The Quays covers the three areas of Salford Quays, Trafford Wharf, and Old Trafford around the Manchester Ship Canal. These former docks have been completely redeveloped and are now home to a large portion of the BBC, creating one of the biggest media complexes around.
Old Trafford is home to Old Trafford Cricket Ground, the home of Lancashire County Cricket Club, and the Old Trafford Football Stadium that belongs to Manchester United Football Club.
Instructions and times for reaching The Quays from anywhere in Manchester are available from the Transport for Greater Manchester website.
From the North: From M60, take J12 for M602. Follow signs from the end of the M602 for Salford Quays.
From the South: From M60, take J7 onto A56 Chester Road. Follow signs from here for Salford Quays.
There is a car park in the Lowry Outlet Mall (it's free for customers.)
The Quays area is easily reached from central Manchester by the city's Metrolink tram system. Just board a tram on the dedicated Picadilly–MediaCityUK service; the Quays are best served by the terminus MediaCityUK stop, which is a short walking distance from The Imperial War Museum North, The Lowry as well as the BBC and ITV studios. There are services every 6 minutes in both directions, and a journey to Manchester Picadilly takes about 15 minutes. See the Metrolink website for more details.
For sporting events, travellers may also take the Metrolink, disembarking at Old Trafford station. This is located right next to the cricket ground, whilst the football ground is a 10-minute walk up the road. There are services every 6-12 minutes.
Number 69 buses will bring you to the Quays. They operate hourly between Mon-Sat 8AM-6PM. See www.tfgm.com for more details.
For football fans, railway travel can be an excellent option: a dedicated station is right behind the football stadium's South stand, open only on matchdays: it is called Manchester United FC Halt station. Trains are provided by Northern Rail and there are about 5 or so services before and after the match to the mainline Manchester Piccadilly and Manchester Oxford Road stations. Tickets cost about £2.40 and the journey takes 10 minutes.
1 Imperial War Museum North. The Imperial War Museum in London contains tanks, guns, planes and uniforms. The Northern experience is focused on the social impacts of war, and has relatively few large items on display. The building itself is visually very striking, so combine it with a trip to the Lowry for a feel of modern architecture. Free admission.
- See the magnificent bridge across one of the pools linking Salford and Trafford.
- Old Trafford (Manchester United's stadium) is just off Salford Quays and is home to the statue of Matt Busby and other sights.
- The award winning architecture. The Quays have been blessed with bold, contemporary yet tasteful buildings.
- Old Trafford Cricket Ground is a very impressive structure with a few sights and is well worth a look.
1 The Lowry. This is an art gallery and very modern theatre. The gallery contains an impressive selection of works including, unsurprisingly, a large selection of works by L.S. Lowry. The building is very modern and was designed to encourage exploration (according to the architect). He made the building widen and deepen from the entrance and refused to have any signs for the toilets! It's also in Salford, but don't let that worry you. Use the tram, about fifteen minutes out from the city center. Free entry to the gallery.
- Watch sport at Old Trafford, see either Manchester United Football Club, one of the most famous and successful football clubs in the world or Lancashire Country Cricket Club.
Manchester United Football Club (A dedicated station is right behind the football stadium's South stand: it is called Manchester United FC Halt station. Trains are provided by Northern Rail and there are about five or so services before and after the match to the mainline Manchester Piccadilly and Manchester Oxford Road stations.). Open only on match days. Generally, a very high quality of football. Tickets for matches against lesser opposition are quite easy to come by (the stadium holds around 75,000 people) and can be purchased from the club's official website or the Ticketing & Memebrship Office. League matches with the top clubs, Arsenal or Chelsea, and local rivals Manchester City and Liverpool, as well as competitive matches against any of the big European teams (Barcelona, Inter Milan etc.), will only very rarely be available on general sale.
- The Manchester United Museum, located in the large North Stand of Old Trafford football stadium. This museum details the history of Manchester United from the very early days when they were known as Newton Heath through the golden era in the 60's when the team was known as the Busby Babes and won the European Cup. You can also explore the United history from the second golden era in the 90's when players like Beckham, Cantona, Giggs, and Schmeichel glittered an all-conquering team up to the present day when you have stars like Rooney, Ronaldo, and Van Nistelrooy all wearing the famous red top. Well worth a visit for fan and non-fan alike. If you go on a day when United are not playing at home, you will also get to go on a free stadium tour (the highlight of any fan's trip!) which takes you into the changing rooms, the dugout, and also the directors' box.
Lancashire Country Cricket Club (Take the Manchester Metrolink, getting off at Old Trafford station. This is located right next to the cricket ground. There are services every 6-12 minutes.).
Legoland Discovery Centre Manchester, At the Trafford Centre (Take the Manchester Metrolink tram to Stretford, where you can catch the Metrolink Shuttle Bus direct to The Trafford Centre.), ☎ .
BBC Tour at MediaCityUK. The tour takes 1.5 hours. £10.75 adults, £7 children, £9.25-9.75 concessions, family tickets available.
Manchester United Superstore, Sir Matt Busby Way (the other side of the Manchester Ship Canal). A good place to stock up on anything you could possibly want Man United wise! Just don't expect any bargains.
- Cafe Rouge. Overlooking the Lowry in the outlet mall.There is also an outside terrace.
- Pizza Express located in the base of the Lowry Outlet Mall, facing the Lowry Gallery. Your usual high quality pizzas are available here.
- Prezzo in the heart of MediaCity UK offers good Italian food.
- The Lowry. The restaurant is excellent with very attentive service and an outside terrace overlooking The Imperial War Museum North.
- Imperial War Museum North. The cafe has good view of The Lowry and the emerging media city.
At the match
At the football stadium, refreshments are available at half time: crisps, KitKat chunkies, pies, Pepsi, tea and coffee. A meal deal, with tea/coffee, pack of crisps and KitKat, costs £2.80 approx. The culinary delights of Rusholme's curry mile are no more than 30 mins away.
At the match
Alcohol is not permitted in either the Old Trafford football or cricket grounds, and will be confiscated by stewards. There are, however, numerous bars and cafes in the district for pre- or post-match drinks.
Comfortable, contemporary hotel with complimentary hot breakfast, air conditioning and free public area WiFi.
Manchester Whitehouse Hotel, ☎ . Liverpool Street, Salford. Three star hotel. (Rooms from £55)
Trafford Hall Hotel, 23 Talbot Road, Old Trafford, Manchester, M16 0PE, ☎ . This hotel is located near Old Trafford football ground and has great transport access to Salford and the city centre. £50 for a hotel room.