Make Manchester Your Base for Groundhopping

Make Manchester Your Base for Groundhopping

Why is Manchester, England a great base for a groundhopping adventure? In short, it’s great city close to natural areas and tons of soccer clubs.

If you’re a typical tourist, you will probably be spending much, if not most, of your English trip in and around London. And well you should; it’s an extraordinary destination and an incredible football city.

But allow us to briefly make a case for Manchester, in particular if you are building your trip around soccer games.

Manchester is a vibrant, entertaining city, one that is growing like gangbusters and attracting many young professionals. For outdoorsy folks, the Pennines and Peak District National Park are just outside town, and the Lake District is a couple of hours’ drive away.

But let’s talk about soccer. Even we were astounded to realize how many Football League clubs are so close to town.

Right in town, obviously, are Manchester United and Manchester City. Liverpool is less than an hour away by train, adding Liverpool and Everton to the Premier League possibilities. On Manchester’s Metrolink light rail system, you can reach Rochdale and Oldham.

Within 90 minutes from Piccadilly station by train, you can get to Huddersfield Town, Wigan, Bolton Wanderers, Crewe, Barnsley, both Sheffield clubs, Burnley, Bradford City, Leeds United, Blackburn Rovers, Preston North End, and Stoke City. Even Derby County and the Nottingham clubs are around 90 minutes away, but at that point you should just stay in Nottingham.

With any of those clubs playing a 3:00 p.m. game, you could have a leisurely morning in Manchester, hop on a train, have a pint or two, catch the game, and be back for dinner. And honestly, in most of those cases, you’d have a lot more fun staying in Manchester anyway.

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