Things to do in Manchester
Catch a gig in a famous Manchester venue
The 'Madchester' scene may have passed, but the city is still thriving musically. From classical concerts in a state-of-the-art setting at Bridgewater Hall (tel: +44161 907 9000; www.bridgewater-hall.co.uk) to the local showcases at the Night & Day Café (tel: +44 161 236 1822; www.nightnday.org), the city has still got it.
Explore the reinvigorated quayside
Deprived of purpose, Salford Quays spent decades as wasteland but now culture and hyper-futuristic architecture has the area flourishing. The Lowry Theatre (tel: +44 843 208 6000; www.thelowry.com) is its landmark arts venue and the IWM (tel: +44 161 836 4000; www.iwm.org.uk/visits/iwm-north) is an exceptional history museum.
Hike high over the Pennine Hills
Located in the stunning Peak District National Park (tel: +44 1629 816 200; www.peakdistrict.gov.uk), the Pennine Hills flank Manchester on three sides and are an easy train ride away. The national park is wonderful for hiking and with abseiling, caving, climbing, windsurfing and canoeing, will tempt adventurers too.
Join the revolution at the People's History Museum
A museum dedicated to Britain's 200-year struggle for democracy feels like a hard sell but the People's History Museum (tel: +44 161 838 9190; www.phm.org.uk) makes it anything but. Interactive exhibitions are entertaining, the setting contemporary and bright, and the subject as pertinent as the struggle is still ongoing.
Pick a team and support the beautiful game
Home to two of England's most dominant teams, United and City, Manchester is a great place to catch a football match. For those who don't want to choose sides, explore the history of the beautiful game at the National Football Museum (tel: +44 161 605 8200; www.nationalfootballmuseum.com) instead.