48 Hours in Manchester - United Hub

48 hours in Manchester

By Nick Harper

All too often overshadowed by England's capital city and yet just four hours south, Manchester has become a rising star in recent years thanks to a big renovation and rejuvenation of the city center. The results are impressive, with ultra-modern buildings sharing the skyline with historic neo-Gothic structures.

Compact and walkable, Manchester is now home to an awe-inspiring number of museums and galleries, complemented by an ever-growing array of independent stores, cafes, bars and restaurants to suit every taste. Clearly, this city has stepped out of London's shadow, so learn what you can do when you visit.

Manchester Town Hall

On arrival

After landing at Manchester Airport, you're only 10 miles south of the city center. The easiest way into the city is by train, which takes 20 minutes and drops you off at Manchester Piccadilly in the heart of the city. Tickets cost around $6 and the train runs every 10 minutes. Check timetables at tpexpress.co.uk. A taxi should be quicker, but expect to pay from around $30.

What to see

When you create your itinerary, make sure to include the following attractions.

Manchester Art Gallery is home to more than 25,000 objects of fine art, decorative art and costumes dating back more than 200 years. Manchester's most renowned artist is L.S. Lowry, whose work can be admired at The Lowry, while a little further south of the city you'll find The Whitworth gallery, surrounded by the equally beautiful Whitworth Park.

Manchester's Museum of Science and Industry is equally impressive. With five buildings home to everything from a Victorian sewer you can explore to a space craft, it's an excellent option if you have kids. Manchester Museum is another great option with its Egyptian mummies, T-Rex skeleton and reptiles, as is Sea Life Manchester that's home to 5,000 sea creatures large and small.

For a quieter experience, head to John Rylands Library. Open to the public since 1900, it's housed inside an imposing neo-Gothic building with stained glass windows and intricate vaulted ceilings. For an even more enchanting library experience, head to Chetham's, the oldest surviving public library in the English-speaking world.

historical buildings at the heart of manchester

At some point during your stay, grab a coffee (try TAKK or North Tea Power) and take a stroll down to Brazennose Street. There you'll find an unexpected statue of Abraham Lincoln that commemorates the support local cotton workers gave to President Lincoln in his fight for the abolition of slavery during the Civil War.

Walk through the Northern Quarter and on to Ancoats, and look for one of Manchester's more unusual experiences: brass peepholes installed on buildings to give passers-by a glimpse into the area's industrial past. There's no map to help you find these, so you'll have to keep an eye out, but that just adds to the fun.

Even if you're not a football (or soccer) follower, you'll quickly notice that the city is split into two colors – blue and red for Manchester City and Manchester United. Manchester United (red) has the greater history, but Manchester City (blue) has recently become more dominant. If you're in the city between August and May, head for City's Etihad Stadium or United's Old Trafford to experience the rivalry for yourself or take a tour of the stadiums. There's also the National Football Museum, an interactive experience for football fans of all ages.

Finally, if you want an expert to show you around, take a guided tour. Manchester Guided Tours offer a wide number of walks that last between 90 minutes and two hours. If you want to see the city from a different angle, take to one of the many waterways around the city and sit back with a glass of wine as the city gently passes you by.

Buildings in Old and New Manchester

Where to eat

Manchester's multicultural makeup means that practically every nationality of food is available, with prices to suit every budget. Seek out Mr. Thomas's Chop House for classic British food in a beautiful Victorian building, La Bandera for high-end Spanish, Rosso for Italian and 63 Degrees for chic Parisian. Australasia offers ultra-showy Aussie fare, and Greens is the city's best vegetarian restaurant, while Rudy's , Almost Famous and Mughli are busy for good reason thanks to their delicious pizza, burgers and curry.

The nightlife

For the city's best nightlife, head to the Northern Quarter, a trendy neighborhood full of street art, galleries and independent stores by day, and bars, music venues and the restaurants listed above by night. For a traditional British pub experience, head to The Marble Arch Inn, The Castle Hotel or the Crown & Kettle which boasts the best ceiling in the city.

Enjoy the best of the bar scene, by trying killer cocktails at Ply, Allotment Bar, Apotheca, Keko Moku and Kosmonaut. And for late night drinks, head to Blackdog Ballroom, where you can happily imbibe until 4 a.m. or until you fall asleep, whichever comes first.

When to visit

It's often cool and rainy in Manchester, even in the height of summer, so pack accordingly. June to August brings the warmest weather with daytime temperatures averaging between 65°F and 68°F. If you prefer milder weather, March- May and September-October are cooler, quieter and every bit as good.

Classic british landscape at the Peak district near Manchester

Beyond the city

While the city has plenty to offer, Manchester is also within reach of one of the UK's great jewels: the Peak District National Park. If you want to explore beyond the city, rent a car and take the hour drive to the breathtaking park where you'll be surrounded by the great outdoors. Explore at a more leisurely pace on foot or bike and stay overnight in Buxton, Edale, Castleton or the town of Bakewell which is famous for its pudding.

Getting there

United flies to Manchester from Newark International Airport. For more information and to book your next journey to Manchester, visit United.com or download the United app.

Search flights

Entertainment for all

By The Hub team, August 04, 2020

Our Marketing Inflight Entertainment and Connectivity team and Bridge, our Business Resource Group (BRG) for people with all abilities, partnered together to test and provide feedback on our award-winning seatback inflight entertainment (IFE) system.

Aptly named "Entertainment for all," our new seatback IFE system offers the an extensive suite of accessibility features, allowing for unassisted use by people of all visual, hearing, mobility and language abilities.

"It's nice to know that I can get on a plane and pick my favorite entertainment to enjoy, just like every customer," said Accessibility Senior Analyst and Developer and Bridge Chief of Staff Ray C., who is blind.

"As a deaf employee, the closed captioning availability on board our aircraft is something I value greatly," added Information Technology Analyst Greg O. "The new IFE further cements United's visibility within the deaf community and elsewhere. It makes me proud to be an employee."

Accessibility features of the new IFE include a text-to-speech option, explore by touch, customizable text size, screen magnification, color correction and inversion modes, and alternative navigation options for those unable to swipe or use a handset. For hearing-impaired and non-English-speaking passengers, customization options provide the ability for customers to be served content and receive inflight notifications based on their preferences and settings —with closed captions, with subtitles or in the language of their choice from the 15 languages supported. Our "Entertainment for all" system won the Crystal Cabin Award in 2019, and recently, the Dr. Margaret Pfanstiehl Research and Development Award for Audio Description by the American Council of the Blind.

"This really showed the benefits of partnering with BRGs in helping us improve products and services for our customers and employees," said Inflight Entertainment and Connectivity Senior Manager Corinne S. "Even though we have been recognized with awards for our IFE accessibility features, we are not resting on our laurels but continuing to work towards improving the inflight entertainment experience for all of our customers to ensure entertainment is available for all."

Shaping an inclusive future with Special Olympics

By The Hub team, July 24, 2020

If your travels have taken you through Chicago O'Hare International Airport anytime since October 2019, you may have had a friendly, caring and jovial exchange with Daniel Smrokowski. Daniel is one of four Service Ambassadors thanks to our ongoing partnership with Special Olympics. This inaugural ambassador program aims to provide Special Olympic athletes employment opportunities within our operation, affording them a unique and meaningful career.

Since 2018, our partnership with Special Olympics has become one of United's most cherished relationships, going beyond the events we take part in and volunteer with. While the plane pull competitions, polar plunges, duck derbies and Special Olympics World Games and other events around the world are a big part of our involvement, the heart of this partnership lies with the athletes and individuals supported by Special Olympics. To advocate for their inclusion in every setting is one of our biggest honors, and we take great pride in the role we play in the organization's inclusion revolution.

Aiding in the success of Special Olympics' mission to create continuing opportunities for individuals with intellectual disabilities, throughout the two-year partnership, United has volunteered over 10,500 hours and donated over $1.2 million in travel to the organization. The impact of this partnership is felt at every level, both at Special Olympics and within our own ranks.

"The Inclusion Revolution campaign, led by our athletes, aims to end discrimination against people with intellectual disabilities. United Airlines has joined in our fight for inclusion, empowering our athletes with the skills needed to succeed and opportunities to contribute their abilities as leaders," said Special Olympics International Chairman Tim Shriver. "United Airlines believes that people with intellectual disabilities should be perceived as they really are: independent, world-class athletes, students, employees, neighbors, travelers, and leaders who contribute to make this world a better place."

Our Service Ambassador program is just one of the many ways Special Olympics has impacted not only our employees, but also our customers. "I see every day how our Service Ambassadors connect with our customers the moment they walk into the airport lobby," said Senior Customer Service Supervisor Steve Suchorabski. "They provide a warm, welcoming smile ad assist in any way they can. To see these young adults hold positions that a society once told them they couldn't is truly the most heartwarming part of my job," Steve continued.

"The opportunity to be a part of the United family means everything to me," Daniel said. "I feel so much pride showing up to work in a Special Olympics/United co-branded uniform, working among such a loving and supportive community. The relationship between these two organizations is truly helping to shape my future while letting me use my gifts of communicating and helping others. Hopefully, I can spend my entire career at United," Daniel added.

In honor of Special Olympics' Global Week of Inclusion in July, we're asking our employees, customers and partners to sign a pledge to #ChooseToInclude at jointherevolution.org/pledge.

And be sure to check out Daniel's podcast The Special Chronicles.

United works with partners to send food to USDA food bank

By The Hub team, July 23, 2020

In collaboration with food-logistics company Commodity Forwarders Inc. (CFI), United moved nearly 190,000 pounds of fresh produce to Guam for the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Coronavirus Farm Assistance Program. This new program was created to provide critical support to consumers impacted by the COVID-19 global pandemic.

A variety of fresh fruits were transported from Los Angeles (LAX) to Guam (GUM) on United's newly introduced, non-stop cargo-only flight – a route added to meet cargo demand during the COVID-19 crisis. The fresh food was repacked in 10-pound cases in Los Angeles, prepared for departure at CFI's LAX location, and flown to GUM by the United team. Through this beneficial partnership between United and CFI, the perishable goods were kept cool during every step of the process and distributed as part of the food bank program in Guam.

"Everyone on our team has worked relentlessly during the pandemic to get critical goods to where they are needed most. Establishing a comprehensive network of cargo-only flights have allowed us to keep the supply chain moving even while passenger flight capacity has been reduced," said Regional Senior Manager of Cargo Sales, Marco Vezjak. "Knowing that we are able to help during these difficult times – in this case the Guam community – is our biggest reward and greatest motivation to keep moving forward."

United is proud to play a role in maintaining the global food supply chain and helping people access the supplies they need. Since March 19, United has operated over 4,000 cargo-only flights, moving over 130 million pounds of cargo.

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