Heralded as the culture capital of the North, Manchester is widely regarded as Britain's second city. Combining impressive Victorian architecture, an ever-increasing number of galleries and museums, a plethora of bars and restaurants and an abundance of theatre and live music performances, the city has a truly global feel.
Manchester has an estimated population of 512,000; although Greater Manchester has a population of over 2.5million.
Manchester has a lively and diverse cultural scene. It hosts a number of intimate live music events, as well as large scale venues such as the Manchester Arena, Manchester Central, Bridgewater Hall and the Apollo. We also enjoy a rich arts scene, including HOME, the Manchester Art Gallery, Whitworth Art Gallery and numerous theatres showcasing the best of traditional and contemporary culture. There are a number of music and literary festivals including the biennial Manchester International Festival and the Manchester Literature Festival. Shopping is equally eclectic, from the designer boutiques of King Street and Spinningfields to high street chains and the bohemian and vintage offering of the Northern Quarter. A more recent addition to Greater Manchester’s cultural scene is Media City UK, a new waterfront destination that has been home to the BBC since 2011, producing many television and radio shows.
Following a boom in textile manufacturing during the Industrial Revolution, Manchester became the world’s first industrialised city and has been home to ground breaking scientific discoveries and inventions since the 1900’s.
In the 1880s, plans were hatched to build the Manchester Ship Canal which briefly became the longest ship canal in the world. At its peak in the 1960s, it was the third busiest port in Britain.
Many of the advances of the twentieth century began in Manchester. The nuclear age was born with Ernest Rutherford's pioneering research that led to the splitting of the atom. The computer revolution began in Manchester in June 1948 when a machine built by Tom Kilburn and Sir Freddie Williams, known affectionately as 'The Baby', ran its first stored programme. It was also in Manchester that economist and logician W.S. Jevons formulated the principles of modern economics, whilst at Jodrell Bank in Cheshire, a young Bernard Lovell built the world's largest steerable radio telescope just after the Second World War.
More recently, after a decade of research by Manchester-born Robert G. Edwards and his colleague, Patrick Steptoe, the world's first baby was conceived by in vitro fertilisation. Then in 2010, Professors Andre Geim and Konstantin Novoselov became The University of Manchester’s twenty-fourth and twenty-fifth Nobel Prize winners when they won the award for Physics for their groundbreaking experiments regarding the two-dimensional material graphene.
Other famous scientists to have studied in Manchester include John Dalton, James Prescott Joule, J. J. Thomson, James Chadwick and Alan Turing. The city hosts the renowned Museum of Science and Industry, which celebrates Mancunian innovation and achievements.
To complement The University of Manchester’s world class facilities, sports fans can find plenty to keep busy in Manchester. For football fans, Manchester United's Old Trafford ground and the impressive Etihad Stadium are close by, as are the Olympic size swimming pool at Manchester Aquatics Centre, Manchester's velodrome at the National Cycling Centre and Lancashire County Cricket Club.
Manchester has a great reputation for food and drink. Diners across Manchester are spoilt for choice, with international restaurants to be found round every corner, including Thai, Brazilian, Greek, Italian and Spanish, while the famous 'Curry Mile' in Rusholme offers over 50 restaurants serving Indian, Pakistani, Bangladeshi, Lebanese, Turkish and Afghan food. Manchester's bustling China Town is also central - host to many Chinese and Japanese restaurants and shops. There are lots of Halal and Kosher retailers around the city, as well as a range of vegetarian and vegan cafes. The city also hosts the Manchester Food and Drink Festival, a nationally acclaimed urban food and drink festival that takes over much of the city and includes a huge program of events.
Religions and Faiths
Manchester is home to people of many religions and faiths, and there are places of worship for all religions across the city, including two prayer rooms on The University of Manchester campus.
The architecture of Manchester demonstrates a rich variety of architectural styles from the Victorian to the contemporary resulting in a distinctive cityscape. The city is a product of the Industrial Revolution and is known as the first modern, industrial city as can be witnessed in its countless warehouses, cotton mills and the famous ship canals. Historic public buildings include the Town Hall, Victoria Baths and the neo-gothic John Rylands Library, whilst many warehouses and mills have been converted to stylish living spaces. The striking Beetham Tower dominates the modern skyline, and tree-lined streets and leafy parks afford a refreshing break from the hustle and bustle of the city centre.
Property prices in Manchester and the surrounding areas span a wide range, with great options for all budgets. Here you'll find amazing city centre penthouses sitting alongside a huge choice of contemporary homes, Victorian terraces and country retreats. So whether you prefer city, suburban or rural living, there are choices to suit all tastes.
The same can be said of the thriving rental market. Affordable properties are found in abundance in the city centre, surrounding towns and even throughout the countryside - all easily accessible by tram, train and car.
To find out more, visit visitmanchester and Visit England's North West.