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The outsider’s guide to… Manchester

Featured image by www.tecmark.co.uk

Here at Europcar we like to travel on our own terms, exploring some of the lesser known gems around Europe’s towns and cities. This month, we’re revving up the engine and heading to Manchester – the Northern city that’s packed with attractions.

If there’s one word to sum up the history of Manchester, it’s energy. From a booming centre of the industrial revolution to the birthplace of an iconic musical movement, the city has always buzzed with a vibrant, creative energy and an atmosphere like no other.

Nowadays the city and its surroundings are still buzzing and the best way to get a taste of the unique culture is by getting a set of wheels and exploring the area. So hire a car in Manchester and use our guide to start discovering some of the great sites around the city.

 

Image by Daniel Nisbet
Image by Daniel Nisbet

 

Hitting the slopes

Now we’re in the clutches of winter, all across Europe people are taking to the mountains. What has that got to do with a trip to Manchester I hear you ask? Well, a short way outside the city you’ll find the indoor ski and snowboard centre, Chill Factore. It’s the UK’s longest indoor ski slope and just a four mile drive from the city centre.

Seasoned skiers will love taking to the real-snow slope while taster sessions are available for those who are new to the sport. And for the times when your legs get a bit tired from all that time on the piste, the centre also has an Alpine-themed street with bars and restaurants which overlook the pristine slopes.

 

Image by Pew Pew Pew! Lasers!
Image by Pew Pew Pew! Lasers!

 

Step back in time

Hop in your hire car and head to nearby Stockport to discover one of the area’s most interesting historical attractions. Staircase House offers a glimpse into the rich history of the North of England, taking visitors through more than five-hundred years of life in the market town. The renovated Jacobean house offers a hands-on experience of the past.

State of the art audio guides will lead you through the many fascinating rooms and features, giving a comprehensive account of the long and interesting history of the house. It’s a story you can reach out and touch, and one that’ll have history-lovers enraptured.

 

Image by Stockport Council
Image by Stockport Council

 

Parklife

Imagine a location which packs loads of great attractions into one amazing place. That’s exactly what you can find at Heaton Park, around four miles from Manchester’s city centre. Grand historic buildings? Check. An animal centre full of cute critters? Check. An 18-hole championship golf course? Check. A packed programme of events, including some of the biggest and best outdoor concerts? Well…you get the idea.

Heaton Park is the sort of place you could spend an entire short break in Manchester. Driving out to the massive house and park reveals a host of great family entertainment year round, but for something special, keep an eye on the programme of events which are held at the venue. A big gig could easily be the focus of an exciting weekend in Manchester.

 

Image by Steve Garry
Image by Steve Garry

 

Hit the road and explore

One of Manchester’s best features is the city’s vibrant and exciting nightlife. The place is always buzzing and has a great range of restaurants, bars and clubs – everything from warm and welcoming to chic, stylish and achingly cool. One of the city’s other great features is its proximity to some of England’s most attractive areas. Why not combine both of these features during a stay in Manchester?

There’s nothing like hitting the open road and exploring some of the UK’s finest landscapes. With the city as your base you can explore fantastic areas such as the South Pennines, Yorkshire Moors and even the nearby peak district. You’ll find everything from fantastic country houses to great walks, packed with photo-opportunities.

 

Photo by Paul Wilkinson
Photo by Paul Wilkinson

 

After a day taking the sights, you can drive back into the city and prepare to make the most out of Manchester’s great nightlife. It’s the perfect mix of urban convenience and countryside fun.

What’s your top spot in Manchester?

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