The football season may be resting but warm summer days mean cricket and hours on the terraces at Old Trafford cricket ground, home of Lancashire County Cricket Club. Camp out in the shade of the pavilion for days during an international test match, or catch a high-speed twenty20 evening game under the floodlights. With the football over for the summer, relive the game’s drama with a tour of Manchester United’s Old Trafford stadium, the so-called ‘Theatre of Dreams’. Follow United legends’ footsteps through the players’ tunnel and into the changing rooms and imagine the tension in the manager’s dug-out. Admire contemporary stadium architecture – velodromes, gyms and arenas – condensed in Sportcity to the east of the city centre. It is the new home of Manchester City and hosted the 2002 Commonwealth Games village.
DJs play free at the Festival Pavilion, which stands like a giant tepee in Albert Square during July’s Manchester International Festival. The lofty Town Hall becomes a hive of family activity with kids’ performers and circus acts. Earlier in May, the FutureEverything digital festival brings technology to town with leftfield arts and electronic music. Flamboyant carnival floats contrast with a silent candlelit vigil during August’s huge gay event, Manchester Pride.
A canalside or pub garden pint
Beer gardens fill up Manchester’s sleepy canalside corners during warm summer evenings. After-work crowds gather for barbeques and beers on the patio at Dukes 92 on the Rochdale Canal. The White Lion is a traditional British pub overlooking the ruins of the Castlefield Roman fort. Canal Street draws the gay community over its footbridges to waterfront bars – on hot days Eden serves drinks on a barge. For a drink while taking in some culture, try The Lowry arts centre’s terraces at Salford Quays. Back in the city centre,the green-tiled, grade II-listed Peveril of the Peak pub serves casks of real ale and is rumoured to be haunted.