Three for me.

Jonathan Schofield

To kick off our new series of recommended sights and attractions, the writer, broadcaster and historian, Jonathan Schofield (who also edits Manchester Confidential) list his top three Mancunian buildings.

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Chetham’s Library: Originally priests’ quarters from 1421, Chetham’s is now a School of Music and a Library. The Library, which dates from the 1650s, is open on weekdays to the public and is the oldest free public library in the country. A remarkable survival with a remarkable collection, the place reeks of history and yet knocks you for six with charm. If you think Manchester is a Victorian or even twentieth century city, think again.

Manchester Town Hall: The classic building from that Victorian architect par excellence, Alfred Waterhouse. This neo-Gothic building, opened in 1877, sums up the pride, the dynamism and the arrogance of the Victorian era and marries architecture, sculpture and the fine arts. It reveals the ambition of Manchester to be a fully functioning city state, a latter-day Florence, a leader and a pioneer.

North City Library: By Walker Simpson architects, North City Library points the way ahead for a new kind of progressive public building with this library-meets-Sixth Form College. It could be described as modestly grand. There’s a belvedere to the city centre, generous public spaces, a vivid external wall of photovoltaic panels and a show-off pond and community garden that cluster around a 100 year-old chimney from the former baths on the site. It never feels like an overwhelming building, just a comfortably impressive one.

Image: Chetham’s Library, courtesy Darby Sawchuk

Culture Guides

Image credit: Maryna Makarenko, Sun-Eaters, 2022

Cinema

Classic pre-Code cinema, the Artist Film Weekender and the music of John Williams are amongst our highlights this month.

Exhibitions

Pause in the hustle and bustle of festive prep to take in some inspiration from this month’s top exhibitions.

The Ocean at the End of The Lane at the lowry

Families

It’s the most wonderful time of the year and Manchester is bursting with fun, family activities to keep the kids entertained in the run up to Christmas!

Writer Nicholas Royle. Photo by Zoe McLean

Literature

There are spooky stories, Christmas crime thrillers and plenty of books for stocking fillers as December unfolds and Manchester and the wider North region switches on the live literature lights.

Music

The festive season is here, and whether you want to escape it or embrace it, we’ve got you covered.

Theatre in Manchester and the North

Theatre

Alongside radical sci-fi adaptations and free arts festivals, we take a look at some of the Christmas shows happening in the North.

Classical Music in Manchester and the North

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

Food and Drink

Explore the best restaurants and bars in Manchester and the North for autumn.

Tours and Activities

We’re deep into Autumn now but don’t let that stop you from finding a new tour or activity to get stuck into.

Things to do right now

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Activity Until 1 December 2022, from £20

Pottery at Earth Pig Pottery and Fine Art in Buxton

Visual Arts Until 1 December 2022, from £20

Graffiti at Zap Graffiti

Activity Until 1 December 2022, from £95

Blacksmithing at Forge Four

Activity Until 1 December 2022, from £15

Embroidery with Sara Dennis at Lancaster Castle

Activity Until 1 December 2022, from £59

Making silver stacker rings at The Old Granary

Activity Until 1 December 2022, from £13

Candle making at Cheshire Workshops

Activity Until 1 December 2022, from £60

Glass fusing at Glassmonkey Studio

Textile taxidermy
Activity Until 1 December 2022, from £80

Textile taxidermy with Jaki Bogg at Craven Arts Studios

Activity Until 1 December 2022, from £3.50

Knittaz with Attitude: Yarnbombing at Upside Down Coffee

Cinema Until 8 December 2022, from £7.95

Aftersun at HOME