The Quays is an area that’s gone from busy industrial dock to 21st century cultural hub in just over 100 years. Opened by Queen Victoria in 1894, the Salford Docks (as they were then known) became the busiest in the UK, serving the ships that came up the Manchester Ship Canal, a waterway built in order to escape the hefty charges levied by Liverpool’s dock and rail companies. Today, The Quays is home to MediaCityUK (the largest media hub in Europe) and studios purpose-built for the BBC’s move up North in 2011.
Two major cultural institutions – Imperial War Museum North and The Lowry – also straddle the Ship Canal, connected by a pedestrian bridge. The Lowry boasts two theatre, galleries, a studio space, restaurant and shop; IWM North’s fragmented design represents a globe shattered by war (inside, it’s completely devoid of right angles) and houses a beautifully-presented permanent collection and series of changing exhibitions that consider the many ways conflict shapes society. Restaurants (we highly recommend Pier 8 at The Lowry), bars and even high-end supermarkets (the family-run Booths) complete the offer in the area.
With good transport links to the city centre, The Quays is the sort of place where you could happily lose half a day; or some of your sanity, if you choose to complete the ‘dock to dock’ course of the Great Manchester Swim.
Get your tickets quick to have your eyes opened by a whole other (animal) world this festive season. Mark Williams (The Fast Show) stars in the title role of this major new musical adaptation.
Lowry & The Pre-Raphaelites at The Lowry in Salford provides an unexpected insight into the artistic imagination of one of the UK’s most popular artists.
This much- loved Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler tale of misadventure is brought to life for small people and their grown ups this festive season by Scamp Theatre.
An unmissable ten days of luminary adventures. Interact with boundary-breaking new commissions, create your own digital masterpieces and take a selfie with a Dalek. Yep, really.
Lest We Forget marks the first instalment of a major new season of exhibitions, music, dance, talks and events at IWM London and IWM North exploring how the First World War has shaped society today.
Coming to The Lowry this December. With Morecambe and Wise’s most-loved routines, songs and sketches, An Evening of Eric & Ern at Christmas is a superb homage to the comedy duo.
Head to Salford Art Gallery and Museum to find out more about the fascinating life of the somewhat-reclusive, Stretford-born artist and rent collector LS Lowry.
Kendal Calling have invited some of their friends who have graced the fields of Lowther Deer Park to headline the first ever Kendal Calling New Year’s celebration.
This years’s early line-up includes Everything Everything, Tom Grennan, Felix Hagan & the Family, Tim Peaks and Howling Rhythm.