for a lot of people still the best. Actually located on the Salford side of the river Irwell, the clean white exterior of one of Rocco Forte’s landmark hotels fits perfectly against the sweeping curves of Santiago Calatrava’s Trinity bridge. All the comfort and mod cons you’d expect, plus a luxury spa and the opportunity to spot the celebs who’ve been performing at the nearby MEN Arena as they hang out in the chic riverside bar after their gigs.

n n

n r

y n r

Free Trade Hall, Peter Street M2 5GP T: 0161 835 9929 W:

Piccadilly M1 1LZ T: 0161 278 1000

1 Piccadilly Place, 1 Auburn Street M1 3DG T: 0161 228 0008 W:

Four star deluxe luxury in one of Manchester’s landmark historic buildings. Built originally as a paean to the principals of free trade and democracy, the Free Trade Hall spent most of its life as a concert venue, being both the home of the Hallé Orchestra and the place where the Sex Pistols played a memorable gig. Its reincarnation as a contemporary hotel has been handled sensitively, with the musical theme pervading its suites, restaurants and bars.

Chic, modern hotel, housed in a Grade Ilisted Edwardian warehouse, with everything you’d expect from a Mal – relaxed yet attentive, smart and stylish with those extra little design touches. Well located near Piccadilly station and close to Canal Street and the Northern Quarter, the interior is all rich colours, plushy carpets and velvet cushions, producing a suitably seductive mood for cocktail hour. The Brasserie on the ground floor serves classic bistro fare with a local twist.

Newly-opened contemporary-styled hotel connected to Piccadilly station by a new footbridge, called the Manchester Curve. Weather permitting, you can dine al-fresco in the City Café and there’s an impressive cocktail list to work through too.

e d l Peter Street M60 2DS T: 0161 236 3333 W:

Dating from 1903, the Midland has been Manchester’s traditional landmark hotel – it was where Mr Rolls first met Mr Royce and is the favoured afternoon tea spot for the Cheshire ‘ladies who lunch’. A recent refurb has brought it bang up to date, whilst still keeping its stately sense of history. The Midland and the Radisson Edwardian are both right opposite the site of the special Manchester International Festival Pavilion, so are ideal choices if you want to be where the action is come festival time.

t n t l Great John Street, Castlefield M3 4FD T: 0161 831 3211 W:

This renovated Victorian schoolhouse has been given the full boutique hotel treatment, with every luxury catered for in its 30 suitestyle rooms. Not only is it at the heart of Manchester’s theatre and shopping district but its showpiece rooftop garden, complete with hot tub and hammocks, has a bird’s eye view of the comings and going on the hallowed cobbles of the Coronation Street set. Winner in the best small hotel category in the 2007 Manchester Tourism awards.

e Pe 1 Ducie Street, Piccadilly M1 2TP T: 0161 778 750007 W:

Conveniently located apartment-hotel, next to Piccadilly railway station. A conversion of one of Manchester’s typical red-brick warehouses, it has retained many original Victorian features although not at the expense of comfort and contemporary style. The Cotton House restaurant on the ground floor and its associated Champagne cocktail bar are also definite ‘places to be seen’.

g l

Castlefield and Cathedral Quarter T: 0161 832 4060 W:

These chic, individually-designed apartments in several locations across the city provide stylish accommodation with hotel-type services. Available for one night, one month and everything in-between.



e x


e t r & l

74 Liverpool Road M3 4NQ T: 0161 839 7740

Pl f e Pk

14 John Dalton Street M2 6JR T: 0161 839 1999

The best of modern British cooking in a restaurant that epitomises new Mancunian architecture and design – airy atrium, glass staircase, water feature, the works.

e t t 104 High Street Northern Quarter M4 1HQ T: 0161 834 3743

Small and friendly Manchester foodie stalwart where the décor may be a bit trad but the cooking is some of the best in the city. Only open Wednesday to Saturday and always popular, so best to book.

g g 34 Princess Street M1 4JY T: 0161 236 2200

Frequently cited as the best Chinese restaurant in Europe, this Manchester institution has a vast 300-dish menu – the best plan is just to say ‘feed me’ and let them bring you the day’s specialities.

m 81 King Street M2 4ST T: 0161 839 2005

Set in Manchester’s original Reform Club this modern restaurant and bar exemplifies what Manchester does best in mixing the best of the old and the best of the new. High quality food influenced by retro dishes, but all served with a contemporary twist.

r s’ p e 52 Cross Street M2 7AR T: 0161 832 2245

One of the best wine lists in town, all the better to wash down the exemplary English food which yes, does include chops.


Head down to Castlefield for this great traditional pub which has a popular outdoor seating area in the summer with hanging baskets to make Alan Titchmarsh jealous.

To 16 Albert Square M2 5PF T: 0161 819 1966

Manchester’s original noodle bar with an open plan kitchen so you can see the chef ’s in action. Minimalist décor and fabulous fresh South East Asian food.

h é 16-20 Turner Street, Northern Quarter M4 1DZ T: 0161 834 1996

Housed in the Manchester Buddhist Centre, this vegan-friendly café is a haven of peace and tranquillity. The fresh juice combinations are full of positive karma but the wheatgrass shots are a bit of an acquired taste.

e a

127 Great Bridgewater Street M1 57Q T: 0161 236 6364

This gem of a pub is well worth seeking out. The splendidly tiled green exterior is matched by the splendid ales on offer inside

e n’ Pn 50 Great Bridgewater Street M1 5LE T: 0161 236 5895

Historic pub with an epic whisky selection where you can rub shoulders with the Hallé’s brass section as they nip out the back of The Bridgewater Hall for an interval half.


The area that started the Manchester café bar scene is still home to some of its best, particularly if you want to sit outside and enjoy the view.

e s

An authentic curry house in the Northern Quarter back streets where Gene Hunt and Sam Tyler mulled over the meaning of Life on Mars. Open daytimes only (closed Saturday).

A mixture of self consciously trendy watering holes and more casually hip bars line the canalside in a series of converted railway arches. At its best in the daytime and early evening if you want to avoid the nightclub crowd. Good for cocktails.


l t

Back Turner Street, Northern Quarter M4 1FP

74-76 High Street M4 1ES T: 0161 834 1136

This café-cum-kitsch shop serves up great veggie snacks, meals and coffee in an Aladdin’s cave of gifts, cards and artworks.

The UK’s original gay village is still one of the most exciting areas of the city, with a range of bars and cafés running along the canalside.

Nn r

By day it’s the place to shop for hip vintage clothing, vinyl and crafts, by night it’s got a range of individualistic bars, from the laidback quirkiness of Odd, Manchester’s Bar of the Year, to the sophisticated mixology of the hard-to-find Socio Rehab (it’s on Edge St…)


r l e g

r Tn l

Gartside Street, Spinningfields

Albert Square M60 2LE T: 0161 234 5000

Feast your eyes on this gothic glory that is a testament to Victorian civic pride. Wonderful arched ceilings and mosaic floors with symbolism built into every stonework cornice and stained glass window. Doubles as the Houses of Parliament in many a TV drama.

s l f c Long Millgate M3 1SB T: 0161 834 9644

Originally founded in the 15th century, this remarkable collection of buildings is one of Manchester’s hidden jewels. It’s got a 17th century quadrangle that wouldn’t look out of place in Oxford or Cambridge, a medieval banqueting hall and the oldest library in the English-speaking world.

n s y 150 Deansgate M3 3EH T: 0161 306 0555 W:

One of the real gems of Manchester’s architectural history, you’d be forgiven for thinking that the John Rylands building was an elaborate church rather than a library. This fantastic Grade I-listed piece of Victorian high gothic has recently undergone a £16.8m refurbishment, creating a new state-of-theart visitor centre to enhance the access to its rare and fascinating collections.

n George St, Charlotte Street

The third largest Chinatown in the world outside China (just behind San Francisco and Vancouver). Have a browse through fascinating shops, supermarkets and Chinese bakeries – best day to visit is Sunday when the Northwest Chinese community descend en masse to shop and eat dim sum.

Looking like a set of oversized sliding drawers, this brand new 260ft tower and its multicoloured, shiny surface is a decidedly funky addition to the Manchester cityscape.

B f e g City of Manchester Stadium, Alan Turing Way W:

Thomas Heatherwick’s gravity-defying huge sculpture is one of the defining images of the New East Manchester skyline.

THINGS TO DO Nn r

Colloquially known as Manchester’s creative quarter due to it concentration of designers, artist and musicians, it may not be the ritziest part of the city centre but it’s certainly one of the most interesting. A stroll around the quirky streets will reward you with eclectic record shops, vintage and specialist clothes stores, bohemian bars and eateries. N4 is also home to the Manchester Craft and Design Centre, the Manchester Buddhist Centre and the Manchester institution that is Affleck’s Palace (see below). Definitely not mainstream.

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Hop on one of Manchester’s distinctive trams for a trundle through the city centre and out to The Quays – just 15 minutes outside the city centre and you’re in a whole different landscape of big water, big skies and big buildings, including The Lowry and Imperial War Museum North.

d s T: 0871 222 8223

Discover the city’s secret corners with a range of guided walks that take you everywhere from up the Town Hall bell tower to down below the city streets tracing the history of the Rochdale canal. There’s topic-driven options too, including a tour devoted to Mancunian inventions and one to the history of the city’s radical politics.


Old and obscure vinyl, vintage clothing, Manchester United memorabilia, designer labels.

GIVE IT A WHIRL… k’ Pe

e e

52 Church Street M4 1PW T: 0161 834 2039

A shoppers’ haven with Harvey Nichols and Selfridges within spitting distance of each other. Harvey Nicks’ 2nd floor brasserie and bar is a favourite cocktail spot and the quirky Future System’s design of Selfridge’s food hall houses a number of counter-based eateries.

Marked by the fabulous mosaic artworks outside, this otherwise unprepossessing building houses a rabbit warren of alternative shops and stalls, selling everything from skateboards and fetish gear to vintage clothing and records.

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Elegant pedestrian shopping street stretching from Joseph, Agent Provocateur and Armani at one end to Monsoon, Hobbs and Hermes at the other.

W: T: 0871 222 8223




r t y

Cathedral Gardens M4 3BG T: 0161 605 8200 W:

Mosley Street M2 3JL T: 0161 235 8888 W:

Restored in 2002 and given a striking new extension, the gallery shows off the wealth of Manchester’s artistic legacy, including its famous collection of Pre-Raphaelites and a great collection of modern pieces.

e y Pier 8, Salford Quays M50 3AZ T: 0870 787 5780 W:

A high-impact, landmark building, perfectly set against the vast water and sky background of The Quays at Salford. The Lowry is a whole day out of attractions in itself – you get art galleries, two theatres, a gift shop and several restaurants, not to mention the tram ride out there.

h t y The University of Manchester, Oxford Road M15 6ER T: 0161 275 7450 W:

Great collection of art and design, from watercolours, prints, drawings, modern art and sculpture, including the largest collections of decorative textiles and wallpapers outside London.

e s e Market Buildings, Thomas St M4 1EU T: 0161 832 7271 W:

This national showcase for Oriental culture is a great place to catch exhibitions by Chinese artists. The centre’s chilled-out tea shop also provides a little haven of peace and tranquillity in the creative hubbub of the surrounding Northern Quarter.

e 70 Oxford Street, Manchester M1 5NH T: 0161 200 1516 W:

The best place in the city for contemporary art, sculpture and photography, the Cornerhouse also houses a three-screen arthouse cinema, a fine bar and a welcoming, easy-going café.


This flagship Manchester building sits imposingly in the lovely Cathedral Gardens like a rearing, glass-skinned serpent. Gallerycum-exhibition centre-cum-arts venue, Urbis is described as ‘the city centre’, reflecting its focus on different aspects of urban culture from around the world.

MUSEUMS e m f e d y n r Liverpool Road, Castlefield M3 4FP T: 0161 832 2244 W:

Full of fascinating insights into England’s industrial history and great if the workings of planes, trains and automobiles are your bag. The touring exhibitions are also designed to appeal to your inner geek, with dinosaurs, Star Trek and Dr Who the most recent.

l r m Nh The Quays, Trafford M17 1TZ T: 161 836 4000 W:

The UK’s first building by Daniel Libeskind, IWM North is a real attention-grabber – more like architecture as environmental sculpture. Located on the opposite bank of The Quays to The Lowry, this is another building that uses its waterscape backdrop to sensational effect. On the inside, its thought-provoking exhibitions have won it a prestigious national silver award in the Enjoy England Awards for Excellence 2007.

r m Oxford Road M13 9PL T: 0161 275 2634 W:

An established part of Manchester University for over 100 years, the museum covers all the ‘ologies’ from archaeology to zoology. The original building was the work of Alfred Waterhouse, architect of Manchester Town Hall, with the 2003 refurbishment undertaken by Ian Simpson, architect of Urbis and the new Beetham tower.

THEATRES e l e St Ann’s Square M2 7DH T: 0161 833 9833 W:

Make sure that the Royal Exchange is on your itinerary, if not for one of the consistently top-notch theatrical performances, then just to take in the jaw-dropping, dramatic interior that was once the trading floor of the city’s Cotton Exchange. Good craft shop too.

e y e St Peter’s Square M2 5PD T: 0161 236 7110 W:

The handsome rotunda of Manchester’s Central Library houses a surprise in its basement – the oldest repertory theatre company in the UK. Focussing mainly on contemporary and sometimes provocative works, the theatre also attracts some interesting touring productions.

t e Devas Street M15 6JA T: 0161 274 0604 W:

Remodelled in 1999, this architecturally madcap building looks almost Gaudi-esque. With a stated mission of catering for the 13-30 age group, the theatrical product veers towards the cutting edge and contemporary, with regular club nights and laid-back DJ’s.

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l Nn e f c

54-56 Whitworth Street M1 5WW T: 0161615 0515 W:

MEN a

124 Oxford Rd M13 9RD T: 0161 907 5377 W:

This hip, experimental performance space is tucked away underneath the railway arches. Consistently avant-garde productions and another good spot for café bar lounging, with regular DJ’s in the foyer space.

Pe e Oxford Road M1 6FT T: 0161 245 6600 W:

The major venue in Manchester for touring West End productions, this is a classic example of the grand temples to variety that were built in the Victorian era – all gilded statues and red plush seating.

a e Quay Street M3 3HP T: 0161 828 1700 W:

Slightly smaller sister venue to the Palace, this is another traditional theatre venue, veering more towards opera, ballet and one-off comedy or musical shows.

e y Pier 8, Salford Quays M50 3AZ T: 0870 787 5780 W:

The Lowry’s two performing spaces provide a strong mix of music, ballet, opera, theatre and comedy.

Victoria Station M3 1AR T: 0871 226 5000 W:

The largest indoor arena in Europe, this is the place to catch the Kylies and Justins of this worls on their latest blockbusting tour.

This top-notch musical conservatoire is the place to catch the classical stars of the future, as well as a eclectic mix of classical and contemporary artists.

r o

y 1,2 & 3

Stockport Rd, Ardwick Green M12 6AP T: 0161 273 6921 W:

Oxford Road M13 9PR T: 0161 275 2930 W:

This big old converted cinema is the venue for those comedy and music gigs that are too big for the Academy and not yet big enough for the MEN Arena.

The three spaces at this University-based venue provide a sliding scale of size to suit wherever a band currently sits on the path from anonymity to fame, or vice versa.

e r l


Lower Mosley Street, Petersfield M2 3WS T: 0161 907 9000 W:

Opened in 1996, the Hall is one of Europe’s best venues for classical music and home to not one but three orchestras: the Hallé (Britain’s oldest professional symphony orchestra), the BBC Philharmonic and the Manchester Camerata. Also good for topnotch visiting international orchestras and soloists, plus a complementary programme of non-classical, jazz and world music artists.

8 Newton Street M1 2AN T: 0161 237 9789 W:

One of Manchester’s great survivors, this intimate basement venue has been around since Oasis and The Verve were doing their first gigs. A standard stop on any up-andcoming, NME-rated band’s touring itinerary.

t & Pd’ 64 Tib Street M4 1LW T: 0161 831 7002 W:

Ronnie Scott’s in miniature, this atmospheric Northern Quarter institution is where you can hear jazz of the highest order on most nights well into the early hours.



Liverpool is a city with a big heart – yes it may be a little maverick at times but that’s a huge part of its charm. Architecturally it’s a city of statement and grandeur, and we’re not just talking iconic cathedrals and galleries – the city boasts more Georgian terraces than Bath and the imposing Victorian warehouses of the city centre are finding new life as boutique hotels and fine restaurants. Liverpool’s character has always been irrepressibly cheery, even in the worst of times, but Liverpudlians have now got a big reason to smile as the city gears up for its stint as European Capital of Culture in 2008 with a surge in artistic activity and a significant physical facelift. Despite the scale of its historic docks and warehouses, the city centre is surprisingly compact and easy to get around, and there’s absolutely nothing aloof or distant about the warmth of the Liverpudlian welcome. 22



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e t l

There’s nothing imaginary about Liverpool John Lennon Airport, a burgeoning flight hub just eight miles south of the city centre. Flights to and from many major European cities, with an express bus operating to take you into the city centre.

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Mainline intercity services run into Liverpool Lime Street station from all over the country.

y d

Take the left bearing M62 off the M6 motorway and it takes you straight into Liverpool city centre. It is also an umbilical chord joining Liverpool to Manchester, only 35 miles away, making it a convenient, straight-road drive from one to the other.

GET THE INFO… l Tt n e 08 Place, Whitechapel L1 6DZ T: 0151 233 2008 W: T: 0844 870 0123 W:

40 Hope St L1 9DA T: 0151 705 2222 W:

Hope Street is a bit of a cultural hub – this elegant Georgian thoroughfare joins the city’s two cathedrals and along its length you’ll find a concert hall (the Philharmonic), a theatre (the Everyman) and a slew of bars and eateries. The hotel sits half way along it, a building dating from the 1860’s that was converted into ‘Liverpool’s first boutique hotel’ in 2001. In the intervening time it has won numerous awards for its cool minimalist chic, impeccable service and classy ambience and was voted one of the 50 coolest hotels in the world in 2006 by Condé Nast Traveller.

n l 7 William Jessop Way, Princes Dock L3 1QZ T: 0845 365 4247 W:

Overlooking the Mersey, this recently-opened new kid in the Malmaison stable is the company’s first purpose-built building. It’s an elegant addition to the city’s iconic waterfront architecture and has all the features you would expect, from the plush ambience of the interior and the ‘place to be seen in’ bar and brasserie.

n SAS l

t b

y s

107 Old Hall St L3 9BD T: 0151 966 1500 W:

Hargreaves Building, 5 Chapel Street L3 9AG T: 0151 236 6676 W:

Beetham Plaza, The Strand L2 0XJ T: 0151 236 3536 W:

The Scandinavian-owned Radisson SAS is a new modern ocean liner of a building looking out over the Mersey. It’s very Scandinavian in feel as well – all cool design on the inside and a light-filled atrium that doubles as a bit of an art gallery.

A club devoted to racquet sports may not be the first place that springs to mind as a place to stay, but the eight individuallystyled rooms in this refurbished Victorian warehouse are generous and comfortable. The on-site Ziba restaurant is also an eating destination in its own right.

This sophisticated modern eatery is the Liverpool link in the culinary empire of renowned Lancashire chef, Paul Heathcote, the man who made black pudding sexy.


Revolutionise your tasetbuds with authentic Russian cuisine, washed down with a glass of flaming vodka. The music and liveentertainment includes the occasional Russian karaoke night, so start brushing up on those old Soviet marching songs…

62 e t 62 Castle St L2 7LQ T: 0151 702 7898 W:

Another revamped Victorian edifice in the heart of Liverpool’s city centre, this bijou boutique hotel is well-located for both the business district and the famous Liverpool nightlife. Its 20 generously-sized suites are equipped with all mod-cons and the ground floor houses a Room restaurant and bar.

Tr e s Apartments 9/10 Trafalgar Warehouse 17 Lord Nelson Street L3 5QB T: 07715 118 419 W:

If you fancy something a bit more independent, you can rent one of two super-trendy loft apartments in this tastefully converted warehouse close to Lime Street Station. Polished floors, funky kitchen, jacuzzi in the bathroom – all the bells and whistles.

e n e s 40 Hope St L1 9DA T: 0151 705 2222 W:

Part of the uber-chic Hope Street Hotel, the restaurant has attracted some fairly rave reviews, including being voted one of the top ten restaurants outside London in the 2005 Harden’s Guide. Apparently got its name when construction workers discovered the original sign in the stonework above the entrance during the refurbishment.

60 e t 60 Hope St L1 9BZ T: 0151 707 6060 W:

Established gastronomic destination on the Hope Street cultural corridor. The signature dish of deep fried jam sandwich with Carnation milk ice cream shouldn’t be missed, and there’s also a more informal café/bar bistro in the basement.

t Pg 7a York Street L1 5BN T: 0151 7096676 W:

n o 5-9 Hope Street L1 9BH T: 0151 708 9545 W:

A bit of a Liverpool institution, the basement bistro beneath the Everyman Theatre has always been a gathering place for local creative types, attracted to the slightly bohemian ambience and the hearty portions of the fabulous home-made food. It’s great for veggies and the puddings are a special treat.


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a a a

92-94 Duke Street, L1 5AG T: 0151 707 9933 W:

12 Stanley Street L1 6AF T: 0151 255 0808 W:

St Peters Church, Seel Street L1 4AZ T: 0151 709 7097 W:

Named after a Georgian trading ship, this old man’s boozer has been transformed into a top-notch gastropub, with an emphasis on quality organic British food. Robust menu featuring rabbit pie, Cheshire wild boar, Lancashire ostrich and Welsh buffalo.

A little hidden gem – a foodie cornucopia in the city centre that is the place to go if you have a serious cheese fetish. Newly opened restaurant should be worth a visit too – the chef is ex London Carriage Works so expect good things.

This Cuban-themed bar/restaurant is set in an old Catholic church, with many of the original church features incorporated into the new design. Communion is now cocktails served in the mezzanine level restaurant lit up by melting church candles and confessions can be overheard in the slinky dark panelled seating booths.

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134 Duke Street, East Village L1 5AG T: 0151 705 3005 W:

Pn n b

Not just teppanayki but sushi and noodles too in this Japanese-themed restaurant on the edge of Chinatown. It’s the teppanyaki that’s the major draw though, with ‘show chefs’ performing culinary acrobatics as the food is prepared right in front of you.

a Raquet Club, 5 Chapel Street L3 9AG T: 0151 236 6676 W:

Numerous awards and a place in the Good Food guide are just some of the things that Ziba has going for it. Named after a Liverpool tea clipper, this classy modern British restaurant in the Racquet Club has quietly established a fantastic reputation for its nosh.

Nr n 13-15 Falkner Street L8 7PU T: 0151 709 9633

This deli-cum-bistro-cum-art gallery is located in the atmospheric Georgian Square just off Hope Street. The shop sells everything from beautifully-packaged homemade biscuits to speciality preserves and oils, whilst the bistro does a good line in tasty snacks and the usual 57 varieties of coffee.


Britannia Pavilion Albert Dock L3 4AD T: 0151 709 1156 W:

At night the Albert Dock puts on its coolest threads and metamorphoses into the place for Liverpool’s glammed-up crowd. Pan American is one of the main hangouts for the hip and trendy, a classy bar-restaurant with huge bay windows that look out to the Liver Building in the distance.

e e r d l Edward Pavilion Albert Dock, L3 4AE T: 0151 709 7097 W:

Another achingly cool place to drink and dine down at Albert Dock, with a balcony overlooking the waterfront and a high celebrity count.

m Atlantic Pavilion, Albert Dock L3 4AE T: 0151 702 5826 W:

Joint venture between restaurant group Lyceum and the legendary Cream club empire, this is described as a DJ Restaurant – i.e. you get ambient lounge live DJ sets thrown in with your trendy bar and dining experience. Notable for its flamboyant ladies Powder Room – complete with black satin padded ceiling.

a 39-41 Fleet Sreet, L1 4AR T: 0151 709 7097 W:

Trendy, independent bar, part owned by Liverpool band Ladytron, that sets itself out as ‘a music-focused venue enveloped in cutting edge design and illustration.’ There’s a bar and ‘canteen’ and the club in the basement showcases live music from established acts and up-and-coming bands.

e Pc 36 Hope Street L1 9BX T: 0151 707 2837

Not the Hall, but the staggeringly ornate pub across the road, which boasts the only gentleman’s toilets in the country that a lady may visit – they’re listed. Despite being definitely old-world, this temple to Victorian exuberance attracts a lively-mixed crowd that gives an indication of the level of affection it commands – John Lennon famously complained that the price of fame meant ‘not being able to go to the Phil for a drink’.

e k 13 Rice Street L1 9DB T: 0151 709 4171

For the antitheses of Albert Dock-style bar chic, head for this legendary boozer, yet another place where John Lennon used to drink when he was at art college. It’s all a bit rough tables and cracked lino but what it lacks in style it makes up for in character.

THINGS TO SEE t s l William Brown Street L1 1JJ T: 0151 233 2008 W:

A £23m restoration programme has given a superb facelift to what many consider to be the finest neo-classical building in Europe. St George’s certainly has buckets of presence, standing proudly at the centre of the city like a temple to Liverpool’s mid-19th century wealth and ambition. Inside, the massive Great Hall is resplendent with gilded plasterwork and ornate chandeliers, plus a renowned Minton tiled floor.

e s Pier Head North of Albert Dock T: 0151 233 2008 W:

Together, the Royal Liver Building, the Cunard Building and the Port of Liverpool Building create one of the most recognisable waterfronts in the world. Officially declared a UNESCO World Heritage site.

t k Albert Dock L3 4AF W:

This collection of restored Grade I-listed warehouses is home to many of Liverpool’s museum and heritage attractions, including Tate Liverpool, Merseyside Maritime Museum and the new Slavery Museum, opening in August 2007.

l n l


Cathedral House, Mount Pleasant L3 5TQ T: 0151 709 9222 W:

T: 0151 330 1444 W:

Irreverently known as ‘Paddy’s Wigwam’ by locals, the relatively modern (1967) Metropolitan Cathedral stands at one end of the aptly-named Hope Street, that connects it with its Anglican counterpart.

l l 6 Cathedral Close, St James Mount L1 7AZ T: 0151 709 6271 W:

There’s nothing small about Liverpool’s Anglican Cathedral. Largest cathedral in the UK, 5th largest in the world, highest gothic arches in the world, UK’s largest church organ – the list goes on.

y y’ r Pe Crosby Beach, Crosby

Anthony Gormley’s series of 100 life-sized iron ‘men’ spread over 3km of sandy beach initially started off as a temporary installation. But, like the Angel of the North in Gateshead, the figures have taken on such iconic status on this beautifully windswept landscape that a fundraising campaign is underway to make them permanent. A great example of good public art at its most affecting.

n Pk Pm e Sefton Park Liverpool L17 1AP T: 0151 726 2415 W:

This Grade II-listed Victorian glasshouse is the centrepiece of one of the largest public parks in England. Fully restored in 2001, it’s now open to the public so you can spend a relaxing afternoon wandering around the tropical greenery. Occasional jazz and lunchtime concerts too.

y s Gerry and the Pacemakers have a lot to answer for. Take a trip across to look back at the famous waterfront from across the river and just see if you can stop yourself singing ‘that song’ – it’s practically impossible.

y i Pk Prescot, Merseyside L34 4AN T: 0151 430 9009 W:

So what if you haven’t been to one since you were a kid? Having your windscreen wipers manhandled by monkeys is still as much fun as it always was…


Everton mints, Beatles memorabilia

GIVE IT A WHIRL… e w e T: 0151 708 7799 W:

Take an hour-long trip around Liverpool’s waterfront in this converted (and very yellow) WW2 amphibious landing vehicle which starts on the road and ends in the water.

GET THE INFO… l Tt n e 08 Place, Whitechapel L1 6DZ T: 0151 233 2008 W: T: 0844 870 0123 W:


THE CULTURE LIST: l ART GALLERIES r t y William Brown St L3 8EL T: 0151 478 4199 W:

The Walker sits at the heart of Liverpool’s central cultural quarter alongside the best of the city’s magnificent neo-classical architecture, St George’s Hall and World Museum Liverpool. Often referred to as ‘the National Gallery of the North,’ it is renowned for the breadth and depth of its collections, ranging from medieval and renaissance masterpieces to pieces by modern icons such as David Hockney and Gilbert and George.

Te l Albert Dock L3 4BB T: 0151 702 7400 W:

The Liverpool outpost of the Tate empire is housed in a wonderful conversion of Grade Ilisted warehouse on the banks of the Mersey at Albert Dock. The UK’s largest modern art gallery outside London, it draws on the wide range of 20th and 21st century artwork from the Tate Collection and develops its own innovative changing exhibitions programme. It’s one of the prime venues for the Liverpool Biennial and in October will play host to the 2007 Turner Prize.

FACT Foundation For Art & Creative Technology 88 Wood Street L1 4DQ T: 0151 707 4444 W:

Billed as ‘an international arts centre for the digital age’, FACT is an award-winning cultural project that is dedicated to showcasing the work of international artists working in film, video and new media. The venue is the hub of the Rope Walks area of the city centre, home to music studios, design collectives and architects studios by day, and to interesting clubs and bars by night.

y r t y Lower Rd Port Sunlight Village Wirral CH62 5EQ T: 0151 478 4136 W:

The Lever Brothers soap magnate, William Hesketh Lever, did a lot for this part of the


world. Not only did he build the delightful garden village of Port Sunlight (named after his famous soap) but he also created within it the beautiful Lady Lever gallery to house his extensive collection of art, including a magnificent selection of18th and 19th century paintings. Worth crossing the river for.

n e y 28-32 Wood Street L1 4AQ T: 0151 709 9460 W:

Great contemporary photography gallery that showcases the work of local talent as well as touring exhibitions by prominent national and international lens-meisters.

t s e School Lane L1 3BX T: 0151 709 5297 W:

A former school house, this Grade I-listed Queen Anne-style building is considered to be the oldest building in the city centre. With a focus on local contemporary arts, crafts and design, it’s been a fixture of the city’s arts scene since the 1960’s and its courtyard garden has provided an oasis of calm just off the main shopping area. Now undergoing a much-deserved refurbishment ready for reopening in autumn 2007.

MUSEUMS e e m Albert Dock L3 4AQ T: 0151 478 4499 W:

One of the key elements of the blockbuster museum and gallery combination down at Albert Dock is this museum devoted to the history of shipping in Britain from the 13th century onwards. As you would expect, the story of the port of Liverpool and its international links plays a large part in the exhibits, and the moving section on the history of the slave trade has proved so popular that a new museum devoted to the slavery story will be opened on an adjacent site to coincide with the 200th anniversary of slavery’s abolition in August 2007.

d m l William Brown Street L3 8EN T: 0151 478 4393 W:

A £35m refurbishment in 2005 almost doubled the size of what was formerly the Liverpool Museum. giving it a substantial facelift and allowing it to display a whole treasure trove of previously locked away artefacts from its collections. Natural history, science and technology are all part of the picture, along with a brand new Aquarium.

r e n’ Pc o 59 Rodney Street L1 9EX T: 0151 709 6261 W:

This loving preservation of the Georgian terraced house of the acclaimed Liverpool photographer Edward Chambre Hardman is a unique time capsule of Liverpool life in the mid-20th century. On his death, the house was found to be in a practically unchanged state since the post-war period, with a remarkable collection of his photographic work and an evocative collection of emphemera and artefacts.


l e

l Pe

Lime Street L1 1JE T: 0870 606 3536 W:

Williamson Square L1 1EL T: 0151 709 4776 W:

Housed in a 19th century music hall building, this 700-seat theatre has one of the UK’s oldest repertory theatre companies. Produces approximately three or four of its own shows per year, interspersed with good quality touring product.

n e 13 Hope Street L1 9BH T: 0151 709 4776 W:

This small but consistently innovative theatre is where every Liverpool actor and writer you can think of – from Julie Walters to Willy Russell - cut their creative teeth. Recently celebrated its 40th birthday.

y e Hope Place L1 9BG T: 0151 709 4988 W:

Tucked away off Hope Street, this lively small-scale venue is one of the country’s most successful ‘fringe’ theatres, with a reputation for encouraging new writing and new performers, particularly through community involvement.

The largest two-tier theatre in the country, this is the place for the major touring musicals and shows.

Petrenko, who’s so on side he even plays for the orchestra football team. The Hall also stages a programme of non-classical music and its own classic film series, shown on an amazing art deco screen that rises from beneath the concert platform.

l t e

l y

Roe Street L1 1HL T: 0870 787 1866 W:

11-13 Hotham Street L3 5UF T: 0151 707 3200 W:

Previously known as a music venue, the Royal Court has had a new lease of life as the home of the Rawhide comedy club. Gone is the tiered seating of the stalls and in its place are cabaret-style tables to make the waitress service easier and a packed programme of local and national comedians.

n b

MUSIC VENUES l Pc l Hope Street L1 9BP T: 0151 709 3789 W:

The 1930’s Philharmonic Hall may look like an old cinema from the outside but inside it’s a riot of superb art-deco flourishes, from the beautiful window etchings in the bar to the famous frescoes of mythological muses on the walls of the auditorium. Home to a resurgent Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra under fabulous new conductor Vasily

Formerly known as The Lomax, this 19th century warehouse building is steeped in musical history and the place to see rock legends, indie all-stars and cutting edge dance and urban acts. 8-10 Matthew Street T: 0151 236 1965 W:

Infamous as the first home of the Fab Four, this is probably the most well-known club in the world. It has remained faithful to the original Merseybeat décor and is obviously a huge draw to the Beatles tourist crowds.


THE ESSENTIALS: r d e Chester wears its rich Roman heritage with pride – as you would expect in a city founded by the Romans in AD70. But Chester also has definite contemporary charms, from the slew of new restaurants and boutiques to the tree-lined banks of the River Dee. Outside the city centre, you’re straight into the leafy lanes and rolling greenery of the Cheshire countryside, where you’ll find no shortage of stately homes and gardens to visit or fine country inns where you can while away a leisurely lunch.


Chester is easily accessible from the main north-south M6 motorway via the M56. Manchester is just over an hour away by road and from Liverpool it’s well under an hour via the Mersey tunnel.

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Change at Crewe on the west coast main line for connections to Chester. Direct rail links from Manchester and Liverpool.

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Chester is well served by National Express (0870 5808080) from all parts of the country.

PLACES TO STAY r r d a Eastgate, Chester CH1 1LT T: 01244 324024 W:

This luxurious 5-star hotel and top-notch spa is a Chester institution and the ultimate Cheshire-set weekend escape. From its black and white timbered, Grade II-listed exterior you may be expecting a cacophony of chintz, but inside you’ll find muted contemporary tones and understated elegance, plus the only Michelin-starred restaurant in the city. Worthy winner in the large hotel category in the 2007 Enjoy England awards. 28

Ne l l


Tarporley Road, Northwich CW8 2ES T: 01606 889100 W:

e k

Nunsmere is the classic English country house, all Victorian mansion, manicured grounds and old world hospitality. Nothing old fashioned about the catering though, being twice voted County Restaurant of the year by the Good Food Guide.

e n h l 60 Hoole Road, Chester CH2 3NL T: 01244 326241 W:

Trailing a whole raft of awards behind it, including Best Small Hotel in England, Green Bough is a quietly stylish, elegantly cosy boutique hotel just a few minutes walk from the city centre.


On the edge of the city walls is Chester’s answer to Big Ben, the ironwork Eastgate clock dating from 1899. Take the steps up to the city’s Roman wall to get great views of the city street – you can pretty much circle the entire city centre by walking round it.

e s Eastgate, Chester

Set within the city walls, the distinctive split-level Rows are effectively double decker shops. These black and white timberered buildings date from the middle ages – part of the Rows on Bridge Street are said to feature the oldest shop front in England. Nothing medieval about the merchandise though – the Rows are now packed with contemporary boutiques to taunt your plastic.



10-12 Godstall Lane, Chester CH1 2LN T: 01244 401869

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Tucked down a side street beside Chester cathedral, Duttons is a mix of trendy wine bar cum ever-so-refined tea shop. It’s a little oasis of calm in the bustling melée of Chester city centre, with alfresco tables offering a shady vantage point for people watching.

s t e l 70 Watergate Street, Chester CH1 2LA T: 01244 344883 W:

This classy split-level eatery has an excellent range of steaks, seafood and grills, plus an extensive wine list that draws inspiration from around the globe.

k O’ n Barton Rd, Malpas SY14 7HU T: 01829 782277 W:

It’s worth a trip out into the winding Cheshire lanes to track down this 14th century coaching inn. A stylishly offbeat renovation has created a high quality contemporary dining venue, with the kitchen under the guiding hand of Chef Robert Kisby, a stalwart of the Manchester food scene and winner of 11 regional and national awards.

Upton-by-Chester CH2 1LH T: 01244 380280 W:

Whatever your age, you’re never too old for a good zoo, and Chester is one of the best. The orang-utans seem to have ‘make ‘em laugh’ written into their contract, with the juniors spending their time entertaining their relatives (and the visitors) with their antics.

t T: 01244 325394

Go boating on the river Dee with a half hour cruise.


Whatever your plastic can stand – Chester is a shopaholic’s heaven.

GIVE IT A WHIRL… r t Ts T: 01244 402445 W:

Discover your inner Dereck Ancorah with a trip round what many consider Britain’s ‘most haunted’ city. The Chester Ghosthunter Trail is a night-time guided walk around the city’s spooky and scary places, with tales of eerie goings-on across the centuries.


a n e

r a e

Pierpoint Lane, Chester CH1 1NL T: 01244 343407 W:

Swettenham Heath, Congleton CW12 2LR T: 01260 224514 E:

Cheshire’s Glyndbourne equivalent, in the heart of the Cheshire countryside. A 400-seat venue set in gorgeous woodland that presents opera, jazz and other musical events.

s z e Rufus Court, Chester CH1 2JW T: 01244 340005 W:

Continental-style cafe bar by day and venue for jazz, blues and comedy by night. Host venue to the Chester Jazz Festival every summer and supposedly the longest-running comedy club outside London.

The whole of Chester is quite a Roman experience, but if that isn’t enough for you, you can immerse yourself in the historic details in this museum sited on extensive Roman, Saxon and medieval remains.

l k r e Holmes Chapel SK11 9DL T: 01477 571339 W:

The world-famous Lovell Radio telescope is a prominent feature of the Cheshire landscape. You can get up close to the telescope itself and there’s also an exhibition centre, an extensive arboretum and an environmental discovery centre.


Tn Pk

Tn Pk

Knutsford WA16 6QN T: 0870 060 1768 W:

Knutsford WA16 6QN T: 01625 534400 W:

There’s one sound you’ll hear a lot of in the summer months in Cheshire and that’s the sound of fireworks going off as the finale to another outdoor concert. Tatton Park hosts all the biggies, where you can dress up and bring your posh picnic to listen to the likes of the Hallé’s Summer Fireworks spectacular and the Stars of the 80’s.

Thought to be England’s most complete historic estate, Tatton has a fine Georgian mansion full of art treasures and original furnishings, but it is the glorious 1,000 acres of parkland, with lakes and a herd of deer, that most people come to see.

MUSEUMS Nn Py m & s Tudor Road, Manor Park, Runcorn, Cheshire WA7 1SX T: 01928 569895 W:

A medieval priory established in 1134 is the basis for an award winning museum, plus a fabulous walled garden.

r m 27 Grosvenor Street, Chester CH1 2DD T: 01244 402008 W:

Two millennia of the city’s history spread over three floors of this grand 19th century building. Needless to say, there’s a focus on the Roman element, with recreations of what life was like in the Deva of yore.

y l d s Northwich CW9 6NA T: 01565 777353 W:

The Hall at Arley is very charming but it’s the gardens that draw the crowds, with Arley cited in the top 10 gardens to visit in the UK. The grounds are also used for outdoor performances in the summer, including this year a production of Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet in the Hall’s historic Walled Garden.

GET THE INFO… r Tt n e Northgate Street CH1 2HJ T: 01244 402111 W:


THE ESSENTIALS: e The rolling hills and gentle valleys of the Lancashire countryside have a special charm all of their own, especially when they come dotted with a range of notable restaurants and reinvented country pubs. The area that brought you black pudding, Lancashire cheese, Goosnargh Duck and potted shrimps is rediscovering its culinary heritage, sprouting bistros, farm shops and innovative food producers all over the county.


The M6 motorway runs through central Lancashire making it easily accessible from all parts of the UK. Junctions with the M65 and M55 take you off into the east and west of the county respectively.

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The west coast main line from London to Glasgow stops at Preston and Lancaster. Change at Preston for connections to other parts of the Lancashire, including trains to Blackpool and the coast.

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Good bus services throughout Lancashire – check with National Express (0870 5808080) for coach routes and timetables and with Traveline (0871 2002233) for local bus services.

PLACES TO STAY e n t l Dunsop Road, Whitewell, Nr Clitheroe BB7 3AT T: 01200 448222 W:

Wonderfully atmospheric, rambling old coaching inn dating back to the 1300’s, complete with authentic creaking floorboards and the odd stuffed fox. Outside is the beautiful Forest of Bowland, while inside there’s roaring fires, a great restaurant and fantastic breakfasts (good black pudding of course). Has a fab wine merchants on site too. 30

Ne r

y e n

Northcote Road, Langho, Blackburn BB6 8BE T: 01254 240555 W:

Forton, Lancaster LA2 0HR T: 01524 791204 W:

Northcote Manor sits in lush countryside on the edge of the Ribble Valley and at about an hour’s drive from Manchester or Liverpool, it’s a destination for serious foodies. Awardwinning chef Nigel Haworth takes a creative approach to regional specialities (Lancashire cheese ice cream anyone?) and the great wine list means that it’s best to book in overnight in one of the well-appointed rooms.

A real quality gastropub, conveniently located just off the M6 and A6 between Lancaster and Preston so a good place to stop off if you’re driving up to the Lakes. Big helpings of home-made everything.

Nr e l 1 St Lukes Road, Blackpool FY4 2EL T: 01254 343901 W:

Who’d have thought it? Blackpool is now leading the way in reinventing the traditional B & B format. And what a reinvention – this boutique hotel style bed and breakfast in a quiet area of South Shore is a revelation of quality, comfort and fantastic service. Judges at the 2007 Enjoy England tourism awards thought so too, awarding it the prestigious title of best B & B in the country.

y e Mellor, Nr Blackburn BB2 7NP T: 01254 769200 W:

Small, boutique hotel which manages to combine a real out-in-the-countryside feel while being just minutes away from the M6 and M65. The quality and attention to detail that have gone into Stanley House started attracting awards almost from the day it opened, culminating recently in the 2007 Enjoy England tourism awards when it came top in the UK in the small hotel category.

PLACES TO EAT AND DRINK e e t 104-106 Higher Road, Longridge PR3 3SY T: 01772 784969 W:

The restaurant where Lancashire chef Paul Heathcote made his name is nestled in the Ribble Valley and despite the spread of his culinary empire across the North of England, it still retains the same luxurious but unpretentious atmosphere that made it such a favourite. A real treat.

THINGS TO SEE e t Pe w New South Promenade, Blackpool FY4 1RW T: 01253 476520 W:

Stretching along the rebuilt south prom on Blackpool front is a unique collection of weird, wacky and wonderful sculptures, commissioned to celebrate Blackpool’s distinctive mix of natural and man-made environments. Ranging from the astonishing tide organ, whose haunting tunes are created by the action of the waves, to the world’s largest mirror ball, which pays homage to the town’s place as ballroom capital of the world. Guaranteed to make you smile.

t f d Bowland Forest T: 01772 534140 W:

An Area of Outstanding National Beauty covering a large swathe of rural Lancashire, including the famous landmark Pendle Hill. The landscape varies from the beautiful wooded valley to the heather moorland that is a haven for wildlife and rare birds.


Chorley cakes, Lancashire cheese, Bowland beef and Blackpool rock

GIVE IT A WHIRL… e g e Blackpool Pleasure Beach 525 Ocean Boulevard, Blackpool FY4 1EZ T: 0870 444 5566 W:

As much a part of the Blackpool skyline as the famous Blackpool Tower, this gigantic rollercoaster is for those with nerves (and stomachs) of steel.

THE CULTURE LIST: e



e Pr t y

e d e

e Nl l m

33 Church Street, Blackpool FY1 1HT T: 01253 290111 W:

Sir Tom Finney Way, Preston PR1 6RU T: 01772 908442 W:

Lancaster University LA1 4YW T: 01524 593057 W:

Grand by name and grand by nature, this is a riot of plush velvet, gilt and chandeliers, all restored to its original Victorian splendour. Officially Britian’s National Theatre of Variety (“can you hear me at the back?”), this is the place to catch touring shows, including comedy, opera, and musicals.

s e & a Moor Lane, Lancaster LA1 1QE T: 01524 598505 W:

Arts venue that covers a lot of bases from theatre, comedy and music performances to cinema screenings and a small gallery. Does a great Promenade series of open-air performances in Lancaster’s lovely Williamson Park during July and August.

Why Preston, you may say? The address might give a clue as to why this national museum is located in the Lancashire heartland – Preston North End is one of the country’s oldest professional football clubs with an illustrious history going back to 1880. Building a museum to celebrate this history was an initial idea that then blossomed into a fascinating and illuminating journey through the history of the game. Considered to have the finest archive of historic football memorabilia in the world, including the prestigious FIFA collection.

s m d t y Market Square, Preston PR1 2PP T: 01772 258248 W:

As well as a great gallery and museum, the Harris is also worth a visit for the building itself, a splendid Grade I-listed temple to Victorian civic pride. Inside you’ll find a surprisingly good selection of artworks acquired by the wealthy cotton barons of the day, plus, as you would expect, a fine selection of decorative arts.

Houses Lamcaster University’s art collection and changing exhibitions and displays, with a good range of sculpture, photography and crafts. Prints and original paintings by final year students are available for purchase at the end of the summer term.

Ps East Lancashire (Blackburn, Burnley & Pendle) W:

A recent initiative to place landmark works of art at viewpoints in the hills of East Lancashire. The artworks created to date include an eerily evocative Singing Ringing Tree in Burnley that produces a low tuneful song in the wind, and Atom in Pendle, a bronze-coated egg shaped sculpture and viewing shelter. Places to contemplate the meaning of life.




Take it from the mouth of the man himself - Wordsworth said that there was “nowhere in so narrow a compass with such a variety of the sublime and beautiful”. With 16 beautiful lakes, unspoilt beaches and 100 peaks over 2,000 feet high all within a 30-mile stretch, this is the perfect place to go wandering ‘lonely as a cloud’. The joy of the Lakes is that you can leave your boutique hotel, cosy country inn or 5-star restaurant on foot and immediately be in the breathtaking scenery that entranced the poets of yore.



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w y

You can reach the southern Lakes by car from either Liverpool or Manchester in little over an hour. All parts of Lakeland are easily accessible from the M6 motorway, which runs north to south just to the eastern side of Cumbria.

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The west coast main line from London to Glasgow stops at Oxenholme (change for Kendal and Windermere), Penrith and Carlisle. There are also regular direct trains between Manchester Airport and Windermere and between Manchester Airport and Barrow-inFurness and the Western Lake District.

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Windermere and Keswick are well served by National Express (0870 5808080) coaches from all parts of the country.

GET THE INFO… W: T: 01539 822222


Lake Ullswater, Penrith CA10 2LZ, T: 017684 86301 W:

The grandaddy of Lake District country house hotels, Sharrow Bay set the standard for others to follow. Worth going for the spectacular Ullswater views and the afternoon tea – it’s an occasion in itself.

e g Ambleside Road, Windermere LA23 1LR. T: 015394 31922. W:

Perched on a hill above Lake Windermere, the Samling may be at the heart of Wordsworth country but don’t expect anything twee or olde worlde here. Fat sofas, CD/TV/DVD players and living-flame fires, with huge deep baths and Molton Brown toiletries. There’s even an outdoor hot tub.

e e e l Crook Rd, Windermere LA23 3JA T: 015394 88600 W:

Another hotel with a legendary afternoon tea, Linthwaite House overlooks Lake Windermere and has its own trout-filled tarn and croquet lawn set in 15 acres of wild woodland grounds. Chic, modern comfort with an elegant restaurant, this is a great location for a romantic weekend and featured on Condé Nast Traveller’s Gold List in 2006.


e e n

e t Pk

L’e t

Outgate, Nr Hawskhead LA22 0NQ T: 015394 36413 W:

T: 01223 314546 or 01229 860010? W:

Down-to-earth 18th century pub set in a hamlet between Hawkshead and Ambleside with a cosy restaurant and just three rooms. Main claim to fame is its live jazz evenings every Friday from February through to October – attracts a bit of a crowd so best to book a table.

Situated between Coniston and Hawkshead, this beautiful forest hides over 70 works of art and sculpture scattered through the woodland. There are walking and cycling routes with beautiful views over Coniston Water and plenty of arty pit stops.

e Tr k s

e e s

Cartmel, Grange-over-Sands LA11 6PZ T: 015395 36362 W:

A small Lakeland village might seem like an odd location for a Michelin-starred restaurant, but chef Simon Rogan has made an amazing temple to gastronomy in this old 13th century smithy. It has seven comfortable and characterful rooms to roll into once you’ve made your way through the epic, paletteexpanding tasting menu.

n k n Barngates, Ambleside LA22 ONG T: 015394 36347 W:

Fantastic 400-year-old Lakeland Inn where you can dine in the AA-rosetted restaurant, sample a prize-winning ale from the on-site Barngates Brewery, and stay the night in one of 16 spacious and comfy rooms. The pub grub is first rate too.

e Ph l n Crosthwaite, Lyth Valley LA8 8HR T: 015395 68237 W:

This top quality Lakeland gastropub set in a tiny village near Kendal is great for a cosy country bolthole weekend. Has a nice vibe about it – the sort of place where old and new work together well, from the top notch foodie standards of the restaurant to the wellie-wearing locals popping in for quick halves of beer.

e l n Troutbeck, Windermere LA23 1PL T: 015394 33193 W:

One of the best things about staying in the Lakes is waking up to amazing views and this oddly-named and cosy 17th century hostelry has one to die for. The sign by the road reads “O mortal man that lives by bread, what is it makes they nose so red? Thou silly fool, that look’st so pale, ‘Tis drinking Sally Birkett’s ale.” Real ales are still there aplenty, as is a seriously artery-coating cooked breakfast.

Near Sawrey, Nr Hawkshead LA22 0LF T: 015394 36334 W:

This small and welcoming country inn is recognisable as that illustrated in The Tale of Jemima Puddleduck. Mrs Heelis, aka Beatrix Potter, used to live next door.

THINGS TO SEE Tn s Coniston

Considered by many to be the most beautiful spot in the Lake District (as its ubiquitous presence on postcards would indicate) this tranquil lake is circled by paths with plenty of grassy picnic spots. Can get a bit untranquil at the height of summer.

a e Ullswater

Force is the Cumbrian name for waterfall and you’re unlikely to see a prettier one than Aira, sparkling and tumbling its way down a 70 ft drop through craggy Lakeland slate. It can be viewed from stone bridges spanning the top and bottom of the drop but get there early or late to avoid the crowds

g e e Just outside Keswick and along Castle Lane from the A591

Even through it is dwarfed by the surrounding mighty peaks of Skiddaw, Helvellyn and Blencathra, this 5,000-year-old circle of 48 craggy standing stones has an awesome presence and dignity.

THINGS TO DO T: 015394 43360 W:

The best way to enjoy the beauty of Lake Windermere is from the water, with regular sailings thoughout the year.

r s Glenridding, Cumbria T: 017684 82229 W:

Taking one of the atmospheric old lake steamers on Ullswater is not only a joy in itself, it’s a great way to access some lovely and not too taxing walks, including the popular lakeshore walk to Patterdale.

s d e y T: 012229 717171 W:

Known affectionately as ‘la’al Ratty’, this is the oldest narrow-gauge railway in England. Originally built in 1875 to carry iron ore, it now provides an entertaining 7 mile, 40minute steam train journey that winds its way through forest and fields of lower Eskdale.


Cumberland sausage, Kendal mint cake and Grasmere gingerbread.

GIVE IT A WHIRL… e #79 s e n e Reckoned to be one of the UK’s most scenic bus rides, the ‘Borrowdale Rambler’ runs along the B5289, down the side of Derwent Water and through the dramatic valley of Borrowdale, stopping at various waterfalls, fells and hamlets along the way.




l d y m

y s e

Bowness-on-Windermere LA23 3JT T: 015394 46139 W:

Upper Brook St, Ulverston LA12 7BQ T: 01229 582292 W:

Highgate, Kendal LA9 4HE T: 01539 725133

Not just a theatre but much more besides in this multi-purpose venue for music, theatre, dance and comedy. It also has two cinema screens, an exhibition space, plus a suitably bohemian bar and restaurant. What’s more it attracts the sort of artists you might be surprised to find playing a market town in Cumbria. Worth checking out.

Originally built for the Manchester brewery magnate, Sir Edward Holt, Blackwell is a superb example of a turn-of-the-20th century Arts and Craft’s house. Now lovingly restored and open to the public, it’s a living and breathing example of the distinctive architecture of the period as well as housing a fantastic and ever-growing collection of Arts and Crafts artefacts.

e y e e


Lakeside, Keswick CA12 5DJ T: 017687 74411 W:

Hosting performances, concerts and exhibitions, the Theatre by the Lake acts as a bit of a cultural hub for the north Lakes. Set on the side of Derwent Water, it’s open all year round, but comes into its own in the summer with a special theatre season and a number of events in the Lake District Summer Music Festival.

a Pl m

Grasmere LA22 9SH T: 015394 35544 W:

We kid you not. A quirky museum devoted to one of the region’s oldest industries that developed around the naturally-occurring pure graphite that was mined out of the fells around Borrowdale. More than you’ll ever need to know about the art of penci-making.

t l t y Kendal LA9 5AL T: 01539 722464 W:


The high-profile exhibitions at Abbot Hall have attracted national attention since it started its innovative partnership with the Tate in 2001. In recent years the gallery has hosted major exhibitions by artists such as Lucian Freud, Bridget Riley, Euan Uglow and Walter Richard Sickert and it has a gorgeous permanent collecton of works by Reynold’s rival, George Romney, who undertook his apprenticeship in Kendal. Housed in a lovely Georgian villa on the banks of the river Kent.

Coniston LA21 8AD T: 015394 41396 W:

‘There is no wealth but life’ said John Ruskin, and you can understand why he had such a great perspective on reality when you visit his wonderfully-sited home overlooking Lake Coniston. The house and gardens are open to the public and there’s an ongoing programme of exhibitions and events to enlighten you as to the life and work of the grand old man of Victorian art and letters.

x Pr y

l Tp

Main St, Hawkshead, Ambleside LA22 0NS T: 015394 36355 W:

For lovers of Jemima Puddleduck et al, gallery showing original book illustrations by Beatrix Potter.


e e & e h m Wordsworth’s picturesque former home on the outskirts of Grasmere has been lovingly restored and features a whole host of the poet’s original possessions – from his marital bed to his ice skates. A stone’s throw from Dove Cottage is the new £3.15m Jerwood Centre, home to the Wordsworth’s Trust’s 59,000 manuscripts, books and prints relating to the English Romantics.


Where else for a museum devoted to Laurel and Hardy but Stan Laurel’s birthplace – the Cumbrian market town of Ulverston. Housed in a tiny ramshackle building, the museum boasts the world’s largest collection of Laurel and Hardy memorabilia, a dizzying chaos (‘another fine mess?’) of photos, figurines, letters and artefacts. There’s also a tiny cinema showing the duo’s greatest films.

Near Sawrey, Hawkshead LA22 0LF T: 01539 436269 W:

Seriously quaint 17th century farmhouse where Beatrix Potter wrote her stories and where Renée Zellwegger got to practise her English accent again. A beautiful location and the only place to go if you’re after a Mrs Tiggy Winkle sugar shaker.

Main St, Keswick CA12 5NG. T: 017687 73626 W:

HERITAGE s l Sizergh, nr Kendal LA8 8AE T: 015395 60321 W:

Elizabethan stately home dating from the 14th century but worth visiting primarily for its renowned topiary garden, the oldest in Britain and the blueprint for the 17th century formal garden. The on-site restaurant sells rib-sticking local fayre and it even brews its own spiced Elizabethan beer.

r l, s & d r m Cark-in-Cartmel, Grange-over-Sands LA11 7PL T: 015395 58838 W:

Stately home that’s worth a visit for its 25 acres of justly-famous gardens plus its status as home to the Lakeland Motor Museum, exhibiting a range of historic cars.

GET THE INFO… W: T: 01539 822222

PRIME SPOTS: d’ Nt

PRIME SUSPECT: d y What was the best gig you went to? The best gig I went to was Oasis at Earls Court in London but I have to say it’s a tough choice to make. I’ve seen some brilliant gigs in the Northwest over the years. What’s your favourite Northwest originated song or piece of music? There’s so many to choose from! I guess ‘in my life’ by John Lennon gets me more and more over the years but I am a big fan of Shack and The La’s.

Originally hailing from Liverpool’s Knotty Ash, David Morrissey started acting at Everyman’s Youth Theatre in Liverpool and went on to RADA, the RSC and the National Theatre.


Prime is published by the Marketing Department of the Northwest Development Agency. Issue one – June 2007. To register for future issues of Prime please visit or call 0845 600 6040. Prime is edited and designed by Hemisphere Design and Marketing Consultants. Printed by Gyroscope on paper manufactured using elemental chlorine-free pulp and woodpulp sourced from sustainable forests. Cover photography of B of the Bang by Jan Chlebik. First Off feature: illustrations by Martin Geraghty, colours by James Offredi. Prime Cuts photography/imagery: Monkey: Journey into the West by Jamie Hewlett; Carlos Acosta by Johan Persson; Kylie Minogue © Darenote Ltd 2004; the Hacienda by Ian Tilton; Chester Races by Jan Chlebik; Peter Blake by Eamonn McCabe. Essentials and Culture List photography by Jonty Wilde and Jan Chlebik with additional material courtesy of Marketing Manchester, the Samling, Cock O’Barton, Staying Cool, Inn at Whitewell, and the Three Fishes. All maps are source: Ordnance Survey, Crown Copyright, All Rights Reserved. GD 021102. All information correct at time of going to press but event information may change, so please check directly with venues for up-to-date information.

Made his name in a string of top TV dramas such as Blackpool and State of Play, plus his uncanny performance as Gordon Brown in The Deal. Now making waves in Hollywood starring in films with Sharon Stone and Hilary Swank. No relation to Steven Patrick.

What was your first/best experience of going to a gallery or museum? I spent so much time in The Walker Gallery in Liverpool when I was a child that they should have charged me rent! I love the place. What’s your favourite painting/ piece of art/sculpture? And when did you last see your father? will always have a special place in my heart. The painting itself, but also my eldest brother explaining the story behind it is a very fond memories of mine. What was your first/best experience of going to the theatre? I spent nearly five years at the Everyman Youth Theatre in Liverpool and all the theatre I saw at the main house over those years had a massive effect on me. I suppose Ken Campbell’s The Warp stands out. Do you have a favourite Northwest pub or restaurant? The Everyman Bistro was a place I spent many happy hours in. I’d hassle the actors from the theatre down there and also saw some great bands. Also, the Philharmonic pub on Hope Street is a great place.

Can you suggest a ‘hidden gem’ in your home town/neighbourhood? The Northwest is full of ‘hidden gems’. I am a big fan of the Gormley Men on Crosby Beach, Liverpool. What’s the one thing in your home town/neighbourhood that people really shouldn’t miss if they go there? I would say a visit to Tate Modern at the Albert Dock is a must see for anyone visiting Liverpool. Was there anything particular about the northwest culture that inspired you to do what you’ve done/what you do now? The writing of Alan Bleasdale and Willy Russell were inspiring to me. To see people I recognised on TV made me feel I could become an actor. Blue Monday or Happy Monday? Happy! Bunny Men or Diddy Men? Too hard to choose – I love both. Morrissey or McCartney? McCartney (just) Peter Blake or Peter Saville? Blake. Peter’s brother Jimmy always lets him down! Beatrix Potter or Brian Potter? Bill Tidy! Welcome to the Pleasure Beach or Welcome to the Pleasure Dome? Pleasure Beach because Blackpool has a special place in my heart. Eccles Cake or Kendal Mint Cake? Neither, my body is a temple.

Do you have a favourite Northwest local food? I’ve never found anything to compare with my mum’s gravy!


e e: e e s t

l n! e


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