Things to do in Manchester

Castlefield The site of the Roman fort Mamucium on the banks of the River Medlock. Excavations in 1980 were followed in 1984 by reconstructions of the north gate and sections of the fort, which can be seen today.

China Town Located off Portland Street, China Town is home to a large number of South East Asian eateries and supermarkets. Stop and view the impressive Chinese Arch bridging Nicholas Street and Faulkner Street.

Elizabeth Gaskell House – Lived in by Gaskell and family from 1850-65, the same period in which she wrote her most well known novels. The house is a 20 minute walk from the university, on Plymouth Grove, off Upper Brook Street, which runs parallel with Oxford Road behind Manchester Royal Infirmary and the university campus. Letters Gaskell wrote show that visitors to the house included Charlotte Bronte, John Ruskin, Charles Dickens and Harriet Beecher Stowe. Open Wednesday, Thursday and Sunday between 11am-5pm. Adult tickets: £4.95 and concessions (seniors and students) £3.95. http://www.elizabethgaskellhouse.co.uk/house

Gay Village Centred around Canal Street, with Rochdale canal running literally alongside, home to numerous events, including the annual Manchester Pride, and a number bars and restaurants serving the LGBT and non-LGBT communities.

John Ryland’s Library Deansgate Impressive gothic architecture houses an archive of manuscripts and rare books. Exhibitions running in December include manuscripts from the 15th-16th centuries, and one on literary heroines. Open Monday noon-5pm, and the remainder of the week 10am-5pm, free admission, http://www.library.manchester.ac.uk/rylands/

Manchester Art Gallery The collection ranges from the 17th century to the 21st. Open in the week 10am-5pm, free admission. Located next to China Town and a five minute walk from the high street and the Arndale http://www.manchestergalleries.org/

Manchester Museum Our very own university museum, located on Oxford Road. The museum is most well-known for its Egyptian collection, and contains an impressive selection of taxidermy! It also has a large ethnographic collection, and galleries on archaeology, archery and earth sciences, as well as a vivarium. A temporary exhibition on the natural history and culture of Siberia is running through December. Open 10am-5pm in the week, free admission. http://www.museum.manchester.ac.uk/

Manchester’s Christmas Markets Running from the 14th November – 21st December and opening in the week between 10am -7.30pm across St. Anne’s Square, Albert Square, Exchange Street and the Corn Exchange, in the heart of Manchester City Centre.

Museum of Science and Industry (MOSI) Based in Castlefield, MOSI offers exhibitions on historical transport; including the world’s oldest surviving passenger railway station. Visitors can experience the power of locomotives, a Victorian sewer, the air and space hall, and a 4D theatre. Open in the week from 10am-5pm, free admission. http://www.mosi.org.uk/

The Northern Quarter Home to Manchester’s first textile mill and more recently a filming location for the 2011 blockbuster Captain America. It houses an eclectic mix of bars, cafes, restaurants, bakeries, and shops specialising in vintage goods, clothes, retro gaming and records. Including Manchester’s Craft and Design Centre, and Affleck’s Palace, a four floor emporium just behind the Arndale.

The People’s Museum Manchester’s social history from the 19th century’s Industrial Revolution and Peterloo Massacre. Open in the week from 10am-5pm, free admission, a five minute walk from Manchester Victoria. http://www.phm.org.uk/