Oxford Road & Street Manchester

The Palace Hotel and Oxford Street, and one of Europe's busiest bus routes.
The Palace Hotel and Oxford Street, and one of Europe’s busiest bus routes.

There’s a vibrancy about Manchester’s Oxford Road and Street that few areas of the city can match. Students from Manchester Met and Manchester University fill out its pavements and keep its cafes, bars, eateries, and cheap take-aways busy throughout the year (and into the small hours).

The Lass O Gowrie on Charles Street, to the side of the Palace Hotel
The Lass O Gowrie on Charles Street, Manchester, down the side of the Palace Hotel

The best reason to head along Oxford Road, and the many trubutaries that run into it, is usually food, drink or a night out: try a pint in The Salisbury, situated beside the Thirsty Scholar across from the Palace Hotel.
The interior of the legendary Salutation pub has been ruined, but at least it’s still standing, with doors open predominantly for hungry and thirsty students from the arts faculty of MMU.
The Lass O’ Gowrie pub, just to the rear of the Palace Hotel on Charles Street, fell upon hard times when the BBC moved away from Oxford Street and it deserves more attention than it has been given down the years (another gorgeous tiled façade from the golden age of the English pub).
Best place for a coffee? Christie’s Bistro in the main body of Manchester Museum.
Waft your way through the skunk and join students et al on the lawn of All Saints Park for some summer sunshine.
And there’s always something different on at the Dancehouse.

The Salutation and Manchester School of Art
The Salutation and Manchester School of Art

Things of general interest along this road probably end with the Whitworth Art Gallery, which is a few hundred yards further on than Manchester Museum – these two heavyweights are understandably busy in the school holidays.

Manchester Metropolitan University MMU 1
Manchester Metropolitan University MMU 1

Irony is always in the detail (if you look hard enough), particularly where money is king, and the students who give this two mile stretch its vibrancy have also contributed to its architectural decline, as some of Manchester’s ugliest building have recently risen from the trough to cash-in on their (apparent) need for lodgings.
Don’t expect a remake of Rik Mayall’s ‘Young Ones‘ to take place in any of these anodyne high-rise boxes.