Manchester is a very exciting blend of the old and the new. It achieved fame as the birthplace of the industrial revolution - many of its best districts bear the remnants of this history. For example the ever-popular Northern Quarter, which occupies the once disused cotton mills and factories of the city’s industrial past. It is now home to an exciting variety of independent shops, bars and restaurants, and is dotted with vibrant street art. There is ample scope for cultural exploration here - a range of galleries, museums and many, many venues for both music and theatre. Manchester is the home of many world-famous bands, such as Oasis and The Smiths. There is still a vibrant scene of up-and-coming musicians to this day. Another defining attribute of the city is Football (Soccer, to Americans). Manchester is home to two world-class football clubs, namely Manchester United and Manchester City. Watching a football game live is a great way to get a feel for the beloved sport. The iconic Old Trafford and Etihad stadiums also offer tours of their grounds - and the city is host to the National Football Museum. There are also few better places in the country for a night out on the town - offering everything from gritty independent bars in the Northern Quarter to rooftop cocktails in settings that just ooze class. Manchester is an incredible city all on its own but is also a fantastic staging point for the rest of your northern English travels - with easy access to cities such as York and Liverpool, and to beautiful and scenic national parks like the Lake District.