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Manchester

Developed during the Industrial Revolution of the 19th century, Manchester is arguably the second city of the UK. Small and charming, you can see most of it in one weekend, but its secret spots are always worth searching for.

A brilliant and historic city, Manchester has been through a huge change in the past few decades. Its roots as an industrial powerhouse shine through its newly polished façade, with converted warehouses and exchanges now in use as swanky apartments and high-end shopping arcades. Manchester shopping easily competes with London – as where else can you buy from vintage stores, high street stalwarts and the coveted Harvey Nichols all on the same street? Its bar scene is second to none, with many of the nation’s hippest bars and cafes, offering great beers, cocktails and brilliant food. And Manchester’s famous music scene is still as great as ever, with lots of live music venues showcasing the nation’s new and current talent. Add to this a love of football bordering on unstable, and you have a city to remember.

Manchester city breaks we recommend

Manchester area guide

Best places to stay in Manchester

Town Hall and surrounds
Town Hall and surrounds.

If there is a heart to Manchester, then the neo-gothic Town Hall on Albert Square would be it. The grandeur of the buildings surrounding the square confirm Manchester’s affluent past. The stunning Central Library has a Pantheon-esque rotunda, while the Baroque Midland Hotel overlooks the newly-redeveloped St Peter’s Square. The area is full of upmarket cocktail bars and quaint restaurants, like the retro Armenian Taverna – fantastic for meze and fresh kebabs. The Manchester Art Gallery is just across the road, housing classic artworks spanning six centuries.

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