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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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September 2016
'Wonder Materials: Graphene and Beyond' is a new exhibition at the Museum of Science and Industry which investigates future uses of the world's first truly 2D material. So strong that a thin layer could support an elephant, the carbon allotrope was isolated by Nobel prize winning scientists Professors Konstantin Novoselov and Andre Geim at Manchester University in 2004. For more information visit http://www.msimanchester.org.uk/en/whats-on/exhibition/wonder-materials.

September 2016
The world's largest circus company, Cirque du Soleil, presents a watery new spectacle, Amaluna, in a tented arena beside the Trafford Centre this month. Enjoy Olympic-standard twists and turns and costumes worthy of Elton John as the goddesses of the island tell their tale both on stage and in giant fish bowls. From 7 September until 9 October, https://www.cirquedusoleil.com/amaluna.

August 2016
Liverpool Biennial is a huge, free showcase of contemporary art from around the world. Highlights include a newly completed glow in the dark skate park by South Korean artist Koo Jeong A and contemporary work inspired by (and displayed alongside) Ancient Greek artefacts at Tate Liverpool. Until 16 October, http://www.biennial.com, 45 minutes by car or train from Manchester.

March 2016
Only 50 minutes from Manchester, the Peak District village of Edale is perfect for walks from the train station. Outings include the peaks of Mam Tor and Kinder Scout around the start of the Pennine Way. Pick up a map from the visitor centre and tuck in at the National Trust's Penny Pot cafe. http://www.peakdistrict.gov.uk/visiting/visitor-centres/edale

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