Manchester is most well known for its football teams, but head over to NQ aka the Northern Quarter near Piccadilly station and you will discover a more hipster arty side to this city. NQ was a once dodgy area that’s now the place to see and be seen, with lots of great cafes and eateries to explore, alongside some great art on its walls – here’s my guide on where to find street art in Manchester’s Northern Quarter.
One main festival responsible for the influx of many street artworks is called ‘Cities of Hope‘ (CoH) where international artists each created a piece themed on key social issues like disability, sustainability and gay rights, just to name a few. The 2016 festival was held from 21-29 May 2016, just a few weeks before I was there – would have loved to be able to see the artists in action! It also involved several local Manchester artists which I will point out below.
Also of note – Outhouse MCR around the Stevenson Square area where artists are invited to paint on the walls of old public toilets. It’s regularly refreshed so you can always look forward to new artwork in this area.
As always, handy Google Map for anyone exploring the streets on their own. If you are looking for street art guides in other countries, check out my full list of street art guides for more.
I plotted some recommended routes to see some of the more interesting works, but feel free to wander because you never know what you might find around the corner.
Suggested Route 1
Back Piccadilly Street
Great Ancoats Street
Suggested Route 2
This stretch of road has a lot of the OuthouseMCR works on what used to be public toilet structures in ‘islands’ in the middle of the road. There are just way too many to document and they are meant to be ever-changing, but here are some highlights from my time there in June 2016:
Suggested Route 3
This next bit is a bit further away – cross Great Ancoats Street, walk along Oldham Street still you get to this piece.
Other Notable Works
Here are other works I found while wandering around the city – see if you can spot them! I took down some of their locations, others were back alley finds I stumbled across…
I really enjoyed this intense walkthrough of Manchester’s Northern Quarter, and I definitely haven’t seen all the street art works this city has to offer. Guess I gotta come back again some time to see what new works pop up in future.
Jaclynn Seah is The Occasional Traveller, a Singaporean lady with a full-time day job who loves to travel. She started writing to remind herself and other fellow deskbound wanderlusters to remember to take that time off from work and indulge that travel itch. Loves solo travel, hunting street art and capping a long day of exploration with a nice cold beer.