Things to do on Oxford Road, Mancheser

A vibrant nightlife and home to many of the city’s most iconic music venues, theatre spots and high-end cultural offerings such as the Whitworth, HOME and RNCM.

With one of the most concentrated, diverse and distinctive collections of cultural attractions in the UK, there are always things to do on the Oxford Road Corridor. Home to many of Manchester’s iconic music venues, auditoriums and exhibition spaces, Oxford Road also has a vibrant night-life and an abundance of cafés, restaurants and bars. Nestled between the beautiful architecture and significant landmarks and memorials are a number of historic parks and contemporary green spaces to discover.

Oxford Road Corridor’s love affair with live music dates back as far as 1858 when Sir Charles Hallé formed Manchester’s symphony orchestra at the Lesser Free Trade Hall. Fast forward to 1966 and the Free Trade Hall would become part of musical history again when Bob Dylan was famously heckled for going electric. Ten years later the Sex Pistols played the “gig that changed the world”. Punk was born with Joy Division, The Fall, Magazine and The Smiths, not far behind. 

With over six million items from across the world, spanning over four floors of displays and exhibitions in 15 galleries, Manchester Museum (reopening in Feb 2023) is an extraordinary space with a vast collection dating back as far as the early 1800’s. South of the museum and transformed by a £15 million development is the Whitworth, the first English gallery in a park, providing contemporary exhibition programmes that have gained global attention.

At the opposite end of the Oxford Road Corridor, presenting the most diverse, contemporary and challenging visual art, cinema and theatre in the region is HOME Manchester, who have specialisms in artist film, performance and participation.

The area is steeped in literary history, with the life and works of both Anthony Burgess and Elizabeth Gaskell immortalised here alongside iconic venues like Manchester Central Library and contemporary spaces like Manchester Poetry Library.

Latest Exhibitions

exhibition 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.

exhibition (Un)Defining Queer
The Whitworth | 26 January – 26 November 2023

(Un)Defining Queer delves into the Whitworth’s collection to examine how we can use a queer lens to define what the term ‘queer’ means.

exhibition Golden Mummies of Egypt
The Manchester Museum | 18 February – 31 December 2023

Golden Mummies of Egypt is Manchester Museum’s re-opening exhibition. This one-of-a-kind cultural experience opens in February 2023.

heritage A Tale of Manchester Life – Elizabeth Gaskell’s Manchester
Elizabeth Gaskell’s House | 2 April 2023

A new exhibition exploring how Elizabeth Gaskell presented Manchester and its people through her novels and short stories, and the impact she had through her writing.

exhibition Traces of Displacement
The Whitworth | 7 April 2023 – 7 January 2024

Traces of Displacement uses the Whitworth’s collection to address one of the major humanitarian concerns – forced displacement.

exhibition The Poetics of Water
Castlefield Gallery | 25 June – 24 September 2023

The Poetics of Water asks visitors to look at landscapes, borders and centuries and think deeply about soil and water’s fundamental elements.

exhibition Economics the Blockbuster
The Whitworth | 30 June – 22 October 2023

Economics the Blockbuster is a research and exhibition project, developed in collaboration with Alliance Manchester Business School and MIF.

Part of Manchester International Festival 2023

exhibition Albrecht Dürer’s Material World
The Whitworth | 30 June 2023 – 10 March 2024

Albrecht Dürer’s Material World is the first major exhibition of the Whitworth’s outstanding Dürer collection in over half a century.

exhibition Curry Mile – A Changing Neighbourhood
Manchester Central Library | 10 July – 30 September 2023

Curry Mile – A Changing Neighbourhood is a documentary photography project exploring ‘present day’ Wilmslow Road.

heritage Marketing the Manchester Ship Canal 1919-1939
Manchester Central Library | 29 July 2023 – 15 January 2024

Marketing the Manchester Ship Canal showcases original publicity material and print adverts created as marketing for the Port of Manchester.

exhibition A Fine Toothed Comb curated by Lubaina Himid
HOME | 7 October 2023 – 7 January 2024

Turner Prize-winning artist Lubaina Himid presents new commissions and work from artists Magda Stawarska, Rebecca Chesney and Tracy Hill.

visual arts Manchester Art Fair
Manchester Central Convention Centre | 17 – 19 November 2023

One of the UK’s most ambitious art fairs, Manchester Art Fair, returns to Manchester Central on the 17-19 November.

See what’s on

Latest Gigs & Concerts

music PiL
O2 Ritz Manchester | 22 September 2023

Public Image Ltd. (PiL) return to Manchester with their eleventh studio album and first album in 8 years, End of World.

music The Covasettes
Manchester Academy | 23 September 2023

Following a triumphant sets at Neighbourhood Festival and Gorilla, Manchester’s The Covasettes have announced their biggest headline show to date.

music Puma Blue
Canvas | 26 September 2023

Puma Blue’s music is noted for a blend of intimate fragility, sensual grooves and haunting, nocturnal ambience.

music Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs
O2 Ritz Manchester | 30 September 2023

Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs are touring their fourth studio album, Land of Sleeper, stopping by The Ritz this September.

music Coach Party
Gorilla | 30 September 2023

Coach Party is an indie rock band from the Isle of Wight, acclaimed for their infectious melodies and refreshing sound.

music Bez In Conversation
Royal Northern College of Music | 30 September 2023

Join Bez In conversation as he talks about his extraordinary life and career, the story of a bad lad who has turned his life good.

music Hip-Hop Karaoke
Hello Oriental | 1 October 2023

Hello Oriental celebrates 50 years of Hip Hop by bringing Hip Hop Karaoke to Manchester.

music The Hoosiers
Gorilla | 3 October 2023

Known for their catchy melodies, energetic performances, and witty lyrics, The Hoosiers play Gorilla this autumn.

music Gang of Four
O2 Ritz Manchester | 4 October 2023

Gang of Four, one of the most radically important, and influential rock groups of the last 40 years, play Manchester this October.

music The Easy Rollers
Royal Northern College of Music | 5 October 2023

The Easy Rollers are a roaring seven-piece jazz outfit — ready to transport you back to the golden age of jazz.

music Judy Collins – Spellbound
Royal Northern College of Music | 7 October 2023

In her 50-plus years in music, Judy Collins has always exhibited impeccable taste in songcraft, catch her in concert at RNCM.

music Scottish Ensemble Presents: Jasdeep Singh Degun
Royal Northern College of Music | 8 October 2023

Scottish Ensemble Present Jasdeep Singh Degun, bringing together traditions of Indian and Western Classical music at RNCM.

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Latest Theatre

theatre Jesus Christ Superstar
Palace Theatre | 11 – 23 September 2023

Jesus Christ Superstar is the album that inspired a revolution. A revelation that changed the world. A reinvention for this millennium.

theatre Project Dictator
HOME | 20 – 30 September 2023

Beautiful and bonkers, Project Dictator at HOME is the clown show about totalitarianism we never knew we needed.

theatre Emergency 23
Contact | 30 September 2023

Manchester’s 23rd micro-marathon of the bizarre, the bold, and the beautiful takes over Contact this September!

theatre Vignettes
Contact | 4 – 5 October 2023

Six new short plays, written in special collaboration with Manchester Rape Crisis, in honour of their 45th Anniversary.

theatre Dual دوگانه
HOME | 4 – 5 October 2023

Dual دوگانه is a multilingual, multidisciplinary, multi-form work with a live theatre show at its core devised and performed by Peyvand Sadeghian.

theatre Kathy and Stella Solve A Murder!
HOME | 5 – 21 October 2023

The hilarious comedy musical from the Olivier Award-winners behind Fleabag, Baby Reindeer and A Super Happy Story (About Feeling Super Sad)

theatre 40/40
HOME | 7 October 2023

40/40 is an inspiring, insightful and moving celebration of Katherina Radeva’s 40 years as a woman, a migrant and an artist.

theatre Penguin
HOME | 10 – 12 October 2023

Full of humour and beauty, Hamzeh Al Hussien’s extraordinary story takes you on a personal tour of the places he knows best.

music New Dawn Fades: A Play about Joy Division & Manchester
Royal Northern College of Music | 13 – 14 October 2023

A new production of New Dawn Fades: A Play About Joy Division and Manchester returns to RNCM.

theatre 14%
Contact | 14 – 28 October 2023

Set against the frenzy of the Lioness’ success, this brand new multi-sensory play by Keisha Thompson invites you on a journey inside the confines of a post-match train carriage.

theatre Toxic
HOME | 18 – 28 October 2023

Manchester 2016. In the middle of a hot and sweaty queer warehouse party, two damaged hearts collide.

theatre English National Ballet – Akram Khan’s Giselle
Palace Theatre | 19 – 21 October 2023

A classic for our times. After astounding audiences around the world, Akram Khan’s Giselle returns to the Palace Theatre, where it premiered.

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Latest Literature Events

heritage A Tale of Manchester Life – Elizabeth Gaskell’s Manchester
Elizabeth Gaskell’s House | 2 April 2023

A new exhibition exploring how Elizabeth Gaskell presented Manchester and its people through her novels and short stories, and the impact she had through her writing.

literature An Evening with Zadie Smith
Contact | 9 October 2023

Contact welcome Zadie Smith and her new work of historical fiction, The Fraud, to Manchester Literature Festival,

literature An Evening With Linton Kwesi Johnson
Contact | 14 October 2023

Experience a special event with pioneering Jamaican reggae poet, performer, activist and critic, Linton Kwesi Johnson, hosted by Jackie Kay.

literature MLF: Simon Armitage
Manchester Central Library | 15 October 2023

At MLF23, Simon Armitage discusses his love of language, compositions and his collaborations with musicians.

literature MLF: George Monbiot in Conversation
HOME | 16 October 2023

One of our most fearless voices on nature, climate change and the environment, George Monbiot visits Manchester Literature Festival.

literature MLF: Cities Untold
International Anthony Burgess Foundation | 17 October 2023

Cities Untold provides lyrical, surprising, sensual, and sometimes surreal impressions of the three cities through fresh lenses.

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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.

September 2023 Work begins on £42m, 125,000 sq ft CityLabs 4.0

Work begins on CityLabs 4.0, bringing specialist lab space to Oxford Road Corridor’s internationally significant health innovation campus.

September 2023 The Pankhurst Centre and Manchester University NHS Trust mark history with the exchange of a suffragette sash

A small but significant ceremony has taken place between the Pankhurst Centre and Manchester University NHS Trust that reflects an important historical agreement between the two organisations.

July 2023 Public consultation launches for new £1.7bn innovation district ID Manchester

Images of the illustrative masterplan for Manchester’s trailblazing new city centre innovation district have been revealed.

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