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.
Elizabeth Gaskell’s House, 84 Plymouth Grove, Manchester, Greater Manchester, M13 9LW - Visit now
Elizabeth Gaskell’s House has been lovingly restored; you can now sit at her desk, see where Charlotte Brontë hid behind the curtains, and have tea in the downstairs café. The Pankhurst Centre is also nearby.
Contact Theatre, Oxford Road, Manchester, Greater Manchester, M15 6JA - Visit now
Contact has to be the go-to place for emerging theatre in the city, with commissioned work here going on to high acclaim. Set back from the road but recognizable by its H-shaped turrets. Currently closed for renovation, Contact’s In The City programme has put their rivals in the shade.
The Whitworth, The University of Manchester, Oxford Road, Manchester, Greater Manchester, M15 6ER - Visit now
It’s been a few years now since The Whitworth underwent a £15m redevelopment; it almost feels like the gallery has always jutted out into Whitworth park, seamlessly transitioning from old to new. The exhibitions here are excellent.
Big Hands, 296 Oxford Road, Manchester, Greater Manchester, M13 9NS
Big Hands is the one-time haunt of legendary Manchester band Elbow; it’s shabby, loud and dark, with a jukebox and excellent roof terrace.
Part car rally and part theatre show aiming to challenge the political, social and cultural narratives associated with young Muslim men.
Thrilling and challenging, HOME’s annual festival is a glimmering reminder that new performance continues to be developed, despite ‘you-know-what’.
Curated by Hans Ulrich Obrist and Lemn Sissay, this new multifaceted group show – created as part of Manchester International Festival 2021 and continuing at HOME until 29 August – connects words and images and explores the poet as artist and the artist as poet.
Manchester International Festival presents a major exhibition of work that exposes how states and corporations weaponise the air we breathe.
Manchester-based not-for-profit publisher Fly On The Wall Press has teamed up with Blackwell’s Manchester to present this showcase of three exciting local authors, David Hartley, Louise Finnigan and Tina Tamsho-Thomas, who will be reading from their latest releases.
HOME’s much-loved ¡Viva! Spanish & Latin American Festival returns for its 27th year with a summer-y edition that takes audiences around the world.
Jason Wood, Creative Director: Film & Culture at HOME, introduces a screening of Mexican director Michel Franco’s new shocking, socio-political thriller.
Join Projekts skate park for exclusively women and girls skating, every Thursday from 7 – 9 pm. Be warned the sessions are very popular so book in advance to avoid disappointment.
CANCELLED: We’re thrilled that a new adaptation of Lewis Carroll’s fantastical story will play in the open air in Manchester this summer. Perfect.