The idea of Manchester as a tourist destination would have been surprising, even just a few years ago. But Manchester is nowadays a great place to visit – the city centre is a great place to shop and eat, and the Northern Quarter boasts a huge variety of smaller food shops and restaurants. And Salford Quays is now a centre for the arts and entertainment – the Lowry Centre, the Imperial War Museum, Ordsall Hall and the Lowry Outlet Mall make it a great day out!
The North West is famed for sporting excellence. Tickets can be hard to get at the larger football clubs, but it’s always worth a try. Manchester United are the most famous club in Manchester, but don’t forget Manchester City and Stockport County. Rugby Union and Rugby League are also well represented, by Sale Sharks (Union) and Salford and Warrington (League).
Chill Factore – a great indoor ski and board centre where you can enjoy real snow! Close to the Trafford Retail Centre, the Chill Factore has a main slope which is 180m long and 100m across at its widest point, plus 2 beginners’ areas, a luge track and a children’s snowplay area. Booking ahead is advised.
Old Trafford is also home to Lancashire County Cricket club, where you can see both county games and Test matches (internationals). For those from abroad, this a great place to become acquainted with cricket! But do check with the club, as the much-vaunted redevelopment plans at Old Trafford may well disrupt fixtures here for the next few years.
Manchester is also home to one of the best cycling venues in Europe in the Manchester Velodrome – the national cycling centre and the home of the Great Britain team. And believe it or not, the Velodrome is also open to everyone to have a go! 1-hour "taster" sessions for beginners (with bikes and helmets provided) are a great way to see what it’s like at the top of cycling's tree!