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

Music 17–25 March 2018, from £21

RNCM Opera: Hansel and Gretel by Engelbert Humperdinck at the RNCM

The RNCM Opera tackles Engelbert Humperdinck’s operatic version of the Brothers Grimm’s early 19th Century fairytale Hansel and Gretel for its major spring production. Expect a tale of transition, redemption and resolution, set to folk music-inspired themes, for a piece that is equal parts dark and magical.

Poet Hannah Silva. Photo by Field and McGlynn
Literature 24 March 2018, FREE

Poets & Players with Hannah Silva at The Whitworth

The second Poets & Players event of the year will feature readings by Carcanet poet Anthony Rudolf and poet, playwright and performer Hannah Silva, with live music from RNCM harpists the Septentrion Duo.

Music 9 September 2017–31 May 2018, from £15.00

Manchester Camerata 2017/18 Season

Featuring Snoop Dogg’s producer, a live video artist, plus a gospel choir and re-interpretations of Muse and Metallica, the 2017/18 season by ‘probably Britain’s most adventurous orchestra’ is as diverse and inspiring as ever.

Festivals 22 September 2017–31 March 2018,

HOME Autumn/Winter Season

From revolutionary inspired art to ‘sassy’ Hip Hop Christmas cabaret, check out our guide to HOME’s Autumn/Winter Season.

Noor Afshan Mirza & Brad Butler - The Scar. Photo credit - Emma Jane Richards. HOME, Manchester
Exhibitions 10 February–31 March 2018, FREE

Noor Afshan Mirza & Brad Butler: The Scar at HOME

Starring an ex-beauty queen, a Kurdish MP, a notorious gangster, and a former agent; The Scar attempts to imagine an alternative future outside of the structures of patriarchy.

Music 21 January–24 March 2018, from £12

RNCM 2018 Season

Featuring an Arabian adventure, Norwegian jazz courtesy of Marius Neset, 1920s Surrealist short films (and accompanying live scores), plus the RNCM Opera’s major production of Engelbert Humperdinck’s Hansel and Gretel and a collaboration between German trumpeter and composer Markus Stockhausen and the RNCM Big Band and Chamber Orchestra, this new season offers plenty to discerning music fans.

Theatre 12–14 April 2018, from £10.00

Minefield at HOME

Directed by the documentary theatre trailblazer Lola Arias, Minefield sees six veterans from the 1982 Falklands War reunited.

The glass atrium inside The Refuge
Festivals 29 March–1 April 2018, FREE

Easter Weekender at The Refuge

The Refuge celebrates Easter with a weekend of events combining music, arts and a special cosmic collaboration with Bluedot Festival.

Exhibitions 1 December 2017–1 June 2018, FREE

John Stezaker at the Whitworth

A new presentation of works by the acclaimed conceptual artist, John Stezaker, brings our relationship with photography into question.

Music 24 March 2018, from £15

RNCM Big Band and Chamber Orchestra with Markus Stockhausen at the RNCM

German trumpeter and composer Markus Stockhausen brings the knowledge and experience gained during his a prolific three-decade career to the RNCM, as he works with students to encourage their improvisational skills before joining the Big Band and Chamber Orchestra for this programme of his compositions.

Manchester District Guides

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

It may not quite have the reputation of Benefits Street, but Beech Road in Chorlton…

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…