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.
Described as ‘immensely charming’ by The Stage, this hilarious homage to the masters of slapstick and silent comedy comes to HOME Manchester.
Daring, fabulous and with a nautical twist for 2020, House of Suarez are back to host the ultimate battle for dance supremacy.
Movies meet music as Video Jam presents an evening of five commissioned short films by international artists, each scored by a different UK composer.
How have visions of utopia and the visual culture that helped form it impacted upon the Brexit debate? A new exhibition at the Whitworth explores.
Straddling a multitude of genres, from techno to contemporary classical, Anna Meredith’s new album Fibs is a sheer delight. Her gig at Gorilla will be, too.
After growing up in the closed city of Ozyorsk – the birthplace of the Soviet nuclear weapons programme – Yelena Popova’s work reflects a fascination with nuclear history.
The Carcanet 50th birthday celebrations continue, with a very special launch party for the spring issue and 250th edition of the poetry publishing house’s literary journal, PN Review.
Two of the UK’s leading theatre companies, Gecko and Mind the Gap, have joined forces to present this special HOME commission.
‘Elizabeth Price at the Whitworth’ brings together new and acclaimed works – including drawings, sculpture, and video – by the Turner prize-winning artist.
This special event with one of literature’s most enchanting storytellers and one of Latin America’s greatest authors marks the beginning of the 2020 programme of Manchester Literature Festival and is presented in association with the Centre for New Writing.