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Your FREE guide to Manchester


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

A Sippers Guide Some of Manchester’s best underground and hidden bars

Manchester Quarters Take a stroll along Deansgate and relax in Castlefield

Forthcoming Events Summer and Autumn 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 |


Manchester, a city that think’s tables are for dancing on...

2016 is turning out to be something of a boon year for Manchester with lots of investment being poured into the city, quite literally in cubic meters of concrete. Developments have sprung up in Greengate Square and in Ancoats not to mention the rebuilding of the University of Manchester district, a 10-year plan. Cast your eye across the rest of the city and you will find further growth. Kampus, on Whitworth St, is going to be an entertainment centre with private apartments, Urban & Civic are developing the old Origin site on Princess St and Allied London are going to sort out the Old Fire Station. Working in Manchester is great fun. The city has a strong and thriving business sector, much of it in the emerging profession of the creative. However, ‘All work and no play’ is not what Manchester is about. It offers visitors and residents a vast selection of things to do and enjoy in their downtime. In this edition we look at Deansgate, the city’s core, and Castlefield where the MoSI awaits your exploration or just relax in the open spaces, the outdoor restaurants and bars.

If you enjoy a good beer then check out our ‘Sipper’s Guide’ which brings you an insiders guide to Manchester’s ‘hidden’ bars. In them you can sample interesting brews from the best of the city’s microbreweries and even the odd southern one too… The summer is here and we have 3 rounded up some of this seasons interesting events and things to do. We think that this will be an indispensable guide to help you plan a busy summer. Thank for you reading our guide and check out for more information. Nick Coulthurst Editor | @unlockmcr Edition No. 2 - July 2016 Copyright 2016 | @unlockmcr

A Sipper’s Guide

Discover some of the ‘hidden’ watering holes and taste great beer

When it comes to craft ale, Manchester is thriving. The city has become a hub of microbreweries and cask ale pubs in which beer lovers are flocking to try. With many Mancunian pubs boasting an impressive selection of new ales every day from across UK, we take a look at some of the hidden gems you may not find in the usual guide book. 4 When you think of Manchester’s trendiest nightspot The Northern Quarter you may be fooled into thinking it’s a cocktail-lovers paradise. Yet nestled between Stevenson’s Square and Great Ancoats Street is Pie And Ale which has an impressive six rotating casks sampling some of the city’s best ales. Also not one for missing out on some of the best beers from London, the fridges stock a selection of Beavertown ales such as Gamma Ray, a stunning American pale ale, and a smoked porter to mention just a few, yet it is the local Manchester tipples which the bar reserves for the hand pulls. Some of their favourite city breweries include Track Brewery with their stunning golden Sonoma ale and rich Toba stout as well as Cloudwater Brewery’s Double Dipa IPA - a 9% ale sure to knock your socks off.

‘When it’s gone it’s gone’ - try a different beer every time you visit this CAMRA approved pub with new beers being showcased here every day. Another fan of Manchester made beer is the alternative brewery First Chop, located within Salford’s aqueduct (which is occasionally open to the public). These events are a good experience with street food, a full bar and DJs playing certainly a change of pace if you’re tired of quiet bars and pub food. First Chop’s beers, many now gluten free, are all brewed in house and the team are becoming a powerhouse in the world of craft ale. Try the Hop - their classic golden hoppy ale, or their new creation POP, a refreshing twist on an IPA made with fruity Hops, US yeast yeast and orange oil. Moving further toward Ancoats, and further South with its beers choices, is the Crown and Kettle on Oldham Road. It is a Grade II listed building complete very ornate and decorative ceiling an original feature. Recently it has offered a delicious golden ale Sundowner by Wild Weather ales, better known for their Sour peach ale and the Prince Ale Kiss.


The Brink Bar

Big fans of Somerset brewery Wild Beer and Shrewsbury ale makers Siren whose Oatmeal pale Undercurrent is a common sight in many a bar fridge across Manchester. The Crown and Kettle host occasional London beer festivals with breweries such as Kernal, BBNo and Siren whose recent creation Vermont Tea Party ale really hits the spot with its floral notes and hoppy earl grey tea and lemon taste. Fans of Southern brews will be glad to know that the The Crown & Kettle is not unquie with its impressive selection.

Cafe Beermoth is tucked away on Spring Gardens very close to the Arndale Centre yet is often missed by ale trail enthusiasts. The bar, which began as a small specialist beer shop in the Northern Quarter selling Belgian, American and UK craft ales, soon grew and today boasts a huge range of cask and bottles worldwide. Like the Crown and Kettle, they too are big fans of Siren and Wild Beer brewery. | @unlockmcr

tessinmanchester (cc)


In particular the rich Millionaire stout, which describes itself as Millionaire Shortbread in liquid form with lashings of salted caramel and chocolate, and the better-known Bibble, an American amber session ale full of hops and flavour. Cafe Beermoth present regular ale talks and tasting sessions to anyone who wants to know more about the world of microbreweries; this is a great way to spend an afternoon with your mates. Venturing back toward the Northern Quarter, The Smithfield Tavern, located close to The Crown and Kettle, owned by Blackjack Brewery, who are creators of The Pokies ale. This quiet night-time haunt is only open in the evenings but makes up for it with its low prices and an impressive mix of UK craft ales. Never one to miss out on a good ale, it selects its tipple from all across the UK.

The pub will more often than not be selling an ale from its famous Mancunian brewery as well as some other gems such as Brewed by Number’s Motueka and Lime Saison (this one is a little sour), or Wild Beer’s hoppy Pogo. Their ever-changing ale selection is testament to the variety of the beers that they select carefully based on popularity and price. There is always a beer to suit everyone here. But if it is big city lights and a crowded ale house you’re after you can still enjoy traditional ales in Brink Bar located close to Spinningfields, a basement bar which only showcases beers within a 25 mile radius - a promise it has made since it opened in early 2016. It is a bright and quiet pub, but fiercely proud of its Manchester microbreweries.

CIRQUE Expect the unexpected

@cirquemcr CIRQUE Quuens Rd, manchester M9 5FF

57 Thomas Street, The Marble


It is easy to miss, but when you do you will often find a Beer Nouveau favourite such as their simply named Pale - a beautifully crafted 5% session ale or their darker and smokier Satanic Mills. If you’re keen to move on, up the stairs and across the road from this white modern ale house is The Gas Lamp. This is a complete opposite to the Brink Bar with its dimly-lit Victorian decor and shabby chic furniture. Strangley, it even has a ‘light well’ an outdoor terrace, sort of garden-ish. This subterranean drink den, an afterwork favourite offers both cocktails and great beer - it is rare not to find a favourite from Track or Blackjack here. And finally the list would not be complete without featuring the recently crowned Greater Manchester Pub of the year at the National Pub and Bar Awards, The Marble Arch.

With its sister pub ‘57 Thomas Street’ in the NQ, The Marble Arch has become legendary on the ale trail circuit, and is better known for its Earl Grey IPA, a 6.8% stunner which may not taste as much as the tea as some may think, but is smoother than the ABV suggests. Stocking its own brews, with many priced at under £4 a pint, you should sample its great food and an even greater beer garden. We recommend you get down early if you fancy a pint on a sunny afternoon here. So there you have it, our definitive list of some of the great hidden Manchester pubs housing some of the UK’s best craft ales. From Spinningfields to the Northern Quarter, the industry is booming and it is exciting to wonder where it will be in the coming years. Danielle Wainwright


Relax and enjoy the history, museums and good food & drink


Castlefield derives it name from the Roman fort called Mancunium, established in AD 79 and it is a distinct part of the modern city. During Victorian times it came to the fore as a working set of docks for barges transporting goods, materials and essential resources on both the Bridgewater and Rochdale canals. This is the point where the two meet before joining the Ship Canal. Those busy canals carried Manchester’s goods, in particular cotton, out to Salford Quays where they would connect through the Manchester Ship Canal first to the port of Liverpool and then the World. Today much of this infrastructure remains and it been turned into a great space to take a breather from the relentless city and enjoy everything from a pleasant walk to good beer and quality food.

Many of the venues have outdoor or canal-side aspects that are very enticing when the sun chooses to shine. The Roman fort has been partly reconstructed and you can explore the gardens and buildings at your leisure. You can even enjoy a drink, or some food, at the White Lion with the forts main entrance as the backdrop. Castlefield has several good restaurants and we can recommend Dimiti’s, on Deansgate, for great Greek dishes, or Per Tutti for Italian farye and Alberts Shed for classic dinning.


Looking for something interesting to drink? Then try Cask, on Liverpool Rd, not only does it offer a huge range of beers and ales it also happens to have one of the best juke boxes in the city. Castlefield is also home to ‘The Bowl’ a large open theatre, located on the old docks, and it is regularly used to host concerts, events and other public events. Just up the road you will find the Old Granada Studios, these where vacated when the station moved to its new home in Media City, Salford Quays.

This is where the long running British soap ‘Coronation Street’ was filmed and today it is evolving into a space for theatre, exhibitions and the occasional club night. There are plans to build a new theatre on the site that will eventually become the permanent home of the much acclaimed Manchester International Festival. Across the road is the Museum of Science and Industry (MoSI). The Museums extensive galleries and collections celebrate Manchester as the world’s first Industrial City. | @unlockmcr


It is very much a hands on sort of museum where you can take a ride on a replica of Stephensons ‘Planet’, explore huge industrial machines, marvel at some the amazing fabric making machinery or learn about some of the earliest computers. Part of the museum is the original Liverpool Road Railway station that connected through to Liverpool. It was the world’s first twin track railway and much of the tunnelling is still transporting trains between the two cities.

The Air and Space Hall is huge, a former market built in 1882, it exhibits focus mainly on aviation achievements. Here you will a replica of the Roe Triplane 1, which first flew in 1909 or drink in the sight of the Avro Shackleton; a search and rescue plane that could fly for 24 hours straight. Exploring the hall further will reveal some gems of the MoSI transport collection including the 1905 Rolls Royce used by Henry Royce himself.


Mr Rolls and Mr Royce met in the Midland Hotel and started their world famous company here in Manchester. Castlefield is certainly set out to be more relaxing than most of the rest of city with its large open spaces and quiet walkways. However, it offers visitors plenty to engage them and the MoSI is a must for a family day out.

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 | @unlockmcr


Bars 1: Baa Bar, Deansgate Locks - E3 2: Buddha, Deansgate Locks - E3 3: Cask, Liverpool Rd - D2 4: Cloud 23, Beetham Tower Deansgate - E2 5: Lola La, Deansgate Locks - E3

Bars serving Food 1: Ark, Deansgate Locks - E3 2: Atlas Bar, Deangate - D3 3: Barca, Catalan Sq - B3 4: Dukes 92, Castle St - C3 5: Knott Bar, Deansgate - D3 6: Lock 91, Deansgate Locks - E3 7: Revolution, Deansgate Locks - E3 8: The Ox Noble, Liverpool Rd - C2 9: The Wharf, Slate Wharf - B3 10: White Lion, Liverpool Rd - D2

Entertainment 1: Castlefield Bowl, Castlefield - C2 2: Comedy Store, Deansgate Locks - E3 3: Rebellion, Whitworth St West - E3


1: Castlefield Hotel, Liverpool Rd - B2 2: The Hilton, Deansgate - E2 3: YHA Hostel, Potato Wharf - A2


1: Akbar’s, Liverpool Rd - C1 2: Alberts Shed, Castle St - C3 3: Bollywood Masala, Liverpool Rd - D2 4: Dimitris, Deansgate - E2 5: Don Marco, Deansgate - E2 6: Khan Ba Ba, Liverpool Rd - C1 7: Per Tutti, Liverpool Rd - D2 8: Sapporo Teppanyaki, Liverpool Rd - C1 9: The Fish Hut, Liverpool Rd - D2 10: The Salt & Pepper, Liverpool Rd - C2 | @unlockmcr



The city’s ‘central core’ modern and historical side-by-side

Deansgate is a mile long stretch of road that connects pretty much every part of the city centre. If you are ever lost in our fair city, ask anyone the way to Deansgate and you will soon pick up your trail. It starts (or ends whichever way you look at it) with the Cathedral and ends at the dominating Beetham Tower with 16 a cross section of most central streets in between. Deansgate is the focal point for many of Manchester’s civic celebrations be it Manchester United bringing home the treble, Gay Pride or Manchester Day parades. It has seen Jenson Button roar up it in a Formula One racing car and Usain Bolt set a world speed record. Yes, you are walking in the footsteps of giants. It wasn’t always like this however, in the late 1800s, Deansgate was such a hotbed of vice and crime that many police officers flatly refused to set foot in the locality but thankfully today it has cleaned up its act. Rising up past the cathedral and marking the start of Deansgate is the uber modern Number One Deansgate with its swanky apartments that overlook the city centre and home to Harvey Nicholls.

Designed by local architect Ian Simpson the building was the helm of the redevelopment project following the 1996 IRA bomb which obliterated most of the area and came to represent Manchester recovering from this terrible event. As you walk down Deansgate, cast your eyes up at the buildings above the modern shop fronts and it isn’t difficult to imagine the street of yesteryear, only the shop names have been changed. At this end of Deansgate a crop of bars make it a destination for weekends with venues such as Living Room, The Botanist


Manchester Cathedral (cc)

and Moon under the Water, built in an old cinema and it has the impressive moniker of being the biggest pub in England. Barton Arcade is opposite. This lovely Victorian shopping arcade housing high end stores and eateries as well as hairdressers and bars, everything you need for a night out basically. It is worth visiting and taking in the beautiful Italian influenced cast iron work and large glass ceiling. If you ask someone in Manchester where the House of Fraser is they may look at you blankly, but if you ask where

Kendal’s is, their face will light up and they will point the way down Deansgate towards a beautiful art deco building. Its famous name may be long gone but the ultimate Manchester department store will always be named after the original Kendal Milne & Co who brought the leisure pursuit of shopping to Manchester. It is said that in World War 2, they even had an air raid shelter underneath where coffee was served and gowns displayed, so the ladies of Manchester didn’t have to let a little thing like the Luftwaffe stop them from shopping. | @unlockmcr


You’re hitting the halfway mark of Deansgate now so why not nip across the road to Patisserie Valerie, on the corner of King Street, for a well-deserved cake or pop next door to the huge Waterstones and do some light reading. In a world of sterile airport style book shops, this branch of Waterstones is everything a book shop should be with shelves that seemingly go on for miles and comfy sofas were you can sit and weigh up your Austen versus your Asimov. There is even a coffee shop here if you can’t wait to get home to launch straight

into your new purchase. The store has an exciting calendar of events including book signings and talks from major authors, quiz nights and ‘story time’ for the little ones. Back on Deansgate and things are starting to focus on eating out as we walk down the road and away from the shopping centre of Manchester. Here there are tapas bars, Brazilian buffets and high end burger joints, nestling next to shops specialising in outdoor pursuits and exercise, an irony not lost on many Mancunians.

The Alchemist

John Rylands Library

As you pass John Rylands library to your right is Spinningfields.Here a space age construction announces Armani’s Manchester HQ and to its side is a glass pyramid that is the entrance to Australiasia, a subterranean glamorous restaurant which A-list stars can frequently be seen going in and out of. Further along the Great Northern Warehouse dominates the street. Formerly a railway warehouse, it is now a leisure complex with a multi screen cinema, restaurants, car park, bowling alley and a junkyard crazy golf course.

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 | @unlockmcr



Below the building lie vast tunnels which connect the Rochdale Canal to the River Irwell and occasionally these are open to the public. On the Deansgate side of the warehouse, the building houses a long line of shops, primarily estate agents, so if you have fallen in love with our city and can’t bear to tear yourself away, this would be the place to find your ‘pied a terre’. Passing the warehouse, you are over shadowed by another Manchester giant the Beetham Tower, designed by architect Ian Simpson.

It stands almost shoulder to shoulder with the Great Northern Warehouse, symbolising Manchester’s past and present. As you look up at Manchester’s biggest building, it is shocking at just how little street space the building takes up and it was slotted in most impressively. In the tower is the Hilton Hotel, Cloud 23 Bar and an exclusive spa if your feet are aching. You are now approaching the southern end of Deansgate.


Set in a vast 12,000 square foot, semiindustrial space on the first floor of The Avenue North in Spinningfields, Manchester. Cooking goes back to basics in the fire, with pizzas, meat and fish it is casual dining at its best. Think artist’s loft studio meets concrete warehouse: stripped back and raw. Showcasing sculptures, murals, art installations. Open all day, everyday, serving brunch on weekends as well as lacing the city with music and drink into the night.

To your left are Deansgate Locks, a vibrant drinking destination that is never quiet with six bars and a comedy club. Opposite you is the award winning Atlas Bar, a Manchester stalwart, which offers over 250 different gins to tired shoppers or eager clubbers and to your right is Castlefield with the MOSI, the Roman Fort and the refurbished Dukes 92 and Albert’s Shed.

Avenue North, Spinningfields M3 3BZ tel: +44 (0) 161 832 4181 @Artisan_MCR | @unlockmcr


Bars 1: Arcane, South King St - C4 2: Be at One, Barton Arcade - C3 3: Brink Bar, Bridge St - A4 4: Corbieres, Half Moon St - E3 5: Gas Lamp, Bridge St - A4 6: Liars Club, Back Bridge St - A4 7: Mojo, Bridge St - A4 8: Sawyers Arms, Deansgate - B5 9: Suburbia Cocktail Co, Ridgefield - C5 10: The Ape & Apple, John Dalton St - D5 11: The Bridge, Bridge St - A4 12: The Liquor Store, Parsonage - C2 13: The Lost Dene, Deansgate - B5

Bars serving Food 1: Crazy Pedro’s, Bridge St - A4 2: Moon Under Water, Deansgate - C2 3: Mulligans, Southgate - B4 4: Revolution, Parsonage Gardens - B3 5: Sandinista, Old Bank St - D3 22 6: Slug & Lettuce, Deansgate - C2

Cafes 1: Cafe Instanbal, Bridge St - B4 2: Katsouris, Deansgate - B5 3: Pattisserie Valerie, Deansgate - C3 4: Salvi’s Cucina, John Dalton St - B5 5: Sissy’s Cafe, Bridge St - A4

Entertainment 1: La Gitane, Bridge St - B4 2: South, South King St - C4 3: Venus Nightclub, Blackfriars St - C2

Restaurants 1: 47 King St West, King St West - B4 2: Al Bacio, South King St - C4 3: Annies, Old Bank St - E3 4: Bella Italia, Deansgate - C3 5: Bem Brasil, King St West - B4 6: Bills, John Dalton St - C5 7: Byron, Deansgate - B5 8: Cicchetti, King St West - B4 9: Cote Brasserie, St Mary’s St - C3 10: Dogs ‘n’ Dough, Bow Lane - E5 11: Dom’s Tavola Calda, Deansgate - D2 12: East is East, Blackfriars St - B1 13: Elgate Negro Tapas, King St - D4 14: Gaucho, St Mary’s St - C3 15: Grill on the Alley, Ridgefield - C5 16: Koreana, King St West - B4 17: La Bandera, Ridgefield - C5 18: La Tasca, Deansgate - C3 19: La Vina, Deansgate - C4 20: Las Iguanas, Deansgate - C3 21: Mr Thomas’s Chop House Deansgate - E4 22: My Thai, John Dalton St - D5 23: Prezzo, Deansgate - C3 24: Red Hot Buffet, Deansgate - D2 25: Restaurant Bar & Grill John Dalton St - C5 26: San Carlo, King St West - B4 27: The Botanist, Deansgate - B2 28: The Living Room, Deansgate - C3 29: Wing’s (Dim Sum), King St West - B4

Discover more of Manchester’s Quarters by visiting our website

Bars 1: Brew Dog Bar, Peter St - D3 2: Cloud 23, Beetham Tower, Deansgate - B4 3: Eperny, Watson St - C3 4: Liquorice, Pall Mall - E1 5: No.1 Watson St, Watson St - C3 6: Panacea, Ridgefield - C1 7: Peveril of the Peak, Great Bridgewater St - D5 8: Salut Wines, Cooper St - E2 9: The Ape & Apple, John Dalton St - D1 10: The City Arms, Kennedy St - E2 11: The Deansgate, Deansgate - B5 12: The Odd Grapes, Little Quay St - B2 13: The Tiger Lounge, Cooper St - E2 14: The Vine, Kennedy St - E2 15: Veeno, Brazennose St - D2

Bars serving Food 1: Albert Sq Chop House, Albert Sq - D2 2: Alberts Schloss, Peter St - C3 24 3: All Star Lanes, GN Warehouse - C3 4: Almost Famous, GN Warehouse - C3 5: Atlas, Deansgate - B5 6: Beef & Pudding, Booth St - E2 7: Duttons, Albert Square - D2 8: Knott Bar, Deansgate - A5 9: Rain Bar, Great Bridgewater St - D5 10: Revolution Cuba, Peter St - C3 11: Slug & Lettuce, Albert Square - D2 12: The Waterhouse, Princess St - E2

Cafes 1: 9ine, Cooper St - E2 2: Central Library Cafe, St Peter’s Sq - D3 3: Grindsmiths, Deansgate - B3 4: John Rylands Cafe, Deansgate - C1 5: Salvi’s Cucina, John Dalton St - C1 6: The Fish Hut, Liverpool Rd - A4 7: The Sculpture Hall Cafe Town Hall, Albert Sq - D2

Entertainment 1: 42nd Street, Bootle St - C2 2: Albert Hall, Peter St - C3 3: AMC, Great Northern Warehouse - C4 4: HOME, Whitworth St West - C5 5: Manchester235, GN Warehouse - C3 6: Opera House, Quay St - B2 7: The Bridgewater Hall Lower Mosley St - C5 8: The Milton Club, Deansgate - B3

Restaurants 1: Asha’s, Peter St - D3 2: Australaisa, The Avenue - C2 3: Avalanche, Booth St - E1 4: Ban Di Bui, Princess St - E2 5: Bills, John Dalton St - C1 6: Byron, Deansgate - C1 7: Cafe Bragnde - Princess St - D2 8: Croma, Clarence St - E1 9: Dimitris, Deansgate - B4 10: Don Marco, Deansgate - B4 11: El Rincon de Rafa, Longworth St - B3 12: Evuna, Deansgate - B4 13: Gusto, Lloyd St - C2 14: Handmade Burger Co, Deansgate - C2 15: Hawksmoor, Deansgate - C2 16: James Martin, GN Warehouse - B3 17: Lal Qila, Deansgate - B4 18: My Thai, John Dalton St - D1 19: Per Tutti, Liverpool Rd - B4 20: Pizza Express, Peter St - D3 21: Podium, Deansgate - B4 22: Rajdoot, Albert Square - D2 23: Reds True BBQ, Lloyd St - D2 24: Restaurant Bar & Grill John Dalton St - C1 25: Rozafa, Princess St - E2 26: Sakana, Peter St - C3 27: Steak & Lobster, Windmill St - C3 28: Tampopo, Albert Square - D2 29: Zika, Watson St - C3

Discover more of Manchester’s Quarters by visiting our website

Welcome to our guide to some of Manchester’s, and the regions, biggest and best events over the coming months. You will find a wide selection of things to do, events to attend and opportunities to buy exclusive items in markets. With so much to get involved in and explore our selection will help you get through your Summer and early Autumn planning. Manchester Pride, is a calendar staple, held over the August Bank Holiday, the city turns into a rainbow celebrating its diversity, with parties, music festivals and exhibitions. The Saturday parade is a sight to behold winding its way through the main streets of Manchester. Art and culture are extremely important to the city and you can be enthralled at the theatres, play like a premier league footballer at the Football Museum, or visit the city’s art galleries and enjoy the 27 enormous wealth of paintings, sculpture and artistic creations. Fancy exploring Manchester’s numerous markets to find unique and specialist things? The weekend will be your playground with independent and local markets to whet your appetite. Discover small producers making culinary delights, craft and design pieces and hordes of ‘Junk Deals’ where you will find ‘who knows what’. As you can see the Manchester calendar is packed with a diverse selection of festivals, fairs, celebrations, concerts, seasonal and special events held in open air-parks, at museums, galleries and many other attractions. Don’t miss out, read this guide and get stuck in! | @unlockmcr

(cc) Ryan Hall


Festival celebrations are often great ways to have fun, share experiences with your friends and family while enjoying specialist events and live entertainment. We have selected a few of the best and possibly most diverse cultural festivals, coming this summer, including entertainment, parades, performances and film festivals. The August Bank Holiday Weekend is a busy time with several major events happening. Can we suggest getting your ‘Cult’ geek on at the STARBURST Film Festival or partying out at Manchester Pride. Listen to and engage with writers and storytellers at the Literature Festival, in October, or simply marvel at the beauty of the ‘Steam Age’ at the East Lancs Railway, which is open all year . So grab your shoes, get those tickets and getting going.

MakeFest MOSI, Liverpool Rd, Manchester M3 4FP 20th - 21st August MakeFest is back for 2016, taking over the museum for a weekend of coding, crafting and creating. There’s the big reveal of our Lever Prize project with Liverpool’s FACT, mixing the real and the virtual in Minecraft, an appearance from the magnificent Robot Orchestra and lots, lots more @msimanchester

STARBURST Film Festival MMU Student Union 26th – 28th August Screening film and TV cult classics, retro revivals and new releases. Signings and photo opportunities and Q&As sessions with industry legends, evening entertainment and crazy cosplay fun. A beautifully curated film festival by day and a riotous party by night @starburstff

Manchester Pride

Manchester Literature Festival

Canal Street and the Gay Village 26th – 29th August Manchester Pride is an annual festival celebrating Manchester’s lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender culture and life. The Big Weekend draws thousands of visitors to the city, with the highlight being the Manchester Pride parade on Saturday afternoon.

Across the city 7th – 23rd October Celebrating 10 years and this years it’s an extra special bumper edition. Inviting back many of the favourite writers from the past decade and hand-picking some of the most gifted emerging storytellers. From crime fiction to performance poetry and radical women to the future. @ManchesterPride @McrLitFest

Family Fun Weekend

Manchester Science Festival

East Lancashire Railway, Bury 27th - 29th August See Peppa Pig and her little brother George at intervals on each day. Plus enjoy a host of family fun activities up and down the railway line, including a petting zoo, colouring and drawing and much more. Your tickets also grant unlimited travel on the ELR.

Venues across Greater Manchester October Play, create and experiment with your scientific side as Manchester Science Festival brings together a unique blend of art, make-it workshops, performances and big experiences for all. The Festival’s playful and imaginative programme invites visitors to immerse themselves in science, ideas and innovation. @McrSciFest @eastlancsrly

Festejar Spanish Festival

Doki Doki

Albert Square 1st – 4th September

Sugden Sports, 114 Grosvenor St, M1 7HL 2th November The Manchester Japanese Festival is an event held yearly, celebrating both traditional and modern Japanese culture

Festejar, celebrating its 3rd year, is the Spanish Market that runs alongside an array of activities at Albert Square including Spanish Dancing lessons to Live Bands. For 4 days the Square is transformed into a “Little Spanish Oasis” in the Heart of the City. @SpanishFestival @dokidokifest

Grimm Up North – GRIMMFEST

Manchester Animation Festival

ODEON Printworks, Manchester M4 2BS 6th – 9th October Love brand new and classic horror, cult, extreme fantasy and Sci-fi movies? Then GRIMMFEST is for you and it prides itself on bringing you the very best in new genre film from around the world and a selection of genre classics screenings.

HOME, Tony Wilson Place, First St M15 4FN 15th - 17th November Hosted at HOME in Manchesterís First Street complex, the festival brings one of the UKís biggest animation hubs together and invites the international community to join us to delight in all things animated @grimmfest @mcranimation | @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

(cc) Eddy Milford

Altringham Market

Bury Market

Greenwood Street, WA14 1SA Tuesday - Saturday weekly Featuring traditional favourites. Quality food traders from fresh fish to fruit & veg, from regional cheese to prime meat cuts, from crafters to jewellers, from makers to vintage retailers and beyond. Weekend markets showcase the talent, skill, passion and creativity of the finest traders in the North West and some amazing food @altringhammkt

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

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. There is free parking on site 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


Levenshulme Market

The Makers Market

Stockport Rd, Levenshulme Every Saturday (March-December) Since its March 2013 launch Levenshumle 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

Cheadle, Knutsford, Northern Quarter, Spinningfields, Didsbury (Saturday & Sunday) 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, produced @_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 Stockports’ ‘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 browsing you can sample the great food and drink offerings @Vintage_Village

Radcliffe Saturday Fine Food Market

Treacle Market

Radcliffe Market Hall, Blackburn Str 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-Aug) 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

Saddleworth Handmade Markets

Wilmslow Artisan Market

Uppermill, Saddleworth – various locations April - November Much more than just a craft market, the Saddleworth events include a selection of stalls with local creative and craft products, workshops and free demonstrations by creative people and businesses from the local area. Check the website for full details

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 @SaddleCreativeN @_TheMarketCo

‘A hidden gem at the heart of the Manchester’s creative Northern Quarter.’ A former Victorian fishmarket building, Manchester Craft & Design Centre is an unforgettable place to experience contemporary craft & design in the North West. In the 18 unique studios you can expect to meet some of the region’s most talented artists, designers and makers and see them work creating textiles, jewellery, ceramics, prints, fine art, sculpture and more. Discover their stories, hear about their materials and processes, or learn a new skill yourself by taking part in a workshop. And don’t miss our exciting programme of free contemporary craft exhibitions and events and our on-site café bar which serves delicious homemade fare.

17 Oak Street Northern Quarter Manchester M4 5JD Opening Hours:

Monday - Saturday: 10am - 5:30pm Sunday: 11am - 5pm* *Oak St. Café Bar & select studios Please note café serving times before ordering


LS Lowry: The Art & The Artist

Cravings: Does your food control you?

The Lowry, Pier 8, Salford Quays, M50 3AZ Permanent Exhibition, open daily There are over 400 works in the collection, 57 of which are oil paintings. Alongside the works of art is an archive containing 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. @the_lowry

MOSI, Liverpool Road, M3 4FP Until September 2016 What drives your desires for the foods you love? Is it the colour of your spoon, the food your mum ate while pregnant, the trillions of bacteria that dine with you, or the little known ‘second brain’ in your gut; your appetite has been shaped by food. Explore how food affects your body, brain and eating habits.

Grafters: Industrial Society

Nico Vascellari

People’s History Museum, Left Bank, M3 3ER Until 14th August Nothing compared to photography when it came to capturing the Industrial Revolution. As Britain’s society changed, techniques in photography developed, enabling workers to capture their own lives for the first time. Curated by leading photographer Ian Beesley.

The Whitworth, Oxford Road, M15 6ER Until 18th September Italian artist Nico Vascellari occupies the Whitworth’s Landscape Gallery. Visitors are invited to explore the haunting installation Bus de la Lum which draws on the arcane powers of the forest. Bus de la Lum (meaning ‘hole of light’) is a natural cavity located in woodland of the Cansiglio plateau. @WhitworthArt @phmmcr @msimanchester

Behind the Sun

Keep the Home Fires Burning

HOME, 2 Tony Wilson Place, M15 4FN 23 July – 25 September 2016 A group exhibition made up of the five winners of the Prêmio Marcantônio Vilaça CNI Sesi Senai, the largest contemporary art prize in Brazil. The exhibition is a snapshot of new work from across the country and it features film, performance, sculpture, photography and original performance. @home_mcr

Stockport Museum, Stockport SK1 1ES Until 13th November Exploring the impact of World War I on Stockport and the remarkable stories of courage bravery and sacrifice. Every family in Stockport was touched by the war in some way. Diaries, letters and personal objects reveal remarkable stories of courage bravery and sacrifice. @StockportMBC

Vogue 100: A Century of Style

Rachel Maclean: Wot u :-) about?

Manchester Art Gallery, Mosley St M2 3JL until 30th October Showcasing photography that has been commissioned by British Vogue since it was founded in 1916. Over 280 prints from the Conde Nast archive and international collections together for the first time; tell the story of one of the worlds most influential fashion magazines @mcrexhibitiongallery

HOME, Tony Wilson Place, First St M15 4FN 29th Oct - 8th January Maclean uses the fairytale genre to examine the murky boundary between childhood and adulthood. Exploring ideas of happiness and childhood as qualities that can be packaged and sold resulting in dark and unsettling adventures

Dunham’s Lost Years

Revolutionary Textiles 1910-1939

Dunham Massey, Altrincham WA14 4SJ Until 30th October

The Whitworth, Oxford Road, M15 6ER Until 29 Jan 2017 In the early decades of the 20th century textile design took off in new directions throughout the Western world. Invigorated by experimental techniques, art styles such as Fauvism, man-made fibres, and the Ballets Russes, this outburst of creativity took place against a backdrop of political ferment

Immerse yourself in Victorian grandeur as chandeliers, grand paintings and luxurious silk see the House transformed to tell a tale of love and loss. Eighteen year old George Harry became the 7th Earl in 1845 when he inherited Dunham Massey to become the wealthiest and most titled young man of the time. He rebelled against the polite Victorian society to marry skilled circus performer @home_mcr @WhitworthArt

Elizabeth Price Curates

Hats Amazing

The Whitworth, Oxford Road M15 6ER until 31st October A dialogue between the virtual realm of film and the physical world of exhibits. This highly original exhibition stages an ‘austere melodrama’. Images of reclining or recumbent bodies in states of weariness, sleep, stupor, reverie, mourning, death and erotic transport

Hat Works Museum, Stockport SK3 0EU Until 19 March 2017 Hats Amazing brings to light artefacts from the hatting collection that have not been exhibited before. The museum staff and partners have explored our collection and chosen their favourite objects, including an eclectic mix of previously unseen hatting gems @whitworthexhibition @StockportMBC | @unlockmcr



Manchester certainly loves its food and drink, you can tell just by looking at the number top chefs that have opened restaurants in the city during the last 10 years. The growth of the Manchester real ale industry is second only to London (and not by much). Manchester has its own microcosm of foodies and quaffers who demand only the best when it comes to eating and drinking. To supplement all this demand there are many great food and drink festivals for you get your fill of and address that thirst for the new, exotic and specialist produce. September sees the Internationally renowned Manchester Food & Drink Festival where the city becomes a huge outdoor kitchen and many restaurants create special menus for you to sample.

Of course it’s not all serious stuff, get to Albert Square in October and you can enjoy German Bier and live entertainment at the Manchester Oktoberfest. Looking for something that appeals to the whole family? Then check out the Bolton Food Festival in August. Centred on Victoria Square you will discover a vast array of delights to sample. Enjoy the special exhibits and get busy with many family friendly activities. So get ready, tighten your belt, strap-on those drinking boots and dive in for great food and drink experiences to remember.

Bolton Food & Drink Festival

Manchester Oktoberfest

Victoria Square, Bolton 26th - 29th August Bolton’s town centre hosts the Festival’s live cookery theatre, where celebrity chef demos take place. Over 150 food and drink stalls in the speciality markets, including an exhibitions and crafts fair and live music, beer and cider traders and exciting children’s activities

Albert Square, M60 2LA 19th - 23rd October Manchester Oktoberfest takes over the central located Albert Square. Join in the traditional celebrations in the festival tent with long tables and the giant beer steins. Enjoy the amazing Oktoberfest atmosphere with German beer, food, music, sing-along’s @boltonfoodfest @mcroktoberfest

Ardley Hall Food Festival

Lowry Victorian Christmas Market

Ardley Hall, Cheshire CW9 6NA 24th – 25th September With over 80 top local and artisan producers, a big serving of stunning hot food, add a dash of real ale and wine bars, kids cookery lessons and lots of children’s activities, top chef demonstrations, stir in a cake competition, a BBQing stage and the popular Men V’s Food, with lashings of excellent live music and mix together @GBfoodfestival

Lowry Outlet, Salford Quays Novemeber

Ramsbottom Festival

Manchester Christmas Markets

Cricket Club, Acre Bottom BL0 0BS 16th - 18th September Ramsbottom Festival is an award winning weekend featuring over fifty amazing artists and musicians including international acts, emerging UK talent and local heroes. This festival is a celebration of music, theatre, participatory workshops and artists

Albert Square, M60 2LA Late November - December The Christmas Markets are held right across the City. Here you will find fragrant Mulled Win, classic German beers and lots of tasty food keeping you warm while you explore the 100’s of stalls selling Christmas gifts, trinkets and lots of decorations @rammyfestival

Lowry Square is transformed into a Victorian themed Christmas fair. Brush shoulders with Dickensian characters and roasted chestnuts galore. A real ale tavern, several stalls and a live brass band. All to warm your Christmas cockles. @lowryoutlet @ManCityCouncil

Manchester Food & Drink Festival

Manchester Beer & Cider Festival

Albert Square and across the city 29th September - 10th October The UK’s largest urban food and drink festival takes place over much of the city centre and surrounding districts of Greater Manchester as possible. MFDF presents a huge programme of events both indoor and outdoor

Manchester Central, Windmill St M2 3GX 19th - 21st January Sample some of the very best beers and ciders from the UKís booming brewing & cider making industries. Expect over 600 different beers & ciders with almost 15,000 beer lovers pouring through the doors of Manchester Central to try them out @MFDF16 | @unlockmcr


(cc) Catrin Austin


Manchester has a very strong music scene which has produced some of the countries, if not worlds, biggest bands. It is easy to name just a few such as The Smiths, New Order or Oasis. This trend continues today with many Manchester based, or inspired, emerging bands and musicians playing live gigs in some of the city’s best-known music venues. These including 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 classical and orchestral music.

Looking for the full on intimate live experience? Then try The Ruby Lounge, on the High 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. Day and weekend festivals, such as the Caribbean Carnival have sprung up in recent years and can attract major world talent. The Warehouse Project is a clubbers heaven, whereas the Ramsbottom Festival offers a more family inclusive event. Therefore, it is easy to say that Manchester is still at the for-front of music creation and production. This is a great time to dive in and get to hear bands and musicians where they are at their best.

The Manchester Caribbean Carnival

Warehouse Project

Alexandra Park, 180 Russell St, M16 7JL 13th - 14th August

Store Street, Manchester 23rd September - 1st January 2017

Manchester carnival has brought Caribbean culture to the forefront annually for over 40 years and is the north-west’s largest celebration of Caribbean music and carnival arts. The carnival is a vibrant celebration of Caribbean music, dance, theatre and costume

The Warehouse Project returns to Manchester this Autumn heading back beneath the streets. This year taking place back at Store Street as well as a number of other venues across Manchester @CCoManchester

Wigan Live Festival

Neighbourhood Festival

Multiple venues in Wigan Town Centre 19th - 20th August Showcasing some of the best unsigned bands and soloists from the local area and further afield. This free 2 day live music festival is a real celebration of local live music, from rock to blues to folk and beyond. There’s something for everyone to enjoy

Venues across the City 8th October Over 100 of the hottest bands and freshly tipped new artists from all around the world will be performing across nine of Manchester’s best and most iconic music venues for one day only. This includes The Albert Hall, O2 Ritz, Sound Control, Dog Bowl, Deaf Institute, XOLO and Gorilla @wiganlivefestival

40 @NBHDFestival

Ramsbottom Festival

Last Night of the Autumn Proms

Cricket Club, Acre Bottom, BL0 0BS 16th – 18th September Ramsbottom Festival is an award winning weekend featuring over fifty amazing artists and musicians including international acts, emerging UK talent and local heroes. Produced by the team behind the Met, at Bury, the festival is a celebration of music, theatre, participatory workshops and artists

Bridgewater Hall, Lower Mosley St M2 3WS 15th October @rammyfestival

Including Rossini The Barber of Seville Overture | Sousa Liberty Bell March | Grieg Morning and In the hall of the mountain king | Verdi Brindisi from La traviata | Mascagni Intermezzo from Cavalleria rusticana | Jenkins Palladio | Bizet Flower Song from Carmen @BridgewaterHall

The Godfather Live

La Vie Parisienne

Bridgewater Hall, Lower Mosley St M2 3WS

RNCM, 124 Oxford Rd M13 9RD 7th - 17th December

17th September Francis Ford Coppola’s timeless masterpiece The Godfather, starring Marlon Brando and Al Pacino and winner of three Academy Awards, will be shown on the big screen whilst Nino Rotaís epic score is performed simultaneously by a live orchestra @BridgewaterHall

Andrew Greenwood conducts Offenbachís comic portrayal of Parisian life, with guest director Stuexhibition Barker.This opera is an engaging love story that takes us on a whistlestop tour of Paris’ glittering nightlife @rncmvoice


Manchester has two world-class football teams who draw huge crowds that watch the games in the city’s pubs or stadiums, but enough about them. Salford City Reds (Rugby League) and the Sale Sharks (Rugby Union) are both highly successful national teams each attracting massive match day crowds and a growing international following. The summer is packed with other sporting events aimed at getting people involved, developing new skills or simply cheering your team on. There are several courses all aimed at building your knowledge either as a beginner or for those who are more experienced. Try cycling at the Velodrome, learn to sail or water-ski at Sale Water Park and Salford Quays or start climbing lessons, great for kids, at the Manchester Climbing Centre.

Adrenaline Rush, Heaton Park, looks like a blast. Or you could simply relax and take a day to enjoy the racing at Haydock Park or explore the new 1966 World Cup exhibition at the National Football Museum. So whether you are donning trainers or preparing to watch someone else workout there is plenty to keep you occupied.

Summer Soccer Schools

Salford Community Sport

Manchester City FC, venues across the City 27th July - 28th August Soccer schools allow you to have the chance to learn the football skills of your favourite Manchester City players by professionally trained coaches, free of charge. Courses take place around Manchester there helping to perfect your football skills. All are welcome; for 6 to 14 years olds @citcTweets

Helly Hanson Centre, Salford Quays M50 3SQ Check website for details Learn to dinghy sail, windsurf, power boating and climbing for the adrenalin junkies. Offering a wide range of exciting activities. Visit the website to find out more about each activity and how you can get involved

Adrenaline Rush Manchester

Velodrome - Go Ride

Heaton Park, Middleton Rd, M25 2SW Saturday 6th August Heaton Part is turned into an urban assault course incorporating thrilling obstacles and daring challenges. Want to jump from a height on to a stuntsman’s airbag? Take on the Leap of Faith? All supported by a large event village with great music, good food & drink

National Cycling Centre, Stuart St M11 4DQ Check website for details The Taster sessions are great fun and are one of the most popular track sessions provided, so whether you want to be the next Jason Kenny or Laura Trott, or are just keen to see what itís like to ride around a banked velodrome, this is the session for you @GetYourRushAR @SalfordSport @N_CyclingCentre

Climbing Courses

St Helens Star Community Day

Climbing Centre, Bennett St M12 5ND Check website for details Everyone has different motivations and goals when taking up a new activity. Whether you are looking for a new way to socialise, an activity for the whole family, or a new personal fitness challenge; Climbing could be your new obsession, feeding your craving for adventure

Haydock Park, Merseyside WA12 0HQ 14th October A fantastic afternoon of top-class racing with a fantastic card of racing on the final fixture of the flat season, alongside local newpaper, St Helens Star. This community day is focused on Haydock and the surrounding areas @mancclimbcentre @HAYDOCKRACES

Paddle, Sail, Row, Waterski & Swim

1966 World Cup Exhibition

Sale Water Park, Sale M33 Check website for details Hire a boat or windsurf board, launch your own canoe, kayak or dinghy - accessing the lake at Sale Water Park couldnít be easier! Teaching Canoeing, kayaking, katakanuing, sailing, stand-up-paddle boarding, windsurfing and raft building

National Football Museum, Urbis M4 3BG until 23rd April 2017 50 years on from Englandís golden summer, put yourself in the middle of the action at this new exhibition. With stories from the people who made the games, played the games and watched the games that made the 1966 World Cup such an iconic tournament @footballmuseum | @unlockmcr


The Gruffalo’s Child

Manchester’s theatre scene is a thriving exploration of drama, documentary, musicals, opera, independent productions and comedy, to mention just a few. The city centre has four theatres Home, The Opera House, The Palace Theatre, The Royal Exchange plus the Lowry Theatre in Salford Quays. All of these excellent venues have a very diverse offering of shows and productions. The independent scene is very strong, just look at the Contact Theatre, the Dance House or even the intimate 3MT in Afflecks. These and the mainstream theatres deliver a breadth of performance and productions second only to London. We have rounded up some of the best events coming this summer/autumn there are a whole host of shows for you to discover by visiting the theatres websites.

ComedySportz Waterside Centre, Waterside, Sale M33 7ZF 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 @WatersideArts

The Secret Garden Octagon Theatre, Howell Croft St BL1 1SB 11th - 13th August Transporting us from the vibrancy of India to the Gothic mystery of a crumbling Yorkshire mansion, this tells the often funny, always moving story of a lonely, seemingly unlovable child who transforms the lives of everyone around her @octagontheatre | @unlockmcr



The Gruffalo’s Child

Jumpers for Goalposts

The Lowry, The Quays, Salford M50 3AZ 10th Aug- 4th September Just how brave is she? The Gruffalo said that no Gruffalo should ever set foot in the deep dark wood. One wild and windy night the Gruffalo’s child ignores her father’s warning and tiptoes out into the snow. After all, the Big Bad Mouse doesn’t really exist

Oldham Coliseum, Fairbottom St OL1 3SW 7th - 22nd October Barely Athletic are at the bottom of their town’s LGBT league. Yes, they’ve had their triumphs, like trouncing Tranny United, but let’s face it, Utd’s striker was wearing a leopard skin mini skirt and the rest of the team were sporting stilettoes @The_Lowry @OldhamColiseum

An Evening with Dame Joan Collins

Disney On Ice - Frozen

The Lowry, The Quays, Salford M50 3AZ 12th September Global superstar Joan Collins will be Joan Collins touring the UK with a brand new show. This all-new show for 2016 provides fans with a once in a lifetime opportunity to spend an intimate, entertaining and unforgettable evening in the company of a true Hollywood legend @The_Lowry

Manchester Arena, Victoria Station, M3 1AR 13th - 16th October Be magically whisked away to wintry Arendelle by dazzling special effects and astonishing skating as you sing and dance along to inspiring songs including “Let It Go.” Join royal sisters Anna, Elsa and the hilarious snowman Olaf

Turandot on Sydney Harbour

All or Nothing

Stockport Plaza, Mersey Squaret SK1 1SP 17th September The Puccini classic, the final opera from one of the greats created especially for the acclaimed Handa Opera’s jaw-dropping outdoor waterstage on the harbour. Turandot is the beautiful and powerful princess, who challenges her many suitors to answer three riddles on pain of death

Opera House, 3 Quay St M3 3HP 18th - 22nd October In 1964, a new phenomenon exploded onto the dingy British streets. It was the essence of all that was cool. It was Mod. Mods stuck two fingers up at the class-ridden society and its dull redundant culture. They were workingclass free spirits who rode sexy streamlined Italian Vespas or Lambrettas @ManchesterArena @stockportplaza1 @ATGTICKETS

The Emperor

Ghost - The Musical

HOME, Tony Wilson Place, First St M15 4FN 28th - 30th September Master of transformation Kathryn Hunter brings to life an extraordinary fable of corruption, avarice and the collapse of absolute power from the team behind the international success Kafka’s Monkey

Palace Theatre, 97 Oxford St M1 6FT 25th - 29th October Bill Kenwright stages a new production of the timeless story of love, despair and hope. Taking its inspiration from the classic movie, this innovative reimagining will feature an expanded book, new music and original staging @home_mcr @ATGTICKETS

The Wind In The Willows

Sorry Christmas is Cancelled

The Lowry, The Quays, Salford M50 3AZ 27th Oct - 6th November Kenneth Grahame’s wild tale about the thrillseeking, lovable menace Mr Toad comes to life in a brand new stage musical with a book by Oscar-winning screenwriter and Downton Abbey creator Julian Fellowes and Olivier Award-winning composer

The Lowry, The Quays, Salford M50 3AZ 23rd - 27th December @The_Lowry


Katie and all of the other children around the world have just received the news that every child fears - Christmas is CANCELLED! Thieves have broken into Father Christmas’ grotto and stolen all of the presents, and with only a few sleeps left until the big day, there is no time to make any more @The_Lowry

George’s Marvellous Medicine

Sleeping Beauty

Opera House, 3 Quay St M3 3HP 15th - 19th November Roald Dahl’s amazing story about a young boy who makes a marvellous new medicine to cure his grandmother of her terrifying temper. But when she drinks his special new potion, the most incredible things stexhibition to happen. And George’s adventure has just begun! @ATGTICKETS

Oldham Coliseum, Fairbottom St OL1 3SW 12th Nov - 7 January The North West’s favourite pantomime is back. Oh yes, it is! The wicked Carabosse puts a spell on the beautiful Princess Rose, making her sleep for a hundred years... Can a handsome prince save the day and awaken the sleeping princess with a kiss?


Billy Elliot

Octagon Theatre, Howell Croft St BL1 1SB 18th Nov - 14th January It’s got all the traditional elements for a fabulous festive treat a feisty girl who dreams of dressing up and dancing, a wicked stepmother, mean older sisters, and a slightly geeky Prince but this Cinderella has one big difference

Palace Theatre, 97 Oxford St M1 6FT 29th Nov - 28th January Set in a northern mining town, against the background of the 1984/85 miners’ strike, Billy Elliot is the inspirational story of a young boy’s struggle against the odds to make his dream come true @OldhamColiseum @octagontheatre @ATGTICKETS

The Red Shoes (world premier tour)


The Lowry, The Quays, Salford M50 3AZ 29th Nov - 3rd December Matthew Bourne’s magical new adaptation of the legendary Powell and Pressburger film reunites the team who brought you New Adventuresí world-wide hit, Sleeping Beauty, with sumptuous designs by Lez Brotherston

Opera House, 3 Quay St M3 3HP 9th Dec - 8th January It’s a pure genie-us of a panto, with an all star cast. If you’re looking for festive family fun, your wish is our command! Enter the cave of wonders, rub the magic lamp and be transported to an enchanting world that is sure to be Manchester’s highlight this Christmas! @The_Lowry @ATGTICKETS

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The Metroshuttle bus is a free service and makes travelling about the city easy and quick; just stick out your arm and hail ones these modern buses. With it 4 routes, the shuttle buses cover most of the city and have good interconnection 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 sight-see the city‌ The buses are clearly marked and you can use the map to find the stops and route information. The Metroshuttle is funded as a working partnership between Manchester City Council, NCP and Allied London. Thanks guys! The Manchester Trams, in their fun bright yellow livery, trundle across the city transporting commuters and visitors alike.

These routes connect the main line stations of Piccadilly and Victoria Stations directly to the wider region and provide an excellent service to Manchester Airport. 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 fairly simple. Just remember to buy a ticket!

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Unlock Manchester Pocket Guide Edition 2 - August 2016  

A look at Manchester for the visitor. In this edition read about Castlefield and Deansgate. Get the insiders knowledge about 'hidden' bars a...