Page 1

Your FREE guide to Manchester


Welcome to Manchester An introduction to our guide and the city of Manchester

We Explore Spinningfields Home to designer fashion, world cuisine and fabulous cocktails

Independent Shopping We visit the indie artists, shops and centres across Manchester

Forthcoming Events Spring and Summer highlights coming to Greater Manchester

Free Buses and the Trams Get about the city with these great hop-on hop-off services Your Guide to the City Unlock Publishing | Cover artwork copyright S.L.Scott

UNLOCK MANCHESTER is wholy owned by Unlock Publishing copyright 2017 - | @unlockmcr


Springtime in Manchester. We look forward to this busy season and early summer

Welcome to our spring guide to unlocking all that Manchester has to offer, and as ever, there’s an awful lot of it out there. One of the best things about anchester is that it’s a major, international city, with all of the arts, restaurants, hotels and other amenities you’d expect from somewhere with such a great reputation worldwide, but it’s compact enough to be able to access everything easily, either on foot or by public transport. And the new second city crossing Metrolink route makes getting about even easier than before, with a new stop at Exchange Square linking the Corn Exchange and the Printworks to the top end of town much more easily. Another of Manchester’s plus points is its eclecticism: there literally is something here for everyone, and this is never more true than when it comes to shopping, eating and drinking. This time around, we’ve taken a look at Spinningfields – a relatively recent addition to the city, which is widely considered to be a somewhat corporate neighbourhood (we’re not saying that this is a bad thing we hasten to add!) – and the myriad of bars and restaurants there, as well as the high-end designer shops.

Then we’ve headed towards independent retail, to explore the city’s many autonomous outlets; we’ve uncovered some absolute gems, and even if you’re a long-term resident of this fair city, there may well be somewhere out there that you haven’t tried yet. So go on: we dare you – take time to explore and you never know what you 3 might find. Suzy Prince Editor @unlockmcr Edition No. 4 - April 2017 Copyright Unlock Publishing

SCAN ME! for more ideas and information visit


Excellent Restaurants, Beautiful Designer Goods and Manchester History in Modern and Gothic Architecture

Spinningfields is one of the UK’s most successful urban regeneration developments in recent years. The proposal to create a central business 4 district took shape in 1997 when Allied London purchased a number of buildings around the John Rylands library. Manchester City Council was keen to redevelop the city centre after the 1996 Manchester bombing, and they joined forces to create this new corporate neighbourhood. Last decade’s financial crisis almost led to the development being abandoned, but the city council stepped in with an agreement which allowed the work to proceed. The development takes its name from Spinningfield: a narrow street which ran westwards from Deansgate. Many people feel that Spinningfields truly began to have a sense of identity when the old magistrates’ court was demolished in 2006, and became a permanent public space Hardman Square.

Spinningfields is undoubtedly a corporate neighbourhood (it’s been described as the Canary Wharf of the North): the area is dominated by commercial office developments. The beauty of Manchester is that it’s a relatively compact city, with districts of all styles within easy walking distance of each other. Spinningfields feels very much like its own self-contained development, however stroll outside of its boundaries and in less than five minutes’ walk you’re in the heart of the city centre. The city centre and Spinningfields feel more connected than usual for one weekend each month, as the Maker’s Market sets up at the junction with Deansgate, with more than fifty independent traders selling handmade crafts, clothing, food and drink, and a large footfall of shoppers. The same spot also houses an additional Christmas market for much of November and December.

All of this sits in the shadow of Emporio Armani: an impressive steel and glass structure, within which you can purchase the only Armani diffusion line worked on by the designer himself.

This provides a stark contrast to the John Rylands Library next door. If you think of the Louvre and the world famous pyramid outside, you’re not a million miles away from the juxtaposition of the John Rylands and Emporio Armani.


If you’re setting eyes on the John Rylands library for the first time, you might mistake it for a cathedral or a castle from days of yore. In fact, it’s a masterpiece of Victorian Gothic Architecture, commissioned by the widow of industrialist John Rylands after his death, as a lasting memorial. The library collection is world renowned and part of Manchester University. It includes one of the oldest known pieces of the New Testamanent, as well as a 1476 edition of the Canterbury Tales.

The reading room is world famous, and the café is a very pleasant place to while away an hour or so before you pop to the library shop in the same room to stock up on some books, design-led gifts or historical ephemera. The shopping in Spinningfields is select, and the shops there are firmly aimed at the high end, affluent consumer. Stores such as Flannels are typical: a luxury designer store which specialises in contemporary men’s and women’s clothing and footwear, showcasing the world’s most iconic brands. | @unlockmcr

The Alchemist

Mulberry is another brand represented at Spinningfields: founded in 1971 in Somerset, this ‘unexpected brand of Britishness’ is made to last and so are its clothes. Then there’s British footwear brand Oliver Sweeney, which has become synonymous with high quality values, distinctive style and the perfect fit. Men’s clothing brand TM Lewin is once again a specialist in high quality and fine tailoring. above: John Rylands Library, Deansgate

The recently refurbished alchemist spinningfields is now open, come down and take a look at the grand extension. The original Alchemist is a real gem of a place, open from first thing for breakfast and coffee, throughout the day and on into the evening for dinner and drinks. Wide open windows that magically sparkle at night highlight a mix of larger seating areas, sociable high tables and a pretty year round outdoor terrace. Get ready to be wowed by the team of mixologists as they push the boundaries of the manchester drinking experience.

3 Hardman St, Spinningfields tel: +44 (0) 161 817 2950



Then Phillip Stoner is the North’s leading diamond and platinum specialist, and Spinningfields is the ideal location for his bespoke jewellery. If you’re in the market for some art, Artzu gallery has been firmly established for nearly two decades now, providing artwork for private collectors and corporate buyers alike. Where Spinningfields really excels is with its thriving bar and restaurant scene. Without setting foot out of this neighbourhood you can literally eat and drink cuisine from all over the world, and you have options from fine dining through to inexpensive food on the go. The Alchemist is a great place to take visitors from out of town: windows that magically sparkle at night, a year-round outdoor terrace and some mighty fine cocktails from specialist mixologists expect positive reports.

Then there’s Artisan: this vast semiindustrial space is reminiscent of an artist’s studio or a warehouse: stripped back and raw. Cooking is casual, with pizzas, meat and fish, and brunch is served at weekends. Head to Australia (well, nearly) with a visit to Australasia, which combines Pacific Rim and Asian flavours with European cooking traditions. Newcomer The Beastro is taking over the space that was formerly The Kitchens: a space which gave an opportunity to several street food start ups. This all-day dining experience will retain its street food trader origins, but also offer a more intimate dining experience in the evenings. Platzki, at The Kitchens, is a concept created by three food fanatics who used the humble Polish potato cake as a starting point, and turned it on its head. | @unlockmcr


Their menu is focussed on dishes based on wholesome, honest ingredients, and their cuisine is created with true passion for what they do. Not to mention the great Polish beers. Comptoir Libanais also offers an allday dining experience, with a vast menu of Lebanese and Middle-Eastern cuisine, all served under some authentically Lebanese décor. Over to Italy for Spinningfields stalwart Carluccio’s, where you can dine in style then head to the food shop to stock up on those tasty Italian treats to take home with you. Or go Brazilian at Fazenda, righty famous for its range of traditional South American dishes, served by highly trained passadores, who carve meat directly onto diners’ plates. above: The Alchemist, 3 Hardman Street

A stylish yet laid back slice of modern Australian life, down-under in Manchester. Its cuisine combines Pacific Rim flavours underpinned by European cooking tradition, a blend of Indonesian, Southeast Asian influences and Australia’s strong ties with Japan also help determine the taste and style. The Bar boasts a unique list of expertly crafted, exclusive cocktails alongside all the classics and a wine list of impressive proportions. Service from the friendly and knowledgeable staff runs into the early hours against an eclectic backdrop of music created nightly by resident and guest DJs. The bar and terrace are an extension of Australasia - a contemporary colonial oasis in the heart of Spinningfields.

The Avenue, Spinningfields M3 3AP tel: +44 (0) 161 831 0288


If you’re in the mood for Spain, Iberica is the place to go, with a full restaurant menu or also pinchos (small tapas) to nibble at the bar while you choose from over 50 wines. Taking off our travelling shoes for a while, Manchester House is home to Chef Aiden Byrne and his team and offers traditional foods and flavours with a contemporary twist. If you feel like going a little more deep south rustic The Dockyard is an ale house with a relaxed dining operation that offers Southern-American style dishes such as foot-long hotdogs. Neighbourhood’s eatery, and as the evening progresses it transforms into a late bar offers a relaxed space at all times of day. This venue is a bar, restaurant and club all in one and offers a blend of European and new American cuisine. 10 The Oast House was once used to roast hops in the 16th century, reclaimed brickby-brick and moved from Kent, it now offers a pleasant alternative to the high street pub, with an impressive selection of craft ales and a large ‘bere-garden’ that is often used for live events. Meanwhile Scene takes customers on a journey through India, Pakistan and South Asia. Its tranquil terrace overlooks the river Irwell, perfect for al fresco dining. Finally, over to Thailand, where Thaikhun has taken inspiration from

the streets of Bangkok to bring a sense of authentic street food and décor to Spinningfields, 6000 miles away! Down at the bottom on Spinningfields, furthest away from town, the New Bailey district is now being developed into an additional business hub. Work remains in progress, and there’s the exciting mid-development sense that great things are about to happen there, with the space meanwhile being used for changing events such as winter iceskating. Menagerie restaurant is the dining pioneer of this new neighbourhood; this exquisite restaurant extends the welcome that ‘mi casa es su casa’ and offers all kinds of dining, from relaxed brunches and lunches to corporate dinners throughout the day. Finish your journey through Spinningfields down at the People’s History Museum on the Left Bank. This unique museum follows the development of democracy in Britain over two centuries, via many of the workers, revolutionaries and reformers who fought the battle for the ballot. This large and impressive national museum has both permanent and changing exhibition spaces (right now there’s the exhibition Going Underground: The Fight For LCBT+ Rights), and at any one time displays almost 1500 historic objects.

The next major PHM installation is ‘New Dawn’ which cast a spotlight on the UK’s 1997 election. It examines this controversial moment in our recent history and reflects on the issues raised. While you’re down at Spinningfields, it’s always worth checking out what’s on and considering taking a short detour to Old Granada Studios. These former world famous television studios played host to many programmes such as Coronation Street, Cracker and the Royle Family. Granada has now relocated to Salford Quays and the enormous remaining venue mixes commerce, events, arts and culture with many different events from art fairs and arts markets to club nights. All in all, it’s safe to say that Spinningfields has proved to be a successful, thriving addition to the city centre, and there’s a pleasing feeling that there is more to come. 12 With so much achieved in less than two decades, let’s see what the next few years will bring. And in the meantime we can eat, drink, shop and be merry.

Bars 1: Lounge on 12, Tower 12 Bridge St - C1 2: The Alchemist The Avenue North - C2 3: The Dockyard, Leftbank - B2 4: The Oast House The Avenue Courtyard - C2 5: The Slug & Lettuce, Gartside St - B2

Irwell St

6 11



Cafes 1: Bagel & Nosh, Hardman St - C2 2: Carluccio’s, Hardman Square - C2 3: John Rylands Cafe, Deansgate - D2 4: Nudo - Sushi Box Spinningfields Sq - D3 5: Pret-a-Manger, Hardman Square - C2 6: Beastro, Platzki, Leftbank - B2

Bridge St 1

5 3

Spinningfields 8





4 3 7

1 12



4 13



15 4

Hardman St





The Avenue

Quay St Deansgate

Restaurants 1: Artisan, Avenue North - D2 2: Australaisa, The Avenue - E2 3: Comptoir Libanais, The Avenue - D2 4: Fazenda, The Avenue - D2 5: Gourmet Burger Co, Leftbank - B1 6: Grand Pacific, The Avenue - D2 7: Iberica, The Avenue - C2 8: Manchester House, Bridge St - C1 9: Nando’s, Hardman St - D3 10: Nieghbourhood, Avenue North - D2 11: Scene, Gartside St - B2 12: Tattu, Hardman St - B2

13: Thaikhun, The Avenue - D2 14: Wagmama, Spinningfields Sq - D2 15: Wahu, The Avenue - D2 16: Zizzi, Leftbank - B2






Nestled between the Corn Vintage Swing Festival Exchange and the Arndale is one of Sunday 16th April Manchester’s most iconic venues. Returning, this Easter, for its fourteenth year, there will be free The Printworks is a buzzing dancing, live music, vintage cars entertainment complex located in and stalls. the heart of the city. The seventeen-year-old leisure attraction is home to a start of the art Imax cinema, a fully equipped gym complete with a 20m swimming pool and sixteen bars and restaurants.

Ball Mania MCR

Visitors can experience its diverse food and drink offerings plus a stellar event calendar.

Sync it Pink Battle

Friday 28th April

Spanning four days the Giant Adult Ball pit will once again return to The Printworks!

Saturday 13th May

A lip sync battle with difference raising money for Breast Cancer Make The Printworks your one Care UK. Let battle commence. stop shop for entertainment in Manchester!

Kids Week!

27 Withy Grove Starts Tuesday 30th May Manchester M4 2BS Enjoy a week of kids free activities over the May half term. Twitter - @The_Printworks Manchester Soul Festival Sunday 27th August

The third annual soul festival raising money for The Christie.

Shop Indie!

Our Guide to Manchester’s Independent Shops - Eclectic, Diverse and Fun

Who doesn’t like a bit of retail therapy from time to time? From department stores to huge shopping centres, it’s safe to say that every high street brand worth its salt is represented here. But for many people, what really makes Manchester stand out from other cities is the abundance of independent shops. There’s something very appealing 16 about independent shops. For a start the owner is generally much more involved in the day to day running of the place, and the staff will often feel more invested too, leading to a much more personal feel. They can feel more carefully curated, and have a more specialist feel than your average high street shop, often focussing on one particular retail area. Overall, they’re the best place to head to if you’re looking for something a little different, both in terms of the emporium itself and the goods that you leave with. With a few honourable exceptions, most independent shops aren’t based directly in the city centre (high rents and the desire for a more bohemian feel to a neighbourhood put paid to this). But the good news is that you tend to find them clustered together, so you’ll never have too far to walk.

Head to the suburbs and Chorlton’s Beech Road or Didsbury’s Burton Road for some fascinating independent shops; these two streets are always good for a poke around and you’ll always leave with something unexpected. If you’re in the city centre then head immediately to the ‘self styled’ Northern Quarter, where you’ll find one of the UK’s highest concentrations of independent shops. right: Afflecks, 52 Church Street

Handily the NQ has many independent bars and cafes, meaning that you can rest your weary feet from time to time without leaving your independent bubble. We’ve divided this guide to all of your independent shopping needs into themed sections (please note that we couldn’t include everything, and perfectly valid selections such as vintage shopping we’ve left out completely this time around, purely because of space). But firstly there are a couple of institutions which stand alone, the like of which are both pretty much unique to

Manchester, and both of which can lay claim to being at the centre of the city’s independent shopping scene. First up, no guide to indie Manchester would be complete without tipping a wink to Afflecks, 52 Church Street. If this place isn’t listed yet, then it should be, for services to all Northern teenagers and vintage-loving adults everywhere. Afflecks houses over 70 independent shops, with wares ranging from new and vintage clothes to fancy dress, beads, skateboards, a tattooist…


You name it, and if it’s ‘not on the high street’ then it’s probably in here. Then there’s Manchester Craft and Design Centre, housed in a former Victorian fish and poultry market. Its glass-topped atrium constantly flooding it with light, this stunning building is now home to more than 30 designers and makers, selling the likes of art, jewellery and other accessories and greeting cards. The beauty of this place is that each studio doubles as their workshop and a retail outlet.

Here you can often meet the makers themselves, see them in action and browse their goods. This is hands down one of the best places in Manchester to search for gifts [read our in-depth article, pages 27-30]. Also ideal for gift shopping is the Royal Exchange Theatre Shop, Cross Street, which specialises in handmade pieces and original craft by British makers. Another top independent pick when searching for gifts is Oklahoma, 74 High Street, just a couple of minutes’ walk away from the Manchester Craft and Design Centre. Oklahoma specialises in bright, colourful and often (although not always) kitsch homewares and ornaments, quirky gifts and unusual jewellery. This is THE place to come to for stocking fillers or smaller gifts: think Mexicana, badges, tin retro robots and small popping plastic aliens and you’ll get the idea. The Real Camara Co, 7 Dale Street, is a haven of used classic and retro photography. Its packed shelves are lined with roll-film cameras and accessories. Moving onto clothing, and let’s start with the chaps. Oi Polloi, 63 Thomas Street, opened in the NQ in 2002, and sells contemporary classics with higher end labels. It is literally impossible to leave this shop without becoming a style icon. The best thing about Oi Polloi is that while its focus is on quality garments, the vibe is a long, long way from the likes of Chelsea. This place is quintessentially Mancunian, and all the better for it. The Northern Quarter houses a few other clothing gems, depending on your sartorial preferences. left: Oklahoma, 74 High Street



250 Likes Afflecks Like

42 min


Afflecks 6min

63 Likes Afflecks Like


187 Likes Afflecks

Afflecks 6min

72 Likes Afflecks Like




19 min


105 Likes Afflecks Like




Meanwhile Rockers England, 89 Oldham Street, caters for the rock ‘n’ roll and rockabilly enthusiast among us (skulls, leather and attitude). Thunder Egg, in Afflecks, specialises in women’s vintage-inspired clothing: it’s shreds are bright, colourful and quirky. Barton Arcade, on Deansgate, and accessible from St Ann’s Square, is a vast iron and glass building. This masterpiece of Victorian grandure, with its jaunty tiled floors, iron railings and wide balconies, is where you’ll find men’s shoe emporium Jeffery West. The owners are based in Northampton with its rich shoe manufacturing history, and they’ve made a great success of combining that history and craftsmanship with their own twist or slant on traditional footwear. The shop’s interior has a kind of macabre Alice in Wonderland feel to it:

set foot inside and you can’t quite work out if you’ve stepped back in time or fallen down a rabbit hole into another dimension. Also in Barton Arcade you’ll find Barber Barber: a classic barbers shop ‘for scoundrels and gentlemen’. Out of town, head to Chorlton’s Beech Road for McQueen Independent, which was established in 1994 and along with its sister branch in Didsbury is warmly regarded as a fashion necessity for the over thirties, working in media, with its focus on British and Scandinavian labels. Didsbury’s Steranko similarly caters for the discerning suburb dweller, and they have some cracking sales, both in store and online. above: Rockers England, Oldham Street right: Barber Barber, Barton Arcade

Onto food and drink: the foodie among you is amply catered for in this fine city, not least at the wide range of farmers’ markets and permanent markets that have sprung up or upped their game in recent years. When it comes to independent food and drink shops, you’re spoilt for choice. Here are some top picks: Lunya on Deansgate is a deli (and restaurant) which brings the best of Catalonia and the rest of Spain, although sadly not the weather, to the North West region. It has a traditional but contemporary feel, offering more than 40 cheeses and three different hams carved on the bone. With close by wine merchants Hanging Ditch and Spirited Wines, both great for sampling wines, just a short hop along this stretch of Deansgate will sort you out for a very pleasant evening in.

The Northern Quarter similarly offers 23 the Butcher’s Quarter for fine meat and deli goods, Bakerie for bread, Beermoth for drinks to wash it down with and Bonbon Chocolate Boutique to add a sweet taste to proceedings. Other foodie hotspots are once again Burton road with the Taste of Honey delicatessen and The Epicurean craft beer and cider bottle shop. While Chorlton is amply catered for with the Unicorn co-operative: a vegan food shop and deli, as well as the Barbakan delicatessen: a shop whose often-chaotic queuing and ticketing system is worth the wait for the myriad delights on offer once you reach the front of the queue.

above: Lunya, Barton Arcade, Deansgate


Now that you’ve filled your belly, it’s time to expand your mind. Until recently, the city centre was suffering from a dearth of decent independent bookshops, with the exception of Magma, 22 Oldham Street, which has long been catering for the design-led book and magazine needs of the city’s creative types. But now there’s the magnificent Chapter One, with carefully selected books, armchairs and a running fountain. Bookshop and café combine in this light, airy space. Out of town, Urmston Bookshop is a gem of a shop, on a rather unprepossessing strip of Urmston town centre, and Chorlton Bookshop continues to delight. If, like so many people, you’ve been drawn to Manchester because of its musical heritage, you won’t be disappointed by the wide range of independent record shops on offer here.

These have weathered the storm of recent industry changes. Piccadilly Records is the quintessential independent music shop; it’s been going strong since 1978 and prides itself on a friendly service. Dance music specialists Eastern Bloc aren’t far behind in terms of longevity, having been trading since 1985. Vinyl Exchange is the largest seller and buyer of secondhand cds, records and DVDs in the North West, and Chorlton’s Kingbee record shop is highly regarded by those in the know. Or try the compact and tighly packed Vinyl Resting Place, on the 3rd floor of Afflecks, heaving with boxes of enticing records to peruse. So, you’re now sorted for your gifts, clothes, food drink, books and music. above: Vinyl Resting Place, Afflecks

Let’s move onto your design and interior needs. Once again, independent Manchester caters fantastically for you. Fig and Sparrow sells limited edition and affordable homewares, household gifts, and has a great little coffee shop, in case you need to consider your purchases with the comfort of a large flat white. New-ish kid on the block Object in Chorlton also prides itself on craftsmanship, quality and simplicity. The owners demonstrate some seriously good taste in selecting both décor and 26 clothing. Ferrious has a truly impressive collection of contemporary furniture, lighting and designer goods, housed in a vast Victorian railway viaduct. Likewise, Urbansuite aims to bring the best in contemporary design at sensible prices. If you like your home furnishings to have a mid-century or other vintage vein, don’t miss out on a visit to Pear Mill. This massive vintage emporium, just outside Stockport, has the goods of more than 100 traders on sale and so far is a bit of a hidden gem, meaning that you’re highly likely to come away with some unexpected treasures. Finally, no house is a home without a plant or two, and the Northern Quarter’s Frog Flowers sums up Manchester’s independent spirit perfectly.

Part florist, part art studio, contemporary designs are created here on a daily basis. And need some art on your walls? Again, you’ve come to the right place. The Richard Goodall Gallery, 59 Thomas Street, has long been catering for all of your lowbrow, contemporary and urban art needs, with possibly the UK’s largest selection of contemporary prints. As we started with Afflecks Manchester’s iconic independent venue let’s end this round up with another one: the glory that is Fred Aldous. Since 1886 this enormous emporium continues its mission to ‘supply materials to people who make things’. Nowadays, it stocks more than 25,000 products and despite its burgeoning success it retains ‘independent spirit’, and indeed provides the tools for many other independent makers to do their thing. So, there you have it: Manchester’s independent retail scene is officially booming, and the shops mentioned here really are just the tip of the iceberg. The best way to acquaint yourself with which ones are right up your street is to pop in and pay them a visit. You never know what you might find, but one thing’s for sure: it won’t be run of the mill. above: Nicoletta Ceccoli [R Goodall Gallery]

Situated at the end of a quiet side-street in the Northern Quarter, Manchester Craft and Design Centre is one of the city’s many hidden gems. The building itself is an old Victorian fish and poultry market, and like many buildings of the era it is a beautifully ornate piece of glass and metalwork with some of the original fishmonger’s booths still present. Look back at archive photos of MCDC and it’s hard not to feel a twinge of loss. A compilation of footage from the North West Film Archive at MMU shows bright green lettuce peeping out of wooden crates, stall owners in white overalls and the closely-packed heads of fresh flowers obscuring the rows of tubs that hold them. Might the market have come into its own again now, had it survived, a Manchester version of the bustling Mercado de San Miguel in Madrid?

We’ll never know - but while one 27 industry has departed, another has sprung up in its place. In 1982, Manchester Craft Village first opened its doors to the public and has been a venue for craft ever since. The place where the phrase ‘Northern Quarter’ was coined is now home to 18 independent studios housing some of the region’s most talented artists, designers and makers. Meet potters, painters, jewellers, glass and textile artists, metalworkers, illustrators, paper and textile artists and more, creating and selling their handmade work on site. Hear their stories, learn about their inspirations and take home a one-ofa-kind necklace or handmade ceramic tile: a little bit of Manchester, made in Manchester. above: MCDC, Oak Street


But the Centre offers much more than just shopping. Their aim - to make visual art, craft and design accessible for all - is achieved through an innovative programme of events, workshops and contemporary craft exhibitions, meaning there is something for everyone. Current exhibition, Modern Twist, is a stunning showcase of steam bent furniture by recent Manchester School of Art graduate and award-winning furniture maker Joshua Till. Celebrating the integrity of wood, each piece draws together steam bent beech and ash to create simple, functional design pieces with a Modernist edge (ends May 20th). Their next exhibition, cleverly titled Athletically Pleasing, launches on May 25th and is a celebration of all things sport - an important feature of Manchester’s cultural history.

Launching the day before Manchester’s Great CityGames, the exhibition explores the role of design in sport and showcases a range of products which utilise skilled craftsmanship and cutting edge technology to enhance athletic performance and aesthetic appeal in sport. If you fancy getting hands-on yourself and learning a new skill, there are plenty of craft workshops taking place this spring to tickle your fancy: from floral design and calligraphy to glass fusing and metalwork, there’s something to suit all tastes and abilities. There’s even a cute children’s guide so younger creatives can keep themselves busy designing their own crafts and studio window displays. above: Northern Scapes - Jess Owen


If taking part isn’t your thing, Craft Unravelled might be. A series of free talks and tours taking place on the last Tuesday of every month, offers a behind-the-scenes glimpse of life at the Centre. This Spring’s highlights include exhibition tours and the chance to go behind-the-scenes in Studio 25, home of printmaker Nell, lighting designer Jane, illustrator Kathryn and jeweller Rachel. And a MCDC experience isn’t complete without lunch from the dedicatedly fresh and inventive Oak Street Cafe Bar. From delicious soups and warming stews, to scrumptious salads and yummy cakes, you’ll definitely be tempted by the fabulous selection of homemade food: the menu changes daily but always includes vegan and gluten free options.

On sunnier days you can sit outside and people-watch as the NQ’s hipsters and its colourful characters go by. Oak St. Cafe’s a winner with an utterly moreish selection of cakes, baked fresh on site. In short, for a more relaxed shopping and dining experience, and some of the best contemporary craft and design the North West has to offer, with a little bit of history thrown in. The Manchester Craft & Design Centre is a hidden gem you most definitely want to find. Manchester Craft and Design Centre 17 Oak Street M4 5JD

SPRING/SUMMER EVENTS 2017 | @unlockmcr

Spring has returned to the city and it’s been great to see the terraces filling up with people enjoying the temperate weather: eating and drinking in some of the city’s finest sunny spots. It feels like the perfect time to start looking forward to a cheery spring and early summer full of activities to keep you and your nearest and dearest entertained. Manchester always has a lot going on – so much so that it can feel a little overwhelming when you’re trying to plan leisure activities – so we’re helping you out with some handy suggestions… The Manchester International Festival returns with 18 jam-packed days of art, music, theatre and events. Fancy some more culture? Then the Lowry presents Casanova performed by the Northern Ballet, Twelfth Night at the Royal Exchange or enjoy some down time with Ruby Wax. As ever, Manchester is buzzing with 33 live music: everything from Tubular Brass at the RNCM performing Mike Oldfield’s classic Tubular Bells through to the massive Parklife festival in Heaton Park. Looking for things to do with the kids? Then visit Thomas the Tank Engine at the East Lancashire Railway, get to the Manchester Duck Race in Spinningfields, party at the Geronimo Festival at Arley Hall, or see the Manchester Day Parade; all perfect to keep the little ones entertained. If you like to browse, check out our market listings. Arguably. the beauty of these markets is their eclecticism. You’ll be tempted by everything from reconditioned furniture, bespoke photography, handmade chocolate, regional craft beers and much more. It looks as if we’re in for a busy spring, so read our recommendations, grab your boots and get out there…



2017 sees the return of the hugely popular Manchester International Festival and very soon you won’t be able to move without hearing, reading or seeing something about it. The MIF is truly an International event and brings a vast number of visitors into the city from around the globe. 18 Days of events including dance, theatre and art are presented for your delectation. Start your MIF journey from June 29th on Albert Square: the festival’s hub. It’s going to be a good one! Of course there are plenty of other major events happening such as Manchester Day and no less than four celebrations of beer and gin. Return to the 1940s with a weekend of themed events (expect polka dots galore) at the East Lancashire Railway, Bury.

Day Out with Thomas East Lancashire Railway, Bury 29th April - 1st May Meet Thomas the Tank Engine and his friends, who are waiting to greet you at the East Lancashire Railway. The event takes place across the length of the railway and tickets can be purchased from Bury, Heywood, Ramsbottom and Rawtenstall station on the day @eastlancsrly

Góbéfest Albert Square, M60 2LA 13th - 14th May Acts from across the Hungarian diaspora will perform at this free festival, which is also hosting a bustling Transylvanian Hungarian market. The square will be packed with stalls selling Hungarian and Romanian food, craft beers, local wines, arts and crafts @gobefest | @unlockmcr

German Bierfest

CAMRA Beer Festival

Albert Square, M60 2LA 18th - 21st May

53two Theatre, 8 Albion St, Park Ave, M1 5LN 29th June - 1st July

Albert Square is transformed into a German Village with wooden huts selling everything from Bratwurst and pfeffernusse to other authentic German Products. The Bavarian Fest Tent has German live music, waiters in Lederhosen and Dirndl. Meanwhile, its FunZone is for your kids to enjoy traditional German fun activities

CAMRA is celebrating with beers from every one of the smaller breweries within the Branch boundary - there are seven within the boundary and another five just outside! This will, of course, mean that they will be providing both keg, KeyKeg, and cask beers

Geronimo Festival

Manchester Beer Week

Arley Hall, Northwich CW9 6NA 27th - 29th May

Venues Across Greater Manchester 23th June - 2nd July

Family-orientated fun as the stars of Kids’ TV gather under (fingers crossed!) sunny skies to entertain the little ones. Billed as the UK’s largest Children’s Festival, packed with Kids TV Stars and themed for Princesses, Knights and Dragons, it’s time to start costume planning

Manchester’s city-wide beer festival has been set up with the aim of bringing together thousands of drinkers through a series of events celebrating brewing and pub culture. Expect to find a huge variety of different events including special beers brewed for the occasion, tours and meals @mcrbeerweek @geronimofest_uk @MCRCentralCamra

1940s Weekend

The Gin Society - Gin Festival 2017

East Lancashire Railway, Bury 27th - 29th May It’s a long road to Tipperary so why not stop along the way to get into the swing of things at this incredibly popular vintage spectacular. Dig out that polka dot dress, wax that moustache and put on your dancing shoes for a weekend of all singing, all dancing, all action fun

Derby Hall - The Met Bury 7th - 8th July @eastlancsrly

Gin lovers can sample a selection of over 85 gins from all over the world, including an array of delicious fruit gins, unusual artisan gins and, for added sparkle, a range of prosecco cocktails. And it’s just a quick ride to Bury on the Tram to get there, meaning you can leave the car at home and get stuck in @themet

Manchester Day

Manchester International Festival

Across Greater Manchester 18th June

Albert Square & Venues across Manchester

This is a day for families, residents and visitors to get together and celebrate all things Mancunian, that have made Manchester one of the world’s most iconic cities. Experience an amazing parade through the heart of the city, culminating in Albert Square @ManCityCouncil

29th June - 16th July Manchester International Festival (MIF) is the world’s first festival of original, new work and special events and is staged here every two years. The festival celebrates Art, Music, Theatre and Modern Culture, and is a must for everyone to visit @MIFestival



LS Lowry: The Art & The Artist

Strange and Familiar

The Lowry, Pier 8, Salford Quays M50 3AZ Permanent Exhibition, open daily With over 400 works in this incredible collection, 57 of which are oil paintings. The archive contains thousands of items ranging from photographs to press cuttings and exhibition catalogues. Both the collection and archive were formed by Salford Museum & Art Gallery and transferred to The Lowry in 2000

Manchester Art Gallery, Mosley St M2 3JL until 29th May @the_lowry

Britain as Revealed by International Photographers: curated by the iconic British photographer Martin Parr, Strange and Familiar considers how international photographers from the 1930s onwards have captured the social, cultural and political identity of the UK @ mcrartgallery

Manchester Duck Race

The Missing of the Somme

Left Bank, Spinningfields & New Bailey 14th April

Fusilier Museum, Moss Street Bury BL9 0DF until 2nd June

Back for its eighth year, the river Irwell see thousands of rubber ducks float along its course with each duck competing to be the first across the winning line! The racing ducks cost £1 each, with some great prizes, all in aid of Brainwave: a local children’s charity

Commemorating 100 years since the battle of the Somme, this exhibition tells the sad but true stories of the Lancashire Fusiliers who were reported as having no known grave and whose names feature alongside many others on the Thiepval memorial, France @mcrduckrace @FusilierMuseum | @unlockmcr

New Dawn - 1997 General Election

Vertigo Sea - John Akomfrah’s

People’s History Museum, Left Bank M3 3ER until 4th June The exhibition will explore this vital but controversial moment in Britain’s democratic history, helping visitors reflect on the issues it raises and explore an election that feels much further away than just two decades in the past

The Whitworth, Oxford Road M15 6ER until 28th August A three-screen film, first seen at the 56th Venice Biennale (Okwui Enwezor’s All the World’s Futures exhibition) is a sensual, poetic and cohesive meditation on man’s relationship with the sea and exploration of its role in the history of slavery, migration, and conflict @phmmcr @WhitworthArt

Wonder Materials: Graphene & Beyond

Mary Quant: Fashion icon

MSI, Liverpool Road M3 4FP Until 25 June What’s invisible to the human eye, thinner than a human hair and 200 times tougher than steel? And could be about to change your life? Explore this wonder material at the Museum of Science and Industry in Manchester

Manchester Art Gallery, Mosley St M2 3JL until 5th November Dressing an international clientele of the young and hip of the 60s and 70s, Mary Quant’s work perfectly caught the contemporary cultural moment. Celebrated as the most famous female fashion designer working in London in the 1960s @msimanchester @ mcrartgallery

Marshmallow Laser Feast

Barbara Brown

The Lowry, The Quays, Salford M50 3AZ 26th May - 16th July

The Whitworth, Oxford Road M15 6ER until December 2017

The Lyric Theatre at The Lowry is set to be taken over by a visually stunning feast of light, sound, colour and technology from UK artists Marshmallow Laser Feast

Barbara Brown was the golden girl of Heal Fabrics in the 1960s and early 1970s. Talent-spotted as a student, her designs for furnishing fabrics are some of the most striking and unusual ever produced in the 20th century @the_lowry @WhitworthArt

La Movida - ¡Viva!

Strawberry Studios - I Am in Love

HOME, 2 Tony Wilson Place M15 4FN until 17th July This pioneering contemporary visual art group exhibition takes the artistic and sociocultural movement La Movida (literally ‘the movement’) of post-Franco Spain as its thematic heart. Part of: ¡Viva! Spanish & Latin American Festival 2017

Stockport Museum, Market Place SK1 1ES until 29th January 2018 Manchester’s musical legacy is famous throughout the world. Perhaps less wellknown is the important role that Stockport played. Founded in 1967, Strawberry Studios became one of the finest professional recording studios outside London @home_mcr @StockportMBC


Northern Ballet - Casanova


Manchester has a wealth of theatres delivering everything from national touring shows through to small independent productions. Its five major theatres are The Lowry, The Royal Exchange Theatre, The Opera House, HOME and the Palace Theatre. The Royal Exchange stage is set out centrally to the audience bringing a new experience to your theatre engagement. Their programmes are created to offer you the very diverse choice of productions and a breadth of performance only rivalled by the London theatre scene. There are several independent theatres too; check out the tiny 3 Minute Theatre (3MT), in Afflecks, the Hope Theatre in Ancoats or the Contact Theatre, on Oxford Rd. These theatres are focussed on presenting new productions and can be extremely intimate and exciting spaces.

Try the out of town theatres such Bolton’s Octagon, Bury’s newly refurbished The Met, Oldham’s Coliseum or the 1930s grandiosity of the Stockport Plaza. These ‘out of town’ theatres are easy to get to: either take the train or travel on the Manchester Metrolink; even Bury is only 30 minutes away on public transport. These are all great venues and worth your support. One last thing: if you missed the Damon Albarns’ stylish Wonder.Land, which premiered at the 2015 MIF, it’s back at the Palace theatre this April. | @unlockmcr

Harry Potter & The Philosopher’s Stone

Palace Theatre, 97 Oxford Street M1 6FT 24th - 30 April Hailed by the New York Times as ‘inspirational’, is an enchanting musical adaptation of Lewis Carroll’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass, with a huge heart, a medley of magic and a whole lot of wonder

Manchester Arena, Victoria Station M3 1AR 16th May Audiences will now be able to relive the magic of Harry Potter and The Philosopher’s Stone in high-definition on a giant screen while hearing a full live orchestra perform John Williams’ unforgettable score @ATGTICKETS @ManchesterArena

Ruby Wax - Frazzled

Hopeless Romantics

Stockport Plaza, Mersey Square SK1 1SP 2nd May

The Met, Market Street, Bury BL9 0BW 17th May In an age of internet dating, speed dating, blind dating and Tinder, isn’t it harder not to find someone these days? Alan doesn’t think so. And he should know...

Ruby Wax is a much-loved US born comedian, actor and writer. This event is a follow up to her sell out touring show, and best-selling book, Sane New World, which helps us understand why we sabotage our sanity with our own thinking @stockportplaza1 @themet



Twelfth Night

The Lowry, The Quays, Salford M50 3AZ

Royal Exchange Theatre, St Ann’s Sq M2 7DH

3rd - 6th May Throw caution to the wind. Be led into temptation. Unmask Casanova with Northern Ballet. Consumed by his desires, Casanova lived every minute in a whirlwind of scandal and excess. This original ballet will expose a story so sensational you won’t believe it’s real

13th April - 20th May Washed up on the shores of Illyria after a shipwreck, Viola hides her true identity by disguising herself as a man. Finding a job and love at the court of Duke Orsino. Viola becomes muddled in mistaken identities when her disguise causes more problems than it solves @rxtheatre @The_Lowry

I Capture The Castle

The Wedding Singer

Octagon Theatre, Bolton BL1 1SB 26th April - 6th May Cassie is 17. She is trying to ‘capture’ her eccentric family in her new diary - her irritating elder sister Rose, her unconventional stepmother Topaz, her orphaned admirer Stephen, and her novelist father James, who hasn’t written a word in years

Opera House, 3 Quay St M3 3HP 15th - 20th May It’s 1985. Hair is huge, greed is good and rockstar wannabe Robbie Hart is New Jersey’s favourite wedding singer. When his own fiancée dumps him at the altar a seriously bummed out Robbie makes every wedding as disastrous as his own @octagontheatre @ATGTICKETS

Thoroughly Modern Millie


Palace Theatre, 97 Oxford Street M1 6FT 23rd - 27th May Winner of six Tony Awards, including best musical, Thoroughly Modern Millie is the delightful smash hit comedy set in New York in 1922, and based on the award-winning film

Royal Exchange Theatre, St Anns Sq M2 7DH 25th May - 24th June If you can’t find a husband in Bath, you won’t find one anywhere. When Captain Wentworth proposed to Anne eight years ago, he had only love and ambition to offer. Talked out of accepting his proposal by her family, Anne’s never quite got over her first love @ATGTICKETS

40 @rxtheatre

Dinosaur World

Dirty Dancing

The Lowry, The Quays, Salford M50 3AZ 29th - 31st May Dare to experience the dangers and delights of Dinosaur World in this interactive new show for all the family (ages 3+). Grab your compass and join our intrepid explorer across unchartered territories to discover a prehistoric world of astonishing (and remarkably life-like) dinosaurs @The_Lowry

Palace Theatre, 97 Oxford Street M1 6FT 18th - 22nd July Exploding with heart-pounding music, breathtaking emotion and sensationally sexy dancing, this is the classic story of Baby and Johnny: two fiercely independent young spirits from different worlds, who come together in what will be the most challenging and triumphant summer of their lives @ATGTICKETS

Hard Times

The Railway Children

Oldham Coliseum, Fairbottom St OL1 3SW 19th May - 3rd June Hard Times is set in the fictional Northern Coketown. It portrays the decades-long friendship between mill owner Josiah Bounderby and schoolmaster Thomas Gradgrind

The Lowry, The Quays, Salford M50 3AZ 25th - 30th July Brought thrillingly to life in a stunning new stage production, this best-loved tale, made famous by the iconic 1970 movie starring Jenny Agutter and Bernard Cribbins, delivers a compelling coming of age story and a fascinating insight into Edwardian rural life @The_Lowry @OldhamColiseum

The Play That Goes Wrong


The Lowry, The Quays, Salford M50 3AZ 5th - 10th June The Cornley Polytechnic Drama Society are putting on a 1920s murder mystery, but as the title suggests, everything that can go wrong… does! As the accident prone thesps battle on against all the odds to reach their final curtain call, hilarious results ensue

Waterside Centre, Waterside, Sale M33 7ZF Monthly until December ComedySportz is an all ages, all improvised show where two teams battle it out for laughs as players create quick-witted sketches, scenes and songs from whatever suggestions are thrown at them by the audience. @The_Lowry @WatersideArts

Parklife Festival


Manchester has a very strong music scene that has produced some of the country’s, indeed the world’s, biggest bands. It’s easy to namecheck just a few The Smiths, New Order or Oasis. This trend continues today with many Manchesterbased, or inspired, emerging bands and musicians playing live gigs in some of the city’s best-known music venues. These include Night and Day Bar on Oldham Street, Matt & Phreds for Jazz, Manchester Academy, a haunt for students and international artists alike, or the Manchester Arena: one of the biggest music venues in Europe. Classical music is not forgotten: Manchester is home to the world-class RNCM music teaching college. The Bridgewater Hall and even Manchester Cathedral are both staples venues for vocal, classical and orchestral music.

Looking for the full on intimate live experience? Then try the Night and Day, on Oldham Street, presenting a breadth of rock and AOR bands. Manchester’s famous Band on the Wall is another excellent space and is very popular with major artists performing prior to going onto larger venue national tours. The Festival season is upon us with Dot to Dot in May, Blue Dot (three days of events at Jodrell Bank) and who could forget the massive Parklife at Heaton Park in June. Want something different? Then the Whit Friday Band Contest or the Wigan Jazz Festival could be right up your street. Therefore, it is easy to say that Manchester is still at the forefront of music creation and production. This is a great time to dive in and get to hear bands and musicians when they’re at their best.

The Magic of Motown

Take That - Tour 2017

Stockport Plaza, Mersey Square SK1 1SP 5th May Prepare yourself for 40 back-to-back classic Motown hits, glittering costume changes, dazzling dance moves and outstanding musicianship in this explosive concert experience

Manchester Arena, Victoria Station M3 1AR 18th - 20th and 25th - 27th May Gary, Mark and Howard’s return to their hometown venue brings their tally of Manchester Arena performances to a record breaking 44 – the most by any music act in the venue’s 21 year history @stockportplaza1 @ManchesterArena


Tubular Bells and Mary Casio

The Met, Market St, Bury BL9 0BW 12th May With all five members being lifelong fans, their shows are full of respect for the incredible music that Page, Plant, Jones and Bonham created. Way back in 2001 Jimmy Page commented on their excellent reviews and wished the band all the best

RNCM, 124 Oxford Rd M13 9RD 27th May Mike Oldfield’s Tubular Bells, performed live by Tubular Brass – a 28-piece brass band featuring some of the UK’s finest players and presenting a new score by acclaimed composer, conductor and arranger Sandy Smith. Plus a special performance of Mary Casio: Journey to Cassiopeia @rncmvoice

The Met, Market St, Bury BL9 0BW @themet

David Hamilton’s Rock ‘n’ Roll Tour

Secret Music Festival

Stockport Plaza, Mersey Square SK1 1SP 20th May

Rossendale Valley 28th May Secret Music Festival returns to the Rossendale Valley on Sunday the 28th of May 2017 at a secret location for a huge 14-hour party. This year’s festival features a wide range of artists from Rossendale and the surrounding areas

Gary, Mark and Howard’s return to their hometown venue brings their tally of Manchester Arena performances to a record breaking 44 – the most by any music act in the venue’s 21 year history @stockportplaza1

Dot to Dot Festival

The Chicago Blues Brothers

Various venues in Manchester 26th May

Palace Theatre, 97 Oxford St M1 6FT 28th May Back with a brand new production for 2017 with an all new elaborate stage set, the Chicago Blues Brothers are taking you back to 1980 to finish the concert at the Palace ballroom hotel. This show is a powerhouse two-hour song-fest with over 40 hits performed live on stage

Dot to Dot Festival is established as the UK’s premier Festival for unearthing the hottest new talent around, alongside established acts from across the globe. The eclectic line-up is set to make this year one of the biggest and best in the festival’s history @D2DFest @ATGTICKETS

Irlam Live

Parklife Festival

Princes Park, Liverpool Rd, Manchester 2nd - 4th June A three-day feast of festival fun in a pretty suburban park, Irlam Live was a cracking community shindig in 2016 and now it’s back with an action-packed line-up

Heaton Park, Middleton Rd M25 2SW10th 11th June Parklife Festival is an eclectic music festival weekender in Manchester. Having carved out a prominent reputation in the UK’s North West music scene, plus a huge student following, Parklife’s gone from strength to strength @irlamlive

Bluedot Festival

Sounds Of The City

Jodrell Bank, Macclesfield, Cheshire SK11 9DL 7th - 9th July Bluedot returns to Jodrell Bank, the iconic observatory and heart of our quest for knowledge of the cosmos. Bluedot invites you to camp out under the stars, and to explore a stellar programme of music, science, arts, technology, culture, food and film

Castlefield Bowl, Liverpool Road 30th June - 8th July Manchester’s festival of live music Sounds Of The City is back in 2017 with headline shows from Richard Ashcroft, Stockport’s finest Blossoms, and Manchester band James @bluedotfestival

44 @Parklifefest @gigsandtours

Mercury: The Ultimate Queen Tribute

Wigan International Jazz Festival

Palace Theatre, 97 Oxford St M1 6FT 7th June

Robin Park, Loire Drive, Wigan WN5 0UL 6th - 9th July

Winners of the National Tribute Awards 2013, Mercury have firmly established themselves as one of the world’s most authentic tributes to Queen. The show includes fantastic and authentic performances of the most popular Queen hits

Now in its 32nd year, the four days are packed with world-class artists, featuring an eclectic range of jazz genres and styles. Including a very special performance from Jools Holland and his Rhythm and Blues Band plus many more artists @ATGTICKETS @JazzWigan

Whit Friday Band Contest 2017

Blackthorne Music Festival

Saddleworth and local villages 9th June

Etherow Country Park, George St SK6 5JD 21st - 23rd July

From the earliest recorded contest in 1884, the event has grown in popularity. Competitions and performances are scattered around the moorland villages and towns on the western edge of the Pennines. All of the contests are open-air: many in delightful surroundings

A music festival for everyone regardless of age, situated throughout Etherow Country Park in the beautiful setting of Whitebottom farm, providing a safe and friendly atmosphere to listen to music, socialise and camp. Indulge your senses with great music, mouthwatering food and stunning surroundings @ BlackthornFest

(cc) Eddy Milford


Altrincham Market & Market House

Bury Market

Greenwood Street, WA14 1SA Tuesday and then Thursday - Sunday weekly Nine fiercely independent food stars, hundreds of incredibly talented traders, one beautiful listed building, part restaurant, part market, part town square. Eat, meet, drink, shop, watch, talk, listen and laugh. Passionately regional, this is a celebration of the identity and culture of the North West

The Fish Market, Murray Rd, Bury BL9 0BJ Monday - Saturday Bury’s World Famous Market is a multi-award winning market. It’s one of the most popular shopping destinations in the north of England attracting thousands of visitors each week with over 370 stalls drawing in the crowds. Market Hall: Monday-Saturday Fish & Meat: Monday-Saturday (closed Tuesday PM) Open Market: Wednesday-Saturday @BuryMarket @altrinchammkt

Bolton Artisan Market

Heaton Moor Producers’ & Arts

Heaton Fold, Overdale Dr, BL1 5BU 3rd Sunday monthly (February - December) Visitors will find an exciting range of high quality and locally sourced food, drink and crafts from specialist producers and suppliers here. There is free parking onsite, as well as a gift shop and self-service café. The market is held under cover in bad weather

Shaw Road, Heaton Moor, Stockport SK4 4N 1st & 2nd Saturday monthly @BoltonArtisan

Focusing on bringing local, independent producers’ and artists together offering lots of products, including fresh produce, gift items and crafts - Producers’ Market: 1st Saturday monthly - Art Market: 2nd Saturday monthly @HMoorMarket | @unlockmcr


Love great food, art, design, music and street food? Then join us at one of our monthly weekend markets in Manchester. Northern Quarter Makers Market: 2nd Sundays - Stevenson Square, Mcr Spinningfields Makers Market: 3rd weekend, Spinningfields Sq, Mcr West Didsbury Makers Market: Last Sunday, Nell Lane/Barton Road, Mcr - @_makersmarket

Levenshulme Market

The Makers Market

Stockport Rd, Levenshulme Every Saturday (March-December)

Cheadle, Knutsford, Northern Quarter, Spinningfields, Didsbury (Saturday & Sunday)

Since its March 2013 launch Levenshulme Markets delivers a diverse range of high quality traders and at every market you can expect an ever changing roster of 50 artisan traders selling produce, street food, plants, gifts, vintage clothing and homeware

The monthly Makers Market brings together the finest and often award-winning food, drink, art & crafts producers in the area. The market is well known for presenting the very best of seasonal local farm produce, artisan breads, delicatessen and hand crafted cheeses @_makersmarket @levymarket

Piccadilly Gardens Food & Crafts

The Vintage Village Fair

Piccadilly Gardens, Manchester City Centre Thursday - Saturday weekly The Street Food Market features over 15 stall selling delicious food from around the globe. Middle Eastern wraps, dim sum and to chow mien noodles to Italian pasta, ostrich burgers and African cuisine. The Crafts Market sells a variety of beautifully crafted items and is open on Fridays and Saturdays

Stockport Market Hall, Market Pl, SK1 1EU 2nd Sunday monthly (March-December) Held in Stockport’s ‘Glass Umbrella’ and aims to deliver things might be rare or unique, beautiful, special, amusing, useful, bizarre or remarkable in some way. They are all intensely covetable and most of them are cracking bargains too. Once you are done with browsing you can sample the great food and drink offerings @Vintage_Village


Radcliffe Saturday Fine Food Market

Treacle Market

Radcliffe Market Hall, Blackburn St M26 9WQ Saturday weekly 9am-3pm Every Saturday, Radcliffe Market Hall becomes a foodie heaven, with a plethora of artisan producers bringing you the very best local produce available. Offering the finest food and drink from across the region, you can sample their produce, and fill your baskets with passionately made, and tasty fine food

Market Pl Macclesfield, Cheshire SK11 6BA Last Sunday of the month (March-August) The market started in 2010 and each month sees the handsome cobbled Marketplace, and surrounding streets throng with visitors and over 150 stalls of unique crafts, exceptional lovingly produced food, drink and several vintage finds. When the sun shines, why not grab a rug and picnic on the church lawns? @radcliffemarket @treaclemarket

The Clog Market

Wilmslow Artisan Market

Town Square, Rawtenstall 1st Sunday monthly April - October Featuring vintage, vintage industrial, collectables, curios, clothing, vinyls and homewares plus boutique clothing and accessories, gifts speciality food stalls, patisserie, vegan skincare, artisan jewellery and tasty street food

Alderley Road, Wilmslow, Cheshire SK9 1PB 3rd Saturday monthly (10am-4pm) The market consists of over 120 of the very finest artisan market traders and is the flagship of The Market Co’s events. You will find high-quality range of authentic goods with an emphasis on all that is local, ethical and original @ClogMarket @_TheMarketCo




Y! A L P


The Metroshuttle bus is a free service and makes travelling around the city easy and quick; just find a stop, stick out your arm and hail one of these modern buses. With its three routes, the shuttle buses cover most of the city and have good interconnections with each another. The routes are circular so even if you miss your stop just stay on and it will come round again. You could even use them as way to sightsee the city, although be warned that they can get very busy, especially at peak times. The buses are clearly marked and you can use the map to find the stops and route information. The Manchester Metrolink trams, in their fun bright yellow livery, trundle across the city transporting commuters and visitors alike. They connect the main stations of Piccadilly and Victoria to the wider region and Manchester Airport.

The new second city crossing completes the public transport jigsaw, with a direct line running right through to Rochdale. The semi-organised chaos caused by the St Peter’s Square stop development is over. The new state of the art station fits right in with its imposing neighbours, the Central Library, The Town Hall and Manchester Art Gallery. If you are off to The Lowry Theatre or the Outlet Mall, in Salford Quays, the tram will whisk you there in about 10 minutes from Piccadilly Gardens. Bury, with its attractions such as the East Lancashire Railway, its award wining Market and The Met theatre are only 30 minutes away. These services, coupled with the commercial buses routes and the national railway connections, make reaching and getting about the city very simple - Just remember to buy a ticket! | @unlockmcr

Unlock Manchester Pocket Guide April 2017  

We delve into the Spring and early Summer highlight events across Greater Manchester. We indulge in some Manchester indie shopping plus arts...

Unlock Manchester Pocket Guide April 2017  

We delve into the Spring and early Summer highlight events across Greater Manchester. We indulge in some Manchester indie shopping plus arts...