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United on the cool front

United on the cool front

The adjectives "dank" and "depressing" used to go a long way here in Manchester. Today, you’re more likely to hear the words "dynamic" and "cosmopolitan." Manchester has come a long way from its industrial beginnings. Factories no longer dominate the commercial landscape, and smoke no longer fills the skyline. Instead you’ll find a center for the arts, media, higher education and of course, football (Go United !)

About United Kingdom

It’s easy to arrive here with a BritRail Pass and the four main train stations in the center of Manchester – Piccadilly, Victoria, Oxford Road and Deansgate. From London, it’s a bit over two hours, Liverpool is just about an hour and Glasgow a little over three hours. The city is actually the home of the very first passenger railway station. And the firsts don’t end there. This was the home of the first computer, the socialist and trade union movement (thanks to immigrants being used as factory workers) and the first public lending library.

The transformation of the city begins in Salford Quays at what is simply known as "The Lowry." This complex, named after L.S. Lowry, the painter of industrial scenes in North West England, “exists to enrich people’s lives and to contribute to the creative well-being of the people” according to the official website. Here you’ll find a combined theater and gallery complex, including a free museum dedicated to the painter alongside important loans from public and private collections around Britain.

The Trafford Centre, another transformative project that was the longest and most expensive in the history of the United Kingdom, is a large, indoor shopping center. Its size is so massive, it provided the setting for a daytime TV show on the BBC. The food court, called "The Orient" is home to a whopping 60 restaurants. You’ll also find plenty of popular shops including a four-storey Marks and Spencer.

On a more serious note, nearby you’ll find the Imperial War Museum North, which explores the impact of modern conflicts on people and society. The site overlooks the Manchester Ship Canal in Trafford Park, an area that was heavily bombed during the Manchester Blitz in 1940.

Need a rest ? The award-winning Heaton Park is one of the largest municipal parks in Europe, covering 610 acres of parkland. This is just one of over 130 open spaces within the city.

Manchester is well-known for football (soccer to us yanks.) You can tour the stadiums of both the United and City teams. United’s Old Trafford ground is the largest club in the UK, with a capacity of 76,000. Seeing a game here is an unbelievable spectacle and the fans, well, let’s just say they’re rather impassioned.

This can also be said about the city as a whole. Manchester started with the Romans and morphed into a morose industrial wasteland. Thanks to a passionate effort to turn this city into something special, Manchester has achieved an international reputation as a vibrant and dynamic destination. Lowry’s canvases be damned.

Manchester station(s)

Trains are convenient way to reach any town and city in Europe. All main towns have a railway station, while major cities have more than two railway stations. Nearly all railway stations are located in the city centre. Check our map to locate railway station(s) in Manchester.

Manchester city guide

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From our travel community

Reservation booked/tickets received transfer times are 5 min! Hi, I reserved and booked train tickets on rail europe already and found a few reservations I made with 5-6 min transfer! Is this enough time? What happens if I miss a transfer, can I just jump on the next one without buying another ticket? (...)

mlo878 | 15 February 2011 complete | 62 Comments
Manchester-leeds roundtrip, leeds-york roundtrip, leeds-london roundtrip, & london to paris on the eurostar? which pass should we (...) If I am traveling from Manchester to Leeds round trip, all-round trip from Leeds to York, Leeds to London, London to Paris on the Euro Star. Which pass should we buy or would individual tickets for each trip (...)

Yorkshire | 16 March 2008 complete | 2 Comments
Traveling in england with a britrail england pass - "reservations or no reservations, that is the question" I'll be traveling all about England for a few weeks and I wonder if I can just show up with a First Class Britrail England Pass for a senior and just get on any train going anywhere that strikes my (...)

Patrick Clark | 16 January 2009 complete | 10 Comments
Can you make specific seat requests when making reservatins on virgin trains for travel with a britrail (...) With a First Class Britrail Pass, does Virgin Trains allow type of seat requests such as individual vs. table seat or right side/window seat on the London-Edinburgh run?

Tamara Compton | 16 January 2013 complete | 2 Comments
United kingdom passes I am trying to figure out if trains in Northern Ireland are covered as part of any of the rail passes? What is the difference in the different Brit rail passess? I am planning on a trip that includes the following travel days: Day 1 Holyhead (...)

Carla Lockwood | 15 August 2012 complete | 1 Comments

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Customer reviews

  • Lovely station-nice journey |
    "We reached Euston well in time , only to realize that it was a good decision . Enjoyed our cuppa coffee and lunch in the nice sunny weather. The journey to Manchester was nice and comfortable and value for money. Getting my tickets printed at the station was a breeze.... "

  • Value for money
    London To Manchester |
    "A virgin ride on the train "

  • Smooth journey |
    "Smooth journey from Manchester to London. Train on time. "

  • Value for money
    Take the Train |
    "It's clean, comfortable, and a smooth ride. The service on board is good. Watching the fields, and towns go by with ease. A pleasant experience. The train arrived on time. "

  • Value for money
    "Very good "

  • Value for money
    Tons of luggage but no space |
    "I had my very first experience with RAILeurope. It was easy to navigate at the train station with luggage and easy instruction by the information counter officer. However, had a lot of difficulty to carry out big luggage up to the train. We bought this big luggage because we were heading to london then to paris before we head home to Singapore. Lucky thing, we had a 63year old man in our tour group to help us load those luggage. And the best part was, the train manager in the coach was kind enough to give us the space to put our luggage at the side of their bar. Overall, it was satisfying experience, thank you train manager and RAILeurope. "

  • Value for money
    71 year old couple |
    "The 9.34am from Zurich on a Friday was crowded but comfortable. Travelling at up to 199MPH, and punctual, it enabled us to travel from Zurich to Manchester in one day. Pretty good. We had come from Budapest to Vienna and Vienna to Zurich via the Arlberg pass earlier in the week with a full day in both Vienna and Zurich. Good hotels near the main stations. A great journey home by rail ! Only East Coast let us down ! "

  • Value for money
    Good but expensive  |
    "Thank you "

  • Value for money
    My trip to Manchester |
    "Good. The train is comfortable. "

  • Value for money
    Good Job |
    "Very helpful staff during purchasing group tix tho not managed to resolve the issue. Had to procure it elsewhere. Should look into it. Otherwise the trip itself is excellent. We had a wonderful journey. Thank you. "

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