Radical Thinkers: Manchester, cotton and the birth of industry     

The Treasures of Northern England’s Industrial Heritage

Nicknamed ‘Cotton City’, or Cottonopolis, Manchester once sent cotton goods around the world.  Out of the world’s first industrial city came remarkable men and women, whose capacity for radical thought drove the industrial revolution and challenged social injustice. We discover the fascinating heritage of railways, canals and cotton mills; contrasting the lives of the cotton workers with the imposing architecture of Manchester Town Hall.

We will dine in the hotel where Rolls met Royce and browse the shelves of the oldest free public library in the world, where Marx met Engels. With the help of leading authorities in industrial heritage and political history we will deepen our understanding of why Manchester not only led the industrial revolution, but also bore witness to the rise of the Co-operative movement, Trade Unionism and the struggle for votes for ordinary people.

Today, Manchester is a modern, vibrant, cosmopolitan city and this tour offers the opportunity for retail, theatre and musical interludes in addition to its heritage highlights.

Key features

  • Tour Chetham’s library, where Karl Marx met Friedrich Engels and visit the site of the notorious ‘Peterloo Massacre’.
  • Enjoy a drinks reception at Gaskell House, where novelist and social reform campaigner Elizabeth Gaskell wrote Cranford and North and South.
  • Discover Manchester’s finest museums and galleries, including the Museum of Science and Industry, the award winning Whitworth Art Gallery and the unique Lowry Gallery.
  • Step back in time at Quarry Bank Mill – the most complete and untouched industrial heritage community in the UK.
  • Take tea in the parlour of the Pankhurst Centre, home to suffragette Emmeline Pankhurst, where the campaign for Votes for Women began.

Want to know more?

  • Download the full itinerary for Radical Thinkers:  Manchester, Cotton and the Birth of Industry
  • Discover more tours – take a look at our inspiring Telling the Stories of England brochure.
  • Get in touch with us using the Enquire Now button.
  • Telephone our team on +44 1629 700648 or US Toll Free 1-844-221-3366

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Jim Dixon, Founder and Director at UK Countryside Tours

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Manchester Airport



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