Get out more: Weekender walks, tours, secret gigs and more

Susie Stubbs

With the Manchester Weekender on the horizon, we highlight some of the more active pursuits you could spend a weekend doing.

The Manchester Weekender is designed to help you get under the skin of the city that we call home – and to help you do precisely that we’ve pulled together a few of our favourite tours: guided walks that take in history, art and, in one case, a whole lot of food, a walk-with-art especially for kids, a cycling tour, secret gigs, art in an apartment, and a whole lot more.

We start the weekend early, with a guided walk around Manchester Style: The Art, Fashion & Craft Tour. Beginning in the oh-so-fashionable Northern Quarter, this tour takes in exhibitions at Manchester Craft & Design Centre and the Chinese Arts Centre, and winds up at the Great Northern Contemporary Craft Fair for a special “sound craft” performance. Those of a gastronomic bent should try the Northern Quarter Taster tour, a guided walk through the history of this part of Manchester, which also takes in ten small plates in the Northern Quarter’s finest restaurants (there’s a “Southern Quarter” version on the Saturday, too). Want to discover more about some of the creative and scientific brains who have made Manchester great? Try Two Cultures, One Corridor, a guided walk in and around Oxford Road that uncovers such luminaries as Walter Crane and Alan Turing.

Here’s a walk for gastronomes: it takes in ten small plates in the city’s top eateries

Ed Glinert and the BBC Philharmonic, meanwhile, have got together to put a special guided walk together all about the Peterloo Massacre, with a special performance of the Peterloo Overture at the Bridgewater Hall afterwards: Peterloo Overture: See the Sights, Hear the Sounds runs on Saturday evening. Also on Saturday 12 October, try this one off-guided walk: Darn That Picasso – Conversations & Craftivism is a guided walk from the People’s History Museum that uncovers Manchester’s protest past, via a route marked out by the King’s Arms Knitters, and which ends up at the Working Class Movement Library. Is contemporary art more your thing? Then At home with art is coming to an apartment near you – it’s a chance to see art by the likes of Cornelia Parker and Tracey Emin in the comfort of someone else’s home (note that tours run across the weekend at different times). Those with small people in their lives will be pleased to hear that we have reprised last year’s sell-out Umbrella Doodles, a walking tour for kids that lets them amble around the city, and then draw the landmarks they have seen on see-through umbrellas (which they then get to take home with them; a genius idea for entertaining kids in the rainy city).

The more adventurous among you should check out this year’s cycle tour, which covers two cities, fanzines, The Smiths and club culture, or hoof it to Hey! Manchester’s Promenade Tour, with its string of secret gigs in unusual venues along Whitworth Street West. There are more – urban sketching, anyone? – but to make your Weekender complete, dig in to our full events listings. Happy Weekending, folks.

Culture Guides


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Kamila Shamsie. Photo Alex von Tunzelman


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