Manchester Urban Culture TrailsView map
Discover the city's arts and culture scene
hen a city is jam-packed with history and attractions, the visitor is faced with a particularly thorny problem. Just how on earth do you fit it all in?
In Manchester, which has worn a ridiculous number of hats over the past three centuries, the question is even more acute. That’s where the city’s fiendishly clever Urban Culture Trails come in. These self-guided trails wander through the city’s past and present giving you the opportunity to discover Mancland’s arts and culture scene at your own pace.
There are four in total. It is possible to download them before you arrive in town, but the best way of using them is to upload them to your MP3 player and listen to them as you follow the trails yourself.
Radical Manchester takes in the city via its galleries and museums, including the John Rylands library and Urbis. The Sound of Manchester will take you on a tour of the city’s key venues, from the Bridgewater Hall to the old Free Trade Hall. Creativity and the City tours the city’s many art spaces and independent traders, while A City Performs explores theatrical Manchester.
And once you’ve addled your brain with this cultural overload, ease your synapses by visiting a modern cultural colossus: the Cornerhouse. This international centre for contemporary visual arts and film has three galleries, three cinema screens showing the cream of arthouse offerings, and a book store.
There’s also a cafe and bar, if you need thrills of less cerebral type.