Manchester is the third-largest city in the UK, and one that has played a major role throughout the nation’s history. The city was transformed at the turn of the 19th Century, when it became the first industrialized city in the world. The population of what had been a modest town suddenly exploded as the city became the biggest cotton market on Earth, and it has never looked back. These days, Manchester is a young, innovative city that pushes the boundaries of food, art, and culture, making it the perfect destination for a short break.
The Kitchens is a shared space in Spinningfields where 6 street food retailers operate out of one location. This gives some of Manchester’s most innovate up-and-comers a chance to showcase their talent, which is why the food here is not only audacious and tasty, but also cheap. The retailers occupying the space change relatively frequently, but you will most likely find a selection of cuisines from all 6 inhabited continents, which you can enjoy indoors or in the garden. A meal here should cost no more than £5-10.
Imperial War Museum North
Covering everything from the First World War and beyond, the Imperial War Museum North looks not only at modern conflict, but also at the human cost and impact it has on society. The museum features a permanent collection of over 2,000 items, including fighter jets, Soviet tanks, gun turrets, and many more impressive displays housed in a purpose built building. Many of the museums' exhibits are highly interactive, such as the 27 foot tall 360 degree “Big Picture Show”, while others are more subtle, such as the first British gun fired in WW1, or rusted steel from the World Trade Center. The Museum is open every day from 10am to 5pm, and admission is free.
Museum of Science and Industry
If you’re looking for a meal that’s a little more elaborate than street food al-fresco, Manchester House is the place you want to be. With dishes like caviar-topped oysters, spiced quail, and a selection of different pigeons, Manchester House mixes luxury with ingenuity, making this a truly unique dining experience. The restaurant itself is ultra-modern, set in an enormous post-industrial space and accessed via a service elevator. With mains ranging from £20 to £40, it is a little on the pricey side, but you can always try the 12-course sample menu, which will give you a selection of their best dishes for £95.
Manchester may not be the first place that comes to mind when people think about visiting the UK, but there’s a strong argument to be made that it should be. The city is filled to the brim with history, and isn’t shy about showing it. But while Manchester has embraced its past, it has not relied on it, remaining committed to promoting new and innovative experiences, all of which make it the perfect place for a short break.