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Greater Manchester

Benjamin Disraeli argued that “what Manchester does today, the rest of the world does tomorrow,” while Stuart Maconie reckons, “Manchester has fancied itself rotten for as long as anyone can remember”.  It was Manchester that gave rise to socialism and the Suffragettes; it was here that Marx cooked up the Communist Manifesto.

Wildly ambitious, Manchester was the original industrial city, once the largest centre of manufacturing in the world. This is not the kind of past that a city forgets. Go into its museums and you’ll find the evidence: their collections are among the best in Britain. But before you write this off as just history, think on. The Whitworth balances historic exhibitions with contemporary commissions.

The Royal Exchange makes some of the UK’s best new theatre within its Victorian surrounds. And Manchester International Festival takes  inspiration from Manchester’s past, but merges music, art and performance in entirely new ways. Manchester today is a mish-mash of old and new, and of industry and creativity. “Manchester has become a model of the post-industrial city, just as it was the model of the industrial city,” says writer Jonathan Schofield. So while this is a city with a past, Manchester has its eyes on the future. The joy of visiting today is that, without too much effort, you get to experience a slice of both.

Visa requirements

From April 10, 2014, it will not be possible to obtain a visa on arrival in Turkey. Travellers heading to Turkey after that date will need to apply for an online e-visa ahead of departure. For more information, click here.

Car hire

Unless you are very experienced, you’d be ill-advised to hire a car as accidents are frequent (with drivers trying to make up for hours stuck in jams with crazy bursts of speed), signposting is poor and parking difficult.