In truth, few cities encapsulate British life better than Manchester. The northern powerhouse has history stuffed into its back pockets and innovation in its eyes. This is where the British became international industrial powerhouses, where the hard graft of the people became recognised and rewarded for the first time. The warehouses and factories tell their own stories.
But this is also a city that stands ahead of the country in sporting terms, not least in football. Manchester United dominated the first 20 years of the Premier League, and Manchester City look fit to do the same over the next decade. Two thirds of Premier League titles have come to Lancashire (13 for Utd, four for City, one for the mighty Blackburn Rovers). This place is sporting mad and has the success to show for it.
And what of the cultural impact of the city? How would the ‘80s and ‘90s have looked if Manchester hadn’t evolved the way it did? This is Madchester, a city that parties long and parties hard but still manages to get into work the next day. Music is heard in every corridor of the city, and the list of native superstars backs that up. We’re talking Elbow, Chemical Brothers, Lamb and all the rest.
Add some of the city’s best restaurants, the best collection of museums in the north and some quite sumptuous cafes, and you’ve got something special. This is Manchester after all, they do things differently here…