Here are some notes from my own recent visit to this historic and vibrant city a few years ago, before a terrorist attacked an Ariana Grande concert in 2017, killing and injuring dozens.
Manchester is where local businessmen Charles Rolls and Henry Royce met in 1904, and agreed to start building and selling motor cars together.
Rolls was the owner of an early motor car dealership, such as featured on the recent Downton Abbey TV series. Royce owned an electrical and mechanical business.
Where Rolls met Royce
The company they formed, The Rolls-Royce Motor Co., quickly developed a reputation for superior engineering, luxury and quality, and became known as the “best car in the world”.
Rolls-Royce also became a leading manufacturer of airplane engines, starting with fighter planes for World War I.
More than a century later, Rolls-Royce continues to produces both luxury cars and airplane engines. It’s likely your international flight was powered by Rolls-Royce engines.
There’s a plaque on the side of the historic Midland Hotel memorializing the historic meeting here in 1904 of Rolls and Royce.
Have afternoon tea or a cocktail in the Edwardian splendor of the lobby, and make believe your chauffeur is waiting outside in a Rolls-Royce Silver Ghost to whisk you anywhere you want.
The Quays is a unique waterfront destination, with shopping, restaurants and the Imperial War Museum North. It’s a fascinating look at how war – and terrorism – affects societies, timely any time, more so today.
A permanent exhibit explores how the city survived what’s known as the Manchester Blitz, when a previous generation of terrorists bombed the city into smithereens.
The museum is designed by “star-chitect” Daniel Liebeskind, who also designed the harrowing Jewish Museum in Berlin.
Visit the National Football Museum to explore Britain’s fascination with soccer, and admission is FREE. You can also test your speed, reactions and accuracy against famous players in a virtual game.
Manchester is an appropriate city for this national museum, since it is the home of one of the most famous and successful football teams in the world, Manchester United, David Beckham’s team.
Brits are known for their love of a good, brisk walk, and that’s true in Manchester, too, where there are numerous well-marked trails just outside town.
Trails range from 3-5 miles, which is either a leisurely stroll or a healthy work-out, depending on your speed.
Day-trips from Manchester
On Summer weekends, catch a Mersey Ferry for a leisurely five hour trip from The Quays to Liverpool, or vice versa, returning by coach.
Liverpool, of course, is where four young men named John, Paul, Ringo and George, made music history.
They lived near Penny Lane, where stopping for a souvenir photo is mandatory, including for me, ecoXplorer Evelyn Kanter.
Or, take a historic steam train on a sightseeing trip through the countryside.
The restored East Lancashire Railway takes you on a captivating journey to discover the region’s rich transport heritage, taking in viaducts, historic towns and picturesque villages and passing through tunnels en route.
Nearby Chester is said to be one of the most haunted cities in Great Britain.
I can’t tell you if that’s true, but all the photos I took at a particular spot downtown have a foggy haze in the same spot on all the images.
If you go
Fly directly into Manchester’s international airport. Or, it’s just two hours by train from London.
images courtesy City of Manchester, Wikipedia and ecoXplorer Evelyn Kanter