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

Activity 11 September 2019–28 February 2020, from £5

Meditation at the Manchester Buddhist Centre

Learn how to meditate with the welcoming community at Manchester Buddhist Centre. Their beginners classes are the perfect way to find your feet and develop your own meditation practice.

Festivals 27 October 2019, 11:30 am–5:00 pm, from £20

Reserve Wines – Autumn Wine Fair

Wine lovers rejoice, it’s time for the Reserve Wines’ Autumn Wine Fair at Mackie Mayor, featuring many handpicked wines for you to taste.

Building shown in evening with colourful blurred lights - for 3D printing architecture workshop
Families 16 November 2019, 11:00 am–3:30 pm, from £8

MadLab 3D Printing Architecture Workshop at the Centre for Chinese Contemporary Art

Explore the fundamentals of digital design software. Children and young people will even be able to 3D print their own futuristic building to take home!

Described by the Wall Street Journal as one of ‘China’s Rising Art Stars’, encounter the work of Shanghai-based artist Cui Jie at CFCCA.
Exhibitions 25 October 2019–19 January 2020, FREE

Cui Jie at Centre for Chinese Contemporary Art

Described by the Wall Street Journal as one of ‘China’s Rising Art Stars’, encounter the work of Shanghai-based artist Cui Jie at CFCCA.

Cheng Ran: Diary of a Madman, Manchester Plan at Centre for Chinese Contemporary Art
Exhibitions 25 October 2019–19 January 2020, FREE

Cheng Ran – Diary of a Madman: Manchester Plan, New Bees at Centre for Chinese Contemporary Art

See Manchester through entirely fresh eyes. CFCCA presents the latest instalment of Cheng Ran’s ‘Diary of a Madman’ series.

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

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The front of Didsbury restaurant Volta.

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