Castlefield Basin

As lockdown is lifted and more businesses start to open we’re providing a few suggestions on what you can safely see and do in Greater Manchester from Friday 17th of July.

All businesses are following the relevant government guidance but please check with them before visiting, particularly to check if pre-booking is required. If you do go out please remember to keep your distance where possible and wash your hands regularly.

Ten things to do in Greater Manchester this week

1. Bolton Museum was the first cultural attraction in Greater Manchester to reopen on Tuesday 14 July with special precautions in place to keep everyone safe. Take a day trip to explore the museum’s fantastic galleries including the acclaimed Bolton’s Egypt exhibition. The museum is currently open 9am-5pm on Tuesday to Friday and 10am-4pm on Saturdays.

2. Last week we suggested that you book a walk tour with Manchester Guided Tours to get reacquainted with your city. If you’ve done that tour or would like an alternatively view of the city, Invisible Cities offer tours by people who have experienced homelessness and have trained as guides to their own cities. Invisible Cities tours are back from Saturday 18 July.

3. With Love Parks Week 2020 running until Monday 21 July why not use the opportunity to visit some of Greater Manchester’s fantastic parks and gardens such as Outwood Country Park, Bruntwood Park, Smithills Country Park, Alkrington Woods Nature Reserve or Hare Hill Park.

4. Football’s coming home as the National Football Museum throws open its door again from Thursday 23 July. Initially opening Thursday to Sunday from 11am-4pm, the reopening will give you a chance to catch the amazing Strip! How Football Got Shirty exhibition which has been extended and features more than 200 football shirts.

5. Bars, pubs and restaurants in Rochdale have reopened their doors with places like The Flying Horse – voted Greater Manchester’s best pub by CAMRA for the last two years running – and Nutters Restaurant proving hugely popular with visitors from both within Rochdale as well as the surrounding boroughs.

6. Manchester’s iconic Hotel Gotham reopens on Friday 17 July to welcome guests – both visitors and residents on staycation alike. It’s one a several boutique hotels with open rooftop areas that have reopened in recent weeks including nearby King Street Townhouse and Salford’s The Ainscow Hotel.

7. Use our interactive map to explore a Greater Manchester neighbourhoods or district that you’ve not visited before – or for a while. You’ll be surprised at how much variety there is to Find Your Space in Greater Manchester.

8. Three Little Words and The Spirit of Manchester Distillery reopened on Friday 10 July with an amazing set menu, a brand-new summer gin, and distillery experiences for all.

9. Now is a great time to plan a day out around a visit one of the Greater Manchester’s many traditional markets such as Bury, Bolton or Ashton as well as some new style markets that include street food such as Levenshulme, Altrincham and Manchester city centre’s GRUB. Make sure to check websites before you travel as opening days and times vary.

10. And if you want a COVID-compliant means of travelling beyond Manchester, the tour company BusyBus is running regular tours to the Lake District (Mon, Wed, Fri, Sun), North Wales (Tue, Thurs, Sat) and Yorkshire (Sat, Sun) that pick up in central Manchester early morning, tour key beauty spots then drop back in Manchester early evening.

Five things to start planning for now

Several attractions and tours have announced plans to reopen and restart in the coming weeks. Start planning your days out now – remember that some venues will require pre-booking – and check back on this blog for updates each week.

1. Alternative tour guide Hayley Flynn will recommence her Street Art: The Modern History of the Northern Quarter from Friday 24 July.

2. Imperial War Museum North at Salford Quays is due to reopen on timed ticketing system from Saturday 1 August.

3. Manchester’s Science and Industry Museum is getting ready to welcome visitors back to their vast site from Friday 14 August.

4. The People’s History Museum – the national museum of democracy – is set to reopen on Tuesday 1 September

5. And HOME arts centre have announced that they are aiming to reopen their cinemas, bars and restaurant on Friday 4 September