The Manchester Docks opened in 1894 and by the end of World War II were the third busiest docks in the UK. In the 1970s, unable to accommodate larger container vessels, they fell into decline and closed in 1982.
Shortly after their closure, Salford City Council launched a massive scheme to regenerate Salford Docks; the western section of the port. Rebranded as Salford Quays, the area is now home to some of the North West England’s most popular tourist attractions, a creative hub, hotels, a shopping mall, residential apartments, and offices.
One of the first major developments at Salford Quays was The Lowry, an arts centre boasting theatres, a gallery with large collection of paintings by LS Lowry, and an excellent restaurant. It opened in 2000 and now attracts close to one million visitors every year.
Two years later saw the opening of the Imperial War Museum North, one of the most striking pieces of architecture in North West England. Designed by Daniel Libeskind the building represents a globe shattered by conflict. Innovative exhibits here show how lives have been shaped by war in the 20th and 21st centuries. Admission is free.
Quayside MediaCityUK offers factory outlet shopping at hefty discounts. It was formerly known as the Lowry Outlet Mall. It is also home to the Vue Manchester Quayside (formerly the Vue Lowry/Red Cinema), a private health club, several restaurants and bars, and a food court.
MediaCityUK is a purpose-built home for the creative and digital industries. Tenants include the BBC, ITV and the University of Salford. The development also includes apartments, a Booths supermarket, plus a good selection of restaurants.
Old Trafford, the stadium of Manchester United, lies just south of Salford Quays.
Hotels and places to stay in and around Salford Quays and MediaCityUK include:
- Old Trafford Stadium Hotel
- AC Hotel Manchester Salford Quays
- Hotel Football
- Holiday Inn Express Manchester - Salford Quays
- Holiday Inn Manchester - MediaCityUK
- Trafford Hall Hotel
Salford Quays and MediaCityUK are popular places to live. The area is home to a large number of apartments and houses. Many of these can be rented by visitors looking for accommodation through sites such as Airbnb.
- City Lofts – 19-storey and 9-storey apartment buildings, connected by a foyer. Close to MediaCityUK.
- Imperial Point – 16-storey apartment tower next to Quayside MediaCityUK.
- Lightbox – 19-storey building at MediaCityUK.
- Merchants Quay – Residential development built in the 1980s. Consists of low rise apartment blocks and terraced town houses.
- Millennium Tower and Millennium Point. Apartment buildings near Anchorage Metrolink Tram Stop.
- NumberOne – 22-storey apartment building at MediaCityUK.
- NV Buildings – 3 identical 18-storey, sail-shaped buildings overlooking Huron Basin. Close to Harbour City Metrolink Tram Stop.
- Sovereign Point – 20-storey apartment tower. Sister building of Imperial Point. Close to Quayside MediaCityUK.
- The Heart – 22-storey apartment building at MediaCityUK. Close to BBC Bridge House.
Location and Postcode
Salford Quays and MediaCityUK are located in Salford, just over a mile west of Manchester city centre. The area is covered by postcode districts M5 and M50
Car and Parking
To get to Salford Quays by car leave the M60 at Junction 12 and take the M602 and then the A5063. The destination is well-signposted.
Quayside (formerly known as the Lowry Outlet Mall) boasts a multi-storey car park. Owners of satellite navigation systems can used the postcode M50 3AH to find it. Parking fees are reasonable. Cinemagoers also benefit from free car parking. This car park is the closest parking area to The Lowry.
Other parking options include the car park at the Imperial War Museum North (postcode M17 1TZ) and the multi-storey car park at MediaCityUK (postcode M50 2EQ). Fees apply at both car parks.
There are numerous bus services to Salford Quays. The most popular are the 50 and X50 services.
Most visitors to Salford Quays will find the 50 service more convenient. It runs from the Parrs Wood Entertainment Centre in Didsbury to The Lowry. It calls at various stops in Manchester city centre and at Salford Central Train Station and Salford Crescent Train Station.
The X50 travels from Piccadilly Gardens Bus Station in Manchester city centre to the Trafford Centre, stopping at the Imperial War Museum North.
There are no train stations at Salford Quays or MediaCityUK.
Physically, the closest train is Salford Crescent. This is around 1 mile north of the area.
Visitors arriving at Manchester Piccadilly, the main train station in Manchester, can easily reach Salford Quays by public transport. There are direct Metrolink services from Piccadilly Metrolink Tram Stop. The journey time is just over 15 minutes. Taxis also leave from outside the station.
Our map of Salford Quays/MediaCityUK shows the location of hotels, and tourist attractions such as The Lowry. Click on any point of interest for further information.
Use the control to zoom out and see where Salford Quays is located in relation to the rest of Manchester and North West England.