I was up in Manchester yesterday at the IFA Adviser08 exhibition. I travelled up on Monday afternoon and booked an overnight stay for the night. I'd searched various hotels, some of which were right by the Manchester Exhibition Centre and varied from the reasonably priced, basic room to the more upmarket, expensive options. Although Manchester has plenty of hotels to choose from, I decided that rather than stay in an impersonal, hotel and as I didn't need to be there on the dot of 8.30 when the event started, that I'd find a B&B somewhere close by.
After a few phone calls - it's half term up there this week, so some weren't taking bookings, I found the utterly delightful Birtles Farm B&B. It's situated on the edge of Tatton Park within a short drive from the M6 and only 20 minutes from the centre of Manchester. Down a long drive, it's a working farm and the farmhouse is crammed full of warmth and character. No clean lines and white walls here - all wooden rafters, uneven floors and walls, wonderful dark wood doors with old fashioned latches and a lovely double room with everything that your average business hotel would have but in much nicer surroundings. OK, the tiny ensuite shower room might be a bit smaller than most and if you were six foot you'd have to duck through the door but it had everything I needed and more. There was a TV, wireless internet access, tea & coffee making facilities, a fabulously comfortable bed with loads of pillows, a sofa to relax on, soft towels, a cupboard with proper hangers. Downstairs was your own guest lounge and the dining room, where a good hearty breakfast was served the following morning. Better than the usual Tuesday breakfast I'd be having if I was at my local Chamber meeting.
I'd highly recommend it if you need somewhere to stay in the area and it will certainly be my first consideration if I need a place to stay again. If not for a business stop-over in Manchester (it took me 30 minutes to drive into the centre of Manchester or I could have hoped on the Metro from Altrincham and that was in rush hour(, then it's ideally placed for Manchester Airport or for a long weekend break. There's plenty to see in the area and it's just on the edge of the wonderful Peak District and there are walks from the front door.