Spinningfields, Manchester

Creative Tourist

Spinningfields is Manchester’s realm of glass and steel, where global corporations have their headquarters. It’s also become a real culinary hotspot: you can find modern tapas at Ibérica, innovative Chinese food at Tattu and even a pub in a 16th century hop kiln (called the Oast House), which has an impressive selection of beers and an attendant, fire-warmed teepee in the frosty months. In the winter, Spinningfields hosts a Christmas ice-rink and markets; in summer, Hardman Square becomes the site for pop-up activities including film screenings and mini golf.

Spinningfields is also home to its fair share of historic buildings. On the banks of the Irwell, the People’s History Museum is part Grade II-listed hydraulic pump house, part weathered-steel exhibition centre, and tells the story of the 200-year march towards British democracy. It has all the more resonance because of its location here in Manchester, the birthplace of Socialism, the British Labour Party, and universal suffrage. The area also boasts the architectural and cultural gem that is the John Rylands Library, one of the finest neo-Gothic buildings in Europe, and home to some incredibly rare texts.

Behind Spinningfields is the Old Granada Studios, the headquarters of Granada Television from 1956-2013, and host to Coronation Street, Brideshead Revisited and The Beatles’ first TV performance.

Our top picks

People’s History Museum (PHM)

People’s History Museum (PHM), Left Bank, Spinningfields, Manchester, M3 3ER - Visit now

People’s History Museum, home of ‘ideas worth fighting for’, is the only museum in the UK dedicated to the history of British democracy. The family-friendly museum houses approximately 1,500 objects, including the largest collection of trade union and other political banners in the world. It’s also host to a programme of special exhibitions, and a lively series of events

People's History Museum Manchester
Image © People’s History Museum

Tattu Manchester

Tattu Manchester, Gartside Street, 3 Hardman Square, Manchester, Greater Manchester, M3 3EB - Visit now

Tattu is at the forefront when it comes to taste, ideas and that all-important wow factor. A new menu here is always a cause for celebration and its new dishes are all about the cherry blossom – a nod to both the eye-catching tree that stands tall in the main dining area and the upcoming season of rebirth and fresh flavours.

John Rylands Research Institute and Library

John Rylands Research Institute and Library, 150 Deansgate, Manchester, Greater Manchester, M3 3EH - Visit now

Opened in 1990, this stunning neo-Gothic building was commissioned by a grieving widow, Enriqueta Rylands, in memory of her husband, a man of religious conviction, a philanthropist of Victorian ambition and a remarkably successful textiles manufacturer. Inside you’ll find rare texts including preserved papyrus fragments, the letters of local author Elizabeth Gaskell and an original Gutenberg Bible.

Magic bowls event. Image shows The historic Reading Room in John Rylands Library
Image courtesy of John Rylands Library.

The Oast House

The Oast House, The Avenue Courtyard
Spinningfields, Manchester, Greater Manchester, M3 3AY - Visit now

From drying hops to pulling pints,  The Oast House Manchester’s longest serving pop-up providing an excellent range of beers and a variety of brilliant live music. The vernacular architecture, so strikingly displaced, is certainly a sight worth seeing. Ultimately, The Oast House’s best asset comes from where its life began: it’s all about the beer.

Old Granada Studios

Old Granada Studios, Quay St, Manchester, Greater Manchester, M3 3HN

Manchester’s old Granada Studios is an iconic piece of the city’s history and home to Sidney Bernstein’s television empire.  It’s a space that revives memories of busy television productions and of behind-the-scenes glamour – of Coronation Street, Brideshead Revisited and Seven Up! Granada studios is the reminder of a television diet that fed generations.

20 Stories

20 Stories, No. 1 Spinningfields, 1 Hardman Square, Manchester, M3 3EB - Visit now

20 Stories is widely known as one of Manchester’s most attractive bars and restaurants with jaw-dropping views over the city skyline, which becomes more like Singapore with every visit. As great as the food and cocktails are, it’s the experience that makes it a must-visit.

The Ivy Spinningfields

The Ivy Spinningfields, The Pavilion, Byrom Street, Spinningfields, Manchester, M3 3HG - Visit now

The Ivy is the iconic centrepiece of Spinningfields. Everything here screams luxury, from the nature-themed architecture outside to the relaxing and eccentric interior, with those spacious long sofas ideal for kicking back and absorbing the romantic atmosphere while you dine.

The Ivy Manchester

Everyman Manchester St John’s

Everyman Manchester St John’s, ABC Building, 23 Quay Street, Manchester, M3 4AS - Visit now

The Everyman Manchester St John’s is a comfortable boutique venue designed for luxury moviegoing. There’s a full bar menu, hot food and snacks on offer within a swish seated bar area.

Everyman Manchester
Blake Ezra

Science and Industry Museum

Science and Industry Museum, Liverpool Road, Manchester, Greater Manchester, M3 4FP - Visit now

Just a couple of minutes’ walk from Spinningfields, the Science and Industry Museum pairs its historic site with a dynamic, contemporary science programme dedicated to inspiring visitors through revolutionary, world-changing ideas.

Image courtesy of Science and Industry Museum.

Australasia

Australasia, The Avenue, Spinningfields, Manchester, M3 3AP - Visit now

It’s hard to fault Australasia. It’s modern, sleek and spacious, with well-informed, engaging staff who know the menu inside and out. And while it’s probably not a place to casually drop by – it’s more of a special occasion destination – the atmosphere is warm and welcoming, with a refreshing lack of snootiness.

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