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The 20th Open Grid Forum - OGF20/EGEE 2nd User Forum
May 7 - 11, 2007
Manchester Central
Manchester, UK

Map to Manchester Central (formerly G-MEX)

Frequently Asked Questions about Visiting Manchester

Getting Around In Manchester

Directions from Manchester Airport to Manchester Central

Manchester airport has its own airport which is signposted from all terminals and is linked by skylink moving walkways to the terminal buildings.

You can book your train ticket on-line before you fly to Manchester and collect from the self-service ticket machines located in the baggage reclaim halls. Alternatively, buy your ticket from the rail booking office located at The Station.

The link to book tickets is here - http://www.tpexpress.co.uk/destinations/airport/manchester/

From the airport trains to the city centre run every 15 minutes into Piccadilly train station (the main train station in Manchester); the average journey time is 20 minutes. The nearest train station to Manchester Central is Manchester Deansgate which is positioned just behind the venue. Please see the map -


If you arrive by train at Manchester Piccadilly train station from the airport you can either get a taxi from the taxi rank at the station (signposted within the station) or you can catch the tram (Metrolink) from the train station (the Metrolink station is under the train station and is signposted) to St. Peters Square. This would cost approximately £0.60. Tickets must be purchased from the machines on the tram platforms before boarding the tram.

Further information regarding the Metrolink system is available here - http://www.metrolink.co.uk/

Alternatively you can jump into a taxi at the airport to the city centre which costs less than £20. Journey time depends very much on the traffic but is approximately 30 minutes.

Buses pick up near hotels and Manchester Central

To catch a bus to the university the main bus stops are outside the Palace Hotel on Oxford Road (two large bus shelters) -

Any bus numbered 15, 41, 42, 43, 142, 143, 111 will take you down Oxford Road. Buses with these numbers can also be boarded at Piccadilly bus station in the centre of town. There is also a university campus bus which runs from Manchester Piccadilly train station to the university campus.

Black taxi stands in Manchester

There are several taxi ranks located around Manchester city centre but the best way to get a taxi is to hail one on the street. The ManTax (black cab company) phone number is 0161 230 3333.

Taxi ranks include -
Outside The Midland Hotel
Albert Square (outside the Town Hall)
At all train stations
Whitworth Street West
Outside the Thistle Hotel in Piccadilly Gardens
Cross Street (outside Boots the Chemist)
Outside the Print Works (Tiger Tiger entrance)
High Street next to the Arndale Shopping Centre

I'm confused about the name of the venue. Is it Manchester Central, Manchester International Convention Centre (MICC), or G-MEX?

G-MEX and MICC have been operated together for a while. This was confusing for many, and early in 2007, the name of the operation was changed to Manchester Central. During the lead-up to OGF20, the old web site: http://www.gmex-micc.co.uk/ has steadily been giving way to the new one: http://www.manchestercentral.co.uk/

It'll take a while for Mancunians (the proper name for denizens of Manchester) to get used to the new name. If a taxi driver looks blankly at you when you ask for Manchester Central, tell him or her that it used to be called G-MEX.

Why is it called Manchester Central anyway?

Manchester Central is built on the site of Manchester Central railway station, which incidentally was the world's first. Indeed, part of the structure still exists, and now forms the roof over the big exhibition hall formerly known as G-MEX.

Will there be any Manchester United Matches on around the time of OGF 20? How do I get tickets?

OGF20 falls between the last two premiership matches of the 2006-2007 football season. Manchester United is playing away at Manchester City on Saturday 5th May 2007, and is at home to West Ham at Old Trafford on Sunday 13th May.

However, tickets for Manchester United matches are extremely hard to obtain if you are not a season ticket holder or a member. There is a secondary market in Manchester United tickets, but be warned: prices are likely to be exhorbitant.

As an alternative, tours of the Stadium and the Manchester United Museum are conducted seven days a week, with admissions costs being about 6 per person. Details of these tours can be found at http://www.manutd.com/default.sps?pagegid={3B206E90-CB32-403F-BC82-DEBB730837FE}§ion=welcome . If it appears that there is a high level of interest in this, it may be that a group tour can be organised.

Are there any cultural events taking place in and around Manchester during the week of OGF20? How do I get tickets for these events?

A good source of information for forthcoming events is the Manchester Online website. A list of events from 7th May 2007 to 11th May 2007 is:

  • The BBC Philharmonic are playing at the Bridgewater Hall on 5th May 2007. Tickets for this concert cost between 8 - 29
  • The Halle Orchestra will be performing the Rachmaninov Rhapsody on the 9th May 2007. Tickets for the concert cost 8 and are available from

More information will be available on events in May nearer the time. Please visit Manchester Online or Visit Manchester for up to date lists.

Which bars and restaurants in Manchester are recommended?

A good website for finding out what types of cuisine are on offer in Manchester is http://visitmanchester.com/experience.aspx?experienceid=7 .

For traditional English pubs, some of the best are:
Lass O' Gowrie
36 Charles Street
(0161) 273 6932

Britons Protection Hotel
50 Great Bridgewater St
Manchester, Lancashire, M1 5LE
0161 236 5895

Sinclair's Oyster Bar
2 Cathedral Gates
M3 1SW
0161 834 0430

Marble Arch
73 Rochdale Rd,
M4 4HY
0161 832 5914

English Lounge
64-66 High Street,
M4 1EA
0161 832 4824

What is the best way to get around the city? Do I need separate tickets for different methods of transport?

Manchester has a Metrolink system that runs through the city centre, and that also joins Piccadilly train station with Victoria train station. There is a tram stop located that the Manchester International Conference Centre, and this is the quickest way to get around the city. Tickets are inexpensive when travelling around the city centre zone (the MICC is the cut off point for this zone), with a single costing 60p, and a return 1.20.
More information on the Metrolink can be found at http://www.metrolink.co.uk/

There is also a network of free buses (Metroshuttle) that travel around City Centre. There are three circular routes, and these cover all the main areas of the city centre. Metroshuttle operates with low-floor, easy access buses with a frequency of about every 5 minutes on Service 1 (orange), every 10 minutes on Service 2 (green) and every 10 minutes on Service 3 (purple). Metroshuttle links all of the city centre railway stations, the main NCP car parks, and many bus and Metrolink tram stops.

The Routes are as follows:
Route 1:
Mon - Sat: 7am-7pm, every 5 mins
Sun: 10am- 6pm, every 10 mins

Route 2
Mon - Sat: 7am-7pm, every 10 mins
Sun: 10am- 6pm, every 10 mins

Mon - Sat: 7am-7pm, every 10 mins
Sun: No service

Calls at:

Piccadilly Rail Station
Piccadilly/Chatham St
Charlotte St/Portland St
Charlotte St/Mosley St
King Street
John Dalton Street
Bridge Street*
Gartside Street*
Deansgate/John Rylands Library*
King Street West
Barton Arcade
St Marys Gate
Cross Street
King Street
York Street
Piccadilly Plaza
Central Coach Station
Chorlton Street
Piccadilly Rail Station
(* peak times only)
Calls at:

Victoria Station
Barton Arcade
John Rylands Library
Great Northern
Deansgate Station
Medlock St/Grand Island
Medlock St/Mancunian Way
Hulme Street
Oxford Road
Oxford Road Station
Whitworth St W/Cornerhouse
Deansgate Station
Liverpool Road
Science Museum
Lower Byron St
Deansgate/John Rylands Library
King Street West
Barton Arcade
St Mary's Gate
Corporation Street
Victoria Station
Calls at:

Piccadilly Rail Station
Piccadilly/Chatham St
Portland St/Chorlton St
Portland St/CUBE
Oxford Street
Peter Street
Quay Street/Opera House
Quay Street/Granada TV
New Quay Street
Salford Central Station
Gartside Street
Peter Street
Mount Street
Albert Square
Town Hall
City Art Gallery
Princess Street
Whitworth Street
Piccadilly Rail Station

For planning a journey outside of the city centre, visit http://www.gmpte.com where you will find full details of all transportation available in the area.

What are some of the tourist attractions in Manchester?

A good starting point for things to see and places to visit in Manchester is the Visit Manchester website: http://visitmanchester.com/

Imperial War Museum in the North
The award-winning building by international architect Daniel Libeskind is situated at The Quays, a waterfront destination 2 miles from Manchester city centre. There is no admission fee to the museum, and it is open 7 days a week, 10am - 6pm. The museum is easily accessible by tram from Manchester City Centre; the journey takes approximately 10 minutes.

Located at the heart of Manchester, Urbis is an exhibition centre of city life, featuring interactive exhibits and dynamic changing exhibitions. Urbis hosts various interactive exhibits, from creating your own identity card to an interactive version of Google Earth. Admission to levels 2 - 4 is free, with charges varying for the rest of the centre depending on the exhibitions being shown.

The Museum of Science and Industry
Situated in the oldest passenger railway buildings in the world, the Museum tells the story of the history, science and industry of Manchester - the world's first industrial city. Entry to the museum’s permanent exhibitions is free and the museum is open seven days a week.

Jodrell Bank Science Museum
The Jodrell Bank Visitor Centre is the visitor centre for the Lovell Radio Telescope and Jodrell Bank Observatory and is part of the School of Physics and Astronomy at the University of Manchester. Jodrell Bank is open seven days a week and admission is just £1.50 for adults and £1 for children.

The Lowry Centre
The Lowry opened on 28th April 2000, bringing together a wide variety of performing and visual arts under one roof. Opening its door to the best in entertainment and education in the arts, The Lowry aims to give everyone access to new areas of creativity and to embrace its broad community. Details of shows that are currently on at the Lowry can be found at http://www.thelowry.com/theatreinformation/Listings/whatson.aspx .

There are a variety of restaurants and bars around the Lowry, as well as a coffee bar, Terrace bar and restaurant in the Lowry Centre. The Metrolink runs to the Lowry from the city centre (and from the MICC) making it easily accessible.

Manchester Art Gallery
Manchester Art Gallery is located in heart of Manchester City Centre and is easily accessible by Metrolink Tram, train and bus. The gallery is open Tuesday - Sunday, 10am - 5pm, and admission is free.

Manchester Craft and Design Centre
Manchester Craft and Design Centre is a unique organisation comprising 16 retail/studio spaces, an excellent cafe and a rolling programme of exhibitions from leading national and international makers. Located in Manchester city centre's Northern Quarter, Manchester Craft and Design Centre is at the hub of a growing innovative and artistic community. It is one of the few places in the UK open to the public where contemporary goods are both individually produced and sold on the premises. Formerly the Smithfield Victorian fish market and crowned with a huge glass roof, the Centre now houses two floors of shops ranging from jewellery, ceramics and textiles to furniture and clothing design.

More information can be found at http://www.craftanddesign.com/

What parking facilities are there on offer in the city centre?

Whilst some hotels will have parking for a limited number of vehicles, not all will have the space in the city centre. Parking is not cheap, and advice would be to use public transport where possible. A good place to start if you need to find a car park close to your hotel is to enter the hotel's postcode into this NCP carpark finder (http://www.ncp.co.uk/multimapform.aspx).

Where can I find a Bureau de Change / Bank?

There are a number of banks located in the city centre (listed below) and all of these have a bureau de change.
Co-operative Bank, 1 Balloon St. Tel: 0845 7212212
Natwest Bank, Spring Gardens. Tel: 0845 6002803
Barclays Bank, St. Ann's Square. Tel: 0845 7555555
Natwest Bank, Piccadilly Tel: 0845 6002803
HSBC, Spring Gardens Tel: 0845 7404404
Royal Bank of Scotland, 4 Cross St Tel: 0161 839 2210
HSBC, 22 Cross Street Tel: 0845 7404404
Natwest Bank, 60, Portland St Tel: 0845 6002803
HSBC, High Street. Tel: 0845 7404404
Abbey, 130, Market Street Tel: 0845 7654321

A map of Manchester City Centre can be found at the end of this Q&A document to help you locate the above banks.

How do I get to Manchester?

By Air
Manchester airport is the UK's third largest airport and currently handles 20 million passengers a year, offering direct flights to over 180 destinations worldwide by over 90 airlines.

There are numerous scheduled flights every day from major airports around the world. A few examples are:

Frankfurt, Germany - Manchester: There are 10 flights per day that come from Frankfurt into Manchester, from 8:00 to 21:35.

Amsterdam - Manchester: There are 7 flights per day from Amsterdam in to Manchester, from 07:10 to 21:10.

Paris - Manchester: There are 7 flights per day from Paris Charles de Gaulle from 07:45 - 21.15

Chicago - Manchester: There are 5 flights per day from Chicago O'Hare International Airport from 17:35 - 18:55

Sydney - Manchester: There are over 17 flights to Manchester from Sydney, with transfers at various places. Flights run between 09:45 - 21:10

Auckland - Manchester: There are 11 flights from to Manchester to Auckland per day. These run from 14:00 - 22:55.

In order to find scheduled flights from your area to Manchester, please visit http://timetables.oag.com/man2/ .

There are also some bargain airlines that fly into Manchester, althought these are mainly from Europe. Links to these airlines are:

http://www.jet2.com This airline operates flights to Manchester from Amsterdam, Rome, Barcelona and Paris, to name but a few. Return Flights can cost as low as £45.

http://www.flybmi.com This airline operates throughout Europe, as well as having some flights from the US (Chicago, Denver, Los Angeles). This is a little more expensive than some bargain airlines, but is definitely worth a look if booking well in advance. flybmi also have special offers on throughout the year, so it is worth checking the website every so often to see the latest offers.

http://www.thomsonfly.com This airline mainly operates around Europe, but also has links to the USA and Australia.

Once you are at Manchester airport, there are various options open to you to get the Manchester City Centre.

There is a train service that runs between the airport and Manchester Piccadilly (Manchester's main rail station). This direct service runs roughly 9 times per hour and takes approximately 20 minutes. At the airport, there are skylink moving walkways that connect the station to the terminal buildings.

Manchester City Licensed taxis are available for hire on taxi ranks outside each arrivals hall at all three terminals and at The Station. Fares will vary slightly, but a trip from the airport to the city centre will cost between £15 and £20.

SKYLINE bus services provided by Stagecoach, Trent and Arriva, run services direct to and from the airport's Station, into Manchester city centre. Details of these services can be found at www.gmpte.com

By Rail
Manchester Piccadilly is a major gateway to the North-West of England. The station has undergone major refurbishments over the last 5 years to enable it to cope with the increasing numbers of passengers and services.

Piccadilly is one of three main stations and handles over 55,000 passengers per day. It is the northern terminus of Virgin's flagship route to London and also offers direct routes to many other major UK cities.

Manchester's other two main stations are Victoria Station and Oxford Road Station. The services operating to and from these stations are generally more local journeys.

For more information on train times, services and prices for any of the stations in Manchester, please visit http://www.thetrainline.co.uk and for more informaitono nthe services and facilities offered at Piccadilly Station, please see http://www.networkrail.co.uk/aspx/921.aspx

If I am flying in to Liverpool Airport, how do I get to Manchester?

There is an hourly, non-stop shuttle bus that runs from Liverpool John Lennon Airport to Manchester City Centre. To book seats on this service, please visit http://www.liverpooljohnlennonairport.com/page.php?p=123 . The cost of a return journey is around £5.50.

Will my mobile phone work in the UK?

Most dual and tri band mobile phones that have GSM 900 or 1800, will work via roaming in Britain. Check with your mobile phone provider before you leave that the "roaming" function is activated on your phone. This can take as long as two weeks to set up in some cases, so make sure that you do this well in advance of your departure date

What kind of power adaptor do I need?

The voltage used in Britain is 240 Volts AC at 50HZ. Power sockets are designed for standard 3-pin square plugs. Electrical appliances in Britain generally use the British standard plug with 3 square pins. Plug socket adaptors and power transformers are widely available; you can buy them at most airports, electrical shops and hardware stores.

Who was Alan Turing?

Alan Turing is often considered to be the father of modern computer science. Turing provided an influential formalisation of the concept of the algorithm and computation with the Turing machine, formulating the now widely accepted "Turing" version of the Church-Turing thesis, namely that any practical computing model has either the equivalent or a subset of the capabilities of a Turing machine. With the Turing test, he made a significant and characteristically provocative contribution to the debate regarding artificial intelligence: whether it will ever be possible to say that a machine is conscious and can think.

After the war, he worked at the National Physical Laboratory, creating one of the first designs for a stored-program computer, although it was never actually built. In 1947 he moved to the University of Manchester to work, largely on software, on the Manchester Mark I then emerging as one of the world's earliest true computers. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alan_Turing)

For more information on Alan Turing, please visit the following links:

Who was Tom Kilburn and what was his baby?

For a comprehensive biography of Tom Kilburn, please visit http://www.computer50.org/mark1/kilburn.html

What's the weather like in May?

Whatever the season, the British weather is liable to change from day to day, so if you are wondering what to wear; it is a good idea to bring a selection of items including some light clothes, items you can layer at least one warm pullover and a waterproof coat or umbrella.

Spring in Manchester can be unpredictable, with the likelihood of showers with sunny spells. Although temperatures tend to fluctuate from around 6 - 11 °C, May can have very warm days - up to about 18 °C.

Is Manchester as wet as its reputation?

The average monthly rainfall for May in Manchester is 3.99cm. In comparison, Sydney Australia has an average monthly rainfall for May of 13.61cm!

Are there any sporting facilities that I will be able to use whilst in Manchester?

Some of the hotels located in the City Centre of Manchester do have their own gyms and swimming pools. If the hotel that you are staying is does not, there are several options:

Manchester Aquatics Centre
2 Booth Street East,
M13 9SS
Tel: 0161 275 9450

A 3-D Map is available through http://www.manchestercentral.co.uk/









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