From some of the most famous bands to the biggest football club in the world to the first computer, Manchester, England, is the global blueprint of the modern city. So many social, cultural, political, and technological firsts took place here that you can't walk down the street without bumping into some details of historical importance.

The once common image of a gray, industrial place has been surpassed in recent years by the redevelopment of traditional neighborhoods into easy-going enclaves of great food and drink; the city center is crowded with shining new towers which overlook some of the UK’s best scenery. From the Ribble Valley in the north to the Peak District in the south, Manchester sits at the heart of a countryside landscape that encompasses everything from rolling green farmland to mature country parks to wild moorlands.