Michael Pollard/The Whitworth, The University of Manchester, 2019.

Key Info

Oxford Road

Price & Hours



Museums, Free Type
1 to 2 hours Time to Spend


  • 5.0Value
  • 3.5Facilities
  • 4.0Atmosphere

Part of the University of Manchester, the Whitworth Art Gallery's mission is to "use art for social change." It was originally founded in 1889 to educate and inspire Manchester citizens. It houses a collection of some 60,000 works, though the museum says it has nothing on permanent display. Rather it rotates exhibitions, pulling from its collection with themes ranging from tapestries to wallpaper to Cezanne.

Past visitors described the Whitworth Art Gallery as a "great surprise" with an eclectic mix of both historic and contemporary artwork. Others warned that the more well-known paintings were on loan and that the space only had largely unknown modern art. Another positive that many visitors pointed out is the cafe.

The gallery, which is free to visit, is open Monday through Wednesday and Friday through Sunday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.; on Thursday it's open from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Guided highlight tours are offered daily at 2 p.m. The museum is most accessible by walking or via bus, exiting near MRI, Oxford Road. For more information, visit the gallery website.

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#1 John Rylands Library

The University of Manchester's John Rylands Library is known as much for its beautiful architecture as it is for its collection of rare books and manuscripts. The impressive Gothic structure took 10 years to build and opened to the public in 1900. Among its vast collection are a fragment of Geoffrey Chaucer's "The Canterbury Tales" manuscript, as well as the personal letters and papers of writers, military generals and more. There is even a papyrus fragment of the Gospel of John from the Bible. The fragment is believed to be the earliest part of any New Testament writing ever found.

Recent visitors said that the architecture is stunning, likening it to a scene out of the world of "Harry Potter." Though tripods and flash photography are not allowed, reviewers suggested snapping several photos of the interior (with no flash). Others recommended a stop in the restroom to have a look at the Victorian toilets, which have remained largely unchanged since 1900.

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