The city of Manchester is part of the county of Lancaster, but with seven million people, the area stands alone as a destination initself. The metropolitan county of Greater Manchester includes (among others) Oldham, Altrincham, Stockport, Salford, Ashton-under-Lyne, Rochdale,Trafford, Tameside, Wigan, Bury, and Bolton.
Transportation to the city is easy as it is a crossroads for trains, and the busy station reflects that. It's also home to an international airportthat beats London's Heathrow airport in every way for comfort and convenience.
Manchester was the centre of a cotton trade with the American colonies, but its mills have long since closed. Its prosperity in those times isreflected in the Georgian and Victorian buildings that followed on the wealth of local families.
The millennium was a signal for Manchester to revitalize itself. The downtown centre and the area along the river have especially benefited. In theAlbert Square is the Town Hall, Gothic in style and built from 1868-77, it is an extravagant civic building. The octagonal tower is 286 feet high.The building is enhanced by a hammerbeam roof in its Great Hall, and 12 pre-Raphaelite style murals of Manchester.
Other attractions include the city art gallery, constructed in the 19th century and now restored. The Pumphouse People's History museum gives you thesocial history of Manchester's working people. The Castlefield area was the centre of a canal system in the 18th century. The Castlefield UrbanHeritage Park tells about Manchester from Roman times and has reconstructed a north gate and west wall on their original site.
The first passenger train station in the world, Liverpool Road, was built in Manchester and now houses a museum of Science and Industry. Themedgalleries and exhibitions include computers, photography, steam engines, electricity, air and space, gas, water, and cotton.
Other museums are glass-walled Urbis (how people live in and use cities), the Gallery of Costume, the Police Museum (set in a Victorian policestation), the Jewish Museum, Manchester United Museum and Tour, Ordsall Hall Museum, the Museum of Transport, and the Quays and Manchester ShipCanal. One of Manchester's best known tourist draws was the Granada Studios, where the TV soap Coronation Street was filmed.
The Imperial War Museum North is a modern aluminum building with exhibits taking advantage of all the latest technical innovations. The focus is onthe people involved in wars. Manchester has a local nature reserve, Chorlton Water Park. Canoeing, sailing, windsurfing, and model boating areoffered.
Manchester's cathedral consists of six bays forming a nave, the widest of any of England's churches. Take note of the medieval choir screen'swoodcarving, the misericords (c1500), and the stalls and canopies.
People who live in Manchester are known as Mancunians.