Things to do this Summer

With lockdown easing, there is optimism for the hospitality sector and with cultural spaces opening for longer, there are plenty of things to do and places to go this summer on the Oxford Road Corridor.

With students having returned home after a very unusual year in Manchester, things are a little quieter on the Oxford Road Corridor, but with lockdown restrictions easing, businesses across the innovation district have begun to open for longer. There are plenty of things to do this summer and it’s the perfect time for Manchester’s residents and visitors to explore the area.

With many of Manchester’s most iconic music venues found here on the Oxford Road Corridor, the return of live music and regular club nights is fantastic news for gig-goers, we’ve rounded up some highlights below.

Also great news is the Holden Gallery is open again with Lothar Götz having transformed the gallery with a new site-specific colourful wall painting that fills the gallery. You can visit Wednesday to Saturday between 12 & 4pm.

It’s also the summer holidays and we’ve put together a guide full of ideas to help keep the kids busy!

Sadly the pandemic has meant that Manchester’s newest neighbourhood, Circle Square, has had to open up slowly, but we can assure you that there will be an incredibly exciting line-up of retailers and restaurants gradually moving in over the coming weeks and months. We’re also delighted to welcome Symphony Park to the Corridor’s green spaces.

We’re excited to learn that the Pankhurst Centre will reopen this summer with a new exhibition, ‘At Home with the Pankhurst Family’. Open first to community groups, the museum will be open to the public again from the 29th of August. 

While it’s understandable that people will return at their own pace, it’s brilliant to see spaces reopening and people back enjoying them. With so many things to do, we hope you can join us on the Oxford Road Corridor this summer!

Museums & Galleries

Aug 2021 Behind Closed Doors
Manchester Central Library | 9 – 21 August 2021

Behind Closed Doors is an exhibition of photographs taken in a Greater Manchester intensive care unit at the height of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Until Apr 2022 A Love Affair with Cranford
Elizabeth Gaskell’s House | 19 May 2021 – 24 April 2022

LAST CHANCE. Elizabeth Gaskell’s House has a new exhibition about one of Elizabeth’s best-known collection of stories – Cranford.

Until Dec 2021 Imran Perretta: the destructors
The Whitworth | 19 May – 19 December 2021

The Whitworth presents Imran Perretta: the destructors, a new 2-screen film exploring personal and collective experiences of marginalisation and oppression.

Until Aug 2021 MIF21: Poet Slash Artist
HOME | 2 July – 30 August 2021

LAST CHANCE. From gallery walls to city streets, poets and visual artists connect words and images in this multifaceted group show.

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Live Music

Homeground did a great job of keeping live music going on the Corridor over the summer, but it’s brilliant to see music venues reopening.

More Things to Do

Until Aug 2021 We Are Nature
The Manchester Museum | 19 May – 31 August 2021

LAST CHANCE. Wild Chorus and Voicing Silence at Manchester Museum are two new artistic responses to the beauty, complexity and decline of wildlife.

Until Dec 2021 Collections Care Centre
The Whitworth | 19 May – 19 December 2021

The Collections Care Centre at the Whitworth is a space that allows the gallery to show, share and care for its important collections.

Aug 2021 Bath Bombs Comedy Club
Victoria Baths | 25 August 2021

Victoria Baths present Bath Bombs Comedy Club, a new comedy night featuring an impressive line-up of acts.

Aug 2021 Elizabeth Gaskell’s Secondhand Book Sale
Elizabeth Gaskell’s House | 14 August 2021

This book sale is held regularly on the second Sunday of every month at Elizabeth Gaskell’s House. Described as ‘Manchester’s best second-hand book sale’ by one visitor it is a popular and favourite destination for book lovers.

Until Aug 2025 At Home with the Pankhurst Family
The Pankhurst Centre | 29 August 2021 – 31 August 2025

The transformation of the Pankhurst Centre exhibition space is incredible thanks to its new permanent exhibition, At Home with the Pankhurst Family.

Until Oct 2021 The War of the Worlds
HOME | 23 September – 2 October 2021

HOME get their Autumn Season off to a flyer with a stage adaptation of the H.G. Wells’ novel and Orson Welles’ classic radio play, The War of The Worlds

Food & Drink

Exterior of The Eighth Day Shop & Cafe
The 8th Day Shop & Cafe

You can stop by on your lunch for a quick takeaway sandwich or burrito to take back to your desk or enjoy across the road in All Saints Park, or you stay longer and pick from a menu of mains in their downstairs cafe.


Hatch is Manchester’s pop-up retail, food and drink destination on Oxford Road with something for just about everyone. It is a place to shop, eat and drink, 7 days a week at over 30 independent traders.

Someone holding coffee at Ditto Coffee Manchester
Ditto Coffee Manchester

Ditto Coffee is a coffee shop specialising in independent music and speciality coffee. This Manchester coffee shop is the second from the Liverpool-based Ditto Music company.

The Refuge

The Refuge, at the Kimpton Clocktower Hotel, is a luxurious, modern restaurant, housed in a magnificent, Alfred Waterhouse designed, Victorian brick and terracotta building offers 10,000 sq ft of drinking and dining for everyone and anyone with the instruction “Come As You Are”.

photo of roof terrace at big hands
Big Hands

Big Hands at the South end of Oxford Road may be small, but it comes with added rock n’ roll swagger, a great atmosphere and a lovely roof garden.

Photo of an Indian dish from zouk tea bar and grill
Zouk Tea Bar and Grill

Zouk Tea Bar and Grill is a modern, exciting restaurant, serving up some of the very best Indian-Pakistani cuisine in Manchester.

The bar area of The Font in Manchester
The Font

The Font Manchester is a cracking bar found just off Oxford Road on New Wakefield St where it’s been for over 20 years.

Cocktails at Bunny Jackson's
Bunny Jackson’s Juke Joint

Bunny Jackson’s is a late-night music venue, dive bar and American diner on First Street. Expect cocktails, cold beer and chicken wings.

Green Spaces

Flowers in bloom at All Saints Park one of the green spaces on Oxford Road Corridor
All Saints Park

All Saints Park is a beautiful green space in the heart of the Oxford Road Corridor. Perfect for a quick moment of calm on a busy day.

Trees in bloom at Whitworth Park Manchester Oxford Road Corridor taken by Friends of Whitworth Art Gallery
Whitworth Park

This 18-acre park opposite the Manchester University NHS Foundation Trust is an eye-catching green space and home to the Whitworth Art Gallery.

A view of people gathering on the grass at Brunswick Park
Brunswick Park

Enjoy views of some of the best architecture in Manchester in this green space which was opened in 2018 by The University of Manchester.

A view of the green lawns at Symphony Park
Symphony Park

Circle Square is home to Symphony Park, a beautifully landscaped new space green space designed for socialising, entertaining, relaxing and exploring.

Where to stay

All you need to know now is where you are going to stay. There are plenty of hotels on the Oxford Road Corridor which cater for all tastes and budgets.

The lobby of Kimpton Clocktower Hotel in Manchester's Oxford Road Corridor
Kimpton Clocktower Hotel

Kimpton Clocktower Hotel offers an unforgettable stay on Oxford Road Corridor in one of Manchester’s most iconic buildings.

Midland Hotel Lobby Manchester Oxford Road Corridr
The Midland Hotel

The Midland Hotel is one of the most famous places to stay in Manchester, and one of Oxford Road Corridor’s most lavishly decorated hotels.

Image of the chandelier at Holiday Inn Express Oxford Road
Holiday Inn Express

The Holiday Inn Express on Oxford Road is a centrally located hotel that offers visitors great value for money.

Latest News

Stay up to date with the latest news from Oxford Road Corridor.

May 2022 Cultural Producer – Call for Expressions of Interest

We are seeking expressions of interest, from Greater Manchester-based cultural producers, both organisations and individuals, for a new event in October

May 2022 Oxford Road Corridor partners recognised for world-class research strength

The University of Manchester and Manchester Metropolitan both score highly in the UK government’s Research Excellence Framework.

April 2022 Nazir Afzal is The University of Manchester’s new Chancellor

Former Chief Crown Prosecutor for North West England Nazir Afzal OBE is to succeed Lemn Sissay as Chancellor of The University of Manchester

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