With Santa’s grottos popping up around town, storefronts adorned with fairy lights and the scent of roasting chestnuts filling the air, Christmas in Manchester is the most atmospheric time of year to visit. The holiday season kicks off on November 8th with the city’s legendary Christmas Lights switch-on – a task typically undertaken by a celebrity guest and accompanied by live musical acts and a dazzling fireworks display in the central Albert Square.
Tucked away in the limestone gorge of Winnats Pass, the Blue John Caves are one of the highlights of England’s idyllic Peak District National Park and a popular day trip from nearby Manchester. Renowned as some of the finest natural caves in Western Europe, the caves are most famous for the semi-precious mineral ‘Blue John’ from which they take their name.
Whether you’re seeking the perfect Biryani or a cheap takeaway curry, Manchester’s famous Curry Mile has it all. Located along a mile-long stretch of Wilmslow Road in the Rusholme district of Manchester, the Curry Mile is crammed with ethnic cuisine from fine curry houses to kebab shops, and even a number of Asian food stores and supermarkets.
As the sun sets over Manchester’s Salford Quays, the illuminated glass façade of the Lowry transforms into a prism of multicolored lights, casting an eerie blue glow over the canals. The futuristic glass and metallic building is one of Manchester’s flagship designs – a beacon of modernity, erected in celebration of the Millennium. The ingenious creation of acclaimed architect Michael Wilford, Manchester’s most stylish building was fashioned to a space-age maritime theme, fronted by a ship-like steel and glass structure and dotted with porthole windows and gangway like walkways.
Whether you’re straight, gay, bisexual, transsexual, transgender, or simply looking for an excuse to celebrate, few events are as vibrant as the annual Manchester Pride Festival. Much more than just a street party, Manchester Gay Pride is a mammoth 10-day event, including the famous ‘Gay Village’, which takes over Canal Street for the duration of the festival.
England might be more famous for its legendary rock and pop festivals like Glastonbury or Reading Festival, but for fans of classic and contemporary jazz, the Manchester Jazz Festival is the hottest ticket of the summer.
Inaugurated in 1996, the Manchester Jazz Festival was initially held in the form of a one-day showcase, but proved so popular it was soon transformed into a 9-day event. Today, the festival presents around 80 live concerts and music workshops, held around many of the city’s top music venues and drawing in crowds of over 35,000.
With the eco-travel boom shifting the focus to slow travel and new-age travelers realizing that the journey really is as important as the destination, it’s no wonder that England’s canal cruises have had a comeback of late. Whether you’re looking for a romantic cruise for two or a tranquil getaway with the family, few journeys are as unique as drifting downstream on a narrowboat and enjoying an ever-changing backdrop of waterfront villages, forested riverbanks and historic locks.
One of England’s most visited cities, Manchester is renowned for its indie music scene, lively nightlife and world-famous football teams, but with just one day to spend exploring the city, it’s a tough job to fit it all in.
Launched in 2007 to celebrate Manchester’s lively art scene, the biennial Manchester International Festival (MIF) has quickly established itself as one of the city’s most vibrant culture events. Featuring a varied roster of international artists, the festival showcases performing arts, music, exhibitions and art installations with the focus on new works, many specially created for the festival. Not only that, but interactive events, workshops and community projects are held throughout the 2-week festival month, aiming to inspire and educate creative Mancunians.