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Points of Interest: Manchester
Manchester is a major city in the northwest of England with a rich industrial heritage and famed for its football teams Manchester United and Manchester City. While Manchester may be divided by its preference in football team the city is brought together by its world famous music scene, which has produced the likes of The Smiths and Oasis. The so-called Capital of the North has overcome industrial decline, bombing (in WWII and by the IRA) to become a confident and cosmopolitan city of well over two million.
There’s a huge variety of things to do, from record collecting to visiting the cities lesser known cathedral. Top attractions include the Lowry art complex; arcade Affleck's Palace and Canal Street gay village. The Castlefield conservation area’s 18th-century canal system recalls the city’s days as a textile powerhouse, and visitors can trace this history at the interactive Museum of Science & Industry. The revitalised Salford Quays dockyards now house the Daniel Libeskind-designed Imperial War Museum North and the Lowry cultural centre.
Despite being located just behind one of Manchester’s busiest shopping areas, Manchester cathedral, which dates back to 1215, offers a peaceful retreat from the city’s bustle. The stained glass and intricate carvings in the building are impressive and worth viewing in person.
Established in 1987, King Bee Records is rightly now one of Manchester’s most famous shops, selling rare and second-hand records and CDs to a city that simply can’t get enough music. It stocks every genre, and has been described as ‘the sorting office for all record collectors in South Manchester’. Johnny Marr has signed copies of his album there, and it’s a favourite of DJ royalty across the city.
The Police Museum in Manchester’s Northern Quarter takes you through the history of crime and policing in the city, and is still not that well known about. Housed in an old police station there are real cells and it’s staffed by volunteer ex-police officers, who tell interesting tales of policing from the 60s and 70s in the days before walkie talkies.
The John Rylands library is one of the most beautiful buildings in Manchester, and worth a visit even if you’re not studying. The library is home to an astonishing collection of historic books and manuscripts and students often go there to sit peacefully amongst the magnificence, and simply be part of such great history.