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Manchester tours and excursions

Manchester tours

Walking tours

It's easy to pick up a free map from the Visitor Information Centre and discover Manchester's rich history for yourself on foot on a self-guided trail. These are themed around museums and galleries, music, arts and theatres. Places need to be booked in advance. Visitors can also hire a personal tour with a Blue Badge guide and take advantage of their expert local knowledge.

Tel: +44 871 222 8223.
Website: http://www.visitmanchester.com

Stadium tours

As the home to two outstanding football teams, Manchester is something of a Mecca for soccer fans. Manchester United, one of England's most decorated teams, play at Old Trafford. Manchester City, who won the Premier League in 2012 and 2014, play at the Etihad Stadium, which was originally built for the 2002 Commonwealth Games. Walk in the footsteps of your favourite players and learn the history of your beloved teams on these fascinating behind-the-scenes tours.

Tel: +44 161 826 1326; +44 161 444 1894.
Website: http://www.manutd.com/en/Visit-Old-Trafford

Manchester excursions

Buxton

Buxton is a major tourist attraction, thanks to its health-giving spa waters discovered by the Romans. Originating from an underground reservoir, its waters maintain a constant 28°C (83°F). The town also has many gorgeous buildings, including the Georgian Crescent, the Old Hotel dating back to the 16th century and once graced by Mary Queen of Scots, the Devonshire Hospital with its spectacular dome, and the elegant Edwardian Opera House, home of the annual Buxton International Festival.

Tel: +44 1298 73033.
Website: http://www.visitbuxton.co.uk

Blackpool

Blackpool is within easy reach of Manchester. The seaside town has been a traditional holiday spot for people from the Midlands and the northwest since the Victorian era. By turns kitsch and classic, the beach resort offers its famed Blackpool Tower, renowned for its illuminations, The Pleasure Beach funfair, which boasts one of the biggest roller coaster rides in the UK, as well as the requisite candy-floss, burger bars, piers, amusement arcades and donkey rides.

Tel: +44 1253 478 222.
Website: http://www.visitblackpool.com

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The Midland

The Midland is a Grade II-listed Edwardian building that exudes elegance and charm, but is reasonably priced. There are 312 en-suite bedrooms decorated in a contemporary style that's in keeping with the building. Rooms are dotted with polished wood furniture and each comes with air conditioning, flat-screen TVs and Internet access.

Great John Street

Housed in a former Victorian schoolhouse, the Great John Street Hotel is one of Manchester's slickest new boutique hotels. Duplex suites come with flatscreen TVs, free Wi-Fi and rainforest showers. Some even have views of the set of Coronation Street. Be sure to try out the swanky bar too.

The Light Aparthotel

If you want a place to hunker down for a longer stay, this apartment hotel is the perfect fit. It's slap bang in the middle of town and rooms are surprisingly good value considering the space offered. There's even a penthouse if you're feeling flush.

Novotel

This hotel is not unlike the others in this well-established chain with contemporary bedrooms featuring in-room entertainment and eco-friendly toiletries. There are also two junior suites should you wish to upgrade. Novotel has extensive dining facilities too plus a fully-equipped gym and relaxation zone featuring a sauna steam room and heated loungers.

Hilton Manchester Deansgate

Housed in the 47-storey Beetham Tower, and occupying the lower 23 floors, this contemporary hotel offers stunning views from floor-to-ceiling windows featured in spacious, elegantly-furnished rooms. There is a gym, a 20m (60ft) indoor pool with underwater viewing panels, a spa, restaurant and a bar on the highest floor.

Premier Inn

This budget hotel chain has several locations in and around the city, but the stay with the best setting is at Deansgate Locks, situated close to Old Trafford. It's conveniently located close to a seven-day free city centre shuttle bus service and also offers free onsite car parking.