Posted October 7, 2022

Get To Know Manchester: The UK’s New Capital Of Cool


We can’t wait to introduce you to our newest destination: Manchester. This magnetic English city owns its industrial past — with a modern edge. There are an endless number of things to do in Manchester, from gigs and galleries to craft breweries and vintage shopping. With Kimpton Clocktower Hotel as your base, Manchester’s electric energy tempts you to hit the streets and explore.

What To Do In Manchester

You’ll find most of the top attractions in Manchester right in the city center. Take a short stroll to admire striking examples of Neo-Gothic architecture, including Manchester Town Hall, the John Rylands Library and Manchester Cathedral.

You’ll want to add Manchester Pride to your list of things to do, since the annual August festival is one of the most popular pride parades in the world. Soccer fan or not, watching the famed Manchester United football club play at Old Trafford Stadium is also a must.

Step back in time at the Historic Reading Room at The John Rylands Library. Photo Credit: The John Rylands Library, University of Manchester.

Best Museums & Art Galleries

If you missed the Man U match, a visit to the National Football Museum should tide you over—it’s considered the world’s premier sports museum. Another must-see is Manchester Museum, which has a diverse mix of 4.5 million ancient objects on display, dating back centuries and spanning all seven continents. For lovers of a more visual medium, the top art galleries in town are Manchester Art Gallery and The Whitworth.

There’s something for everyone at the Manchester Museum. Photo Credit: @globewanderingfamily

Where To Eat In Manchester

The food scene in Manchester is exploding, from buzzing food halls like Grub and Mackie Mayor to the avant-garde, Michelin-starred Mana. One of the best-loved spots is our very own Refuge restaurant, with its elegant decor and eclectic, international menu. Try the Hip Hop Chip Shop for a funky take on a classic fish and chips or grab a coveted slice of Neapolitan pizza from Rudy’s.

You haven’t had fish & chips like this before. Photo Credit: Michael Barrow Photography.

Manchester’s Best Bars & Breweries

We have to admit, we love quirky, unusual bars. An unassuming laundromat conceals our favorite speakeasy, The Washhouse. Browse the extensive list of pours at Salut wine bar or have The Alchemist’s bartenders mix you a whimsical cocktail or two. Manchester’s craft beer scene is also (dare we say it) hopping. Try local cult favorites like Alphabet and Runaway Brewery or visit the warm, inviting Seven Bro7hers pub in trendy Ancoats.

We’re sure you’ll find a bottle you like with this selection. Photo Credit: Salut Wines.

Top Venues For Live Music

Major music names who got their start in Manchester include the Bee Gees, The Smiths, New Order and Oasis. No big deal, right? See emerging acts before they make it big at Soup Kitchen or head to beloved Band on the Wall for live gigs ranging from rock to reggae. Right around the corner from Kimpton Clocktower Hotel, newcomer Yes is already attracting cutting-edge talent night after night.

Where To Shop In Manchester

Start by browsing the stunning selection of record stores in the Northern Quarter—our top picks are Eastern Bloc and Piccadilly Records. Head to Cow, Retro Rehab, or Pop Boutique for the best vintage shopping in Manchester. For more unique souvenirs, support local makers with a visit to Manchester Craft and Design Centre, where you can shop for handmade wares directly from various artists’ studios.

How To Find The Best Street Art

One of our favorite things to do in Manchester is admire the street art, especially around the Northern Quarter and Ancoats neighborhoods. Look for ‘Mr. Smith’s Dream’ hidden in a wall on Copperas Street, the colorful bird ‘Guardian of Ancoats’ and the moving ‘22 Bees’ memorial mural.

The Kimpton Clocktower Hotel is the perfect spot to unwind after a day exploring Manchester.

The Mancunian worker bee is a beloved symbol of the city, so you’ll notice that local street artists love to tag small bees all over town. We even worked with noted UK textile designer Timorous Beasties to incorporate this surprising motif into our room designs. At first glance, the floral-patterned pillows in each guest room feel distinctly classic. Take a closer look to see how Timorous Beasties added the modern worker bee as graphic pop art.

There’s more to discover at Kimpton Clocktower Hotel. To see it all, you’ll just have to meet us in Manchester.


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