Visit Manchester Town Hall in the city centre and you’ll spot bees picked out in the mosaics across the lobby floor – once seen, you’ll notice them everywhere. The bee is used as a symbol of Manchester’s industriousness and teamwork, and it appears on benches, council flower pots and even bins across the city. The Town Hall itself was designed by Alfred Waterhouse (also behind the Natural History Museum in London) and is often used in place of the Houses of Parliament when filming. The city centre is, then, a district filled with many incredible buildings, from The Royal Exchange, a former trading hall and once the largest single room in the world, to The Bridgewater Hall, built in 1996 for £46m so that, incredibly, all 22,000 tons of it float on nearly three hundred earthquake bearings, or giant springs.
The city centre is perhaps Manchester’s most diverse area culturally, taking in Chinatown, the Gay Village (area of political importance for the LGBT community; its bars and clubs are legendary) and behemoths of the arts such as The Portico Library and Manchester Art Gallery, whilst not turning up its nose to the high street attractions of Market Street and the Arndale Centre.King Street is dotted with designer stores, but also has a foodie draw, including El Gato Negro’s superb tapas. St Ann’s Square is a quiet little enclave of shops, with Barton’s Arcade set back from it on one side, and St Ann’s Church, which dates back to 1712 and has a 54 stop organ. Albert Square is in front of the Town Hall, a cobbled space that plays host to the Manchester Christmas Markets and festival of premieres Manchester International Festival.
A top tip – don’t miss Manchester’s talking statues; Prunella Scales is Queen Victoria in Piccadilly Gardens, Russel Tovey is Alan Turing in Sackville Gardens, and Tom Conti plays the President in Lincoln Square.
Manchester Histories prepares to launch a major programme of over 150 events to commemorate the 200-year anniversary of the Peterloo Massacre. All of the essential Peterloo events in one place.
For anyone with even a passing interest in the beauty of the handmade or artful design, the annual award-winning Great Northern Contemporary Craft Fair (GNCCF) in Manchester is the place to head this October.
With a mixture of Renaissance masters and modern maestros, The Sixteen bring you a spread of sacred choral music spanning seven centuries.
Powerful and fast-paced and heart-breaking, we’re thrilled to hear that West Side Story will return to the Royal Exchange next spring.
This brilliantly fresh adaptation by award-winning writer, Tanika Gupta finds Hobson set up shop in Manchester’s Northern Quarter.
One of the top genre film festivals in the World, Manchester’s annual festival of horror, cult and fantastic film returns to Odeon, Great Northern this October.
Turn your flux capacitor on and set your destination to the Manchester Opera House in the year 2020. Your future depends on it.
Manifest Arts Festival returns to the North West this summer for its third edition.
Take a tour around select artworks from Manchester Art Gallery’s collection. Lead by different guides every day, each tour is personal to their taste. Tours start at 2 pm from Thursday to Sunday.
Exploring the relationship between art and mindfulness And Breathe… is an exhibition of artworks from Manchester Art Gallery’s collection that explores the relationship between art, positive mental health and wellbeing.