I went to Manchester by National Express coach from Oxford, and left by coach again to Edinburgh. The coach terminal is located right in the city centre which is very convenient. The terminal does not have any information point for tourists, but the main tourist information of the city is only a short walk away.
During my UK trip, I often travelled by National Express. This takes much more time than the train, but it is usually cheaper (though not always!). I found the coaches quite comfortable and the drivers very friendly. Luggage is restricted to two suitcases/bags and one piece of hand luggage. However, I always brought an additional bag of food as hand luggage, and it was never a problem.
Just to give you an idea on how it works: I saved a lot of money going by coach when I went to Edinburgh as I got a really good fare, but the journey takes nine hours instead of only three and a half. I still think that is ok if you are travelling on a tight budget and have the time to do a long journey. I wouldn't do it again, tough, now that my very tight backpacker budget days are gone ;-)
The Tram system in Manchester is speedy, reliable and they look great too. It consists of three lines which converge in Manchester city centre and serve the surrounding towns of Bury, Altrincham and Eccles. We took the Eccles bound tram from Piccadilly Gardens to Salford Quays. I found the prices to be reasonable - a return ticket cost £2.20 (November 2010).
Terravision offer a bus link to Liverpool John Lennon airport from Manchester's Shudehill Interchange. There is one bus an hour every day of the week, from the early hours of the morning until late at night - please refer to the website for exact times and fares.
You pay on the bus.
Please refer to the below weblink for return bus times from Liverpool airport.
Manchester Airport Railway Station is between the two terminals with moving walkways connecting it to the terminal buildings.
There are about 6 trains every hour into the city centre with many destinations across the north of England served several times every day, seven days a week.
There is a map
More general information with links to rail services at www.manchesterairport.co.uk
Train time details and fares through www.nationalrail.co.uk
The Manchester area is motorway hell (or heaven, depending on your perspective).
The M60 goes right round the city, and every 2 bit suburb has a motorway to join up to it. Then there's the M62 to Yorkshire/Liverpool, the M6 to London/Scotland etc.
I'm used to jumping in a rented car in London or New York, but this took me by surprise. Got lost 3 times!
Rented a car from Avis for my sports trips.
Booked a group B car - typically a Renault Clio 1.2 - small as they get, in other words.
Anyway, at check in the guy offered me an Audi A3 estate automatic - top of the range - for an extra £6 per day. Wow!
I was taking it Saturday/Sunday so maybe it would just have been sitting unused all weekend. I was a bit apprehensive because sickos like to bash or scratch "nice" cars out of jealousy, but I always buy the extra insurance to cover the excess anyway, so what the hell.
It was great! I'm not a petrolhead, but I did enjoy it. A bit thirsty, at the filling station of course!
Guess what - I'll go back to Avis next time, and I'll tell all my friends about it too...
Got a cheap ticket from Edinburgh to Manchester with Flybe. £96.98 return with no check in bags (that little luxury costs extra).
Flight about 10 minutes late on the way out and 10 minutes early on the return.
Small planes (Bombardier turbo prop and Embraer mini jet) but comfortable enough.
Only 2 issues - they use T3 at Manchester and its a tip, plus we waited a long time in the security queue at Manchester. Airport issues rather than airline problems, of course!
If you are visiting Manchester city centre by car, parking is very very difficult around the popular areas to go. There are less car parks now than there used to be and working out the parking restrictions is a nightmare.
The train, bus, tram and metrolink and very good, but if you have to travel by car here is a quick rundown on parking.
FREE PARKING. You can park on the street on single yellow lines after 6.30 pm, unless the sign states otherwise. However, there are not many of these single yellow lines left and they are hard to find. Deansgate has a few, and the streets around Deansgate/St John St too.
Also you can park at meters free after 6.30.
METERS These are expensive and you have to be careful because some only have 1 hour and some have 2. If a meter is not working you will get a ticket if you park on it.
There are various multi-storey car parks and they vary in price. Most reasonable I have found are Chorlton Street and Gmex but they are both quite a walk to the shops. Most expensive is Kendals department store car park, as it is right next to the store and very close to main shopping areas. There is also one that is not too bad on the corner of Deansgate and Blackfriars Street.
If you don't mind a walk, you can park close to the Salford border and the car parks here area bit cheaper. They are down the end of Quay Street or Bridge Street.
If you are going to the theatre and driving to the city centre, particularly near Christmas, leave plenty of time to find a parking space!
Oh my gosh! I cant believe how cheap it is to fly around the UK! RyanAir is almost Free. Just dont bring any bags! I mean No bags. I said dont bring any luggage at all. No luggage. They charge you so much money to bring your luggage. If you were a light packer, you could go anywhere in the UK for so little money!
A good site to locate car parking with maps and prices is www.ncp.co.uk which is the
national car park site who own a large number of manchester city centre car parks.
We parked on York street underground car park which was £4 all day saturday and Sunday.
Its under Picadilly tower, moments from Market Street, and on the edge of China town.
It has CCTV and an attendant.
We decided to park in the centre in the end, but one cheap option that we considered is if approaching from the West to park at ladywell park and ride stop.
This located at junction 2 of the M602 and has a 450 space secure car park, with CCTv and security patrols.
The tram cost is £1.90 return on a Saturday. The tram taked you right into the centre of the city.
I had used this taxi service (WYTHENSHAWE PRIVATE HIRE) in Manchester, and I found the Taxi driver rather helpful and informative in the geography and locations in and around the city. The meter was correct and wasn't over run, nor the route extended.
The 'Metroshuttle' is a completely free bus service linking all the main areas of the city centre including train stations and tram stops. There are actually two circular routes, one operated by a service based at Piccadilly train station and the other operated by a service based at Victoria train station -- buses run every 5 or 10 minutes.
Manchester International airport is situated 10 miles south of the city centre and with 3 terminals and 2 runways it's quite a big place now -- it's the 3rd largest airport in the UK and handles approximately 20 million passengers a year -- more than 90 airlines fly to over 180 destinations.
To get to Manchester city centre you can take the train from the station at the airport -- there are 6 trains an hour (up to 4 during the night) -- journey takes about 20 minutes. Trains go into Manchester Piccadilly and from their you can travel anywhere in the UK.
You can take the bus into Manchester -- Stagecoach service 43 runs about every 10 minutes.
Taxis are outside the airport -- to avoid suprises, ask the cost before you get in.
For hotels at or near the airport, try the following link :-
For car hire try, try the following link :-
Airport parking information is on their website shown at the bottom of this page,
I was a bit skeptical about booking on a "low fare" airline but took the chance. Much to my surprise this carrier is tops. The plane was a fairly new Airbus330 with in-seat video screens. The flight attendents were superb. Unlike with most American airlines the attendents acted like they enjoyed their jobs. The food was acceptable by airline standards and drinks were gratis. All in all, I'd fly BMI anytime. My only complaint was that when the lady in front of me put her seat back I lost the picture on the LED video screen. So one ends up watching what his neighbor is watching.
The only hitch was upon landing, parking the plane and deboarding was excruciatingly slow, but that was no fault of the airline.