Greater Manchester, England July 2014

by Emma Bumpus on August 6, 2014

An explosion of architecture, art and entertainment present an overwhelmingly slick city break slice of culture and rich Lancashire heritage to careertraveller and family in the North of England.

Dazzled by canals, red-bricked warehouses and images of the artist LS Lowry’s famous chimneys and matchstick people we enter a land of history whose buildings echo antiquity and soul within a community that exudes regeneration.

First stop, The Lowry Hotel, we unravel the celebrated Northern spirit that radiates warmth, sincerity and first class hospitality, wrapped up in a classy curved glass encased structure.

Encircled by excitingly old and new buildings above the picturesque River Irwell, style, colour and design becomes a clear feature of the Chapel Wharf Development, which introduces an invigorating urban hustle and bustle associated with redevelopment.

Alfresco waterside views from the notably award winning River Bar and Grill restaurant delivers a bespoke vista of the famous Calatrava Trinity Bridge that marks the Salford-Manchester boundary. Unique!

A fashionably chic lobby decked with Emily Young’s stone head sculptures at the base of a glittering staircase lead the eye to a trail of contemporary Comme Ca Art Ltd pieces, which at destination ‘fourth floor’ rather poignantly reveals a display of contemporary LS Lowry prints by local artists. Lovely!

Every corner of this hotel communicates and connects Greater Manchester’s history in the form of, detail, texture and warmth, from the eminent Olga Chair to VIP dolce boudoir family goodies.

Crisp white bathrooms adorned with LS Lowry’s eminent “Two Men Fishing” print, alongside sumptuous fluffy bathrobes and nourishing REN skincare delights reinforces why The Lowry has an abundance of accolades including “Best Hotel” in the Downtown in Manchester – City of Manchester Awards, won in both 2013 and 2014.

48 hours in this trendy waterfront location beckons The Quays, a super stylish ‘square mile’ destination of entertainment, sport, culture with plethora of eateries surrounded by stunning architecture.

A hop on board Manchester Cruises delivers a tender 45-minute historical insight to Salford via the ship canal, whose sights expose Unlocking Salford Quays, a local community sculpture trail of five highly commendable artistic monuments.

Where The Wild Things Were presents giant steel elephant blades of grass representing far away destinations of past ships with a steel base engraved with imaginative drawings produced by local children. This ingenious heritage funded project proudly honours the women factory girls during the Second World War, dockers’ families and Nine Dock, once Manchester’s largest port.

Sparkling MediaCityUK symbolises a 21st century renaissance of iconic landmarks, stimulating economic development, employment and a rich cultural heritage that proudly celebrates it’s past, present and future.

Decorative Trafford Road and Millenium foot bridges paint modernisation of the ship canal since the 19th century with a commercial resurgence, awarding Greater Manchester a 21st century first class tourist destination.

Glitzy harbourside apartments alongside the alluring Lowry Retail Outlet shopping oasis, Old Trafford Manchester United Football Club and impressive ITV and BBC studios, provides panoramic eye candy to an assortment of like minded tourists and locals!

The Imperial War Museum (IWM North) is the careertraveller favourite with a knockout aluminium jagged shape building symbolising the effects of war. Designed by internationally acclaimed architect Daniel Libeskind, whose recent project has focused on Ground Zero in New York, we enter a fragmented globe with three interlocking shards, all 55 metres high with 180 steps. The elements of land, air and water take Greater Manchester to new heights with euphoric skyline vistas above a revitalising metropolis. Stunning!

We enter an evocative creative space of technology, science, and war, which educates through the senses of sight, touch, feel and play. Marvellously arranged exhibition spaces facilitate time travel from the First World War to present day with an arresting digital surround sound 360-degree Big Picture Show that commemorates WW1.

We experience the haunting effects of war and it’s impact on human lives in cinematic form and feel privileged to have stepped into a unique century classroom of the 21st century! From tanks and artillery to Trade Centre steel frame, it is no surprise IWM North has won more than 30 awards since opening in 2002!

A breeze past the ship-like Lowry art and entertainment centre is a show-stopping introduction to one of the most visited cultural destinations in the North West. Quayside, this hub of regeneration is an incubator for artists and exhibitions, a platform for performing arts AND a tribute to the artist LS Lowry.

Our grand finale comes in the form of the legendary LEGOLAND Discovery Centre, a pleasure dome of rides, 4D cinema, LEGO building and interactive Brick- a-Brack Factory Tour that ignites the inner child!

After a spot of LEGO sightseeing with Professor Brick- a-Brack and singalong session in the LEGO Friends karaoke lounge, we high five in the Merlin’s Apprentice as we pedal through gravity! A stroll around MINILAND is an inspirational North of England pilgrimage brimming with iconic landmark’s from The Cavern in Liverpool to The Blackpool Tower.

Greater Manchester is a treasure trove of sights and delights with an addictive energy and revival that most deservedly belongs on the careertraveller roadmap. One trip will never be enough!

Special thanks to The Lowry Hotel for a luxuriously friendly snapshot of Greater Manchester in all it’s glory. Details of the hotel can be found by clicking on the following The Lowry Hotel.

A huge applause for The Quays and LEGOLAND Discovery Centre whose websites can be found below:
The Quays
LEGOLAND Discovery Centre

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