Full of history and charm; visit Manchester for your next city break

Regenerated and reenergised, Manchester is a city proud of its heritage but firmly focused on the future. Our Crowden Club Site is located in the beautiful surroundings of the Peak District yet it is only 16 miles east of Manchester. In less than an hour, you could be enjoying some of these fantastic activities and attractions listed below. Once you reach Manchester, there’s no need to walk; the city’s Metroshuttle initiative provides a free service which links most parts of the city centre by bus.

Imperial War Museum North

IWM North is the only one of the five branches of the Imperial War Museum that is located outside the south east. It occupies a site by the Manchester Ship Canal. Architect Daniel Libeskind designed the building which first opened its doors in 2002, well under its £40 million budget. The museum’s permanent displays include exhibits such as a captured ex-Iraqi army tank, an American Harrier jet and the First World War 13-pounder field gun which is thought to have fired the British Army’s first shot in the conflict. The walls of the museum’s gallery are used for projections of war-related themes, displaying some of the 1500 images in the Imperial War Museum’s comprehensive archives. Many of its displays aim to reflect the social impact of war, telling the stories of those who lived through conflicts or exploring the impact rationing had on fashion.

Museum of Science and Industry

Unquestionably the museum is one of the city’s top attractions and its absorbing, interactive exhibits will bring out the inner scientist in everyone. The collection emphasises the role Manchester has played in the country’s achievements in these fields. Located on the site of the city’s first railway, the Liverpool and Manchester Railway, visitors can ride a restored steam train most weekends and holidays.  There are also a number of aircraft on display, several locomotives, the last steam engine ever built to power a mill and the Manchester Small Scale Experimental Machine (Baby), which was the world’s first stored-program computer.

Legoland Discovery Centre

Fans of the iconic Danish building blocks will be pleased to learn that the Legoland Discovery Centre has been open in Manchester since 2010. There’s much to entertain the kids, whether it’s on the interactive Kingdom Quest laser ride or the chance to learn some Lego building secrets from the Master Model Builder. The Miniland exhibit will have all the family playing along as you attempt to identify the landmarks that feature in miniature. (Clue: one of them is an Eiffel-like construction found in a nearby seaside town.) And even if you don’t have kids, you don’t have to miss out – the centre hosts regular adults-only evenings where you can indulge your passion with other like-minded individuals.

The Lowry

L.S. Lowry was a Lancashire artist best known for his detailed paintings of industrial North West England. The Lowry in Salford houses the largest public collection of paintings by the artist, with over 400 works of art for display. When he died in 1976 he held the record for the most rejected British honours, having turned down a knighthood in 1968, so the gallery is a fitting tribute to the man who was too modest to accept the accolades he so richly deserved. His style is instantly recognisable, with urban landscapes liberally littered with human figures popularly referred to as matchstick men. His work even spawned a pop song; in 1978 Brian and Michael released the catchy “Matchstalk Men and Matchstalk Cats and Dogs” which soared to Number One in the charts.


Manchester’s Chinatown is second in the UK only to London and features a traditional Ming Dynasty Imperial Arch which was a gift from China in 1987. Chinese migrants first settled in the city over a hundred years ago although it wasn’t until after World War Two that the number reached a significant level. Initially, the Chinese worked in the city’s laundries but following the opening of Ping Hong restaurant on Mosley Street in 1948, many moved into the catering trade. Today, it is the area’s many eateries that draw visitors, though you won’t be disappointed if you come a little early and slot in a visit to the Centre for Chinese Contemporary Art as well.

Elizabeth Gaskell’s House

Elizabeth Gaskell was a prolific and popular writer. She was responsible for classics such as North and South, which tackled the issue of working conditions in the northern mills from a southerner’s perspective and the equally popular Cranford, thought to be loosely based on the town of Knutsford where Gaskell once lived. These have both been successfully adapted for television, bringing her work to a wider audience. The author’s home in Manchester’s Plymouth Grove is open to the public, its beautifully restored period rooms waiting to be viewed. There’s also a tea room and, of course, a book shop.

Old Trafford and the National Football Museum

For many years, the city of Manchester has been synonymous with world-class football. For United fans, a visit to Old Trafford is the ultimate pilgrimage. A backstage tour will take you to the Sir Alex Ferguson Stand, named in honour of the club’s most efficacious manager, as well as into the players’ dressing room. If that’s not enough – or you’re a City fan – then you’ll want to visit the National Football Museum which moved to the Urbis building in 2012. Its collection of football memorabilia will satisfy even the most die-hard fans.

Camping in Manchester

Manchester’s industrial heritage and plethora of visitor attractions make this a great choice for a city break. This vibrant and cosmopolitan city is guaranteed to offer you a warm welcome. Our Crowden Club Site is open from 31st March-6th November, why not reserve a pitch there and see Manchester for yourself?

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