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

2020 Banner Display at People's History Museum, Manchester
Exhibitions Until 3 January 2021, FREE

2020 Banner Display at People’s History Museum

Visit People’s History Museum’s 2020 display of political banners from across the years – including several that will go on public show for the first time.

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.

Maddi Nicholson: a place lived at Hardman Square in Spinningfields
Exhibitions Until 20 July 2020, FREE

Maddi Nicholson: a place lived at Hardman Square in Spinningfields

‘a place lived’ by Maddi Nicholson is a new public artwork that delves into the near-forgotten history of Manchester’s thriving financial district.

New Digital Experiences at People's History Museum, Manchester
Exhibitions Until 23 December 2020, FREE

New Digital Experiences at People’s History Museum

Can cutting-edge tech bring us closer to the events of the past? People’s History Museum unveils a series of new digital artworks and experiences.

Fabric arrows made in the Craftivism workshop
Families 19 February 2020 1:00 pm, FREE

Make Your Mark with Craftivism at People’s History Museum

To celebrate the last week of their ‘Disrupt? Peterloo and Protest’ exhibition, this half term you’re invited to take part in some craftivism!

Exterior shot of John Rylands Library, venue for magic bowls event
Families 20 February 2020 10:30 am, FREE

Family Crafts: Magic Bowls at John Rylands Library

Inspired by an ancient incantation bowl in the library’s latest exhibition, create your own magic bowl that will help bring you good luck.

Mr Ordinary's Prize - Lady knelt on the floor with a puppet
Families 22 February 2020 11:00 am, FREE

Mr Ordinary’s Prize at People’s History Museum

In this fun, interactive story session children will get to sing, dance and play with puppets. Along the way you’ll also discover the fascinating story of Manchester’s Coat of Arms. 

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…