Grab a mobile device and join this live textural treasure hunt as part of the Manchester Literature Festival.

Explore hidden, lost and imagined lives of Manchester with a story that runs across rivers Irwell and Medlock, the Rochdale and Bridgewater canals, linking them to iconic Manchester venues such as The Royal Exchange, People’s History Museum and Midland Hotel.

How to access the storytrail – video and map.


We have had a great response to the Story Trail so we have decided to make the Zaps available until the end of 2014 and the geocaches permanent.

So check out our ‘How to‘ video, peruse the map and explore the 11 episodes hidden in central Manchester.

Let us know how you get on via Social Media or our tiny feedback survey

towpath_night_01New mythologies are created and, whether you believe them or not, thrive. Lives intersect like flotsam, like the past that washes up again and again. Two futures are possible: where water is at risk and the world turns upside down, or one where nature proves her power.

The self-guided Storytrail runs for the duration of the festival. Different episodes are revealed through GPS geocaches, Zapcodes, a micro-projection and micro-print publication. Through each strand are three characters whose lives have been, and will be, altered forever by their attachment to the city and its waterways. Past collides with present, digital with print, to create an immersive and thrilling adventure.

Storytrail – from Monday 6 October 2014
Wander along the towpath, rivers and streets of Manchester, at any time to suit you, to find episodes of the story. All you need is a sense of adventure and mobile device. Watch the how-to video for tips to get you started.

Performance – Friday 17 October 2014
The Tales from the Towpath story trail culminates in a rich multi-voiced performance on a traditional narrowboat moored at Castlefield. History and passion sprinkled with wit provide a waterside evening of intimate atmosphere and quiet revelations. There are three shows: 17:30, 19:30, 21:30.

Workshops – Saturday 11 & 18 October 2014
Two connected immersive literature-making workshops for writers will explore ways into writing site-responsive texts and how they can be disseminated so form complements subject.

The first workshop will use the waterways as an entry to writing, exploring historical, social and personal resonances. Participants will use practical exercises to produce a draft text.

The second workshop focuses on creative aspects of digitalising and presenting your work, for example using projection, unusual print formats and location-specific tools. Participants will be guided through a choice of tools to produce a draft immersive text. Full details on the workshops page.