Not the grey industrial town it used to be, Manchester is buzzing with arts, culture, music and shopping. Why put off that holiday in Manchester any longer? It's just a one hour flight away and from there it's just a matter of picking up a cheap car rental at the airport to whisk you to your hotel. At Manchester Airport you can choose from Avis, Budget, Enterprise, Europcar, National Car Rental, Alamo, Hertz and Sixt.
Apart from the airport there are also plenty of places to find cheap car rentals in the city. Near Piccadilly Gardens, on the A6 you will find Budget, Avis and Hertz. National Car Rental is along Oldham Road while Car Hire Manchester can be found on Thomas Street. To avoid paying more than you need to, make a car hire comparison, features to features, before you commit to anything.
There are tons of places to park in Manchester, even in the city centre. There are Car Parks, operated by the City of Manchester as well as On Street parking which you pay for at a nearby meter. Unless you're a special member of the City Car Club or have a Green Badge designation, that's it. You may park on single yellow lines (if the time plate states so) but never double yellow lines. Clearly display your time slip on your dashboard to avoid a ticket.
When driving around Manchester looking for a parking place, just keep your eyes open for a yellow NCP sign, which designates a National Car Park. Most are open 24 hours and cost £5.10 for 4 hours. If you stay longer than 4 hours it's £7.70 and then you can stay up to 24 hours. It wouldn't be a bad idea to make sure your hotel offers free parking for their guests.
Dunham Massey Hall, a prize National Trust property near Manchester, makes a great escape from the city. Located in Altrincham, Cheshire, this 300+ acre park features a gorgeous Georgian house with plenty of stories to tell, of both scandals and romances! Dunham Massey Hall was built in 1616 and you can imagine it was used much in the same way as Downton Abbey: elegant dinners, family feuds and once war struck, as a military hospital.
Into rock and roll history? Swing by Liverpool for a while and get brushed up on your Beatles history. It's just a 45 minute drive away. Many of the city's art museums and galleries are completely free and since the city was a European Capital of Culture in 2008, things have really been spruced up. Stop by John Lennon's childhood home or hang out in the bars where the fab four got their start, the Cavern Club.
England's famed Lake District is within easy reach with a rent car from Manchester, a day's drive. Although, you'll likely want to spend more than a day there since there's so much to see, enjoy and explore. Enjoy a cup of tea and some home-baked scones at a village cafe or hire some bikes and meander along the lake shores, soaking up their tranquility. In the summer, the Lake District is very popular so make sure you book your accommodations far in advance.