10 things to do in Manchester

love it!’s PAUL CARTER visits the UK’s party capital Manchester, recently voted the number one place to live in Britain by the Global Liveability Survey. Here are his top 10 things to see and do…

1. MIDLAND HOTEL Opened in 1903, this grand Edwardian hotel is the city’s most luxurious place to stay. It boasts a pool, Jacuzzi, sauna, gym and squash court as well as two quite outstanding restaurants.

2. MUSIC TOURS Hop on the Manchester Music Tours bus, run by Inspiral Carpets drummer Craig Gill, to be guided around the old haunts of classic Manchester bands such as The Smiths, Oasis, Stone Roses, Joy Division and many more.

3. MR COOPER’S Overseen by Simon Rogan of L’enclume, this is one of the city’s premier eateries boasting dishes such as halibut baked in cabbage leaves.

4. THE NORTHERN QUARTER Take a trip to the boho hipster capital of Britain. Visit record stores, vintage clothing shops, funky art galleries, and bars serving anything from craft ale to cocktails. Ladies, if you like men with beards, you’ll love it here!

5. BRIDGEWATER CRUISES See Manchester by boat and book yourself on a two-hour cruise of the Bridgewater Canal, complete with afternoon tea. You’ll pass Britain’s oldest canal, see the first steam railway line, and marvel at the stunning Barton Aqueduct.

6. THE JOHN RYLANDS LIBRARY Completed in 1899, this late-Victorian neo-Gothic building has an amazing literary collection that includes the earliest New Testament bible, medieval illuminated manuscripts, and letters from luminaries like Elizabeth Gaskell.

7. SPINNINGFIELDS If the Northern Quarter is hipster, this place is high-end. Dress to impress at Flannels and a host of other designer stores before downing a cocktail or two at the swanky Manchester House. There’s a dog-themed flea market once a month for all you mutt lovers.

8. MIDLAND SPA If you fancy a pampering, where better than the city’s most luxurious spa? With amazing facials and massage treatments plus packages that start from £49, this is the place to go.

9. CORN EXCHANGE This Edwardian building, built in 1903, was originally a trading floor. Now it’s a foodie paradise with more than a dozen restaurants. The pick of the bunch is Pho, serving the best value Vietnamese food in the city.

10. ESCAPE ROOM A must for a family trip, the Escape Room is an interactive real-life escape game in which you’re locked in a room with two to six people and have 60 minutes to get out.