Manchester was the world’s first industrial city and, appropriately enough, its first post-industrial city as well, and its transformation into a modern creative hub is one of Britain’s great success stories. Fine old 19th century buildings such as the Royal Exchange performance space, Victoria Baths and Neo-Gothic Town Hall recall Manchester’s glory days when the cotton industry made it one of the wealthiest cities in the British Empire.
The city’s earthy urban charms inspire fierce loyalty in its citizens and attract visitors from all over the world, drawn to Old Trafford, the home of world-beating soccer team Manchester United, plus what many regard as the UK’s best nightlife and a musical heritage to rival nearby Liverpool’s.
Manchester, in northwest England, is served by its own international airport and high-speed trains connecting it to most other UK cities; London, for example, is two hours away.
Many of the city’s attractions are easily reached on foot, while the free “Metroshuttle” bus operates during the day and early evening, taking in most points of interest in central Manchester.