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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. 

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June 2017
Famous for his opulent paintings, so richly embossed that they feel almost sculptural, Raqib Shaw enjoys a solo show at the Whitworth this June. The theme is the real and imagined spaces between the East and West, and Shaw's paintings are displayed alongside textiles, furniture and drawings from the Whitworth's world-class archives. A chance to see this unique talent in Manchester's most ambitious art space. (From 24 June, Oxford Road, www.whitworth.manchester.ac.uk)

May 2017
Filled with an array of books, letters and leaflets devoted to the history of the labour movement, Salford's Working Class Movement Library also hosts public readings and specials events with support from actors such as Maxine Peake and Christopher Eccleston. Whether you attend an event, see an exhibition or just pop in for a browse, a mind opening experience is guaranteed. http://www.wcml.org.uk

June 2017
Built in the early 1930s, Manchester's Central Library is packed with books, cylindrical reading rooms, artist led exhibitions and contemporary research spaces. The building reopened after a complete overhaul in 2014 and it's one of the city's focal points, both inside and out. (www.manchester.gov.uk/centrallibrary)

May 2017
May sees the start of the Peak District's tradition of well dressing, during which wells in the towns and villages around Manchester are decorated with images made from flowers and leaves. Music, dancing and drinking are part of the day long celebrations which hail from Roman times. Visitors can take part in the festivities in Swanwick and Etwall during May, with celebrations in Buxton and Derby following later in the summer.

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