Download GPX file for this article
53.4767-2.2513Full screen dynamic map

From Wikivoyage
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Canals and locks in central Manchester

Castlefield-Petersfield covers the area in central Manchester west of Quay St, Peter St, and Oxford St. It covers the locales of Castlefield and Petersfield (also known as St Peter's Fields), which are within the Historic County Boundaries of Lancashire.

Castlefield is the site of the original Roman settlement Mamucium and has been known as Castlefield since Medieval times. It is the centre of Manchester's canal network and includes the Castlefield Basin, which joins the Rochdale and Bridgewater canals. Very important in industrial times, it became run down in post-war times until it was completely regenerated in the 1990s and designated Britain's first Urban Heritage site. These days it is like a small country oasis in the heart of the city, with regular events and a handful of great pubs around the canals and the neighbouring streets. It is also the only place to see wildlife in Manchester's centre.

Petersfield (also known as the Exhibition Quarter) is the home of Manchester's exhibition, conference and concert halls, as well as the almost-deserted Great Northern shopping and entertainment centre and two of the city's most luxurious hotels. It is also home to the Beetham Tower, the tallest building in the UK outside of London and the home to Manchester's Hilton hotel.

Get in[edit]

By train[edit]

Deansgate railway station is the closest railway station to Castlefield though not all trains stop there. Almost all through trains stop at Manchester Oxford Road which is near to Petersfield and has frequent connections to Manchester Piccadilly for InterCity & other trains that don't run through.

By tram[edit]

Deansgate-Castlefield tram stop is situated nearby with a footbridge across to Deansgate railway station.

See[edit]

Map of Manchester/Castlefield-Petersfield

  • 1 St. John's Gardens, Byrom Street. Open daily during daylight hours. The site of the former St. John's Church has become central Manchester's most beautiful park. Come here in the summer to see the flowers and bring some bread for the hundreds of birds that make St. John's their home. St John's Gardens, Manchester (Q18162448) on Wikidata St John's Gardens, Manchester on Wikipedia
  • 2 Science and Industry Museum, Liverpool Road, M3 4FP, +44 33 0058 0058. 10AM-5PM daily. This is a great museum for those interested in technology and industrial heritage: sited at one end of the world's first passenger railway line. The working cotton weaving machines are particularly worth experiencing. Catch one of their regular demonstrations of their operation. There is also the opportunity to explore the city's former sewers (now fully cleaned!) to get an idea of the living (and dying) conditions of Manchester's cotton workers. Most impressive of all is the huge collection of working engines in the Power Hall (closed until 2024), powered by steam, gas, water, you name it. The museum also hosts the first steam train (and with it, the first ever vehicle to run faster than a horse), as well as the first programmable computer with a cathode ray tube memory. Free, except for temporary exhibits (prices vary). Science and Industry Museum (Q2638616) on Wikidata Science and Industry Museum on Wikipedia
  • 3 Roman Fort (Mamucium, Mancunium), off Liverpool Road. Not much survives of Manchester's four Roman settlements, but what is left can be seen in the gardens of Castlefield running from Liverpool Road down to Castle Street. The North Gate of the fourth fort on Duke Street, along with a section of the fort's West Wall, its gatehouse, granaries, and other ancillary buildings from the vicus have been reconstructed and are open to the public. Mamucium (Q3285089) on Wikidata Mamucium on Wikipedia
  • 4 Manchester Central, Windmill Street, +44 161 834-2700, fax: +44 161 832-3621. Open only during events. Manchester Central (formerly "G-MEX") was once Manchester Central railway station and it carries the air of many of the grand stations in London with its enormous arched steel frame and giant railway clock. These days it is home to Manchester's largest exhibitions and fairs. Attached is the much newer and thoroughly unimpressive International Conference Centre. Price varies with event. Manchester Central Convention Complex (Q6747302) on Wikidata Manchester Central Convention Complex on Wikipedia
  • 5 Bridgewater Hall, Lower Mosley Street, +44 161 950-0000, fax: +44 161 950-0001, . M-F 10AM-8PM, Sa noon-6PM. Manchester's main classical music venue is a stunning musically-inspired building dating from 1996. It is home to the world-famous Hallé orchestra and boasts an enormous 5500-pipe organ across the whole of one wall. The building is also home to a cafe and restaurant. Free entry to building. Bridgewater Hall (Q2925178) on Wikidata Bridgewater Hall on Wikipedia
  • The Merchant's Bridge, near Catalan Square. Look up and marvel at the massive Victorian structure which carries the metrolink trams and trains over the canals.
  • 6 Castlefield Viaduct, Castlefield Viaduct, M3 4LG.. 11AM-4PM. Victorian railway viaduct transformed into a 'sky park' Advance booking essential. Check website. Open an an experimental basis until summer 2023. Free but donations welcome..
  • 7 Factory International, Water Street, M3 4JQ. New landmark building containing performance spaces and new home to the Manchester International Festival. Opening in June 2023.

Do[edit]

  • Sit back and relax with a cool pint at one of the many pubs in Castlefield.
  • 1 Odeon Great Northern, 235 Deansgate, M3 4EN (corner of Deansgate & Peter Street). 16-screen cinema multiplex. Shows the usual Hollywood movies. £8 adults.

Buy[edit]

Eat[edit]

Most bars in Castlefield provide bar meals.

  • Dukes 92. Famous for its huge cheese and paté boards. Plus, they serve a selection of pizzas late into the night.
  • Alberts Shed. Restaurant which offers mid-priced modern Italian cuisine.
  • Deansgate Food Bar & Grill. Situated next to Deansgate station, it's a cheap and friendly authentic greasy spoon.
  • The Twisted Med, Arch 8, Catalan Square, M3 4RU (Castlefield (near Deansgate Station)), +44 161 839-7099. Greek, Spanish and Italian-influenced Mediterranean cuisine set in a beautiful high end location of the city centre.
  • Dimitri's, Campfield Arcade, Deansgate, M3 4FN (Opposite Beetham Tower), +44 161 839-3319, . A taverna with live acts as well as underground seating in a plush environment. Food and drink is competitively priced but well worth the money for the spectacular quality and authenticity of the food and dining experience as a whole.
  • The Wharf see Drink.

Drink[edit]

Canal boats in Castlefield

Castlefield bars are extremely popular during the summer months when tourists, local residents, and city centre workers flock to the area to enjoy the large outdoor drinking areas and views across the Bridgewater Canal. Overall, Castlefield is trendy but sometimes pricey.

  • 1 Dukes 92, 18-20 Castle Street, M3 4LZ. Su-Th 11:30AM - 11PM, F Sa 11:30AM-1AM. By far the most popular venue in Castlefield, Dukes 92 has an unusual, but successful, mix of antique furniture, modern deep leather sofas, and minimalist décor. Although relatively quiet in winter, it is hugely popular on hot summer days due to its large patio area overlooking lock number 92 of the Rochdale Canal. An outside bar has been installed to reduce what can be a lengthy wait for refreshment.
  • 2 Oxnoble, 71 Liverpool Road. Su-W 9AM-11PM, Th-Sa 9AM-midnight. Away from the Castlefield basin on Liverpool Road you will find The Oxnoble. Has has the distinction of being the only pub in the country to be named after a potato - the Ox Noble.
  • 3 White Lion, 43 Liverpool Road. M-Th 11AM-11PM; F Sa 11AM-midnight; Su noon-11PM. Modernised traditional pub, although it does feature on its walls an interesting aerial photograph of pre-developed Castlefield. Soundtrack of soul and funk with congenial staff set it apart from the others.
  • 4 The Wharf, 6 Slate Wharf, Castlefield, M15 4ST (accessed from the curved white footbridge; rail: Deansgate; Metrolink Deansgate-Castlefield), +44 161 220 2960. Su-Th noon-11PM, F Sa noon-midnight. Excellent choice of food & drink. On-line bookings from website.
Deansgate Locks

The Deansgate Locks are a bunch of bars and clubs alongside a set of locks:

Petersfield

  • 5 Society, 101 Barbirolli Square, M2 3BD (In the sunken square next to the Bridgewater Hall). Su-Th 11AM-11:30PM, F Sa 11AM-12:30AM. Bar run by the Vocation brewery featuring a large choice of craft beers with a shared food space. Also Cocktail & wine bar. Coffee is available.
  • 6 Britons Protection, 50 Bridgewater St. Behind the stage door entrance of the Bridgewater Hall. It is here where many a poor mug "took The King's Shilling" and found himself press-ganged into the army. Largest selection of whisky in the city.
  • 7 Peveril of the Peak, 127 Great Bridgewater Street, M1 5JQ, +44 161 236 6364. M-Th noon-11PM, F Sa noon-midnight, Su noon-10:30PM. Spectacular green tiled exterior and traditional room layout form this very traditional pub. Real Ales available.

Sleep[edit]

Budget[edit]

  • 1 YHA Manchester, Potato Wharf, Castlefield, M3 4NB, +44 845 371 9647. Boasting views across the canal, this no frills hostel is centrally located with easy access to Castlefield and the city centre. It offers a game room, TV, cafe and restaurant, guest kitchen, laundry, internet access, and parking facilities. £35-45 for bed in shared room. Private rooms also available..
  • Holiday Inn Express Manchester, Oxford Road Manchester (2-minute walk from Oxford Road Train Station). City centre location. Modern, comfortable bedrooms.

Mid-range[edit]

  • Castlefield Hotel, Liverpool Rd, +44 161 832-7073. Castlefield's hidden gem. Mid-priced three star hotel with the best leisure facilities in the city centre, including an 18-m heated pool, sauna, gym and steam rooms. The hotel offers free WiFi and has parking available for an extra charge. From £49 for private rooms.
  • Oxnoble, Liverpool Road. A friendly welcome and a few reasonably priced rooms.

Splurge[edit]

The Beetham Tower, the newest addition to Manchester's skyline, is the tallest building in UK outside of London. Manchester's Hilton occupies the lower half of the building.

Connect[edit]

Routes through Castlefield-Petersfield
UK-Motorway-M60.svg / UK-Motorway-M62.svgSalford  W UK-Motorway-M602.svg E  merges with UK-Motorway-A57 (M).svg / UK road A57.svg
Salford ← merges with UK-Motorway-M602.svg / UK road A57.svg  W Mancunian Way E  UniversitiesPiccadilly
SaleOld Trafford  SW Deansgate NE  Spinningfields-Albert SquareVictoria-Shopping District
Salford  W Regent Road E  continues as UK-Motorway-A57 (M).svg


This district travel guide to Castlefield-Petersfield is a usable article. It has information for getting in as well as some complete entries for restaurants and hotels. An adventurous person could use this article, but please feel free to improve it by editing the page.