Manchester on Screen

Why not consider doing a walking tour to visit several locations that have appeared in some of the world’s favourite films and TV shows?

There are a couple of options whilst you’re here for your conference, you could choose to book onto a guided tour, where you’ll be able to explore locations with your guide and listen to behind-the-scenes secrets with The Locationist Tour. Keep an eye on their Instagram page for updates 

Or you can choose to do a self-guided tour, by following our handy tour below. You’ll see where Manchester has been transformed into 1940s Brooklyn, Victorian London, the Houses of Parliament, student hang outs and more. Whether you’re into comic book blockbusters, contemporary comedies or dramatic soap operas, this walking tour starts and finishes at Manchester Piccadilly Train Station and covers four miles, so a fantastic way to explore the city in less than two hours on foot.

You can follow the tour on your mobile using interactive maps or keep it old school and download a map.

Starting point: Manchester Piccadilly Train Station (or anywhere along the circular route)

To begin the tour, head out of the station’s main entrance, turn right, and walk down the Station Approach concourse. Turn right onto Ducie Street and take the first left on to Dale Street, which takes you to the Northern Quarter and the first stop on the tour.

1) Captain America - Dale Street

Dale Street was transformed into 1940s Brooklyn for the comic book blockbuster Captain America; the first time Marvel Productions had filmed outside of the US. The action-packed scene featured explosions and a chase with vintage American cars. 

2) It’s A Sin - Paton Street

Just off Dale Street, this street is instantly recognisable as the street where Ritchie, Roscoe and Colin make their home at The Pink Palace. Paton Street is also home to one of Manchester’s famous indie music shops, Clampdown Records, which appeared in the series. Filmed mostly in Manchester, you’ll be able to find many more ‘It’s a Sin’ locations including pubs The Marble Arch, Star & Garter and The Thirsty Scholar.

3) Peaky Blinders - Mangle Street

Just off Dale Street is the opening to Mangle Street, which was a location chosen to depict 1920s Birmingham in Peaky Blinders, a BBC show that follows the criminal antics of the Shelby family. This alleyway was used in a dramatic gunshot scene featuring Irish actor Cillian Murphy. In summer 2021, the Peaky Blinders cast were back in Manchester filming again, this time down in the Castlefield area of the city.

4) Sherlock Holmes - Lever Street

The area of Lever Street and Little Lever Street was transformed into Victorian London for the 2009 adaptation of Sherlock Holmes starring Robert Downey Jr and Jude Law. The cult TV show Cold Feet also filmed a scene from episode 1 of season 7 across the road by Chapter One, a bookshop and café.

5) The Crown - Stevenson Square

Transformed into 1980’s New York for season 4 of Netflix drama The Crown to depict Princess Diana’s solo visit to the USA. Stevenson Square has also been a body-double for New York in many other productions including Morbius and Captain America.

6) Morbius - Oldham Street

The production for the next instalment in the Spiderman franchise, starring Jared Leto, transformed many parts of the Northern Quarter into New York, including Stevenson Square and Oldham Street. Morbius is set for release early 2022.

7) Spike Island - Afflecks, Tib Street

Following a group of teenage musicians travelling to Spike Island in the hope of seeing their favourite band, Manchester’s Stone Roses. During production Afflecks was taken back to the 90’s where characters played by Shameless’ Elliott Tittensor and Our Girl’s Nico Mirallegro attempt to buy tickets for the Spike Island gig.

Next stop is King Street, but on your way, take a slight detour past Soap Street, which was used for the film Alfie in 2004. Jude Law was filmed cruising down both Soap Street and High Street on his Vespa in the movie.

8) Snatch - King Street

King Street used to be the heart of the North West’s banking industry and boasts many impressive buildings from that era. This is also where the TV adaption of Snatch, starring Rupert Grint was filmed in 2017, as well as scenes from Manchester-based drama Cold Feet.

9) The Limehouse Golem - John Rylands Library

The intricate structure of John Rylands Library, located just off Deansgate, took 10 years to build and opened to the public in 1900. The gothic architecture made it the perfect setting for the 2016 horror-mystery film The Limehouse Golem. John Rylands has also featured in many other TV shows and films including Foyle’s War, Peaky Blinders, and the 2017 WWII film The Darkest Hour starring Gary Oldman.

Wander through the neighbourhood of Spinningfields with its high-rise modern architecture, making your way past the Science & Industry Museum, close to the old Granada Studios where Coronation Street was filmed for more than 50 years until 2013. Head past the Roman ruins of Mamucium within Castlefield on your way to the next film location.

10) 24 Hour Party People - Castle Street

The Castlefield area features in 24 Hour Party People, a film about Tony Wilson who ran Factory Records and opened the legendary Hacienda nightclub. The scene shot on Castle Street featured actor Steve Coogan as he stands by the canal side filming a news item.

Head back up Deansgate until you come to Great Northern, a converted Victorian railway depot, where you’ll find yourself at the junction of Peter Street, head right up Peter Street towards the next location on the tour.

11) Cold Feet - The Midland Hotel, Peter St

The Edwardian Baroque architecture and grand marble interior of The Midland Hotel appeared in series 7 of popular TV show Cold Feet. The scene filmed here featured actress Fay Ripley walking through the lobby of this impressive hotel. The Midland Hotel has a wealth of history including being the meeting point for Mr Rolls and Mr Royce back in 1904, when they decided to make motor cars together. 

12) The Stranger - St Peter’s Square

The hit Netflix adaptation of Harlan Coben’s novel by the same name follows several families, whose lies and secrets are revealed after a stranger appears. Many locations in Greater Manchester were used during production of the series. St Peter’s Square appears several times, with Central Library and the Town Hall’s famous archways being backdrops for key scenes.

13) Victor Frankenstein - Town Hall

Manchester Town Hall was used to take us back to Victorian times in the blockbuster version of Mary Shelley’s novel Frankenstein. Starring Harry Potter actor Daniel Radcliffe and Atonement actor James McAvoy, the film Victor Frankenstein takes a new twist on the classic gothic tale. Robert Downey Jr has also paid a visit to Manchester Town Hall during production of Sherlock Holmes, where he played the title character. The Town Hall has also been a body-double for the Houses of Parliament in many films including the Darkest Hour and The Iron Lady, starring Meryl Streep as Margaret Thatcher.

Take a stroll past Manchester Art Gallery and through Chinatown on your way to the next location in The Gay Village.

14) Queer as Folk - Canal Street

The vibrant nightlife of Canal Street was depicted in 90s cult drama Queer as Folk starring Aidan Gillen, Craig Kelly and Charlie Hunnam. The show follows the lives of the three main characters and is filmed in many of the bars and clubs along Canal Street. Canal Street also features in the comedy Fresh Meat and the drama Bob and Rose.

Continue along Canal Street, then Aytoun Street, where you’ll finish at the bottom of station approach, at Piccadilly Train Station.