Liverpool and Manchester are no longer running. Few cities of this size can boast such a reputation. Their names echo around the globe. They carry with them the music of immortal bands, wild parties, crazy concerts, street artists and jubilant stadiums. They are deeply rooted in Ireland, Asia, America, the Caribbean and the open sea. They taste like fish & chips, curry houses, traditions and good beer. In two words, they embody both the world and England. Or rather the world in England. For there was a time when all eyes were riveted here. The society as we know it was, so to speak, born there. In the chaos, misery, the dust of chimneys, the clatter of machines and the ballet of transatlantic ships. They are the first buzzing cities of the modern era, born of the Industrial Revolution and the liberal economy. They have been enriched by globalized trade, its progress and its share of misfortune, as portrayed by Dickens, Engels and many others. Over the centuries, this turbulent past has left only the best of itself: a splendid waterfront in Liverpool, a UNESCO World Heritage site, and charming canals in Manchester. The architecture is exceptional on both sides, a clever mix of Georgian, Victorian and contemporary styles. Excess and legacy are intertwined in a permanent renewal, driven by ambitious projects. From their blue-collar ancestors, the inhabitants have kept an unshakeable authenticity and warmth in their hearts. Today, the warehouses have become trendy clubs, the docks have been covered with international museums and the streets are home to more and more hype restaurants and trendy bars, while keeping their flowery and colourful pubs. From now on, when eyes turn to this corner of the planet, it's to dance to the Beatles, vibrate with Oasis, shudder at the Champions League or cheer on a cultural scene full of life. Its location in the north of the country makes it the heart of a bewitching region, a few steps away from unspoilt wilderness and elegant cities steeped in history.

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