Manchester is on the verge of a festival binge.

The city picks up the culinary baton on 7 October with its own food and drink festival, during which Mercury Prize-winning local heroes Elbow will launch their own brand of cask ale. The Literature Festival (10-23 October) and the Comedy Festival (17-30 October) follow soon after, while more than 200 installations turn the city into an urban laboratory during the annual Science Festival (22-30 October).

How to
The Macdonald Townhouse Hotel has just completed a rather fine refurbishment, making it one of the best boutique choices in the city centre (from £69).

Virgin Trains runs a service to Manchester from Edinburgh (from £31) and London Euston (from £23;

This article was published in partnership with Lonely Planet Magazine.