“Mancunians have lots of attitude and are very independent. We are pretty radical, have sense of humour and are very friendly”
MANCHESTER: Two hundred years ago, the people of this city were asking for the simple right to vote. Now they have a national museum of democracy and the locals still involved in ideas worth fighting for. Manchester has radicalism built in its foundation, they recognized the importance of the many, not the few.
The industrial revolution was important for Britain´s development and Manchester has always been in the country´s political development. The Labour Party was founded here in 1900, having ground out of the trade union movement. As they proudly declare: “Radical thinking is a gift to the world from Manchester”.
Click big photos Weekend in Manchester
Meet Locals. Listen to locals has always been the best way to realize a city. Luckily, I met Jean Bailo, a master guide and a real mancunian, which is name of the locals. “Mancunians will tell we have lots of attitude and very independent. As a city we are pretty radical, we have sense of humour and are very friendly. Yes, this was a dirty city, that´s how Manchester became so wealthy. But from the 1980s all changed and improves, now we have lots of museums, art galleries, beautiful architecture and a varied culture. We have a young population taking pride of the city – and entertainment which is second to none”.
Radical Museum. To pick up knowledge about Manchester´s history and understand its people, visit The People´s History Museum and get on a new Radical Thinking tour. Explore the past, present and future of protest, marking 200 years since the Peterloo Massacre; a major event in Manchester’s history. A museum perfectly suited to this city. And learn about equality, social justice and a fair world. Open every day and Free entry.
Eat with locals. As Food Hall is the future of dining out, a former meat market on Swan Street has been brought back to life bringing some new food and drink operators and the food-hall culture to the northwest of England. The Markie Mayer in the buzzing Northern Quarter is situated in a restored old building serving meat, fish, pizzas, sharing salads, dessert and lots of vegan & gluten free options, all under one roof. Pre-booking a table is a good idea.
Cotton City. The great history of Manchester comes to life at Science and Industry Museum. Here a tour will showcase a vast collection and reveal hos Manchester rose to fame as the world´s first industrial city. Get to know about the first computer, the world´s first passenger railway station and the rise of Cottonopolis, a nickname for Manchester as home of the world´s cotton industry. This museum is the place to see collection of innovations that began in Manchester and went on to influence the world.
Art, craft & culture. For independent shopping, head to the Northern Quarter, known for its hip stores, cafés, bars and creative spaces, offering a distinct alternative to the big brands found in the city’s mammoth shopping malls like Manchester Arndale. Manchester Craft & Design Centre is home to over 30 designer-makers who sell their handmade work direct from their studios. There’s also an on-site café selling homemade soups, stews, curries and flatbread pizzas. This bohemian area is home to the brightest street art.
Learn more. Manchester has impressive libraries worth visiting: to appreciate their architecture as well as to peruse the books and historic collections. Manchester Central Library is a grand-domed rotunda whose design is reminiscent of the Pantheon in Rome. Part of the University of Manchester, the John Rylands Library is a red brick Victorian Gothic landmark with a collection including medieval illuminated manuscripts and a Gutenberg Bible. The building is a masterpiece of architecture and looks more like a castle or cathedral from the outside.
If you prefer human guidance, a group of official tour guides do a daily walking tour that commences at Central Library. Otherwise, download the app for free Here
Future Garden. Just 15 minutes’ drive from the city centre, the largest garden project in Europe will open summer 2020 designed by award winning landscapers. RHS Garden Bridgewater will bring back to life the lost historic grounds at Worsley New Hall in Salford along a garden for the future.
Return to Manchester. During an exciting weekend I explored the good, the bad and the many shades of grey among rivers, old warehouses and the new modern skyline. The locals work hard, play hard and have a dry sense of humor. However, a historical comment from a video at the Radical Museum will end this story. Declared in 1981 by Margaret Thatcher, Britain`s first female prime minister, at Conservative party conference. Critics called for a U-turn, but the Iron-Lady was defiant: “You turn if you want to. The Lady´s Not for Turning”.
Sure, I will make a u-turn and return to Manchester, knowing that this time around I managed to put up a story about this city without mention any of the city´s two famous football clubs.
Click big photos Weekend in Manchester
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Touch Down: Manchester is in north-west England, two hours north of London by train. Manchester Airport is served by international airlines including British Airways, Virgin Atlantic, American Airlines, Cathay Pacific and Emirates, plus budget airlines easyJet and Ryanair. The airport is connected with over 200 global cities. Metrolink is a tram system connecting all major railway stations and tourist attractions and runs every few minutes. Just turn up with your ticket from the machine at the platform before you board.
Stay: Radisson Blu Edwardian Manchester Hotel is a 5-star alternative close to all attractions. The hotel is also perfect for enjoying afternoon tea or a cocktail, and for social gathering.
Eat: Peter Street Kitchen serves flavors and ingredients of contemporary Japanese and Mexican cuisines. Mackie Mayor is a food market in Swan Street bringing some new food and drink operators to the city. Manchester is one of the UK’s most exciting foodie destinations.
Play: Manchester International Festival (MIF) is the world’s first festival of original, new work and special events presenting new works from across the spectrum of performing arts, visual arts and popular culture. Will take place from 4 July - 21 July 2019 at venues all over the city.
Mini Guide: Getting around the city and surrounding areas is easy once you’re here thanks to the fleet of buses, trams and trains available. Transport for Greater Manchester (TfGM) is the official public transport body for the city. Its website has a wealth of information and a number of journey planning tools to take the stress out of travelling. This is the city where bands like the Smiths, Oasis and the Stone Roses were inspired to make music that moved the world. It´s the home place of vegetarianism and 25 Nobel Prize winners. Visitmanchester.com is the website to check out what´s going on.