The best lectures, talks & meetups in Manchester

Creative Tourist

From incredible free talks and encounters with moon rock through to literature and philosophy debates – these are the best regular events in Manchester.

There’s an old piece of wisdom that says “a problem shared is a problem halved”. That might be true, but here at Creative Tourist we have our own coinage: “double the company, double the fun”. With that soon-to-be ubiquitous phrase in mind, we’ve compiled a list of our favourite clubs, groups and societies, for meeting like-minded people and discovering more about art, astronomy, and much more.

Here are our picks

  • 1. Manchester Astronomical Society

    Manchester Astronomical Society, Sackville Street Building, Godlee Observatory, Manchester, M13 9PL - Visit now

    Not to be confused with astrology (when I mistakenly told friends I was off to an astrology meeting they thought I was joining a cult), the Manchester Astronomical Society holds weekly meetings open to the public. The quality of the speakers is simply astounding, with specialists on the cutting edge of interstellar research coming along to share their work. When I was there I got to handle an actual piece of moon rock – and if you join the society you get to use their amazing telescope at the Godlee Observatory in the city centre, which is a marvel in itself.

  • 2. Modernist Society

    Modernist Society

    Modernist Society, 8 Lower Ormond St, Manchester, M1 5QF - Visit now

    As well as putting out a must-read mag, the Manchester Modernist Society organise regular events and activities. If you’ve got even a passing interest in design, city planning or architecture, this is the group for you. A recent screening of films about Hulme was one of the most informative evenings out in Manchester in a long time. Also look out for the magazine launch nights, which usually involve a few glasses of wine and a lot of impassioned chatter.

  • 3. Gaskell Society

    Elizabeth Gaskell Society

    Gaskell Society, Elizabeth Gaskell’s House, 84 Plymouth Grove, Manchester, M13 9LW - Visit now

    For fans of Elizabeth Gaskell’s work, as well as those interested in her life and proto-feminist leanings, these talks in both Manchester and Knutsford are a must. Regular guest lecturers unpack the meaning and significance of her writing, and the Manchester meetings are held in either Elizabeth Gaskell house, or the striking surrounds of the Cross Street Chapel, where Gaskell’s husband William was minister.

  • 4. People’s History Museum (PHM)

    People's History Museum Manchester
    Image © People’s History Museum

    People’s History Museum (PHM), Left Bank, Spinningfields, Manchester, M3 3ER - Visit now

    Of all Manchester’s many magnificent museums the PHM seems to be the best at events for young families. Whether designing your own banknote, fashioning a sculpture from recycled material or engaging in a story-telling session, there’s something going on at least once a month and often every week. Sessions are somewhat irregular though, so you have to keep an eye on the events section of their website.

  • 5. Manchester Literary & Philosophical Society

    Manchester Literary and Philosophical Society

    Manchester Literary & Philosophical Society, Jactin House 24 Hood Street, Manchester, M4 6WX - Visit now

    For those who like to put their brain through some serious paces, there’s the Manchester Literature & Philosophical Society. Running since 1781, this group meet up to discuss – you guessed it – literature and philosophy. However, some more light-hearted offerings, like an upcoming lecture on the history of lesser-known small ball games, are also in the schedule.

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