Manchester town guide
Manchester, as its name implies has been an important centre since Roman times. The city saw rapid development during the Industrial Revolution, based upon the abundant supply of waterpower and later coal to power the new textile industries. Conditions in those industries were often less than humanly acceptable, leading to the long tradition of social reform with which Manchester has been associated. Protests on Peters Field eventually led to the Reform Act of 1832, commemorated by the construction of the Free Trade Hall.
The creation of the Manchester Ship Canal linking the Manchester Docks directly to the Mersey Estuary reduced the cost of raw materials and encourage further industrial development in the late 19th century.
With the increased size of vessels, the docks are no longer viable, but have become the centre of a major development centre. Linked by tram to the city centre, the area now hosts the Lowry Centre and Imperial War Museum North. Cultural activities have always been well patronised in Manchester, being well catered for with the Opera House and Palace Theatre amongst others. Manchester also now boasts a superb new concert hall, Bridgewater Hall, a fitting venue for the World Famous Halle Orchestra.
Manchester was chosen to host the 2002 Commonwealth Games and now has a new "Velodrome" to add to the sporting venues that house Manchester United at Old Trafford and Manchester City at the Commonwealth Stadium.
There is a thriving China town in Manchester with some of the best Chinese Restaurants in England.
By hiring a car it is very easy to make the short journey from the city to some of the most beautiful countryside in England - the Peak District, the Yorkshire Dales, the Lake District and Snowdonia and a hire car is well worth considering to help you make the most of your visit to Manchester.
Until the new tram system reaches out that far, a hire car is probably the best way to visit the Trafford Centre a huge shopping Centre or Mall recently opened to the west of the city.