Castlefield Manchester MM WIDE
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

Members of Public Service Broadcasting in space
Exhibitions 20 October 2016–30 October 2016, FREE

Manchester Science Festival 2016

Manchester Science Festival returns with its innovative combination of science, technology, music, art, literature, fashion, food and more. The programme for this, the festival’s tenth year, is bigger and better than ever, featuring the science of gin and gambling, a sleep lab in the Arndale, a Harry Potter-inspired tea and, of course, a very special birthday party.

Wonder Materials Graphene & Beyond. An exhibition about Graphene at the Museum of Science and Industry

Picture: Jason Lock

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Picture © Jason Lock Photography
+44 (0) 7889 152747
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Exhibitions 23 July 2016–25 June 2017, FREE

Wonder Materials: Graphene and Beyond

In this groundbreaking exhibition, discover the history of graphite and graphene and immerse yourself in the wonders of a two dimensional world.

People gesturing in an exhibition
Exhibitions 2 September 2016–6 November 2016, FREE

Head to Head: Vasilis Asimakopoulos and Christian Falsnaes at Castlefield Gallery

Castlefield Gallery will be consecutively handed over to these two innovative artists who are interested in audience participation, event, and social ritual.

Manchester Science Festival 10th Birthday Party
Exhibitions 27 October 2016, FREE

Manchester Science Festival 10th Birthday Party at the Museum of Science and Industry

MSF celebrates its 10th birthday this year. Grab a slice of cake and help us celebrate as we look at the science behind birthday parties, from the psychology of clowns, the maths of cake cutting and the fluid dynamics of chocolate fountains.

Cape Farewell presents: Cloud Crash
Exhibitions 20 October 2016–3 February 2017, FREE

Cape Farewell presents: Cloud Crash at the Museum of Science and Industry

The world premiere of a new exhibition asks, how would you feel if you could see the effect of our actions on the environment in vivid technicolour?

Science Showdown
Families 20 October 2016–30 October 2016, FREE

Manchester Science Festival free family events

Play, investigate and be surprised at some of the most exciting free family science events around.

Royal Society Science Exhibition
Exhibitions 24 October 2016–30 October 2016, FREE

Royal Society Science Exhibition

From astronomy and our environment to glaciers and our gut, the exhibition is a collision of the UK’s most exciting new science and technology. Meet scientists from across the country and get stuck in to interactive activities for all ages.

Science Showdown
Families 24 October 2016–30 October 2016, FREE

Science Showdown

Vote for the winner as two sides battle it out to prove that their live experiments are the most exciting. Watch explosions, surprising science, secret message revelations and some gravity-defying activities.

Manchester Megapixel
Families 24 October 2016–30 October 2016, FREE

Manchester Megapixel

Help build and colour in a giant megapixel display. Find out how digital displays work and see yourself presented as pixels in a spreadsheet.

Manchester District Guides

Cheetham Hill 2 Jan Chlebik WIDE

Cheetham Hill, Manchester

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

Northern Quarter, Manchester

Northern Quarter, Manchester

Manchester’s most characterful, independent district is a jumbled network of streets to one side of…

Chorlton Guide

Chorlton, Manchester

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

The cafe in the trees at the Whitworth

Oxford Road, Manchester

Stretching all the way from the Curry Mile – with its glittering sari emporiums, Indian…

The front of Didsbury restaurant Volta.

Didsbury, Manchester

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

Salford museum and art gallery exterior

Salford, Greater Manchester

Cross over the River Irwell, and you’ll find yourself in another city entirely – Salford….