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

Manchester's Great Northern Contemporary Craft Fair
Exhibitions 10–13 October 2019, from £5.50

Great Northern Contemporary Craft Fair 2019 at Upper Campfield Market

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.

West Side Story at the Royal Exchange
Theatre 18 April–23 May 2020, from £10.00

West Side Story at the Royal Exchange

Powerful and fast-paced and heart-breaking, we’re thrilled to hear that West Side Story will return to the Royal Exchange next spring.

Hobson's Choice at the Royal Exchange
Theatre 31 May–6 July 2019, from £18.50

Hobson’s Choice at the Royal Exchange

This brilliantly fresh adaptation by award-winning writer, Tanika Gupta finds Hobson set up shop in Manchester’s Northern Quarter.

Makefest at the Science and Industry Museum
Families 25–26 May 2019, FREE

MakeFest 2019 at the Science and Industry Museum

MakeFest is back for 2019, taking over the museum for a weekend of coding, crafting and creating.

MIF19: Tree at Upper Campfield Market Hall
Music 29 June–10 July 2019, from £30

MIF19: Tree at Upper Campfield Market Hall

Created by Idris Elba and Kwame Kwei-Armah, Tree will take its audience on a wondrous journey in search of the soul and spirit of present-day South Africa.

Theatre 17 January–18 July 2019, from £5

Royal Exchange Backstage Tour

Join one of the Royal Exchange’s passionate volunteers as they take you through the underbelly of this working theatre. Experience first hand the hard work and amount of people that go into putting on one of the theatre’s productions as well as seeing the props and costumes from some of your favourite shows.

MIF19 Tao of Glass at The Royal Exchange Theatre Manchester International Festival
11–20 July 2019, from £10

MIF19: Tao of Glass at The Royal Exchange Theatre

Philip Glass and Phelim McDermo explore life, loss and the question: Where does true inspiration come from?

24 Hours of Peace at the Royal Exchange
Theatre 10–11 November 2019, FREE

24 Hours of Peace at the Royal Exchange

What do you get if you add 24 hours to 48 performers and two hundred thousand words? Neil Bartlett’s extraordinary new national public artwork.

Manchester District Guides

Medieval Quarter, Manchester

The Medieval Quarter, or Cathedral Quarter as it is sometimes known, is one of the oldest parts of Manchester and home to some historic gems and cultural must-sees.  

Photo of a handwritten label in a cafe that says "Ring for service with a smile"

Burton Road, West Didsbury, Manchester

Burton Road is the heart of West Didsbury, a beautifully maintained leafy hubbub of shops,…

Beech Road Chorlton, Manchester

A laid-back mix of gift shops, independent outfitters, restaurants, pubs and parks, on a sunny weekend afternoon it’s heaving.

The front of Didsbury restaurant Volta.

Didsbury, Manchester

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

Chorlton, Manchester

Chorlton is a left-leaning suburb a few miles south of Manchester’s city centre (and only…

Cheetham Hill, Manchester

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

Things to do right now

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Activity 20 October 2018–31 December 2019, FREE

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Cinema 22 October 2003–20 September 2019, from £5.50

MIF19: Mon Oncle at HOME