As someone who hadn't been to Manchester and Salford in the UK for ten years, I was quite amazed at what I encountered when I went back.

In Manchester, warehouses have been turned into flats and offices, there's a magnificently designed Hilton hotel behind the GMEX Centre, and a Piccadilly Gardens that is actually quite pleasant to sit in and admire the view. There's a Ferris Wheel near the Arndale Centre, which itself has had a glass front put onto it so that it looks shiny and modern. The Museum of Science and Industry was free and is expanding into new accommodation. There was even a free bus service connecting places of interest for tourists in the city centre and it ran every ten minutes on a Saturday afternoon.

I then caught the Metrolink tram to Exchange Quay in Salford.

Most of Salford Quays looks really lovely with many gorgeous houses, new bridges over the canals, and aeration units in the docks to keep the water clean(ish). There were kids practicing sailing and canoeing beside the swans in the docks. The Lowry Centre and the Imperial War Museum of the North still have interesting architectural designs despite all the new growth around them. Old Trafford, the “Theatre of Dreams” towers in the distance. 

I will not be leaving it more than ten months before I go back again.

julian200Julian has written articles on Middle Eastern and European architecture for the US magazine Skipping Stones. He has written travel articles that were published in The Toronto Globe and Mail, Fate Magazine, National Catholic Register, and Northwest Travel. Julian has also written articles for the In The Know Traveler, Go Nomad, InTravelmag, and Go World Travel websites. He has also taken many photographs that have appeared in travel guides by National Geographic, Thomas Cook and The Rough Guides. Examples of his work can be found at