The Lowry#11 in Best Things To Do in Manchester
The Lowry is a mixed-use facility — part art gallery and part theater — contained in a modern steel and glass structure. You'll find everything from a permanent exhibition showcasing the works of beloved British artist L.S. Lowry, who was born in the greater Manchester suburb of Stretford near the Old Trafford football stadium. While here, you can also attend comedy shows and contemporary dance performances. In addition to the visual and performing arts, the Lowry also contains a restaurant, a bar and a cafe.
A TripAdvisor user found the Lowry exhibit especially captivating, saying, "Lowry led an incredible life and the gallery and info really do his life justice walking you through what he went through."
You'll find the Lowry in the Salford Quays, about 3 miles west of the city center (accessible by the MediaCityUK Metrolink tram stop). The main galleries, which are free of admission, are open Sunday through Friday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. On Saturdays, the main galleries open at 10 a.m. Performance times and ticket prices vary; for more information on upcoming shows, visit the Lowry's website.
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#1 John Rylands Library
The University of Manchester's John Rylands Library is known as much for its beautiful architecture as it is for its collection of rare books and manuscripts. The impressive gothic structure took 10 years to build — after plans were drawn up in 1889, the library finally opened to the public in 1900. Among its vast collection are medieval illuminated manuscripts, featuring a copy of Geoffrey Chaucer's "The Canterbury Tales;" the personal letters and papers of notable figures like Victorian novelist Elizabeth Gaskell; and even a Gutenberg Bible. There are also a handful of rotating exhibits."
One TripAdvisor user compared the ambiance of the John Rylands Library to the library from Harry Potter's Hogwarts with its own restricted section and dragon carvings. This user also had some practical advice: "If you need to nip into the loo, use those on the second floor rather than the basement — fine old Victorian craftsmanship on display, with lovely comfortable wooden seats!"
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