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

Image courtesy of Kino Lorber
Cinema 14 December 2016, from £7.50

Screened/ Silent Night: The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari with live accompaniment

Screened/ MCR host a special, festive evening in celebration of silent cinema. There will be a screening of The Cabinet of Dr. Calgari, Manchester Metropolitan silent shorts, speakers and Dairius Battiwalla providing live accompaniment throughout.

Literature 19 December 2016, FREE

Kulning: Winter Songs – First Draft and The Real Story at The Castle

This December, First Draft will once again be sharing a special festive event with The Real Story, serving up an evening of music and storytelling to warm your cold, cold winter hearts…

Education 16 February 2017,

PR in China at CFCCA

PR in China will look the (mis)representations of Chinese people in theatre (including Yellow Face Theatre) and films.

Exhibitions 21 October 2016–15 January 2017 , FREE

Yin-Ju Chen: Extrastellar Evaluations II at CFCCA

CFCCA invites Taiwanese artist Chen Yin-ju to exhibit Extrastellar Evaluations II, an exploration of cosmic events and human behaviour through the processes of mythology, scientific research and artistic response.

Music 16 December 2016, from £12.50

Richard Hawley presents Disgraceland

A new night of live music and DJ sets curated by producer, songwriter, guitarist and bona-fide national treasure Richard Hawley.

Glass work by Harry Morgan
Exhibitions 10 November 2016–05 February 2017 , FREE

Heated Exchanges at Manchester Craft & Design Centre

Three artists push glass to the limits in this small but startling exhibition at Manchester Craft and Design Centre – which launches with complimentary mulled wine and mince pies.

MIF17: What Is the City but the People?
Exhibitions 29 June 2017, FREE

MIF17: What Is the City but the People? in Piccadilly Gardens

Conceived by artist Jeremy Deller, What Is the City but the People? will see residents parading on a specially designed walkway across Manchester’s Piccadilly Gardens to musical accompaniment, capturing the city through its outfits and attitudes.

Baked A La Ska: ‘Ska of Wonder’ Christmas Party
Music 22 December 2016, from £10.00

Baked A La Ska: ‘Ska of Wonder’ Christmas Party

Kick off the festive season in style with our annual Baked A La Ska Christmas special.

Coco Mbassi
Music 10 December 2016, from £10.00

Coco Mbassi

Cameroonian singer Coco Mbassi describes her music as ‘a tree with deep African roots and branches that extend some towards classical music, some towards soul, gospel and jazz, and others towards Latin music and even pop music.’

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