The cafe in the trees at the Whitworth
Image courtesy of The Whitworth

Oxford Road, Manchester

Creative Tourist

Stretching all the way from the Curry Mile – with its glittering sari emporiums, Indian sweet shops and mixed reputation for actual curry – up toward the city centre, Oxford Road is not only home to two Universities, the Royal Northern College of Music, an Olympic-sized pool and a good number of the city’s best music venues, it’s also the busiest bus route in Europe. Yes, this is student land, but cultural institutions such as The Whitworth art gallery, Manchester Museum and International Anthony Burgess Centre also make the area a real draw for locals and tourists alike. There are also two parks: Whitworth Park, which dates back to 1890, and Grosvenor Square, a small patch of green that was once a church and where now, on sunny days, the locals come out to bask in bookish style.

The Oxford Road Corridor is the site of serious scientific innovation; here, you can visit the place where the atom was split, and doff your cap to the building dedicated to pioneering computer scientist and code breaker Alan Turing. Once home to philosopher Friedrich Engels and writer Elizabeth Gaskell, the area can boast its fair share of artistic prestige, too. Here, history and innovation still exist side by side.

Discover our top picks

David Bethell: Fleeting Flights at HOME, Manchester
Exhibitions 26 January–17 March 2019, FREE

David Bethell: Fleeting Flights at HOME

Combining ambition and futility, folly and hope; will British artist David Bethell’s wooden balloon speak to our current age? The artist’s wonderfully enigmatic exhibition Fleeting Flights at HOME looks set to mark an exciting new point in his career.

Festivals 1 January–31 December 2019,

HOME 2019 Season

With a continuing drive towards bold global programming, HOME Manchester welcomes friends, old and new, for an exhilarating new season.

Contact in the City Part Three
Theatre 1 February–13 June 2019,

Contact In The City Part Three

Contact In The City Part Three – is a radical city-wide programme of performance taking place whilst Contact’s theatre undergoes an exciting transformation. Read our preview of the upcoming season.

Author Max Porter.
Literature 11 March 2019, from £5

Max Porter at the Martin Harris Centre

One of the rising stars of British literature, Max Porter’s multi-award-winning debut novel Grief Is The Thing With Feathers has been followed up with the equally dark and funny Lanny, which he will be reading from and discussing with Luke Brown, Lecturer in Creative Writing at the Centre for New Writing and author of My Biggest Lie.

Literature 23 February 2019, FREE

Poets & Players with Lavinia Greenlaw and Daljit Nagra at The Whitworth

Poetry at the regular free event at Whitworth Art Gallery comes courtesy Lavinia Greenlaw and Daljit Nagra, while the musical slot is filled by Thelonious Monk-inspired Blind Monk Trio.

Cinema 4 March 2019, from £5.50

Bigger Than Life/ The Seventh Victim + Introduction at HOME

Film curators Bigger Than Life present a 35mm screening of The Seventh Victim with an introduction by Dr Chloé Germaine Buckley of Manchester Met and Manchester Centre for Gothic Studies.

Writer Nicole Flattery.
Literature 26 March 2019, from £3

An Evening with Nicole Flattery and Daisy Johnson at Blackwell’s

Head to the newly opened Blackwell’s Manchester to hear Nicole Flattery introduce her debut Bloomsbury short story collection Show Them A Good Time and Daisy Johnson read from her 2018 Man Booker Prize shortlisted first novel Everything Under.

William Kentridge: Thick Time at the Whitworth
Exhibitions 21 September 2018–3 March 2019, FREE

William Kentridge: Thick Time at the Whitworth

‘Thick Time’ by South African artist William Kentridge at the Whitworth should prove to be both fascinating and mind-boggling in equal measure.

Theatre in Manchester and the North
Theatre 13–23 February 2019, from £12.50

SparkPlug at HOME

Inspired by autobiographical events, SparkPlug is a punchy and poetic monologue which explores family, race, identity and love.

Fat Blokes at HOME
Theatre 19–23 March 2019, from £5.00

Scottee: Fat Blokes at HOME

Following the sell-out run in May, Fat Blokes is ready to stage another fat rebellion at HOME this March. A pragmatic dialogue about fat queer masculinity.

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

This left-leaning suburb a few miles south of Manchester’s city centre (and only ten minutes…

Cheetham Hill, Manchester

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