COW Vintage Manchester

Charlotte Rowland

COW Vintage is one of the biggest and best vintage shops in the UK. Their handpicked clothes and accessories are ethically sourced from around the world, and span a good fifty years, from 60s mod attire right through to 00s revival pieces.

COW Manchester’s shelves colour co-ordinate the stock, allowing for easy browsing. If you want a floral tea dress because you refuse to let go of spring, you can find it in the hue you’re after. Or if you’re hankering for some dusky natural tones ahead of autumn, you’ll find them really quickly due to the thoughtful layout.

The décor, too, is well thought-out – a mix of faded luxury and urban interior design. Which makes sense when you clock that the designer behind it is Peter Masters, whose previous clients and projects include Oi Polloi (RIP) and a pop-up for Adidas Originals. So, flowerpots and battered suitcases line the walls, while lights in glass jars, oval hangings overhead and tulip-shaped crystal shades add to the vintage feel.

In a previous incarnation, the shop was based in Piccadilly Gardens between the pound shop and M&S, and it always looked a little out of place. It makes much more sense in the Northern Quarter – the home of all things vintage. “One of the things we like about the new shop is how well the airy interior fits with the old wooden features by the windows,” says sales assistant Lydia Matthews, referring to the Victorian Smithfield Buildings (on the corner of Oldham Street and Church Street).

Yet as you traipse your way downstairs, there’s a different feel. Rails stretch away, making the basement seem exceptionally lengthy. The fitting rooms, hidden around the corner and complete with vintage wallpaper and paint-peeled doors, come somewhat as a surprise. There is a level of intricacy maintained in this shop.

With so much stock, it is important to remember that the entire lot is reclaimed; it has all been picked out with an eye for different fashions. It has huge appeal, if slightly contradictory branding; the name may have a slight crudeness, but this shop is nothing if not sophisticated.

61 Church StreetManchesterM4 1PD View map
Telephone: 0161 236 8773 Visit Now

Opening Hours

  • Monday10:00am - 7:00pm
  • Tuesday10:00am - 7:00pm
  • Wednesday10:00am - 7:00pm
  • Thursday10:00am - 7:00pm
  • Friday10:00am - 7:00pm
  • Saturday10:00am - 7:00pm
  • Sunday12:00pm - 6:00pm

Always double check opening hours with the venue before making a special visit.

What's on near COW Vintage Manchester

Creatures of the Night Comedy Club

An insanely committed seven-nights-a-week, Creatures of the Night Comedy Club opens its doors (20.30-22.30 typically, though please check) for evening after evening of side-splitting comedy.

from £5.00
The Comedy Vault

Every Monday night upstairs at Fierce Bar, The Comedy Vault hosts an outrageously funny open-mic night. Come and try your hand or just to watch and laugh.

free entry
Angélica Garcia at The Castle

LA-based experimental pop artist Angélica Garcia is playing at The Castle this summer, in support of her latest cumbia-inspired music.

from £10.00
Killer Comedy Club

Killer Comedy Club showcases “the UK’s best upcoming and coming comedians” for a night of roof-raising laughs, with pop-up nights all across the North West.

from £12

Where to go near COW Vintage Manchester

tours and activities
Bird and Blend Tea Co.

Bird and Blend is Tea Blending heaven, located in the heart of the Northern Quarter with new flavours being created all the time.

Image of Afflecks Palace in Manchester's Northern Quarter
Shopping Centre

Afflecks in Manchester, formerly (and still affectionately) known as Affleck’s Palace, is a mind-bogglingly diverse vintage shopping emporium.

The seats in Three Minute Theatre.
Three Minute Theatre

The only purpose-built Vintage recycled indie theatre in Manchester’s City Centre. Now mother to Manchester Shakespeare Company thriving in Afflecks consortium of bohemia.

Vinyl Exchange

Vinyl Exchange is the largest seller and buyer of rare and second-hand records, CDs and DVDs in the North West.

Image of Piccadilly Records on Manchester's Oldham Street
Piccadilly Records

Piccadilly Records is the real deal, a record shop so good that it probably deserves some credit for the regeneration of its surrounding neighbourhood.

Bar or Pub

Love videos games and drinks? Who doesn’t? NQ64 has both, right in the heart of the Northern Quarter.

Café or Coffee Shop
North Tea Power

The mighty North Tea Power is a Northern Quarter favourite thanks to its addictive cakes, serious selection of teas and coffees and excellent playlist.

Cass Art Manchester

Primely located on Oldham Street in the Northern Quarter, Cass Art Manchester offers a vast selection of high-quality art materials at affordable prices.

Culture Guides

Furiosa: A Mad Max Saga
Cinema in Manchester and the North

From the latest installment in the Mad Max franchise, to silent movie masterpieces we highlight the best new releases and big screen classics showing near you this month.