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.
Thrilling and challenging, HOME’s annual festival is a glimmering reminder that new performance continues to be developed, despite ‘you-know-what’.
Following the extensive transformation of their iconic Oxford Road venue, Contact has announced a vibrant and progressive reopening programme. Read our preview of the upcoming season.
As part of a collaboration with Manchester Art Gallery and the PROTEST! exhibition, HOME host a complete retrospective of the films of one of the most influential figures in contemporary British culture.
With free goody bags, whisky and some amazing guest performers, Sh!t Theatre are back with another pleasingly ridiculous show for the festive season.
LAST CHANCE: Curated by Bren O’Callaghan, renowned transgender visual artist Cassils brings their first UK solo exhibition to HOME. Don’t miss out.
Rekindle the spirit of Christmases gone by this year with HOME’S Merry 80s Christmas season.
Set in the pounding club environment of Manchester venue Gorilla, The Black Pride Manchester Vogue Ball struts into the city this December.
Award-winning poet Jenny Mitchell heads to Manchester Poetry Library in real life to read her work and discuss her series of poems re-telling the story of Jane Eyre from the perspective of a free woman of colour in the 19th century.
With this follow-up to Phantom Thread, Paul Thomas Anderson proves himself amongst the most versatile directors in contemporary American cinema.