The cafe in the trees at the Whitworth
Image courtesy of The Whitworth

Oxford Road, Manchester

Creative Tourist

Stretching all the way from the Curry Mile – with its glittering sari emporiums, Indian sweet shops and mixed reputation for actual curry – up toward the city centre, Oxford Road is not only home to two Universities, the Royal Northern College of Music, an Olympic-sized pool and a good number of the city’s best music venues, it’s also the busiest bus route in Europe. Yes, this is student land, but cultural institutions such as The Whitworth art gallery, Manchester Museum and International Anthony Burgess Centre also make the area a real draw for locals and tourists alike. There are also two parks: Whitworth Park, which dates back to 1890, and Grosvenor Square, a small patch of green that was once a church and where now, on sunny days, the locals come out to bask in bookish style.

The Oxford Road Corridor is the site of serious scientific innovation; here, you can visit the place where the atom was split, and doff your cap to the building dedicated to pioneering computer scientist and code breaker Alan Turing. Once home to philosopher Friedrich Engels and writer Elizabeth Gaskell, the area can boast its fair share of artistic prestige, too. Here, history and innovation still exist side by side.

Discover our top picks

Theatre 20 September–20 December 2017,

Contact Autumn Season 2017

Contact’s new season builds on its position as one of Manchester’s most innovative and experimental theatre centres.

Festivals 22 September 2017–31 March 2018,

HOME Autumn/Winter Season

From revolutionary inspired art to ‘sassy’ Hip Hop Christmas cabaret, check out our guide to HOME’s Autumn/Winter Season.

Music 4 August 2017, from £25.00

Joshua Redman: Still Dreaming at the RNCM

American jazz saxophonist and composer Joshua Redman is joined by three of the most imaginative voices in contemporary jazz to interpret music by Ornette Coleman’s band, Old and New Dreams.

Theatre 22 September–7 October 2017, from £10

People, Places and Things at HOME

Emma is an actor trying to overcome addiction, but what else can help her cope with life’s problems?

Comedy 13–14 October 2017, from £20.00 - 25.00

Hocum Pokem at Contact

Turn the camp dial past 10 with this drag reinterpretation of cult classic Hocus Pocus.

Sports 20–23 September 2017, from £10:00 - 15.00

We’re Not Really Here – A Football Opera at Contact

The excitement of a goalmouth scramble and the pressure of a penalty shootout are put under the spotlight in this new theatre show about football fandom.

Comedy 7–9 December 2017, from £20.00 - 25.00

Jinkx Monsoon & Major Scales: The Vaudevillians at Contact

Taller than over the top, further than too far, this is drag queen cabaret at its silliest and most satisfying.

Comedy 27 October–11 November 2017, from £6.00

Flying Solo Festival 2017 at Contact

A box of performance chocolates where every single pick is delicious? It can only be Contact’s Flying Solo Festival.

Theatre 28–29 November 2017, from £10.00 - 15.00

Re-member Me at Contact

Re-member Me brings the ghosts of Hamlets-past back to life through Dickie Beaus lip-syncing master class.

Dance 10–12 October 2017, from £06.00 - 10.00

#JeSuis (In Progress) at Contact

Fluctuation and permanence, stillness and movement are explored in Aakash Odedra’s latest dance work.

Manchester District Guides

Photo of a handwritten label in a cafe that says "Ring for service with a smile"

Burton Road, West Didsbury, Manchester

Burton Road is the heart of West Didsbury, a beautifully maintained leafy hubbub of shops,…

Beech Road Chorlton, Manchester

It may not quite have the reputation of Benefits Street, but Beech Road in Chorlton…

The front of Didsbury restaurant Volta.

Didsbury, Manchester

Follow Oxford Road South through the Curry Mile, along Wilmslow Road, past Platt Fields Park…

Chorlton, Manchester

This left-leaning suburb a few miles south of Manchester’s city centre (and only ten minutes…

Cheetham Hill, Manchester

As an area, Cheetham Hill gets a pretty bad rep. The foreboding architecture of Strangeways…