The Whitworth

Creative Tourist
The Whitworth
The Whitworth, Photo: Alan Williams

The Whitworth, The University of Manchester, Oxford Road, Manchester, M15 6ER – Visit Now

After many months of national lockdown, The Whitworth, one of Manchester’s leading art galleries is opening with an understandably limited offering through summer 2021 with plans set to develop later in the year as the national and global situation changes.  Originally founded in 1889 as the first English gallery in a park in memory of the industrialist Sir Joseph Whitworth, “for the perpetual gratification of the people of Manchester” in recent years its contemporary exhibitions programme and international collections have catapulted The Whitworth into the international art world orbit.

At the same time, this widespread renown reflects its founding ambitions, dating back to when it first opened in 1908 with two of the world’s great collections: British watercolours and drawings, and world textiles. Notable features include an art garden designed by Sarah Price, a sculpture terrace and orchard garden, alongside beautifully designed spaces that embrace the park, such as the landscape gallery and the café in the trees. Together, the attractions make The Whitworth both a tranquil place to visit yet welcoming to families.

Art-lovers can look forward to a rich and endlessly fascinating summer

This is partly thanks to The Whitworth’s recent £15 million development, which doubled the gallery in size and created new spaces that embrace the surroundings of Whitworth Park. Indeed, the gallery was the winner of Visit England’s gold prize for Large Visitor Attraction of the Year 2016 and winner of the Art Fund’s Museum of the Year 2015 no less.

As for now, in the interests of public and staff safety, there will be six exhibitions on display and the touring gallery space will be closed. Similarly, the on-site shop will remain closed until further notice, but an online shop will be launched in the autumn, selling an array of products that complement everything the gallery has to offer – the collections, the park, the programme and the people.

Prebooked tickets are preferred, so staff can keep track of numbers, but walk-ups will be allowed in some form, providing space and the necessity of reduced numbers allow. The opening hours are pared back to 11 am to 4 pm, Wednesday to Sunday and The Whitworth’s popular café will be open during these reduced hours. Understandably, school groups will have to wait a while longer before they can visit The Whitworth.

Despite these measures, the open, airy layout of The Whitworth means all exhibition spaces, bar the back galleries, will be open, meaning art-lovers can look forward to a rich and endlessly fascinating summer. For more information about the upcoming exhibitions, visit the gallery’s website at the link below.

  • The University of Manchester, Oxford Road
  • Manchester
  • M15 6ER
  • View map

Opening Hours

  • Mon: Closed
  • Tue: Closed
  • Wed: 11:00am – 4:00pm
  • Thu: 11:00am – 4:00pm
  • Fri: 11:00am – 4:00pm
  • Sat: 11:00am – 4:00pm
  • Sun: 11:00am – 4:00pm
  • Always double check opening hours with the venue before making a special visit

Admission Charges


Services and Facilities

Cafe, Shop, lockers, bike stands


Entrances, ramps, lifts, wheelchairs, spoken tours, guide dogs welcome, large print guides

Commercial and hire services

Rooms for hire, private events, weddings