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Cheap flights to Manchester

The most cosmopolitan city after London, Manchester is also one of Britain’s most modern cities, with a youthful and infectious vibe and cultural activities that are a class apart.  If you’re looking for a true slice of Britain then look no further than Manchester, often described as England’s second city.

Known the world over for its famous football teams and for being the first industrialised city in the world, today Manchester is a hub of all things cool. Its modern city centre boasts some pretty cutting edge architecture, a cultural scene that is right up there with London and, of course, a nightlife that is renowned as one of the best in the world. 




Manchester's Museum of Science and Industry is great for families and there's even more going on than usual during October. As well as showcasing Manchester's leading role in scientific innovation (such as the invention of the computer and graphene), there's a new robot exhibition that includes key models from the last 500 years. Be amazed by dancing wine goblets, realistic babies, household helps and much more. (Museum of Science and Industry Liverpool Road, Manchester, M3 4FP, https://www.msimanchester.org.uk/)

Manchester's annual Food and Drink Festival returns in September, showcasing the best of the city's vibrant scene. The Festival hub is Albert Square which is packed with street food and craft beer for the duration while special events include banquets curated by the likes of Wahaca's Thomasina Miers at Mayfield, a former railway depot beside Piccadilly train station. (From 28 Sep, various locations, http://foodanddrinkfestival.com/)

Built in 1823, Manchester Art Gallery continues to change with the times. Explore iconic art works, local collections and temporary exhibitions such as Shirley Baker's post war street photography and an exhibition devoted to the artistic legacy of Manchester band, Joy Division. The cafe serves cakes, seasonal soups and toasted sandwiches made using local invention, the Breville sandwich maker. (Mosley Street, Manchester M2 3JL, http://manchesterartgallery.org/)

Manchester's bi-annual celebration of the contemporary arts returns in 2017, with newly commissioned music, theatre and art from the likes of Tilda Swinton and New Order. Tickets can be hard to come by but returns are sold in Albert Square each day. The site is converted into Festival Square for the duration and it's a great place to soak up the vibes, with a side order of street food and free music. (Until 16 July, various venues, http://mif.co.uk/)

Key Areas

Every September, the best DJs and live acts in the world descend on Manchester for the Warehouse Project (Store Street, https://www.thewarehouseproject.com/home). Located underneath Piccadilly train station, the labyrinthine venue plays host to headline sets from LCD Soundsystem, Annie Mac, Bicep, Solardo, The Chemical Brothers, Jamie xx and many more.

Salford's former ship canals are now part of MediaCityUK, a development that includes a number of BBC TV studios and the 'Coronation Street' soap opera set. The area is home to the Imperial War Museum North and the Lowry Arts Centre, while the Lowry Designer Outlet is perfect for picking up a bargain. Restaurant, bars and watersports facilities, with opportunities for open water swimming options, complete the picture. Trams to Media City run every 12 minutes from the city centre and take around 15 minutes. (http://www.mediacityuk.co.uk/)

Head north of the city centre to explore Ancoats' converted mills and canals. The area is gentrifying, albeit at a gentle pace, and highlights include Ancoats Coffee Company, sourdough pizza at Rudy's, and an authentic Japanese tea at Cha-ology. A visit to Halle St Peters is another must; the converted church, dating back to 1859, is now the principal recording and rehearsal space of Halle orchestra and a deeply atmospheric live venue (Blossom Street, Ancoats, Manchester, http://www.hallestpetersevents.co.uk)

Day Trips

Chilean born Alfredo Jaar was a magician and architect before turning his hand to art and a new exhibition at Yorkshire Sculpture Park showcases the artist's emotive works indoors and across 5000 acres between the counties of west and south Yorkshire. Explore the impressive grounds, which take in leading works by the likes of Barbara Hepworth and Andy Goldsworthy too. There's also an excellent cafe and gift shop. (From 14 Oct, Yorkshire Sculpture Park, West Bretton, Wakefield WF4 4LG, http://www.ysp.co.uk)

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