Manchester, one of the UK's larges cities, lies at the heart of the County of Greater Manchester.
The settlement was founded 2000 years ago by the future Roman Emperor Agricola, who built a fortress named Mamucium (meaning 'breast-shaped hill') after the distinctive shape of the rocky outcrop on which it stood.
It wasn't until the 18th century that Manchester came to world-wide prominence as the birthplace of the Industrial Revolution.
The area saw the rapid growth of factories producing mechandise for the textile industry and it remained preminent until the 1950's, when foreign imports devasted the cotton industry.
Manchester's wealthy past means that it is home to many architectural showpieces, including its greatest monument the Manchester Town Hall, a neo-Gothic masterpiece, built in 1877.
Manchester's recent regeneration, especially following the 1996 IRA bombing of the city centre, has resulted in many striking modern buildings such as Urbis and some stunning conversions of older buildings including the Corn Exchange and G-Mex.
Because of its central position with the UK the city is a great base for tourism.
Within one hour's drive are three national parks: the Peak District, the Lake District and Snowdonia. Many seaside towns are also within a hour's journey as are the cities of Lancaster, York, Chester and Liverpool.
Manchester's compact city centre is less than one mile in diameter and within this and the surrounding area are a number of distinct area with a real mix of leisure facilities and shopping areas.
Towns Near Manchester To Visit - straight line distance:Salford (2.02 miles) Old Trafford (2.46 miles) Trafford (3.23 miles) Stretford (3.75 miles)