Built in 1889 as the first English art gallery in a park, the Whitworth has recently been transformed and extended into its parkland home and features an art garden by the award-winning garden designer Sarah Price, a landscape gallery and a beautiful linear café extending into the trees of Whitworth Park – all reflecting the building’s beautiful setting. With doubled public space and state-of-the-art new facilities, the Whitworth re-launched with a major solo exhibition from one of Britain’s most acclaimed contemporary artists, Cornelia Parker, and celebrates the Whitworth’s eclectic and extensive collection of historical and contemporary fine art, textiles and wallpapers.
HOME is the new home for the company formed by the merger of Manchester’s Library Theatre Company and Cornerhouse. HOME commissions, produces and presents an ambitious programme of provocative contemporary theatre, film, and visual art. A HOME for all, it introduces audiences to new and extraordinary experiences and outstanding art while unlocking the creative potential of the city and providing development opportunities for local communities. It also boasts a 500m², 4m high gallery space; five cinema screens; digital production and broadcast facilities; a café bar and restaurants.
Elizabeth Gaskell’s House
Elizabeth Gaskell’s House in Manchester was the home of Elizabeth Gaskell, one of the 19th century’s most important women writers best known for documenting the rapid changes within industrial Britain in her novels Mary Barton, Cranford, North and South and Wives and Daughters. An exciting £2.5 million renovation project has been undertaken to convert the house into a major visitor attraction and a centre for the community on its doorstep. Focusing on the cultural and literary heritage of Elizabeth Gaskell and her family and complementing Manchester’s social and political history already richly-documented in the city, Elizabeth Gaskell’s House offers plenty for both literary and history fans alike.
The John Rylands Library
Gifted to the city in the 1890s by the wife of its philanthropic namesake, the John Rylands Library is widely regarded as one of the most beautiful gothic libraries in the world. Both the building and its collections are of outstanding international significance and a number of free tours, events and exhibitions on offer each month ensure that it is always worth a return visit.
The Northern Quarter
The Northern Quarter is the creative heart of the city – an intriguing mixture of independent cafes, bars, galleries and boutiques combined with vibrant street art, music and fashion scenes. It’s hipster heaven but don’t let that stop you visiting the likes of Afflecks and the Craft and Design Centre. The former is an emporium of eclecticism where you can shop for anything from top hats to tattoos, whilst the latter is at the forefront of the British ‘buy handmade’ movement and offers bespoke, one-off gifts. Away from the shops you should pitch up at Teacup on Thomas Street for delicious tea and cakes then pop next door for beers supplied by local brewery Marble Beers.
The Corn Exchange
Grade II listed building and former shopping centre, the Corn Exchange has undergone a £30 million redevelopment to transform in to a culinary haven. London-based Mexican restaurant Wahaca are one of flagship tenants alongside other firsts for the city, including: Vapiano, a German owned Italian restaurant franchise; Pho, a Vietnamese street food restaurant with operations in London, Leeds and Brighton; Cabana, a Brazilian churasscaria; and The Cosy Club, Banyan Bar & Kitchen and Eclectic Grill, from the group behind the popular Piccolino restaurants.