Image courtesy of Marketing Manchester

Castlefield, Manchester

Creative Tourist

The Roman General Julius Agricola founded ‘Mamucium’ in 79AD; the name means ‘breast shaped hill’, as this was what Agricola discovered in Castlefield, where the original settlement was based. Now, the fort that was built here – protected by the Rivers Irwell and Medlock – only survives in ruins, and the amphitheatre is a modern one, built to host occasional outdoor gigs. Canals are a key feature in the area; Castlefield was the terminus of the Bridgewater Canal, the world’s first industrial canal, the success of which inspired ‘canal mania’ in Britain. The real draw in the area, however, is ambitious cultural complex HOME (with its innovative cross-arts programming), the Museum of Science and Industry (housed in the magnificent buildings of the world’s first passenger railway), the small but influential Castlefield Gallery and the restaurants and bars that face out onto the canals.

Once a hub of industrial activity, Castlefield is now one of the city’s most tranquil spots. That’s thanks, in part, to its designation in 1982 as the UK’s first Urban Heritage Park, which safeguarded canals and cobbles and created a largely traffic-free haven. Its moored-up, flower-decked canal boats are evidence of the slower pace of life here.

Discover our top picks

Exhibitions 22 September–5 November 2017, FREE

AND A 123 at Castlefield Gallery

Castlefield Gallery’s new group show invites us to take a minty-fresh look at the world around us.

Exhibitions 4–15 November 2017, FREE

In Nothing Flat at Old Granada Studios

Mark Devereux Projects presents a group exhibition at Old Granada Studios featuring work by twelve ambitious artists from across the UK.

Families 21–22 October 2017, from £10

DM17: Stop-frame workshops from Animation Nation at Upper Campfield Market

Get animated with this stop-motion animation workshop, model your own monster using plasticine, and bring them to life using the magic of animation!

Exhibitions 20–22 October 2017, FREE

DM17: Design City Weekender at Upper Campfield Market

The Design City Weekender at Upper Campfield Market is a celebration of creatives, makers and print with something for everyone to try their hand at.

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Things to do right now

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Theatre 18–21 October 2017, from £15.50

Under Glass at The Lowry

Music 19–22 October 2017, from £6.00

Manchester Folk Festival 2017

Families 19 October–5 November 2017, from £6

Big Imaginations Festival

Dance 19–20 October 2017, from £12

Andante at The Lowry

Exhibitions 30 September 2017–4 February 2018, FREE

Hetain Patel at Manchester Art Gallery

Families 7 October 2017–2 January 2018, from £21.25

Dinosaurs in the Wild at EventCity

Music 24 September 2017–9 June 2018,

BBC Philharmonic 2017/18 Concert Season

Dance 14 September–1 November 2017,

The Lowry Autumn Season 2017

Music 4 October–11 December 2017, FREE

RNCM Autumn Season

Exhibitions 22 September–5 November 2017, FREE

AND A 123 at Castlefield Gallery

Theatre 20 September–20 December 2017,

Contact Autumn Season 2017

Festivals 22 September 2017–31 March 2018,

HOME Autumn/Winter Season