Seven places in Greater Manchester are among the top 500 unmissable sights, experiences and hidden gems in the UK, according to a leading travel guide.

Lonely Planet’s travel experts have chosen their favourite sights and experiences and ranked them for the first time in the Ultimate United Kingdom Travelist, published today. And according to the Travelist, the number one attraction in north west England – and #122 in the UK – is going to Old Trafford or the Etihad to watch a football match.

“The world’s most famous team (United) shares a city with the world’s richest (City),” says Lonely Planet.

“Games at United’s Old Trafford ground or at City’s newer Etihad stadium are not just an exhibition of top-class football but a boisterous showcase of a billion-dollar global spectacle.”

The other places and experiences in Greater Manchester which have made the list are the People’s History Museum (#133), Gay Village (#189), John Rylands Library (#221), HOME (#379), Greater Manchester Police Museum (#427) and The Lowry (#494).

Pic Wesley Harding

To create the Ultimate United Kingdom Travelist, the Lonely Planet team compiled every highlight from the Lonely Planet guidebooks to Great Britain and Northern Ireland. Every sight, attraction and experience that had caught their writers’ attention over the years was included.

Everyone in Lonely Planet’s London office, plus 20 leading figures in the country’s travel sector, were then asked to reveal their favourite spots and experiences before the voting began. Everybody in Lonely Planet’s UK community was asked to vote for their top 20 experiences.

With hundreds of votes cast, Lonely Planet ended up with a score for each of the 500 experiences in the book.

“Lonely Planet’s Ultimate United Kingdom Travelist brings together the UK’s most compelling sights and experiences, ranging from world-class museums and giant cathedrals to rollicking festivals, inky lochs and tiny pubs,” says Lonely Planet’s Tom Hall.

“North west England is brimming with history, creativity and innovation, so it’s only right that a good number of the region’s wonderful offerings feature among our favourites in the UK.”

Other places in the north west which made the list include the Beatles’ childhood homes (#157), Blackpool Pleasure Beach (#236) and the Ribble Valley (#303). Anfield didn’t make the list.

Ranked number one in the UK is The Edinburgh Festival Fringe: “Nowhere beats it for spectacle or scale… Simply step through the looking glass and prepare to be dazzled by the greatest show of arts and culture on Earth.”

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