Creative Tourist

It’s August, the sun’s shining (sometimes), and you’re on the hunt for reasons to get out and about in Manchester and the North. You’ll find plenty of those below, from fantastic exhibitions to live music, theatre to food and drink. And you’ll find more in our seasonal guides to the August Bank Holiday, Summer Festivals, Outdoor Art and Adventure Activities.

Still showing this month

Literature Until 5 February 2025, FREE

The Little Library in Spinningfields

Take your pick from The Little Library’s carefully curated collection of classics and new releases, adding a recently read book of your own as a replacement.

Activity Until 31 December 2023, from £60

Eat The City – Scranchester Tours

Satisfy your hunger for knowledge as well as lunch with Scranchester’s food tours of the city centre. You may discover a new favourite hidden gem or learn a bit more about the cultural or historical significance of the food you eat all the time.

At Home with the Pankhurst Family at the Pankhurst Centre
Exhibitions Until 29 August 2024, FREE

At Home with the Pankhurst Family at the Pankhurst Centre

The Pankhurst Centre’s new permanent exhibition offers an intimate glimpse into the lives of the people behind the iconic Pankhurst name.

Activity Until 31 December 2023, from £269

DJ Gym at Hatch

Learn some DJ and production skills with DJ Gym Manchester, based in the culturally infused surrounds of Hatch.

Activity Until 25 December 2023, FREE

Sí Manchester Daily Tour

Sí Manchester’s daily tour is a brilliant way to get an overview of the city with tours running in both English and Spanish.

Exhibitions Until 30 September 2023, FREE

Daniel Arsham: Relics in the Landscape at Yorkshire Sculpture Park

Daniel Arsham’s large-scale sculptures are making an appearance at Yorkshire Sculpture Park in his outdoor show ‘Relics in the Landscape’.

Exhibitions Until 16 October 2023, FREE

Nothing About Us Without Us at PHM

‘Nothing About Us Without Us’ at PHM explores the history of disabled people’s activism and their ongoing fight for inclusion with a wonderful collection of exhibits brought together for the first time, 

Activity Until 31 January 2025, £8.50 with concessions

Old Dock Tours, Liverpool

The Old Dock tour is a treat for younger and older visitors alike, fans of Liverpool’s maritime past, and anybody curious about local history.

Exhibitions Until 31 January 2024, £10, with concessions

Magic in this Country: Hepworth, Moore and the Land at the Hepworth Wakefield

Discover the organic inspiration behind the work of Barbara Hepworth, Henry Moore and others in the new show at the Hepworth Wakefield. 

Elizabeth Gaskell's House
Literature Until 13 December 2023, from £5.00

Mary Barton season at Elizabeth Gaskell’s House online

The team at Elizabeth Gaskell’s House on Plymouth Grove has already celebrated the author’s famous novels Cranford and North And South, and in 2023 it’s the turn of Mary Barton: A Tale Of Manchester Life.

Exhibitions Until 20 January 2024, from £0.00

The Art of the Potter: Ceramics and Sculpture from 1930 to Now

‘The Art of the Potter: Ceramics and Sculpture from 1930 to Now’ at the Hepworth Wakefield celebrates the gallery’s growing collection of ceramics and sculpture.

Exhibitions Until 3 December 2023, FREE

(Un)Defining Queer at The Whitworth

Through a fantastic collection of classical and contemporary artists’ work, ‘(Un)Defining Queer’ examines the use of language, histories and narratives to explore what ‘queer’ really means today.

Music Until 25 February 2024, FREE

Interactive Music Tours at Old Chapel Music CIC

Old Chapel Music studio in Holdback, Leeds is offering an interactive historical music tour that opens its doors and ears to the public.

Activity Until 1 August 2023, from £45.00

Manchester Food Tour From Canals to Canapés

Experience a food tour that will show you the remnants of Manchester’s industrial past in Canals and Canapés with Manchester Bites.

Families Until 26 November 2023, from £13.00

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory – The Musical

Enjoy a deliciously delightful theatre experience with the family in the weirdest, most wonderful chocolate factory to ever exist!

Beatrix Potter: Passions in Paint at the Armitt Museum
Exhibitions Until 2 December 2023, from £4.00

Beatrix Potter: Passions in Paint at the Armitt Museum

Offering a brilliant blend of history, art and literature, this expanded exhibition at The Armitt, offers a revealing insight into the artist’s life and work.

To The Lakes! at Wordsworth Grasmere
Exhibitions Until 30 December 2023, from £6.00

To The Lakes! at Wordsworth Grasmere

Find out how the first tourists to the Lake District (a time before mobile phones, specialist clothing and TripAdvisor reviews) experienced the area, in this fascinating new exhibition.

Sarah Autumn
Literature Until 1 November 2023, FREE

Radical Reading Book Group at Left Bank Leeds

Join the Radical Reading Book Group every six weeks to discuss a book from The Reading Room Library – which you can find at Left Bank Leeds in collaboration with London-based independent radical publishers Pluto Press.

Until 2 December 2023, FREE

Leeds Kirkgate Market Heritage Tours

Every month Leeds Markets offer a FREE Heritage Tour with Rob Kilner, Workers Lunchtime.

Culture in South Lakes
Dance Until 30 December 2023, FREE

Culture in South Lakes

Not only one of Britain’s most picturesque national parks, the Lake District is also brimming with culture. Here’s what’s on over the next few months.

Exhibitions 6 April–3 September 2023, FREE

Lindsey Mendick: Where The Bodies Are Buried at Yorkshire Sculpture Park

This spring, Yorkshire Sculpture Park welcomes Lindsey Mendick, a rising star of the contemporary art world, in an immersive solo exhibition.

Exhibitions 7 April 2023–7 January 2024, FREE

Traces of Displacement at The Whitworth

See ‘Traces of Displacement’, the Whitworth’s major new exhibition which uses the gallery’s collection to explore the issue of forced displacement.

Julie Brook Exhibition at Abbott Hall
Exhibitions 20 May–30 December 2023, from £9.00 (on sale soon)

Julie Brook: What is it That Will Last? at Abbot Hall

Signalling a new direction for Abbot Hall, this major solo exhibition will include thirty years of work by renowned landscape artist Julie Brook.

Exhibitions 10 June–17 September 2023, FREE

Liverpool Biennial 2023 – uMoya: The Sacred Return of Lost Things

The 12th edition of the UK’s oldest and largest festival of contemporary visual art is back this year, bringing with it art focusing on ancestral knowledge, wisdom and healing.

You, Me and the Balloons
Exhibitions 29 June–28 August 2023, from £7.50

MIF23: You, Me and the Balloons at Factory International

Yayoi Kusama’s You, Me and the Balloons celebrates three decades of Kusama’s spectacular inflatable artworks, which are brought together for the first time in this major exhibition. The first event to be announced for MIF23.

Factory International Opening Season
Theatre 30 June–19 November 2023,

Factory International Opening Season

Prepare to fill that crisp new diary as we preview the Factory International Opening Season.