1. World Class University and Schools
Wonderful selection of educational institutions. If you wish to study for a degree we have the highly acclaimed University of Manchester. This is a university with an astounding heritage and wide range of courses to choose from.
If you are coming to learn English, the Communicate School of English is a fine choice. The central location and friendly atmosphere have garnered high praise from students.
2. Very Cool and Eclectic Nighlife
Manchester is second only to London when it comes to nightlife choices. However if you are a clubber like me, you will notice more vibrant atmospheres up north, a view shared by many. There is a massive student population, so finding cheap bars filled with other students is very easy.
The city features a fantastic array of night clubs, from deep dark basements playing the most underground beats, to more mainstream offerings. Along the Manchester Canal next to the GMEX Centre is a good place to look for these plush mainstream clubs. Check out the flyers on the walls of trendy Afflecks Palace for more underground parties.
For a more sedate night out the Bridgewater Hall (pictured) is a building which we are all proud of. This stunning piece of architecture features a great range of events. The upcoming Christmas carol event is particularly popular.
3. Excellent Shopping Options
Manchester has one of the best malls in Europe and some of the trendiest boutique shops imaginable. Travel south west from the city centre and 15 minutes away lies the Trafford Centre. This spectacular mall is a no expense spared kind of place. It was sold for £1.65 billion in 2011. Events can be held in the centre of the food court, the cinema is first class and the shops seem to go on forever.
A Manchester institution is Afflecks Palace, which is where I used to spend much of my youth, browsing through vintage second hand clothing. It also features many small unique boutique shops selling a strange and wonderful collection of items. There are more boutique shops worth checking out in the surrounding area nicknamed the Northern Quarter.
Manchester city centre does have the Arndale Centre, but this is a rather old mall which has seen better days. However west of this building has grown rapidly in recent times thanks to massive investment after the 1996 IRA bombing (don’t worry there is almost zero chance of this happening again.) This has helped spawn an excellent array of shopping choices from bargains to luxury brands.
4. Unique Manchester Culture
This broader post attempts to quickly skim the surface of Manchester’s culture. Musically the city is home to some of the biggest and best bands the world has seen. From the cult status of Joy Division, to the influential The Smiths, to the trendy Stone Roses, to the mega pop band Take That.
Manchester just seems to be a melting pot of creative musical talent. You will also find the city influences modern dance music, although to a lesser degree than London. Besides music the city has many art galleries worth visiting and some rather unique art inspired events to keep an eye out for.
Manchester is home to over 50 museums. Since a child my favourite has always been the Museum of Science and Industry, but you will certainly be able to find your own favourite with such a wide selection to choose from.
5. Easy Transport Options and Access to Countryside
Being the second city of England you would expect nightmare traffic. However Manchester is really quite easy to get around. Unlike London there is no charge to drive into the city centre, however the tram system is not quite as comprehensive as London’s Underground.
The Manchester Metrolink is a tram system which allows many to avoid the roads. These trams go right through the city centre, literally dropping you off outside of museums or shops.
There is also a well linked railway service which offers you the opportunity to get to the airport, travel to London or Scotland, or visit the countryside. Manchester is not too far from some great scenery. For example head south east for an hour and you can visit the rolling Pennine hills and valleys. Quaint villages such as Castleton (pictured) in the Peak District National Park make a great day out and escape from the bustling city.
6. Student Resources and Local History
Studying in Manchester gives you access to all sorts of resources. This includes well stocked libraries such as the Central Library (pictured). This historic building was recently refurbished. We can find most resources online these days but a stay in Manchester as a student would not be complete without a visit to this library.
If you are studying history or English, you should find that the local history is fascinating. From the birth of the Manchester Ship Canal to the Industrial Revolution to the music scene. A superb day out is a visit to the Quarry Bank Mill in Styal, 30 minutes to the south of the city centre, where you can enjoy lovely countryside plus learn about the way the cotton industry used to operate.
Manchester has a little of everything, without becoming overwhelming like larger cities.
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- #Peggygate: West Elm offers full refunds for the notoriously disintegrating Peggy Couch days after pulling it from its website and stores👏