Manchester is far more than a grey provincial city preoccupied with the business of making money. The bales of cotton goods awaiting export have gone from the grand warehouses styled like palaces, and the cotton mills no longer hum with the sound of machinery. Yet the buildings remain in all their glory of tiles, terracotta and stained glass – converted to hotels, offices, chic apartments, hipster bars, fine eateries or gritty drinking dens. The textile trade may have disappeared, but you can find sustainable fashion in the old rag-trade district, and top quality coats and jackets are still being hand-sewn in the last remaining family-owned clothing factory. This book will also take you to alternative Manchester – Radical Manchester from Peterloo to the Pankhursts, Literary Manchester from Elizabeth Gaskell to Anthony Burgess, and of course to Madchester, the crazy music scene of Morrissey, Tony Wilson, the Hacienda and Factory Records.
Liverpool’s unique history as an international port and a cultural melting pot has given it a character all its own. The city has produced music that conquered the world and is home to more historic buildings than any other British metropolis outside London. It features two magnificent cathedrals and many world famous museums. But beyond its renowned exterior, is an eclectic assortment of places hidden and unknown.
This deliciously offbeat guidebook will lead you to a different Liverpool: down tunnels, up skyscrapers, and into secret bars, speciality shops, and disused factories. You will see Balenciaga trainers and vintage planes, rolling bridges and disappearing statues, Liver birds and celebrity suitcases, home-baked cakes and cast-iron churches.
Stroll under the palms in a magical glasshouse, explore a 1950s kitchen or a museum of false teeth. Relax in a hip tea bar with over 50 varieties of tea (loose leaf naturally). Marvel at the world’s most expensive book or largest brick building (27 million bricks!). Go underground to explore a network of mysterious tunnels or a perfectly preserved World War II bunker. Drink in a prison cell, picnic in a graveyard, or stay in the hotel where Winston Churchill and Bob Dylan were guests.
Think you know Liverpool? Think again! Whether you’re a long-time local, a first-time tourist, or a repeat visitor, prepare to be charmed and intrigued by 111 eccentric and unusual spots you’d never expect to find in the city best known for football and the Fab Four.