The busy thoroughfare of Deansgate runs through Castlefield, joining the dots between it, Spinningfields and Manchester’s Cathedral Quarter at the opposite end. Deansgate is home to Manchester landmark the Beetham Tower (169-metres tall, it hums in high winds), gothic masterpiece the John Rylands Library and a good number of restaurants and bars.
The John Rylands Library is a breathtaking red sandstone building; founded by Enriqueta Rylands in memory of her husband John Rylands, it was took ten years to build and was opened to public readers on 1 January 1990. The library houses a collection that includes preserved papyrus fragments, the letters of local author Elizabeth Gaskell and an original Gutenberg Bible – as well as hosting an engaging programme of changing exhibitions.
At the other end of the cultural spectrum, and beneath the Deansgate Metrolink station, is Deansgate Locks, inevitably popular with throngs of weekend revellers. Alternatively, there’s the less raucous atmosphere at The Knott or Atlas Bar, nestled under the iron railway bridge. Or, if you’re feeling flush, the Hilton’s Cloud 23 bar on the 23rd floor of the Beetham Tower serves cocktails with an unparalleled view across the city.
For three weeks this summer a brand new Summer Shakespeare Festival will take over the Great Northern’s Amphitheatre.