Deansgate, Manchester

Creative Tourist

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.

Discover our top picks

Music 15 February 2023 7:15 pm, from £25.00

Caroline Polachek at Albert Hall

In support of her forthcoming album – the follow-up to her 2019 experimental pop masterpiece PANG – Caroline Polachek plays Manchester’s Albert Hall.

Beginning at the Royal Exchange
Theatre 16 February–11 March 2023, from £7.00

Beginning at the Royal Exchange

Charged with emotional truthfulness, beauty, charm and embarrassing conversation, don’t miss David Eldridge’s intimate two-hander exploring love and loneliness.

untitled f*ck m*ss s**gon play at the Royal Exchange
Theatre 24 June–22 July 2023, from £7.00

untitled f*ck m*ss s**gon play at the Royal Exchange

Winner of the Bruntwood Prize 2019, International Award and presented as part of MIF23, Kimber Lee’s play looks to be the pièce de résistance for another brilliant season at the Royal Exchange.

Lemons Lemons Lemons Lemons Lemons at Manchester Opera House
Theatre 21–25 March 2023, from £13.00

Lemons Lemons Lemons Lemons Lemons at Manchester Opera House

Starring Jenna Coleman and Aiden Turner, this tender and funny romantic comedy heads to Manchester from the West End. Don’t miss out.

Free Your Mind at Factory International
Dance 13 October–5 November 2023, from £10.00

Free Your Mind at Factory International

Directed by Danny Boyle, Free Your Mind is a Matrix-themed large-scale performance spectacular and the first production at Manchester’s newest landmark arts venue.

The Welcome at Factory International
Families 11–19 November 2023,

The Welcome at Factory International

The Welcome is a huge nine-day celebration to mark the opening of Manchester’s phenomenal new arts space, Factory International. Everybody’s invited.

You, Me and the Balloons
Exhibitions 29 June–28 August 2023, from £7.50

You, Me and the Balloons at Factory International

Yayoi Kusama’s You, Me and the Balloons celebrates three decades of Kusama’s spectacular inflatable artworks, which are brought together for the first time in this major exhibition. The first event to be announced for MIF23.

Music 16 February 2023 11:08 am, from £17.50

The Murder Capital at Albert Hall

Irish post punks The Murder Capital bring their long-awaited second record, Gigi’s Recovery, to Albert Hall.

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