The Oast House pub in Spinningfields Manchester.

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 one of the city’s most historic buildings: the People’s History Museum. 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.

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.

Discover our top picks

Literature Until 5 February 2025, FREE

The Little Library in Spinningfields

Take your pick from The Little Library’s carefully curated collection of classics and new releases, adding a recently read book of your own as a replacement.

doodle den at people's history museum, young girl using thick marker pen to drawer on a glass panel
Activity Until 31 December 2021, FREE

Doodle Den: Playful Protests Online

Pick up a pen and encourage the whole family to explore the art of peaceful protest.

#WELCOME? at the People's History Museum
Exhibitions Until 31 October 2021, FREE

#WELCOME? at the People’s History Museum

#WELCOME? at the People’s History Museum explores the wider impact of media coverage and changing immigration controls.

More in Common: In memory of Jo Cox at People's History Museum, Manchester
Exhibitions Until 24 April 2022, FREE

More in Common: In memory of Jo Cox at People’s History Museum, Manchester

An exhibition inspired by the legacy of Jo Cox MP and which represents the culmination of a community-led project involving over 30 people who made the city their home.

Counter-flow exhibition & 'Identity Feet' family-friendly creative workshops at People's History Museum
Activity Until 10 October 2021,

Counter-flow exhibition & ‘Identity Feet’ family-friendly creative workshops at People’s History Museum

Explore themes of identity and migration, and partake in a series of family-friendly creative workshops taking place throughout this summer.

Manchester District Guides

Medieval Quarter, Manchester

The Medieval Quarter, or Cathedral Quarter as it is sometimes known, is one of the oldest parts of Manchester and home to some historic gems and cultural must-sees.  

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

Chorlton is a left-leaning suburb a few miles south of Manchester’s city centre (and only…

Cheetham Hill, Manchester

As an area, Cheetham Hill gets a pretty bad rep. The foreboding architecture of Strangeways…