Northern Quarter, Manchester

Northern Quarter, Manchester

Creative Tourist

Manchester’s most characterful, independent district is a jumbled network of streets to one side of Piccadilly Gardens – once home to busy textiles warehouses and even the occasional umbrella factory. Now, the red brick buildings with their New York-style fire escapes are regularly used in film sets, and the streets are bursting with independent cafés, shops, bars, and cultural hotspots.

The Northern Quarter has become a destination in its own right, with the laid-back, bohemian vibe during the day transforming at night into teeming pavements of people in search of good food, craft beer, pop-up events and live music.

Ben Williams, Creative Tourist
Image by Ben Williams, Creative Tourist

When walking around, keep your eyes peeled for public art, including the sculptures of birds high on a wall on John Street (reflecting the area’s reputation in Victorian times as a ‘pets paradise’), the illuminated, 12 metre-tall Big Boys Toy on the top of the NCP car park, and the artistic graffiti on the outhouse in the middle of Stevenson Square.

Discover our top picks

Women in Comedy Festival 2022
Comedy 1–10 October 2022, from £3.00

Women in Comedy Festival 2022

Described as one of the “UK’s best comedy festivals”, the Women in Comedy Festival MCR returns with its 9th bumper edition of top-notch comedy. 

Music 3 September 2022 2:00 pm, from £45

Manchester Psych Fest 2022

Manchester Psych Fest, the UK’s leading psychedelic music and arts festival, returns in September 2022. We explore the line-up.

skyliner
Activity Until 31 December 2022, from £9

Skyliner: Alternative Tours of Manchester

Join Skyliner for the anti-tour of Manchester’s Northern Quarter. The route interrogates current developments in the city as well as visiting the area’s most notable pieces of street art.

Poet Jee Leong Koh
Literature 21 August 2022 4:00 pm, FREE

Peter Barlow’s Cigarette & Carcanet present… at The Pen & Pencil

Two of our favourite Manchester institutions – Peter Barlow’s Cigarette and Carcanet Press – are teaming up to present an afternoon of alternative poetries.

Activity Until 31 August 2022, from £40

Northern Quarter Taster Walk with Manchester Food Walks

We are lucky to be spoilt for choice when it comes to fresh, delicious and independent food choices in the centre of Manchester. Nowhere is this presence felt more than in the Northern Quarter. Join John Ryan on this taster walk as you eat your way through the back streets learning about the local history and culture as you go. 

Activity Until 31 December 2023, from £50

Eat The City – Scranchester Tours

Satisfy your hunger for knowledge as well as lunch with Scranchester’s food tours of the city centre. You may discover a new favourite hidden gem or learn a bit more about the cultural or historical significance of the food you eat all the time.

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…

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