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

Släpstick at HOME
Families 13–22 December 2018, from £10.00

Släpstick at HOME

Five world-class musicians who have mastered over 100 instruments between them bring Släpstick to HOME – a dazzling blend of warm nostalgia, virtuosic musicianship and physical comedy.

Cinema 7–20 December 2018, from £5.50

The Old Man & the Gun at HOME

In his final performance before retiring, Robert Redford shines as Forrest Tucker, an unrepentant bank robber determined to live life by his own rules. An exhilarating tale of felonious mischief, the film also riffs on what it means to be an outlaw in a time of convention.

Cinema 7 December 2018–20 January 2019, from £5

Slapstick Film Season at HOME

HOME present a season of Slapstick with appearances from Charlie Chaplin, Buster Keaton and the Marx Brothers.

HOME at Christmas
Festivals 13 December 2017–20 January 2019,

HOME at Christmas

HOME celebrates the most special time of the year with a chock-full Christmas season of cultural shenanigans – more fun than you can shake a candy cane at.

RNCM Autumn Season Creative Tourist
Music 6 September–19 December 2018, from £5

RNCM Autumn Season

The RNCM Autumn Season is a showcase of originality, wherein a spotlight is shined on musical innovators from across the world.

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.

Cinema 2 November–13 December 2018, from £5

Peterloo at HOME

Written and directed by Mike Leigh, Peterloo is an epic portrayal of the events surrounding the infamous 1819 Peterloo Massacre. We speak to the director about how he brought the story to screen and his relationship to Manchester.

PUSH Festival 2019 at HOME
Festivals 11–26 January 2019,

PUSH Festival 2019 at HOME

Shake off those January blues and check out HOME’s two-week-long showcase of the most exciting film, theatre and visual art in the North West.

Cinema 14–20 December 2018, from £5.5

The Last Movie at HOME

When Universal gave Dennis Hopper a million dollars to make The Last Movie they were hoping for another Easy Rider. Instead they got a pitch-perfect reflection of early 1970s American film, equal parts self-discovery, reinvention, and hallucination.

Contact In The City Part Two
Theatre 15 August–23 December 2018,

Contact In The City Part Two

Contact announces In The City Part Two – its radical city-wide programme of performance during the buildings exciting transformation.

Places to go / stay / shop / eat / drink

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

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…

Things to do right now

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Lowry & The Pre-Raphaelites at The Lowry
Exhibitions 10 November 2018–24 February 2019, FREE

Lowry & The Pre-Raphaelites at The Lowry

Families 6–15 December 2018, from £6

Black Beauty at Z-arts

Families 1 December 2018–6 January 2019, from £14

Stick Man at The Lowry

Cinema 7–20 December 2018, from £5.50

The Old Man & the Gun at HOME

Red Squirrel at Lightwaves
Festivals 7–16 December 2018, FREE

Lightwaves 2018 at The Quays

HOME at Christmas
Festivals 13 December 2017–20 January 2019,

HOME at Christmas

Cinema 7 December 2018–20 January 2019, from £5

Slapstick Film Season at HOME

A Virus Walks Into a Bar, John Walter: CAPSID at HOME, Manchester
Exhibitions 10 November 2018–6 January 2019, FREE

John Walter: CAPSID at HOME

The Royal Exchange Autumn Winter SeasonThe Royal Exchange Autumn Winter Season
Theatre 21 September 2018–12 January 2019,

The Royal Exchange Autumn / Winter Season

The Producers - A Mel Brooks Musical at the Royal Exchange
Music 30 November 2018–2 February 2019, from £10.00

The Producers – A Mel Brooks Musical at the Royal Exchange

Music 11 October 2018–22 May 2019,

The Hallé 2018-19 Season