Manchester City, Manchester United, Coronation Street, Tony Wilson, Factory Records, Alan Turing, Baby, Stone Roses, George Formby, Inspiral Carpets, Oasis, Take That, Afflecks, Shameless, Beetham Tower, Suffragettes, Liam Gallagher, Noel Gallagher, Nick Grimshaw, Peter Hook, Davy Jones, graphene, Anthony Burgess, Elizabeth Gaskell, Morrissey, Arndale Centre, Trafford Centre, Vimto, Queer as Folk, Max Beesley, Sir John Alcock, Cucumber, Les Dawson, Ian Brown, Ian Curtis, Hacienda, Robert Donat, Judy Finnigan, Cold Feet, Granada, Countdown, cobbles, University Challenge, Danny Boyle, cotton, industry, the worker bee, Shaun Ryder, Caroline Aherne, Shayne Ward, Simply Red, Lowry, the Bee Gees, Chorlton and the Wheelies, Danger Mouse, Albert Finney, Kellogg's, rain, buzzin, aright our kid...
and of course, Canal Street!
Scroll down for things to do in Manchester
Manchester is one of the largest cities in the UK, at the heart of the second most populous urban region with a population of over 2.5 million.
It was settled by the Romans, who called it Mamucium (meaning breast-like hill, yes really!) and fragments of a Roman fort can be seen in the Castlefield area. It really came into its own with the industrial revolution; indeed, it’s known as the World’s first industrialised city and hence its symbol is the worker bee (as adopted by Village Manchester FC and many other local organisations).
It became a city in 1853, and was the first new British city for three hundred years.
Its industry, and in particular the cotton industry (we were known as ‘Cottonopolis’), created great wealth. This wealth can be seen all around the city with the many stunning Victorian buildings we are blessed with. The grandest of them all is Manchester Town Hall, nicknamed King Cotton’s Palace. It’s well worth popping in to see the amazing interiors.
Trafford Park was at one stage the World's largest industrial estate and is home to Kellogg's UK. These days we are a centre of the television industry with Media City, home to Coronation Street, the World's longest running TV soap!
In 1830, the Liverpool Road Station opened and, now part of the amazing Museum of Science and Industry, it’s the oldest passenger railway station in the world. Britain’s first wholly artificial waterway, the Bridgewater Canal, was opened in 1761 and is at the heart of the Castlefield Urban Heritage area. Although 36 miles inland, in 1894 Manchester became a port with the opening of the Manchester Ship Canal. We now have two mainline rail stations (there used to be four), one of the country's biggest airports, and one of only two orbital motorways.
Getting to Manchester couldn't be easier and the Gay Village is right next door to Piccadilly mainline station.
Manchester and Salford between them have three huge universities and a world famous music college, making it one of Europe’s biggest student cities. Manchester University has 25 Nobel laureates, four of whom work there currently – more than any other British University. Heard of Graphene? Discovered in Manchester!
It was in Manchester that the atom was first split, and where Alan Turing and his team built the World's first stored-program computer, Baby. Jodrell Bank telescope is run by the University.
The stunning John Rylands Library on Deansgate.
While a centre of capitalism, Manchester has always been political. During the English Civil War (1642-51) the city favoured the Parliamentarians. In 1819 a demonstration for political representation resulted in the Peterloo Massacre.
In 1862 the cotton workers resolved to support Lincoln in his fight against slavery, which saw increasing hardship in Manchester's cotton industry. Engels spent much of his working life in Manchester and Karl Marx visited the city.
The first Trades Union Congress was held in Manchester in 1868 and the Suffragette Movement started here.
Manchester has two of the most famous football clubs in the world. Manchester United, who play at Old Trafford (Old Trafford tram stop) was founded as Newton Heath LYR Football Club in 1878, and has won 20 league titles – more than any other English club. It is valued at around $2billion, making it the world’s third most valuable football club.
Manchester City was founded as St Mark’s (West Gorton) just two years later in 1880 and their stadium, built for the 2002 Commonwealth Games, can be found at Etihad Campus tram stop.
Both stadia can also be reached from the city centre along the canals, and both offer stadium tours.
The Football League was formed on 17 April 1888 at the Royal Hotel, which stood in Piccadilly Gardens (you can see a plaque at the Santander bank). The National Football Museum (right) is in Manchester and is well worth a couple of hours.
The city has a plethora of art galleries, museums and theatres. It’s also worth simply wandering round to check out the Victorian architectural gems.
Manchester is nothing if not a shopping paradise. With great department stores Kendals (House of Fraser), Selfridges and Harvey Nichols, all the usual chains, and the huge Arndale Centre being complimented by independent, often hidden away stores. If you fancy a trip out of town, visit the mammoth Trafford Centre conveniently next to the M60.
Images: Mikey, Joycey, Ignacio Palomo Duarte, twitter.com/mattwi1s0n, DncnH, John Harwood, Ed Webster, Pete Birkinshaw, Michael D Beckwith, Mark Tighe, Secret Pilgrim, Christopher Czermak, Christopher Czermak, DncnH, John Lord, Neil Turner, Mikey