This is a great museum for those interested in our (global) industrial heritage: sited at one end of the world's first passenger railway line. The working cotton weaving machines are particularly worth experiencing. Catch one of their regular demonstrations of their operation. There is also the opportunity to explore the city's former sewers (now fully cleaned!) to get an idea of the living (and dying) conditions of Manchester's cotton workers. Most impressive of all is the huge collection of working engines in the Power Hall, powered by steam, gas, water, you name it. Across the road is the Air and Space Hall, containing real examples of Britain's aeronautical history.
By far the most popular venue in Castlefield, Dukes 92 has an unusual, but successful, mix of antique furniture, modern deep leather sofas, and minimalist décor. Although relatively quiet in winter, it is hugely popular on hot summer days due to its large patio area overlooking lock number 92 of the Rochdale Canal. An outside bar has recently been installed in an attempt to reduce what can be a lengthy wait for refreshment.
Manchester Central (formerly "G-MEX") was once Manchester Central railway station and it carries the air of many of the grand stations in London with its enormous arched steel frame and giant railway clock. These days it is home to Manchester's largest exhibitions and fairs. Attached is the much newer and thoroughly unimpressive International Conference Centre.
Away from the Castlefield basin on Liverpool Road you will find The Ox. Popular with the stars from Coronation Street due to its close proximity to the set, this lively gastro pub has the distinction of being the only pub in the country to be named after a potato - the Ox Noble.
A quirky, modern take on the traditional boozer. Housed within a railway arch it is popular amongst real ale fans, but also serves a good selection of bottled and drought ciders and lagers. It has a great jukebox and a sheltered balcony overlooking Deansgate and Beetham Tower.
Manchester's main classical music venue is a stunning musically-inspired building dating from 1996. It is home to the world-famous Hallé orchestra and boasts an enormous 5500-pipe organ across the whole of one wall. The building is also home to a cafe and restaurant.
Boasting views across the canal, this no frills hostel is centrally located with easy access to Castlefield and the city centre. It offers a game room, TV, cafe and restaurant, guest kitchen, laundry, internet access, and parking facilities.
Castlefield's hidden gem. Mid-priced three star hotel with the best leisure facilities in the city centre, including an 18m heated pool, sauna, gym and steam rooms. The hotel offers free WiFi and has parking available for an extra charge.
A taverna with live acts as well as underground seating in a plush environment. Food and drink is competitively priced but well worth the money for the spectacular quality and authenticity of the food and dining experience as a whole.
A traditional boozer of little note, although it does feature on its walls an interesting aerial photograph of pre-developed Castlefield. Soundtrack of soul and funk with congenial staff set it apart from the others.
Behind the stage door entrance of the Bridgewater Hall. It is here where many a poor mug "took The King's Shilling" and found himself press-ganged into the army. Largest selection of whisky in the city.
Manchester's only grand old hotel, The Midland is a red brick hotel off St Peter's Square in the heart of the city. Luxurious as it is impressive, this is the hotel in which Rolls met Royce.
An award winning restaurant housed within a converted red brick warehouse. It serves a menu of modern British food, along with a good selection of wines.
Across the canal from Dukes and next door to the Key 103 radio station, Lava Bar is a small and friendly bar which also has an outdoor drinking area.
The recently opened five star Hilton housed within the Beetham Tower offers amazing views over Castlefield, Manchester and beyond.
Although primarily a restaurant, Choice has a good selection of wines and is an ideal choice if you want to escape the crowds.
For breakfast, nothing beats this. Situated next to Deansgate station, it's a cheap and friendly authentic greasy spoon.
Greek, Spanish and Italian-influenced Mediterranean cuisine set in a beautiful high end location of the city centre.
Explore the former set of the world famous soap opera Coronation Street, right in the heart of Manchester.
Famous for its huge cheese and pate boards. Plus, they serve a selection of pizzas late into the night.
City centre location. Brand new hotel with modern, comfortable bedrooms.
Slightly upmarket Indian restaurant. Not cheap, but very good value.
16 screen cinema multiplex. Shows the usual Hollywood movies.