Manchester Vacation Travel Guide | Expedia

In the 1800’s Manchester England was the
epicenter of the Industrial Revolution. Manchester’s story is often shrouded in
the smog and soot of Charles Dickens’ novels, but this is a city with a glorious past, and perhaps, an even a greater future. It’s been said, “What Manchester thinks today, the world
thinks tomorrow.” Manchester is a city of firsts. This is the world’s first truly modern city, the place where mankind first split the atom, the birthplace of the first modern computer. Manchester’s story began here, in Castlefield, where the many chapters of the city’s story
merge into one. Explore the remains of the Roman fort, built to guard an ancient river crossing. Wander the banks of Bridgewater canal, whose completion in 1761 is regarded as the
beginning of the Industrial Revolution. Admire the warehouses and mills which once
numbered in the thousands and generated incredible wealth for the city. While in the background, is Beetham Tower, the symbol of a city once again on the rise. As the city’s fortunes swelled in the 19th
century, so too did its civic pride. Manchester’s elite saw their city as the
new Venice, and commissioned grand buildings and monuments, taking architectural inspiration from across
the ages. Manchester’s crowning glory is its Town
Hall, built to rival the great buildings of London. Admire the incredible Victorian Gothic exterior, lavish staterooms,…and murals which celebrate
the city’s history. This is a building that proclaimed, “this is Manchester, and we’ve arrived!” For two centuries, Manchester’s merchants
went on a spending spree, scouring the world in search of cultural treasures to fill their stately homes. Many of these treasures now reside in the
city’s museums and galleries. At the Manchester Art Gallery, explore the works of the Pre-Raphaelites Britain’s first radical art movement and more contemporary works which continue
to challenge. At the Manchester Museum, step into a Gothic Revival time-capsule housing
millions of items, from a T-Rex skeleton called Stan, to one of the UK’s most important Egyptology
collections. This city enjoys a proud philanthropic tradition. Perhaps the city’s greatest was Enriqueta
Rylands, whose gift to the city was the John Rylands
Library. Dedicated to Manchester’s largest textile
magnate, in the ten years it took to create this neo-gothic
masterpiece, the widow acquired 40 000 books and oversaw
every last detail a labor of love for her late husband, and
the people of Manchester. Manchester has long understood the power of
knowledge. In 1653 the Chetham Library became the country’s
first free public library and has been open to all ever since. Let your fingertips wander the Tudor era shelves, then step into the room where Friedrich Engels
and Karl Marx began to write the Communist Manifesto, a work inspired by the crushing conditions
the city’s workers once endured. Revolution and reform run deep in Manchester’s
waters. Housed in a restored Edwardian pump house
is The People’s History Museum, which celebrates those who challenged Britain’s
rigid political and class systems. Stand before the simple desk where Thomas
Paine penned The Rights of Man, a book that helped ignite the revolutionary
fires in America and France. At the world’s oldest surviving railway
station, you’ll find The Museum of Science and Industry. In the museum’s Power Hall, feel the heat and steam that powered the shafts and wheels which once made Manchester the
Empire’s engine room. From textile looms to locally produced aircraft
and motor vehicles, this museum is a both fascinating journey
through the city’s glory days, and a peek into the future. The Imperial War Museum North is designed
to resemble the shards of a world shattered by conflict. Manchester knows well the horrors of war.
During the Manchester Blitz, thousands of German bombs reigned down upon
the city. In typical Mancunian fashion, this museum strips away the pomp and glory
of war and reminds us instead, of its human cost. After the 1950s, Manchester’s fortunes went
into a serious decline and the city was all but written off as a
post-industrial basket-case. But in recent decades, the city began to awaken
once more, largely thanks to its youthful creativity. A succession of bands like Joy Division, the
Smiths, The Stone Roses and Oasis shook up the foundations of popular music and put Manchester
back on the map. Explore the city’s incredible musical heritage in areas like the Northern Quarter, and pick up some rare vinyl along the way. Then head to “The Village” around Canal
Street, which perfectly encapsulates the Mancunian
ideals of tolerance, self-expression and good times. But if there’s one source of pride that
truly unites this city, it’s its two football clubs, Manchester City and Manchester United. In 1968, Manchester United, became the first English club to become European
Champions. Today, the club enjoys a global fan base in
the millions. Learn more at the National Football Museum
in the city center, or better still, time your visit for a match
at Old Trafford, Manchester’s “Theatre of Dreams” since
1910. Manchester may no longer be England’s industrial
powerhouse, but it’s a city that’s never stopped dreaming. Right across the city, daring new projects, innovations and ideas continue to capture
the world’s attention. In this city of firsts, the only question
is, what will Manchester do next?


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