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

Contact Summer Season
Theatre 16 May–30 June 2017,

Contact Summer Season 2017

While other theatres are shutting up shop Contact has launched a summer season packed with powerful theatre performances.

Theatre 24–25 May 2017, from £10.00

Schrödinger at Contact

Schrödinger depicts a place where nothing is what it seems, where no one knows who has power, and where once-strong words have become dust.

Theatre 25 May–10 June 2017, from £10.00

Rose at HOME

Academy Award nominee Dame Janet Suzman stars as Rose, taking us on a journey through her life that charts the fate of Europe’s Jews through the Twentieth Century and into the Millennium.

Exhibitions 19 May–20 August 2017, FREE

Object Lessons at Manchester Museum

Extraordinary objects from the private collection of art collector George Loudon go on display to the public for the first time in Object Lessons at Manchester Museum – a showcase of 19th century life science teaching objects that blurs the boundary between art and science.

Scorch at Contact
Theatre 23–26 May 2017, from £6.00

Scorch at Contact

An important story vividly told, Scorch is one of the most impressive pieces of theatre you’ll see this year.

Exhibitions 16 November 2016–1 July 2017, FREE

After The Bees at Manchester Museum

This exhibition explores the haunting consequences of a world without bees through a series of photographs and artworks.

Exhibitions 4 March 2017–1 January 2018, FREE

Sooni Taraporevala: Home in the City, Bombay 1976 – Mumbai 2016 at the Whitworth

The first UK solo exhibition by photographer, screenwriter and filmmaker Sooni Taraporevala – organised as part of New North and South, a network of 11 arts organisations from across the North of England and South Asia.

Literature 31 May–1 June 2017, FREE

Place Writing Festival 2017 at Manchester Met

Writing about place is quite the trend in contemporary literary culture and this two-day festival will help you explore the subject through talks, walks and more.

Theatre 5–14 July 2017, from £12.00

MIF17: Returning to Reims at HOME

Returning to Reims deals with the important ideas of our age – identity, activism and populist political movements – in a new play directed by Thomas Ostermeier

Theatre 6–8 July 2017, from £12.00

MIF17: Available Light at Palace Theatre

In 1983 the million-dollar trio of Lucinda Childs, John Adams and Frank Gehry came together to create Available Light, a dance show that has gone down in history and is now being revived for this year’s MIF.

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…