Manchester - a spirited destination

Emma Leech

Marketing Manchester

The Manchester spirit led the world into the Industrial Revolution and its legacy lives on across the region. A city renowned for vitality, vibrancy and life, Manchester re-invents itself chameleon-like with every season. The Manchester difference? It is constantly different, with an ever-expanding portfolio of headline-grabbing attractions, hotels, restaurants and venues.

An inspiring city region with an unusual blend of old and new, Manchester's warmth and personality is all embracing. Group travellers, business people, conference delegates and tourists of all kinds find exactly what they want in Manchester, the 1996 England for Excellence 'Tourism Town of the Year' winner.

Industrial heritage is just one facet of the city region's appeal. From original working mills and fascinating heritage centres to enthralling people-centred museums, canal boats and galleries, Manchester is a city with a living past. Castlefield Urban Heritage Park, dotted with trendy bars, performance areas and home to the dazzling Museum of Science and Industry, epitomises regeneration in the city centre, whilst the area's historic inheritance is also evident in its breathtaking gardens and stately homes. The city region is alive with gloriously preserved treasures including Dunham Massey Hall, Tatton Park, and Lyme Park, the setting for BBC's Jane Austen classic 'Pride and Prejudice'.

Manchester boasts an equally impressive selection of cultural delights including the new £42 million Bridgewater Hall, a beautiful modernistic complex with a 2,400 seat auditorium designed specifically for classic musical concerts. Home to the Halle Orchestra and the equally respected Manchester Camerata and BBC Philharmonic Orchestras, the Bridgewater offers impressive building tours, a myriad of other concert and performance styles, and one of the city region's most prestigious conference venues.

Theatres, concert halls, cinemas and a spirited cultural scene enhance the city region and ensure that a variety of world-class entertainment is always available.

Innovation is all around in Manchester, with carnivals, festivals, and a cultural and music scene which is second to none. The city is often referred to as the life and soul of Britain. Like Barcelona, Manchester is in the Premier League when it comes to style - it is the place to see and be seen, certainly the place to party. The city's pubs, clubs and cafe bars offer a lively and eclectic mix of styles and reflect a hedonistic attitude to life that is essential Manchester.

Dining is as cosmopolitan as it is chic; Manchester's restaurants have undergone a culinary renaissance. Chinatown is home to the largest Chinese population in Europe outside London, with over 300 restaurants offering Cantonese, Szechuan and Hunan cuisines, whilst the city's Rusholme area boasts some of the finest Asian cuisine in the north of England. Add an incredible selection of European restaurants and a Gay Village bulging with the best eateries, drinkeries and danceries in the land and it's irresistible.

Without a doubt, Manchester is a city of world 'firsts'. From the first commercial computer being developed to the first atom split and the first public library inaugurated, the city is noted for its progressive outlook. Amongst Manchester's more timeless claims to fame is the world's first department store. From the classic splendour of Kendal's to the latest in fashion at DKNY, shoppers are spoilt for choice. With innovative boutiques and the world's best-known designer labels standing side by side with market town mill shops and arty market stall meccas, Manchester is the place to shop. Drawing from the inspiration of club fashion, Manchester's design community has spawned many popular names like Joe Bloggs and Gio Gio in recent years, and there's always a host of up-and-coming young design talent that's well worth a second look.

The city region is an international focus for sports of all kinds from ice hockey and basketball to golf, tennis, world class athletics, cycling, swimming and soccer. Host city for the 2002 Commonwealth Games, Manchester has some of the finest sports facilities and attractions in the country including the National Velodrome, the 19,500 seater NYNEX arena and the world-famous Manchester United Museum.

A new £150 million sports and retail village at Horwich, Bolton will add to the city region's facilities and will offer 35,000sq ft of exhibition space, a leisure complex complete with hotel, restaurants, night club and cinema and a major new retail development. Like so many of the exciting new developments happening in Manchester, it's a project which appeals to a wide variety of people and will provide even more diversity and opportunity in a destination which is already noted for its rich variety.

Funding of £37 million from the UK National Lottery will further enhance the Museum of Science and Industry, the City Art Gallery and the Manchester Museum, whilst innovative developments in the pipeline like the Imperial War Museum in the north and the Lowry Centre (a National Landmark Millennium Project for the Arts) underline the growth and prosperity of the city as a tourism capital.

Manchester is a city which is quite literally 'all things to all people'. Arts, culture, sport, leisure, entertainment and first rate facilities with an individual edge vie for attention and make the city region a natural choice for travellers of all kinds. The people are friendly, the atmosphere relaxed and spontaneous, and the options are endless.

Manchester is a city which celebrates the past, revels in the present, and positively screams for the future. Prepare to be amazed!

The hotline number for short breaks in Manchester is 0990-133181, or call the conference team on 0161-237-1010

For more information please contact Emma Leech at Marketing Manchester, 56 Oxford Street Manchester, M1 6EU. Tel 0161-237-1010. Fax 0161-228-2960. E-mail