I’m not entirely sure where Manchester earned its reputation for being a subpar city, the word most people mentioned as soon as I told them I was off to England, but I feel like the Mancunians have been rather hard done by. I can only presume those who describe it negatively haven’t been – I’ve thoroughly enjoyed telling people how wrong they are!
A historic hub
As the birthplace of the industrial revolution, Manchester should be considered one of the most significant cities in the world. I don’t think the majority of British people quite understand just how important Greater Manchester was to the development of their country. For those that are interested here’s a quick list of the things we have to thank Manchester for: the first economically successful canal, Richard Arkwright’s ‘waterframe’ which revolutionised the cotton industry and caused the city to flourish, the first steam powered mill, atomic theory (and the disproving of it by splitting the atom), James Watt’s steam engine and the world’s first intercity railway, the first computer, the contraceptive pill, and ironically, the world’s first test tube baby. It was also the spot where Charles Rolls met Henry Royce, who formed Rolls-Royce and set about creating the world’s finest motor cars. Bravo chaps.
Walking around the city with local historian, tour guide and author Jonathan Schofield, it’s bewildering how much history and impressive architecture there is to take in. His knowledge of this city is never ending, as he explains the significance behind the city’s most important landmarks including the Town Hall, John Ryland’s Library and Royal Exchange Theatre, formerly the city’s cotton exchange. One of my favourite buildings in the city was the one we started in, the former Midland Bank site designed by Edwin Lutyens, which just so happened to house our accommodation, Hotel Gotham. One of the city’s finest hotels and home to one of its top dining destinations, Honey Restaurant, Hotel Gotham opened its doors in 2015 and offers sumptuously appointed rooms and an unbeatable location for exploring the city.