Join Manchester writer Rosie Garland as she guides you through the libraries of Manchester, going behind the scenes with intimate tours and lots of fun along the way.
Or perhaps you’d rather get outside and enjoy the summer sunshine by taking our self-guided walking tours? Whether you’re a Manchester libraries aficionado or you’ve never ventured inside any of them before, you will learn something fascinating!
Behind the scenes video tours
We’ve got extra special tours with novelist and poet Rosie Garland available to view right here. Featuring our heritage libraries: Central Library, Chetham’s Library, John Rylands Library and Research Institute, The Portico Library plus the brand new Manchester Poetry Library (part of Manchester Metropolitan University) which we know you’re keen to see before it opens to the public later this year!
If you looking to get out and about as part of the festival, we’ve also got some gentle self-guided walking tours taking you on an informative journey between libraries and other literary highlights where you can learn more about each library and the collections.
Just download the LoveExploring app from your app store/play store for free, and set your location to Manchester for a series of trails around the city centre as part of the Festival of Libraries. Whether you want an informative walk alone or you’re planning a day for the whole family, let us know how you get on! Access information is given throughout.
Radical Manchester – 70 minutes, 4.1km, starting at Chetham’s Library and ending at The Working Class Movement Library
Children’s Literature – 30 minutes, 1.7km, starting at John Rylands Library and ending at Manchester Poetry Library
Suffragette Manchester Trail – 60 minutes, 4.35km, starting at Chetham’s Library and ending at the Pankhurst Centre
Family Trail – 30 minutes, 2.26km, starting at Chetham’s Library and ending at the Peterloo Memorial
Women Writers Trail – 30 minutes, 1.6km, starting at John Rylands Library and ending at Manchester Poetry Library
Elizabeth Gaskell’s Manchester – 60 minutes, 3.4km, starting at John Rylands Library and ending at Elizabeth Gaskell’s House
Poetry Trail – 50 minutes, 1km, starting at John Rylands Library and ending at Manchester Poetry Library
There’s additional outdoor events and walking trails as part of the festival happening in North Manchester: There’s the Middleton Photo Trail, or for our younger audiences there’s the ‘Koala Who Could’ Storywalk in Oldham and the Pictures in the Park event in Rochdale. All of these events and booking links can be found below.
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