Manchester

Enjoy a stay at a Best Western hotel in Manchester and experience all this expressive English city has to offer - its attractions, bustling night-life and expansive shopping mix.

Manchester is rich in historical charm thanks to its significant role in the industrial revolution – something you can learn all about in several of the city’s museums and art galleries. However, Manchester’s urban centre has more recently become famed for its contemporary edge, as soaring new developments mix with trendy hipster bars and delicious street eats, to give the city a distinct and exciting atmosphere.

Best Western offers hotels in Manchester’s city centre, its surrounding suburbs and many of the towns and cities nearby – nevertheless, whichever location you choose to stay in, impeccable standards and the friendliest of welcomes will be waiting for you. Several of our Manchester hotels also offer great links to areas including the Peak District, Liverpool airport, the Ribble Valley and the Cheshire countryside, so you’re sure to be in for a jam-packed break.

Manchester – Join the revolution

Welcome to the first modern city.

Home to the industrial revolution, Manchester is the birthplace of everything from the computer to the football league; a city where history and a hard-working way of life inspired the minds as Alan Turing, Emmeline Pankhurst, Sir Alex Ferguson… even Karl Pilkington.

From Roman origins to Victorian majesty and a modernist revival, this is a city that’s never stopped reinventing itself and is still at the forefront of radical ideas and new inventions.

Start your trip with a history lesson at the ancient ruins of Mamucium, before working your way down Deansgate, stopping at The Museum of Science of Industry to see where the first ever train departed.

Pace the halls of Chetham’s Library, where Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels made a start on The Communist Manifesto, then pop next door to the National Football Museum. If football’s your thing, there’s the small matter of a couple of local teams offering stadium tours too.

Be sure to take some time to explore the city’s contemporary side. Modernism hit Manchester in a big way, creating a skyline of some of the most original and striking buildings in the country, now commanded by the indomitable Beetham Tower. At ground level, you can enjoy retail therapy in the Arndale Centre (for trendy but affordable gear), New Cathedral Street (for posh treats) and, just outside town, at the Trafford Centre (for everything under one roof – including crazy golf and a cinema).

If an eclectic indie vibe’s more your thing, visit the Northern Quarter to find local artists and vintage clobber, not to mention dozens of alternative bars and restaurants that make a refreshing change from the usual chains in the city centre. For a truly off-beat evening, venture down to the reborn Hacienda at FAC251 and learn how ‘Madchester’ got its name.

When it comes to culture, the art galleries and museums will keep you going for days. The Manchester Museum, tucked away in the University of Manchester’s beautiful Old Quadrangle, houses some of the most significant artefacts of the Ancient Egyptian civilisations. If you’ve never seen an authentic Van Gogh, Picasso or Tracey Emin, stop by the Whitworth Art Gallery to tick those off your list.

Tread the towpaths of Manchester’s famous canals to Canal Street, the beating heart of the LGBT community, then hop on a tram to Salford Quays, home to MediaCityUK. When you’ve finally made yourself hungry, Curry Mile awaits.

Don't just go to Manchester for the day, book with Best Western and give it the time it deserves.

Step back in time at Tatton Park

While staying in Manchester, why not take a short trip across to Cheshire and the amazing house and grounds of Tatton Park?

Awaiting you are over 1,000 acres of gardens packed full of amazing flora and fauna; a variety of architectural styles to absorb, from the neo-classic façade of the mansion house to the traditional Japanese-themed garden with Shinto Shrine; plus a working farm, offering the chance to see a variety of animals including Jersey cows, goats and hens.

The Mansion House is most famous for being used as a location in Brideshead Revisited and the home of the Royal Horticultural Society’s annual flower show, but there is much more to be discovered inside. The perfectly symmetrical library has over 8,000 books, including some truly rare antique editions. As the family home of the Egertons since the 18th century, there’s also a plethora of art pieces, antiques and furniture on display, collected over many centuries. Also on the grounds are the servant quarters, giving you a glimpse into the late-Medieval way of life.

You might be surprised to discover Tatton Park offers some excellent dining options. If a day of exploration has made you particularly ravenous, stop by the Stables Restaurant for a hearty supper, or for something a little more refined enjoy a spot of afternoon tea at the New Gardener’s Cottage.

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Shopping in Manchester

There’s so much shopping to do when staying at a hotel in Manchester. And you’ll certainly be doing it in style as some of the city’s most popular shopping destinations are exceptional attractions in their own right. The super-stylish Trafford Centre and the bohemian Northern Quarter are certainly worth a visit, even if you’re just browsing.

  • Trafford Centre: The Trafford Centre is the second largest shopping centre in the UK, and undoubtedly one of the most iconic. It is famed for its luxurious marble décor and the impressive number of stores/attractions inside. We’d recommend visiting at Christmas to admire the divine seasonal decorations (if you don’t mind crowds that is).

  • Arndale Centre: Manchester’s Arndale Centre is only a 10 minute walk from Piccadilly train station, and boasts over 200 stores inside. You also find plenty of food spots, with delicious eats from Yo Sushi, Millie’s Cookies, and the brand new Simone's Dessert Café. Simone’s proves revolutionary on the pudding scene, offering healthy alternatives to cheesecakes, brownies, cakes, cupcakes - which all contain no sugar, dairy or gluten.

  • Northern Quarter: This hugely popular area of Manchester boasts quirky vintage shops, timeless record stores and one of the UK’s most alternative emporiums, Afflecks. Afflecks offers fetish fashions, tattoo shops, piercing shops and Manchester’s only cereal café. The Northern Quarter is also home to Manchester's first cat café, where you can enjoy coffee, cakes, yoga, craft nights and film nights, all accompanied by some gorgeous felines.

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Things to do in Manchester

With a city centre so rich in culture and entertainment, your visit to Manchester can be whatever you make of it. Enjoy the Lowry, MediaCityUK, Chinatown, many well-stocked independent vinyl stores, the world’s oldest public library - Chetham’s, Manchester Jazz Festival, Manchester International Festival, Manchester Christmas Markets and oh so much more.

 
  • Museum of Science and Industry: This large and popular museum displays Manchester’s achievements in the subjects of science, technology and industry.  It includes plenty of riveting exhibitions on aircrafts, locomotives and computers.

  • Go Football Mad: Both Old Trafford and the Etihad Stadium boast world-class pitches, facilities and players, whilst behind-the-scenes tours are available at both of the stadiums. The national football museum is also a great day out, offering a slightly less tribal look at the UK’s favourite game.

  • Chill Factore: You may be staying in the North West of England without any sign of snow, but that doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy a day of skiing. Chill Factore offers the UK’s longest indoor skiing and snowboarding slope, and is most certainly worth a visit.

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Eating and drinking in Manchester

Manchester is famed for its independent bars, restaurants and more informal dining scene (checkout B.eat street), but don’t worry there are still plenty of superb upmarket spots to hold a celebration or get dressed up for the evening.

  • Home Sweet Home: With 2 locations in the city, this Manchester favourite specialises in cheat meals and comfort foods. You can order anything from cheeseburger toasties and breakfast waffles, to cake-shakes and humongous cakes slices with all the trimmings you could dream off.  

  • The French: Housed in the grand setting of The Midland Hotel, this four AA rosette-awarded restaurant evokes the glamour of a former age, whilst the food is anything but dated.  Expect elaborate tasting menus with an emphasis on locally-sourced, seasonal ingredients and cutting-edge culinary techniques.

  • Hawksmoor: For a steak you’ll never forget, head to the cosy, informal atmosphere of Hawksmoor.  The choice of cuts and weights is mind-blowing, and it’s equally difficult to choose from the extensive side dishes which include bone marrow gravy, creamed kale and lobster.  The chic bar is also one of the best in the city - don’t miss the cocktail menu.

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Culture and nightlife in Manchester

Manchester is often considered the capital of the North, boasting an architecturally, artistically and theatrically-influential culture. You’ll find much to do and see in this progressive city, whether it be visiting a gallery or museum in the day, or enjoying music, food or theatre come night time. We’d highly recommend spending an evening in Spinningfields during your stay, as this business, shopping and restaurant district is famed for its sophisticated nightlife. Begin your night with dinner at Australasia, then enjoy a refreshing selection of drinks at The Alchemist or The Oast House.

  • See a gig: Manchester is world famous for its music scene. The city has produced many all-time greats such as The Smiths, Oasis and The Stone Roses, making it the perfect place to see your favourite artist. Some of the best venues include The Deaf Institute, Manchester Arena, Manchester Academy, Castlefield Bowl, O2 Apollo and Antwerp Mansion. The list goes on.
  • Canal Street: As one of the UK’s biggest LGBT centres, Canal street is home to a huge number of lively bars and events. The area was also the original setting for the ground-breaking Channel 4 drama Queer as Folk.
  • Manchester Art Gallery: This publicly-owned art museum offers a diverse collection of fine art, that spans over six centuries. The gallery is best known for its 19th Century British painting, but it also displays an incredibly wide selection of thought-provoking contemporary pieces.

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