Manchester area guide

  • 06th Aug 20
Manchester area guide

Manchester area guide
Manchester is a city brimming with culture, entertainment, shopping, dining experiences and good schools and transport links. This ethnically diverse city offers something for every age range, making it an ideal place to live. Outside of London, it is also the largest UK city region economy, giving it a reputation as a competitive place to do business. Many companies choose to invest in Manchester because of the talent of people that come to live, work and study here.

The Northern Quarter
The sprawling Northern Quarter is a buzzing area of independent bars, cafes and boutiques. It is best known for being Manchester’s creative, urban heart and is home to Afflecks Palace, which offers affordable outlets for independent designers and traders. You may recognise some of the architecture too, because it has been used as a stand-in for the cityscape of New York for TV shows and films. 

This up-and-coming neighbourhood is next to the Northern Quarter, but offers cheaper rents attracting young artists and independent theatre spaces. It’s developing a name as one of the hippest areas of the UK with its abundance of street art.

One of Europe’s largest Chinatown districts, the area has a wide selection of restaurants, bakeries, businesses and supermarkets. This is a wonderful place for dining to experience Chinese and many other Asian cuisines from Japanese to Nepalese. Every February, the area becomes even more alive with the annual Chinese New Year festival with many stalls and even a dancing dragon in the famous parade.

For city centre living, head to Deansgate and join the other professionals who live in one of the contemporary, smart apartments that the vibrant area is known for. This prime location offers fantastic travel connections with trams, buses and rail links and is easy to access the city centre for work and play.

Just outside of the city centre, Chorlton is located in the south of Manchester and is earning a reputation as a hip neighbourhood that has one of the best vegan wholefood markets around. This bohemian area has plenty of choices when it comes to modern housing and smart, city-style apartments. It has its own town centre with supermarkets, a library and a park as well as plenty of independent bars and cafes.

Situated on the basin of the Bridgewater Canal, there is a wide choice of stylish apartment blocks, perfect for waterside living. This historical part of Manchester with its Roman fort ruins also has a good selection of bars and restaurants.

Salford Quays
The highly-connected area of Salford Quays boasts a number of quayside developments and loft-style apartments. Salford has its own lively dining and nightlife scene and there are lots of trams and buses to get into the city centre. Salford Quays is also home to MediaCityUK, where the BBC and ITV broadcasts from along with a host of smaller media and digital businesses.

Just south of the city centre is this stylish area popular with a range of young buyers, downsizers and families. There are lots of different types of accommodation to choose from and plenty of green spaces when you want to recover from a night out in one of the many bars and restaurants locally. There is also a number of good local schools and its well connected by both rail and bus options.

A popular area with families, thanks to a large number of good local schools, Altrincham has a community feel about it. For those working in the city, the commute is good thanks to a number of fast and regular transport options.

Transport links
Manchester Airport is less than 10 miles south of the city centre and connects more than 27 million passengers each year to over 210 cities. It’s easy to get to with the fastest option being the Metrolink line from the airport station. Commuting around Manchester is good with the Metrolink running from Bury, Eccles and Rochdale in the north of the city to Chorlton, Didsbury, Altrincham and Manchester Airport in the south, together with several stops in the city centre and Salford. Manchester is also well connected to the rest of the UK by train. There are frequent and fast services to London in just two hours as well as other major cities.

The IRA bomb in 1996 was devastating for the city but it did transform Exchange Square in the city centre into one of the most appealing shopping areas. This upmarket area hosts a Harvey Nichols, a Selfridges and many high street favourites in the Arndale Centre. Designers stores such as Armani, Mulberry and Oliver Sweeney can be found in the new purpose built Avenue and for something a touch more quirky, Afflecks Palace is an emporium of eclecticism. For those that want to shop till they drop, the Trafford Centre has three big department stores, tons of high street shops as well as a cinema, amusement arcade, a laser quest and food court.

Manchester is well served by a variety of educational establishments. There is a broad and diverse mix on offer allowing you to choose a school based upon pastoral and religious grounds as well as single-sex or mixed offerings. Like any city, the standard of state schools vary, but those that perform better generally tend to be close to the more affluent areas. There are also a large number of private schools as well as The University of Manchester, part of the prestigious Russell Group of universities.

Food and drink
Manchester’s food scene is growing at an incredible rate and there really is something for every taste and budget. At one end of the scale you have the Arndale Market, selling fresh fish, cheeses and meats and has a food hall where you can sit down and sample affordable food from all over the world. Formerly known as little Italy due to the influx of Italian immigrants in the late 19th century, the area of Ancoats offers some of the best pizza and pasta in Manchester as well as Mana, Manchester’s first Michelin Star restaurant that opened in 1977.

Top attractions
No longer used for bathing, Victoria Baths dates back to 1906 and today it hosts some of the best events in the city. The ornate Edwardian tiles and retro pool-side changing rooms have been perfectly preserved so the plans are to eventually change it into a luxurious Turkish bath. Another important historic site is the Pankhurst Centre, which hosted the first meeting of the Suffragettes and today offers people a glimpse of how these brave women changed the city and ultimately the political landscape. In terms of culture, there are many places to visit. Comedy or inspiring theatre can be found at the Hope Mill Theatre in Ancoats or at HOME, the new £25 million arts complex. For art lovers, there’s plenty of top art galleries including the Whitworth Art Gallery, Manchester Art Gallery and the Craft and Design Centre in the Northern Quarter. Inside the Manchester Museum, kids will love the Egyptian artefacts and the fossilised Tyrannosaurus Rex to name just some of the extensive collection. Just a ten-minute drive from the city centre, you can find a wonderful waterside location featuring The Lowry, the Imperial War Museum North and Old Trafford Stadium.

You can’t really talk about Manchester and not mention football. With two major teams, Manchester United and Manchester City, plus the National Football Museum, it’s safe to say that Mancunians and visitors are truly in love with the beautiful game. Both United and City’s grounds offer tours and behind-the-scenes opportunities as well as souvenir shops where you can kit yourself out from top to toe.

Famous faces from Manchester

  • Marcus Rashford, footballer
  • Amir Khan, boxer.
  • Steve Coogan, actor.
  • Tyson Fury, boxer.
  • Sir Alex Ferguson, football manager.
  • Sir Ben Kingsley, actor.
  • Emmeline Pankhurst, suffragette.
  • Bernard Manning, comedian.
  • LS Lowry, artist.
  • Liam and Noel Gallagher, musicians.
  • Les Dawson, comedian.
  • John Dalton, scientist.
  • Professor Brian Cox, scientist and presenter.
  • Danny Boyle, director.




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