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The Greater Manchester city of Salford may often be overshadowed by its much larger neighbour, but Salford contains plenty of attractions within its own boundaries. The recently redeveloped Salford Quays contain The Lowry theatre and art gallery as well as the Imperial War and Manchester United museums. The Manchester United's home ground, Old Trafford, stands next to Salford Quays. Buses, trams and car rental in Manchester-Salford can all travel the less than 6 kilometres between Salford and central Manchester.
Who to Book With
Motorists who choose not to reserve vehicles at Manchester Airport or elsewhere in the city have plenty of options within Salford itself, including Europcar and Enterprise branches. Unicorn Self Drive has become one of Salford's most prominent independent car hire providers, while Salford Van Hire, as its name suggests, specialises in renting larger vehicles. Online booking is an option at all of the above companies.
Best Time to go
Like elsewhere in Manchester, Salford's costliest and busiest seasons are the December holiday season as well as the far warmer months of June and July. Prices for hotels and vehicles also soar during important Manchester cultural festivals and Manchester United matches. However, no matter when visitors arrive, they can expect far more sunshine and less rainfall than the area's reputation would suggest.
Need to Know Essentials
The following documents are essential for claiming rental vehicles:
- Valid United Kingdom drivers license or International Driving Permit
- Photo identification such as a passport
- Confirmed reservation printouts of car hire
It is easy to reach Manchester's main outer ring road, the M60, from Salford. The other major motorways which travel through Salford are the M61 from Bolton, the M62 linking Manchester with Leeds and Liverpool, and the M602 connecting Salford with Manchester. Like other parts of Manchester, Salford has a scarcity of parking places and a one-way street system which can be confusing to visitors unfamiliar with the city.
Salford, like the rest of Manchester, is well served by four major motorways, affordable taxis and several public transportation options. Two major and seven smaller rail stations are situated throughout Salford, and a tram makes frequent runs between Salford and Manchester. Bus stations are located in Eccles and Pendleton.
Passengers can travel easily around Salford aboard the Metrolink light rail network, whose Eccles line makes at least nine stops throughout the city. The larger of Salford's two rail stations are Salford Central near the Manchester border and Salford Crescent close to the University of Salford. The latter is the city's main rail station where passengers can proceed to Manchester's Victoria, Piccadilly or Victoria stations. Manchester Piccadilly has a direct connection to London Euston station.
Most Manchester taxi companies also serve Salford, but Saltax Taxis and Swan Taxis of Manchester and Salford are two reputable companies based within Salford itself. All taxi journeys within the M60 road, including to and from Salford, must be metered. Taxi fares between Manchester and Salford, as well as the rest of the city core, range between £5 and £10.
Although the National Express bus service between Liverpool and Manchester stops along Salford's Regent Road, Manchester Central remains the closest inter- city bus station. Piccadilly and Shudehill are the main bus stations from which passengers can travel from Manchester to Salford. First operates most Salford buses, but Arriva North West and Stagecoach buses also travel throughout the area. Only a handful of these buses, however, operate on weekend nights.
Salford Quays contains the majority of the city's own tourist attractions, but Salford is also an ideal place to begin exploring the rest of Manchester and North West England. Salford is not only situated less than four miles from central Manchester, but is also located halfway between two more world class cities, Liverpool and Leeds. It takes less than an hour to drive from Salford to the lovely Peak and Lake districts as well as the Southport and Blackpool seaside resorts.
The Quays - Ranking among the top tourism attractions in both Salford and all of Manchester. The BBC will soon join the Manchester United and Imperial War museums along this scenic Manchester Ship Canal area. Artist L.S. Lowry's name appears on both his namesake theatre and art gallery as well as the popular Lowry Outlet Mall. The bridge across the pool between Salford and Trafford is especially spectacular.
Peak District National Park - The first in the United Kingdom, lies just 30kms outside of Manchester along the A628 Woodhead Pass. This picturesque landscape of rolling hills attracts at least 10 million people per year, ranking the Peak District among the world's most visited national parks. Buxton, the Peak District's most populous town, has been a popular spa tourism retreat since the 18th century.
Lake District National Park - The biggest of England's national parks, also contains the nation's highest peak, Scafell Pike. Wastwater and Windermere lakes are, respectively, the longest and largest lakes in the country. These are only a few of the natural landmarks, however, which attract more than 23 million annual visitors and have inspired poetry from the likes of William Wordsworth.