Manchester is known as a sporting city, not least thanks to the infamous rivalry between its two football teams, Manchester United and Manchester City. The city has benefited from hosting the Commonwealth Games in 2002, for which the Aquatics Centre on Oxford Road and the National Squash Centre were built, among other venues.
Manchester has another world-class facility in the National Cycling Centre, which opened for the World Track Cycling Championships in 1996 and is home to British Cycling and many of its stars, including Sir Chris Hoy and Bradley Wiggins.
Also available to members of the public are many of the University of Manchester’s sports facilities, including badminton, netball and basketball courts at Armitage Sports Centre and gym facilities and workout classes at Sugden Sports Centre. More unusual sports and activities can be practised at a wide range of private studios, from aerial to martial arts and, needless to say, there are loads of private member gyms from the budget to the boutique. The real hot ticket however is, of course, yoga, and all types of yoga are on offer across the city, from Manchester Buddhist Centre to Bikram Yoga via Yoga Express.
At the Helly Hansen Watersports Centre on Salford Quays you can try kayaking, canoeing and wakeboarding, while Chill Factore in Trafford has got snowsports covered (and has UK’s longest indoor ski slope). Climbers and boulderers will find all their needs catered to at Manchester Climbing Centre, and if you’re just after a good ol’ cobweb-dusting then you won’t want to miss the Great Manchester Run, among other annual events.
Finally, while the city centre is notoriously bereft of green space, the Manchester suburbs offer parks and leisure spaces including Heaton Park, Platt Fields Park, Chorlton Water Park and Fletcher Moss Botanical Garden – and the wide expanses of the Peak District are only a train or bus ride away.