MANCHESTER IS A HUB OF DIFFERENT CREEDS, CULTURES AND PERSONALITIES ALL LIVING TOGETHER SIDE BY SIDE. LOCAL BOY CRAIG STORRIE WONDERS WHAT MAKES THE CAPITAL OF THE NORTH-WEST SO GREAT
It’s not all about Canal Street – we find out what makes Manchester great
Manchester began to expand at an astonishing rate around the turn of the 19th century. Its unplanned urbanisation was brought on by the Industrial Revolution’s boom in textile manufacture and resulted in it becoming the world’s first industrialised city transforming the area forever. It’s now mostly notable for its stunning architecture, varied cultures, and booming music scene and media links.
The city itself is chock full of museums and art galleries where you can spend endless hours just wandering around and absorbing the culture.
The Science and Industry Museum (Liverpool Road, mosi.org.uk) charts Manchester’s rise from the Industrial Revolution to the present day, and the Manchester Art Gallery (Mosley Street, manchestergalleries.org) is one of the finest art
museums in the country containing over six centuries of stunning art. Finally the Imperial War museum in Salford Quays (iwm.org.uk/visits/iwmnorth) houses an extensive collection of war memorabilia from many different countries.
There’s a thriving theatre and opera scene here and the city is home to a number of large performance venues, including the Manchester Opera House (3 Quay Street, manchestertheatres.com/operahouse) which features mostly West End productions and large scale shows, and the Royal Exchange Theatre (Saint Ann’s Square, royalexchange.co.uk) beautifully situated in Manchester’s former cotton exchange
Manchester is a multi-ethnic city with many races and religions establishing their own communities here. Chinatown has been a feature of the city since the 1970s with a multitude of restaurants, cafés and supermarkets each selling the best in Chinese food, drink and goods. When night falls, the neon lights come on and serve as a beacon for anyone wanting to experience the fantastic and welcoming Chinese community and people. For more information check out manchesterchinatown.org.uk
If Indian cuisine is more your thing, make sure you check out the Curry Mile situated just outside the centre on Wilmslow Road in Rusholme. It’s an 800 metre long stretch that consists of Indian restaurants, jewellery stores and traditional Indian clothing shops as well as being a magnet for many different Asian cultures and people.
The nightlife in Manchester is truly one of a kind. Full of music venues, clubs, pubs and bars there is something for everyone. Both the “Madchester” scene of the 1980s and the legendary club The Haçienda (now demolished and turned into flats) has helped to create a city that has a venue for you no matter who you are.
The Northern Quarter near Victoria Station is one such area that has expanded in recent times to include so many different bars, restaurants and cafes that attract all sorts of people. From the hipsters and the students to the city workers and posh bankers you will find it all in the Northern Quarter. Places like The Whiskey Jar, Cord and the Blue Pig (all found on northernquartermanchester.com) cater for every walk of life in this fine city.
Getting around the city has never been easier. While it’s not difficult to get around Manchester by walking, driving or using the various bus networks, for the best experience you really should hop onto the Metrolink: an updated and extensive tram system that can take you to any major part of the city centre and even many of its outlying areas. It’s also excellent value for money with most stations offering a park and ride scheme if you want to leave your car safely behind and avoid expensive car parks. Tourist info: visitmanchester. com Gay info: manchester. gaycities. com
“Manchester is a multi-ethnic city with many races and religions establishing their own communities here”
IMPERIAL WAR MUSEUM,MANCHESTER
THE MANCHESTER WHEEL IN PICCADILLY GARDENS
G. A. Y IN MANCHESTER