What’s on in the area
One of the joys of a visit to Manchester is the fact that this is a compact city that’s easy to get around – you’re never far from another great place to visit. A trip to the Whitworth is no different, with a clutch of other museums, galleries and attractions nearby.
The Whitworth is part of the University of Manchester. Just along Oxford Road, and housed inside the neo-Gothic, Alfred Waterhouse-designed campus, is our sister organisation, Manchester Museum. With over four million objects in its stores, including the hugely popular full-size replica skeleton of Stan, the T.Rex, this is one of the UK’s leading university museums. Another one of our sister organisations can be found in Platt Fields Park; the Gallery of Costume is a gem of a gallery that, housed inside a Grade II-listed Georgian house, holds one of the most important costume collections in the country. Nearby too is Elizabeth Gaskell’s House, a beautifully restored home with period rooms, villa garden and a tea room for visitors to enjoy.
A walk down Oxford Road takes you past Contact, one of the most innovative theatre, spoken word and performance spaces in the UK, and on to the campus that belongs to MMU. Here, you’ll find the newly built Manchester School of Art – the largest art school outside London – the tiny Grosvenor Square and, tucked away inside the Sir Kenneth Green Library, MMU’s Special Collections archive. This contains 175 years’ worth of art and design, from rare children’s books to Victoria ephemera.
Keep walking, however, then take a left after Oxford Road train station and you’ll come to HOME; a purpose-built centre for contemporary art, theatre and film.
Manchester city centre is our immediate neighbourhood and as culturally rich. At its heart sits Manchester Art Gallery, whose incredible Victorian collections are matched by exciting contemporary exhibitions, while just across the road is the stunning Central Library. Nearby you’ll find the Bridgewater Hall, a purpose-built concert venue that’s home to the Hallé Orchestra, and the Royal Exchange Theatre.
Museums and galleries in the city come in all shapes and sizes, from the small (Castlefield Gallery) to the hugely popular (National Football Museum and MOSI), with specialist venues such as the People’s History Museum, Centre for Chinese Contemporary Art (CFCCA), Manchester Jewish Museum and the Craft and Design Centre tucked in between.
That’s not all. Manchester’s waterfront – The Quays – is just ten minutes away by tram and home to BBC North, the BBC Philharmonic and The Lowry, as well as one of top 10 buildings of the last century (according to the Rough Guide), the Daniel Libeskind-designed IWM North. The grand sweep of the Manchester Ship Canal cuts through The Quays, providing a dramatic backdrop to both its rated museums and a series of major public art commissions and performances from Quays Culture.
All of this is just a snapshot of what's happening across art, music, museums, theatre and more in Manchester – although the city’s easy to get around, there’s so much going on that it can be hard to keep track of it all. Which is where our friends at Creative Tourist come in. Check their site for art and culture news, read their best of guides or dip into their comprehensive city guide to get a fuller picture of the culture – and the city – that we are proud to call home.