“A place more destitute of all interesting objects than Manchester it is not easy to conceive…” wrote English poet Robert Southey (1774-1843) in 1807. If he were to return today he would be shocked indeed.
Most of the city’s old “dark satanic mills” have been converted to trendy pubs, shops, hotels and discos. One of Manchester’s newest hotels, The Britannia, with its magnificent blue and gold wrought iron staircase, was created with style from an old warehouse.
Two hundred and ninety-five kilometers (180 miles) northwest of London, the bright, brash, breezy, but business-like city of Manchester claims title as the unofficial capital of northern England.
At once young at heart and rich in history, the city has much to offer within its boundaries as well as being an ideal base for touring the Pennine Hills to the east, the Lake District and Scottish border to the north and the rugged mountains of north Wales to the southwest.