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Top Rated Attractions in Manchester

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The John Rylands Library

John Rylands Library, built during the 1890s, is widely considered to be one of the finest examples of modern Gothic architecture in the country. It houses many rare books and very early manuscripts (both religious and secular) within its stately, imposing interior. On entering, it feels as though one is being transported into a tranquil, well-kept Mancunian secret, with its superb paneling and furniture in Polish oak and bronze art nouveau metalwork. Regular exhibitions and displays highlighting aspects of the library's various collections are held, in addition to guided tours.

Old Trafford

Old Trafford, nicknamed "Theater of Dreams," is a famous football (soccer) ground located in Greater Manchester. Opened in 1910, it is home to the celebrated Manchester United Football Club. It has been the setting for prestigious tournaments like the FIFA World Cup, Euro 96 and the 2003 UEFA Champions League Final. The venue was chosen to host nine football matches for the 2012 London Olympic Games. Apart from football, games like shinty, baseball and cricket have also been played here. Legendary artists like Bon Jovi and Bruce Springsteen have hosted their concerts at Old Trafford. The space is also rented out for private events and functions like weddings and Christmas parties. Tourists can be a part of the regular stadium tours arranged here.

Victoria Baths

Currently being restored to its former glory, this building is no ordinary swimming pool with its opulent stained glass windows, mosaic floors, Turkish Baths and glass block pavements. Opened in 1906 with no expense spared in its construction, the municipal baths were considered the most splendid in the country, and the scale and extravagance is indeed magnificent. Historical displays and archive film allow you to see the Baths as they were, while family-friendly activities and guided tours make for a really interesting visit which can be rounded off with refreshments in the cafe. The baths are open for tours and also are used as an entertainment venue for certain events.

Lyme Park

Lyme Park is a beautiful, National Trust estate and deer park with panoramic views over much of Manchester and the Peak District. The Elizabethan hall and its gardens were even featured in the BBC production of Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice as Mr Darcy's residence. There are themed tours around the hall during the summer and a wonderfully old-fashioned coffee shop that serves cream teas at reasonable prices. Look to the top of the hill and you will also see Lyme Cage, a castle-like building that is said to contain a secret underground passage running from Lyme to Bramall Hall.

Manchester Cathedral

Located in the midst of the city center, this famed cathedral is the seat of the Bishop of Manchester. Awash in spectacular Gothic elements, Manchester Cathedral has been altered over time and is now a monumental chronicle of Manchester's storied, religious past. The limestone floor is complemented by sandstone walls, while the varicolored, Victorian stained glass windows allow light to stream into the hallowed interiors. The bells are still as imposing as ever, while wooden furnishings greatly underline the architectural splendor of the cathedral. Complete with decadent chapels, medieval choir stalls and a wood-paneled nave roof upheld by gilded angels, this cathedral also houses treasured relics like the "Angel Stone," a preserved carving of an angel which dates back to 700 CE.

Samlesbury Hall

Samlesbury Hall is a majestic manor house, dating back to the 14th Century. Born out of the imagination of Gilbert de Southworth, this historic house welcomes visitors who wish to learn about its legacy and history. It also doubles up as an event space for concerts, exhibitions, functions, weddings, receptions and theatrical acts.

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