Our popular programme of city tours returns for MIF21, with seven new routes exploring Manchester from seven fascinating and surprising perspectives. From architecture to nature, the regeneration of the Northern Quarter to the transformation driven by the city’s migrant communities, we’ll explore the city’s past, present and future in the company of local guides Jonathan Schofield and Skyliner (Hayley Flynn).

Manchester and the Manchester Guardian


Guided by Jonathan Schofield

The Guardian is 200 years old this year. This illuminating tour looks at the stories behind its creation as the Manchester Guardian in 1821 and follows how the city has been reported through the speeches and words of CP Scott (Editor for 57 years), Richard Cobden, Elizabeth Gaskell, Friedrich Engels, Charles Dickens, Frederick Douglass, Emmeline Pankhurst, Christabel Pankhurst, Woodrow Wilson, Winston Churchill, Len Johnson, Shena Simon, Anthony Burgess and others who made themselves part of the Manchester story.

Friday 2 July 2021, 12:00PM Book Now
Friday 2 July 2021, 05:00PM Book Now
Saturday 3 July 2021, 05:00PM Book Now

The Eastside that Never Was


Guided by Skyliner

With the revival this summer of Lemn Sissay’s poem Flags on Tib Street, this tour reveals the story of the poem’s origins, and how the public art trail it helped form became the starting point for the transformation of the area briefly named the Eastside but now known as the Northern Quarter. We’ll discover the parts of the trail that remain, look for the ghosts of those parts that have left us, reveal the previously undocumented stories of the art beneath our feet – and show how art can spark a neighbourhood into change.

Friday 2 July 2021, 03:00PM Book Now
Saturday 3 July 2021, 03:00PM Book Now
Sunday 4 July 2021, 12:00PM Book Now
Tuesday 6 July 2021, 03:00PM Book Now

We Built This City…


Guided by Jonathan Schofield

How did this smallish town in 1780 become a byword for progress and industrialisation by 1820 – for good and ill? With visits inside special buildings, this tour explores how the Manchester metamorphosis happened, and how it led through the mighty economy of the late 19th century and the fluctuations of the 20th century to the building boom of the last ten years. We’ll look at the triumphs and the failures, the successes and the prices paid, showing how geography, politics and design combine to create the city’s distinctive streetscape.

Saturday 3 July 2021, 12:00PM Book Now
Sunday 4 July 2021, 03:00PM Book Now
Monday 5 July 2021, 03:00PM Book Now
Wednesday 7 July 2021, 03:00PM Book Now

Manchester: The Power of the New, Migration and Fresh Ideas


Guided by Jonathan Schofield

The last 200 years have seen communities from around the world add to Manchester’s vibrant mix: name a nation and they’ve probably made their mark. Some arrived rich and others poor, some as victims of persecution and others as Empire crumbled, some decades ago and others in the last few years. Incorporating visits inside superb buildings, this tour shows how the city has been transformed through migration from both within and beyond the UK – and how, like all major cities, the story of Manchester is one of new influences and new ideas.

Thursday 8 July 2021, 03:00PM Book Now
Friday 9 July 2021, 12:00PM Book Now
Saturday 10 July 2021, 03:00PM Book Now
Sunday 11 July 2021, 12:00PM Book Now

There Was a Bench Here Once


Guided by Skyliner

Join us on a search for lost public spaces: places where we could once have sat, pondered and watched the world, vanished benches and much-missed opportunities to interact with the streets around us. Visiting sites where we could once idle and dwell, we’ll talk about the importance of those spaces between places, drawing on the works of urbanists William H Whyte and Jane Jacobs to discover the importance of streetlife as we discover what and who you could once have seen and met at city-centre locations across history.

Friday 9 July 2021, 03:00PM Book Now
Saturday 10 July 2021, 12:00PM Book Now
Sunday 11 July 2021, 03:00PM Book Now
Monday 12 July 2021, 03:00PM Book Now

Manchester: The City at Play


Guided by Jonathan Schofield

This tour takes a fun and joyous look at how Manchester has let its hair down. We’ll time-travel from the wild sports and entertainments of the pre-industrial days through crazy fancy-dress balls, stirring theatrical performances with top actors, the development of modern sports, the fecund musical scene across 200 years, the comedians and the extraordinary festivals – including, of course, this one. This is a tour to make you smile, with lots of laughs and lots of surprises.

Tuesday 13 July 2021, 03:00PM Book Now
Thursday 15 July 2021, 03:00PM Book Now
Saturday 17 July 2021, 03:00PM Book Now
Sunday 18 July 2021, 03:00PM Book Now

Follow the Buddleia


Guided by Skyliner

Whether you see the buddleia flower as a symbol of neglect or of nature triumphing against the city, this is your chance to explore its trail around the city borders. Exploring themes from globalisation to gentrification, we’ll follow the wildflower to discover the post-war art of William Mitchell, the stories of Alexandra Place, the hunt for doorways along the river and other overlooked parts of the city as we ask: If humans vanished overnight, how quickly would nature take over the city – and what might that look like?

Wednesday 14 July 2021, 03:00PM Book Now
Friday 16 July 2021, 03:00PM Book Now
Saturday 17 July 2021, 12:00PM Book Now
Sunday 18 July 2021, 12:00PM Book Now