6 December 2014

Polly Checkland Harding
Photo of a coffee and a Christmas bunch

Introducing our Advent Calendar – the sixth post in a cultural countdown to Christmas. Today: independent shops, Christmas markets and coffee.

Today is Small Business Saturday – which means a celebration of independent shops. We love Cow Vintage in Manchester’s Northern Quarter, Magma nearby and the Craft & Design Centre. As it’s a Saturday, it’s also the ideal time to explore Manchester’s Christmas Markets – we’ve selected the very best from over 300 stalls, focussing both on some ace gift ideas and foodie indulgences to give into. Stop for a coffee at Pot Kettle Black in Barton’s Arcade when it all gets a bit much.

Do more. You could also make a shopping day trip with our Top 10 Christmas Markets in the North guide. Altrincham Market, St. George’s Hall Winter Arts Market and the Hepworth’s Christmas Market are all open this weekend – perfect for present buying as the days between now and the Big Day get ever fewer…

Culture Guides

Patron Mono by Carolina Caycedo, image depicts a figure standing in a room with a three channel video emitting a yellow light


From immersive playgrounds and mythological journeys to tackling injustice, this month is filled with fresh art to see all around the North.

Geronimo Festival 2022


Festivals, shows, museums, and much, much more – there’s plenty of summer fun to be had for families in Manchester and the North, whatever the weather. Here are our top picks.

Poet Caroline Bird


There’s plenty of sunshine-drenched reading to immerse yourself in from established names and emerging talent, poets and prose writers alike, both in real life as well as online.


From basement crawlers to stadium stars, there are some electric live acts heading our way this summer. Here are our top picks.

Theatre in Manchester


Eclectic theatre festivals, silly slapstick and dreamy outdoor shows, there’s lots of brilliant performances happening inside and outside over the summer.

Classical Music in Manchester and the North

We preview the standout classical music events and venues in Manchester and the north.

Baekdu Korean BBQ Restaurant

Food and Drink

Plan for July’s food and drink outings at some of the best restaurants and bars in Manchester and the North.


Explore Hollywood history, queer rarities and squirm-inducing horror across the big screens of Manchester and the North this month.

Tours and Activities

Get out in the sun this month with tours and activities that will have you engaging positively with the climate, taking the plunge in Salford Quays and getting creative.