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Manchester, England, Things to Do – Attractions & Must See

Manchester Things to Do

For those who want a taste of history mixed with modern sights, England is often a preferred destination. With museums, public parks, and more, there is no shortage of things to do in Manchester.

Manchester Cathedral

This is a must-see stop for tourists who love architecture and history. It is located near Harvey Nichols, Urbis, and Victoria Station.

Designated a cathedral in 1847, the Manchester Cathedral actually dates back to the 1400s. Before that, there was an Anglo-Saxon church on the site, and an “Angel Stone” remains displayed as a remnant of that first church.

Touring the cathedral takes visitors through a series of renovations that represent different eras. Much of the medieval structure remains, while other Victorian touches have been added. There are even more modern replacements for the windows, coming from Anthony Holloway in the mid-20th century.

This location is still in use for services, and lucky visitors may even get to hear a choir practicing as they wander.

Museums and Tours

Manchester boasts a number of prominent museums and tours, including the Museum of Science and Industry, the John Rylands Library, and, of course, the Manchester Museum.

For fans of technology, The Science and Industry Museum is a popular stop. From the reconstruction of a Victorian textile factory with original looms and equipment, to the aircraft and cars section, to the train and big machinery section, visitors have plenty to see. There are always science-related exhibits going on, so it’s worth checking their information to plan ahead.

The John Ryland Library opened in 1900 in memory of its namesake. This impressive collection of manuscripts dating back to 2000 BCE offers weekly tours and free admission. It’s hard to miss, standing in the city’s center inside a building of Victorian Gothic architecture.

Manchester Museum is Manchester’s main museum devoted to history and natural history. There are many different sections to explore, so it’s best to get a guide pamphlet to plan your trip. The highlight for many people at this location might be the Natural History section, including a giant dinosaur skeleton.

Piccadilly Gardens

A favorite place to sit with an iced tea or milkshake, Piccadilly Gardens is located in Central Manchester on Market Street, just a few minutes’ walk from Piccadilly Train Station. Following the IRA bombs in 1997, the gardens were regenerated in 2001 into a series of fountains and seating areas. There is a Metrolink station right at the side of the gardens, with many coffee shops and food outlets around the edge of the square. Piccadilly Gardens is also home to the Queen Victoria, Robert Peel, and Duke of Wellington statues.

Be aware: This location can get crowded in the summer months.

Editor’s note: The information contained on this page was compiled using real traveler reviews about things to do in Manchester.

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