Manchester would not be a destination for my Spring journey around the United Kingdom in 2017, did my friend not want to visit his cousin living in Manchester.
The metropolitan borough has long been famous worldwide for its football industry, most notably ‘The Red Devils’ Manchester United and ‘The Citizens’ Manchester City football clubs. In fact, not only did it become Europe’s first industrialized city, but it is also ranked as the England’s third largest city, after London and Birmingham. It’s named as “the capital of the North’ since Manchester has all we need from education, entertainment, diversified culture, and cuisine.
Due to the geographic location in the north of England, even in mid-April, it was still windy in Manchester that felt like the winter of London.
The UK’s government has always invested a lot of money for the improvement of public transports, which is concerned as the primary vehicle of transportation. Unlike London or other large cities of the United Kingdom, it was quite challenging to find a self-ticket machine or somewhere to buy Day-travel ticket in Manchester Piccadilly station since they did not give any hint and the staffs working in the station were not helpful and friendly. After searching on the TfGM website, I saw that travellers could buy tickets at the rail station, TfGM shop, Paypoint or on bus/train. Other information about tickets, price, or discount can be found on the website.
After a slow start, we finally came to the accommodation and took a short-nap on comfortable beds until 5pm. Then popped out for fulfilling our hungry stomach with a delightful Korean style barbecue at Azuma located on Cavendish St.
Stroll out into the old streets of the city, you will see another side of Manchester by night.
The perfect combination of ancient and modern architectures is absolutely impressive. Manchester completely conquered me by its beauty. Intermingled between the buildings designed in the Victorian and Neo-Gothic style with the old red brick wall colour of the years, the glass-glazed towers on the boulevards of the city present the long-standing development and history of the city.
The Midland Hotel is located near Albert Square, was built by Midland Railway used as the terminus of Midland Railway express trains to London St Pancras. It is also known as the place Charles Stewart Rolls and Henry Royce met for the first time that was a precursor to the birth of the famous car brand – Rolls-Royce. Their sculpture is now placing in front of the Hotel to commemorate the collaboration of two men who created the history of the British car industry.
Manchester City Council is recognised as a local government authority for the metropolitan borough of Greater Manchester, which also exemplifies the Victorian Gothic revival style of architecture. The famous Sherlock Holmes movie starring Robert Downey Jr. was filmed here in 2009.
Manchester has been known as a birthplace of many famous worldwide bands such as The Rolling Stones, and Bee Gees with the legendary song – How Deep is Your Love?. When in Manchester, you should pop into a local pub and listen to bands playing their songs who may become a musical phenomenon of England in the future.
Manchester was notably famous for its printers, with the largest printing company – The Printwork which is now no longer in operation. To commemorate, the city council rebuilt the sign and changed its purpose of use to a shopping mall instead of a printing press.
Wandering around Manchester by night take our BBQ dinner away. Just get into Manchipster Plaice to grab a traditional portion of crispy haddock fish and fries.
For a great brunch, I highly recommend visiting Croma which is a fantastic restaurant serving very best of Italian cuisine in the heart of Manchester City. I enjoyed my healthy dish served with smoked chicken breast, cos lettuce and grated parmesan, tossed in the house dressing and topped with pancetta, croutons, boquerone anchovies, freshly shaved parmesan, and baked dough balls. Moreover, the must-try-dish in Croma is Mushroom & Goat’s Cheese Penne, which is super delicious and delightful cooked with cream and béchamel and topped with rocket and shaved parmesan.
Another well-known Neo-Gothic building of Manchester City is John Rylands Library, which always brings visitors a glimpse of magical and mystery like stepping into Harry Potter films.
No visit is complete without exploring the home of Manchester United football club. Like any English Football Clubs, ‘The Red Devils’ offers tours visiting Old Trafford stadium and sitting in your favourite player’s seat in the dressing room, walk through the players’ tunnel towards the pitch and getting memorable pictures as a member of MUFC. For more information about the tours and tickets, visit the website.
Just 15 mins walk from MUFC, MediaCityUK is stated as ‘an international hub for technology, innovation and creativity’, which has been constructed and developed since 2007. There is also the home of several famous brands including BBC, ITV, Ericsson, dock10 and Kellogg’s.
After exploring MediaCity, I came back to Manchester Piccadilly station by tram to take the last train to London. The perfect end to an incredible journey to learn new things and explore the Great Britain.