Sports, Shopping and Good Times in Manchester
If you like sports, shopping or having a good time in bars and nightclubs, then you will love visiting Manchester in the United Kingdom.
Whether it's business or leisure that brings you to Manchester, you'll find plenty of things that will keep you entertained and fascinated. To illustrate this point, the following is a quick tour of the most popular Manchester districts, starting at the city outskirts and moving inward.
Altrincham and Sale lay at Manchester's south west end. Both are hugely popular and fashionable shopping destinations. Aside from shopping, Sale also gives visitors a taste of Manchester's highly-touted sporting lifestyle through the hometown Sale Sharks Rugby Union Club. The nearby Sale Water Park is also worth a visit.
Bolton and Bury, two traditional Lancashire towns with distinctly unique personalities, sit at the northern side of the city. Bolton is young and vibrant and its residents have made entertainment and shopping a way of life. The district's most popular attractions are the Bolton Octagon Theater, the Last Drop Village and the Pennine moors. On the other hand, Bury has an old world feel owing to its many historical attractions such as the East Lancashire Railway. Bury is also popular for its vast open air market, considered to be the best on this side of England.
Castlefield and Deansgate host exceptional shopping, dining and entertainment venues such as Castlefield Basin, King Street and St. Ann's Square. The Ox is a great choice for lunch or dinner while the Dukes 92 waterfront bar is ideal for drinks.
Manchester's local Chinatown houses one of the biggest Chinese populations in the country and some of the best Chinese restaurants. Visit during the Chinese New Year and witness one of the city's most impressive annual celebrations.
When it comes to shopping, the Manchester city centre is in a class of its own. Reputed to be one of the best shopping areas in the United Kingdom, it features such showcase stores as the largest Marks & Spencer outlet in Europe and the hugely popular Exchange Square. You may also want to visit Albert Square for great Victorian gothic architecture and the G-Mex Center and Bridgewater Hall for their rock concerts and classical performances.
There are more fine restaurants in Didsbury, south of the city centre, such as the renowned Lime Tree and the Metropolitan. Didsbury, along with nearby Chorlton and Withington, is one of the city's most popular and fashionable residential areas, home to an upscale class of professionals and entrepreneurs who have gravitated to the area because of its excellent eating, drinking and shopping options. Chorlton is the more bohemian of the three while Withington hosts the local cafÃƒÂ© society. The latter also features more of a student population and a lively main street lined with popular shops and bars such as Solomon Grundy.
Manchester's massive student population is situated mostly south of the city centre in Fallowfield, Rusholme and Whalley Range and accounts for the distinct character and cultural diversity of the area. There are many hip bars and pubs in Fallowfield, especially near the numerous University Halls of Residence. Rusholme hosts a large Asian community as well as top flight restaurants like Sangam. Whalley Range is beginning to catch up with the other two with its increasing number of impressive new bars and restaurants.
The gay community will feel right at home in the Gay Village on Canal Street, just west of Piccadilly. The Gay Village has a wide array of bars, restaurants and clubs, including Essential, the city's first multi-million pound super club.
The fashionable Northern Quarter houses some of the most stylish shops in Manchester as well as trendy music bars like Fat City Records and Dry Bar. The fine old Victorian buildings in the Northern Quarter contain media offices and alternative shopping centres like Affleck's Palace and the Coliseum, which is famous for its jewellery stores.
The city's sporting side is best seen at Old Trafford and Salford, home of such famous sports institutions as Manchester United and the Lancashire County Cricket Club. The area's recent redevelopment is most evident when you look at the resplendent Trafford Centre, the shopping complex that cost Ã‚Â£600 million and features the only Selfridges & Co store outside London. The Lowry and Quays in Salford are also worth a visit.
Manchester's three main universities are on Oxford Road, a major thoroughfare leading into the heart of Manchester. Revolution bar leads the roster of trendy student-directed bars in the area. The Manchester Museum and the Cornerhouse arthouse cinema and gallery are also on Oxford Road.
The Rochdale, Oldham and Ashton area is popular among foreign tourists because of the rolling foothills of the Pennines and the northern Peak District as well as the attraction of the Portland Basin Museum and Rochdale Pioneer Museum.