Published on August 16th, 20121
2012 Canal Festival – Manchester
Summary: Manchester is a city famous for its canals. The festival is a great chance to celebrate this great city, and its industrial history.
2012 Canal Festival Manchester
It is difficult to imagine, walking around Manchester’s gentrified canals, that these were the arteries of an Industrial city. The canals were built to transport goods, particularly coal and textiles that made Manchester one of the richest cities on earth in its heyday. The first major canal network linked Manchester and Liverpool, and from Liverpool to the world. This gave Manchester access to a worldwide market, and caused its dramatic growth in the Industrial Revolution. Although the industry has mostly gone now, the city has reinvented itself as a modern Western metropolis. The giant factories have been turned into trendy apartments, and many of the docks are now canalside bars and restaurants. The Canal festival run each year is a celebration of Manchester’s past and its future, and for the visitor, is a great way to get to know the city.
Manchester’s Canals run right through the city, from the leafy suburbs all the way into the Piccadilly Basin in the heart of the city. If you are visiting the city during the canal festival, then it is highly recommended that you take a long way along the side of the canal. The central location means you can see the city from a number of different angles, and feel amongst the heart of this vibrant metropolis. If you are feeling really adventurous, then why not catch a bus out to Calderdale and walk the length of the canal back to the city? During the Canal festival there is a wide range of activities taking place, all of which will show you a city proud of its canals. During the Festival, there are a number of walks organised by the city, and so signing up for one of these in advance will give you the opportunity to not only see the city, but to do so with a knowledgeable guide.
If you are feeling really active, then there is the opportunity to get on the water. Depending on your level of ability, you can try canal boating, or for the real supermen (and women) you can get in a kayak out on the water, and paddle around the heart of the city. There’s not many city breaks where you can be active and outdoors, and this is an opportunity not to be missed. Many of the nice Manchester hotels will be able to advise about kayak hire during the Festival. Indeed, some hotels even have their own kayaks that you can hire, giving you a unique way of getting around!
Travelling to Manchester is easy from almost every part of the country (although you are recommended not to attempt to kayak there!). With Manchester Piccadilly station located in the heart of the city, right by the end of the canal, you can get a direct train from most large British cities, from Exeter to Edinburgh. However, if speed is more your thing, then you are sure to find some cheap flight deals to Manchester airport, that will help you arrive on time and in style. Manchester is a city not to be missed at the best of times, and even less during the Canal Festival Manchester.
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