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Manchester and the Surrounding Area

Manchester is a lively cosmopolitan city in the northwest of England with a population of nearly 3 million and it has an extensive motorway and rail network. It is situated 200 miles north of London and 120 miles south of Carlisle, which is on the Scottish border.

It has an international airport that serves over 200 cities worldwide. The airport rail station is adjacent to Terminal 1 and there is a frequent service directly into the centre of Manchester. The city offers an enviable mix of multicultural attractions. There is something for everyone: theatres; restaurants to suit all tastes; music venues for classical through to pop music; sporting events; pubs and clubs. Within comfortable driving distance there is beautiful surrounding countryside including national parks such as the Peak District, the Lake District, the Yorkshire Dales and Snowdonia. We hope you will find opportunities to relax in the area before, during and after the PowerTech event.

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Cultural Activities

Manchester is a city with a rich social life and there are various cultural activities which can be enjoyed in Manchester and the surrounding areas. There is a thriving and vibrant restaurant and bar scene and something to do every night.

There are numerous theatres to enjoy and cultural venues such as Home a cinema and restaurant complex in the heart of Manchester. If you want to sample some more independent bars and restaurants you could head to the Northern Quarter or for a different style of evening, Spinningfields is the place to sample some of the finest restaurants that Manchester has to offer.

A Quick Coffee or a Cocktail

For a more subdued evening  or for a quiet drink or bite to eat,  there are some really great venues in the city. The newly refurbished Palace Hotel promises to be a stunning venue and is close to the conference venue on Oxford Road. The Central Library is an architectural beauty as well as a quiet space to work, talk,  think and drink a coffee. Just across the road from the Library,  there is The Midland Hotel, one of the nicest buildings in Manchester which has a coffee lounge and a world class restaurant. All of these are within 10 minutes walking distance from the main conference venue.

Visiting Manchester with a Family

If you are coming with your family or partner then there are some great museums in and around Manchester and some stunning parks just outside the city centre all accessible by bus, tram or train. All transport in and around the Manchester Area can be planned using the  Transport for Greater Manchester Journey planner.


For shopping,  head to the Trafford Centre open until late in the evening,  (bus 250 from outside the Business School), or head into Manchester Piccadilly on most buses from the University to Market Street and the Arndale Centre . You could also try the Northern Quarter for more independent boutiques.

Sites of Importance in Manchester

In 1830 the Liverpool and Manchester Railway opened, and the first steam passenger service, primarily locomotive-hauled, began. The line proved the viability of rail transport. Large scale railway construction started in Britain, then spread throughout the world, beginning the Railway Age.

Chetham’s Library in Manchester is the oldest free public reference library in the United Kingdom.  Chetham’s Hospital, which contains both the library and Chetham’s School of Music, was established in 1653 under the will of Humphrey Chetham (1580–1653), for the education of “the sons of honest, industrious and painful parents”, and a library for the use of scholars. The library has been in continuous use since 1653. It operates as an independent charity, open to readers and visitors free of charge. The hours of operation are Monday through Friday from 9am-12:30pm and 1:30pm-4:30pm. Anyone can access the library, however readers and researchers must make an appointment at least one business day in advance.