The remainder of Covid-19 restrictions in England have now been removed and you should take a personal approach to your Covid-19 safety and the safety of others around you. However, please remember that in certain settings, such as on TfGM Metrolink trams, face coverings are still a requirement, and other venues may politely request you to wear a face covering and practice social distancing for the time being.   

1. Take a Manchester Guided tour – for free! 

Manchester Guided Tours’ much celebrated Discover Manchester walk has now gone free of charge! Simply show up at the meeting point in front of Manchester Central Library any day at 11:00 am to enjoy a perfectly crafted ninety-minute tour of the city’s best sightseeing, history, and culture spots. Guests are welcome to tip what they like at the end of the walk.

2. Visit Manchester Museum for a final look before its temporary closure 

Take a trip to Manchester Museum for the final opportunity to view its collections before it closes on Sunday 29 August until late 2022. The museum is currently undergoing a £13.5m transformation project, and this final phase will see the entire museum close to the public, ready to emerge next year with a two-storey extension, and new galleries including the South Asia Gallery. Visitors are encouraged to pre-book tickets

3. Uncover Greater Manchester’s firefighting story at a new museum in Rochdale 

The newly redeveloped Greater Manchester Fire Service Museum has reopened its doors in Rochdale, with a new name – FIREGROUND. Closed since March 2020, the new museum is more than four times the size of the former museum, taking up the site of the former Rochdale Fire Station and boasting a collection of over twenty fire engines (some dating back to 1741), uniforms, medals, paintings and models. Run by a team of volunteer former firefighters, FIREGROUND is open every Thursday to Saturday, entry from £5 (kids under 4 free). 

4. Take part in creating a huge community artwork at the National Football Museum 

On Friday 20 August, the National Football Museum invites visitors to contribute to a large artwork dedicated to Lily Parr – one of football’s first female superstars. The event is part of a new permanent display which has opened at the museum, with dedicated items and photographs celebrating women’s football. Visitors can drop by between 11 am and 1 pm, where they can also make their own mini artwork, and will have an opportunity to view the latest addition to the museum.  

5. Final chance to visit an exhibition on the NHS’ frontline battle with Covid-19  

Manchester Central Library hosts ‘Behind Closed Doors’, a photography exhibition exploring life within an Intensive Care Unit at the height of the pandemic. Organised by the mental health charity MancSpirit, and photographed by a Senior Sister, the exhibition is a touching and thought-provoking experience, and runs until Saturday 21 August.  

+ Book now – Laura Wade's comedy Home, I'm Darling at the Octagon next month 

A sell-out smash hit when it premiered in 2018, Laura Wade’s cutting comedy, Home, I’m Darling arrives at the newly revamped Octagon Theatre as part of their autumn programme (Wednesday 1 September – Saturday 2 October).  

Sweet peas in the garden; homemade lemon curd in the kitchen; conjugal joy in the bedroom. Judy (Sandy Foster) and Johnny (Tom Kanji) seem to be the perfect couple – quite sickeningly happy, in fact. But is their marriage everything it seems? Are there cracks in their domestic bliss? And where do they go when the manners and morals of the 1950s don’t quite suit them? 

Laura Wade’s blistering satire takes a timely scalpel to gender roles in modern Britain through the eyes of a 21st-century couple slowly discovering that nostalgia ain’t what it used to be.