We have launched our daily tour: “Welcome to Manchester” which will start at 10.45am by the Visitor Centre in Piccadilly Gardens.
The idea is to offer to the visitor (or curious local) a unique tour of the capital of the North. We will go that little bit further into the city’s history.
* Piccadilly Gardens where we show pictures of the Infirmary that once graced the square and a reminder of the gardens at their most beautiful (left).
* Through to the centre of Piccadilly Plaza, a concrete citadel built with Cold War connotations.
* Chinatown – how it arose by accident after the city’s plans to create a dense zone of 50-storey tower blocks fell asunder.
* Into the Portico Library to marvel at the Bohemian bookishness.
* Onto the Art Gallery to discuss the key painting: Work, so aptly at home in a city built on work.
* Across to Central Library to explain how this Pantheon-like structure was inspired by Rome’s St Peter’s Basilica in honour of the demolished St Peter’s Church in St Peter’s Square.
* Over to the Midland Hotel to hear how Rolls met Royce.
* Along to the Free Trade Hall/Radisson, Manchester’s most important building historically.
* Over to the Hidden Gem church to admire some of the greatest modern religious paintings in existence.
* Finishing off at the glorious Gothic of the Town Hall for lunch (optional, natch).
So, new to the city or just looking to be refreshed at parts you have reached before, “Welcome to Manchester” is the ideal walk, a taster, a teaser, a trip through town on a timeless tourist trail.
It’s a best of everything, taking in the old and the new, the ancient and the artful, the glamorous and the glorious.
* The tour has been devised by official Manchester tour guide Ed Glinert, author of Penguin’s Manchester Compendium and the forthcoming Manchester Encyclopaedia.
It’s the perfect welcome or welcome back to the 21st century city.