To support the safe reopening of Greater Manchester’s tourism industry, we’re providing a weekly list of ten things that you can plan and enjoy for the week ahead, starting Saturday 3 October. All businesses mentioned in this blog are following the relevant government guidance but please familiarise yourself with our Know Before You Go page as you plan your trip to make sure that you have the latest information. When out and about in Greater Manchester, please remember to keep your distance from others, wear a face covering and wash your hands regularly.
Ten things to do in Greater Manchester this week
1. What was previously the Principal Hotel Manchester has been rebranded by leading global luxury brand Kimpton over lockdown and threw open its doors as Kimpton Clocktower Hotel on Thursday 1 October. Restyled rooms and cool new features such as vinyl records from the city’s most iconic bands in each room and signature perks including in-room yoga mats take the hotel to a new level for guests. Still within the hotel, the iconic Refuge by Volta bar and restaurant serves globally inspired small plates, craft beers and cocktails – our pick of the week to grab brunch and relax.
2. If you’re a fan of old houses, Salford’s Ordsall Hall, which dates back more than 750 years, has now reopened. Visitors need to pre-book a one-hour ‘stewarded’ tour online in order to be shown around and you will be able to roam the gardens freely. There are three tour slots each Sunday-Thursday for a maximum of eight people composed of either your own household or a ‘bubble’ of two households.
3. One of the most highly-anticipated reopening’s of the summer, Manchester’s Science and Industry Museum is now welcoming visitors back to their vast site. Initially, the museum is focused on bringing the galleries in its New Warehouse building back to life. This includes the Revolution Manchester Gallery, where the city’s rich legacy of world-changing innovations, discoveries and ideas are on display. Advanced booking is essential via the museum’s website.
4. There’s never been a better time to explore nearby neighbourhoods and towns across Greater Manchester. You’ve probably already visited the likes of Chorlton, Didsbury and Altrincham at some point, so why not make a beeline for somewhere lesser known, spending your money with independent cafes, restaurants and shops in places like Levenshulme, Urmston, Sale, Ramsbottom, Salford’s Chapel Street, or Heaton Moor.
5. If you want a tour with a difference and one where you are in complete control of what you see and do, book in for a Manchester Taxi Tour with the legendary John Consterdine. John’s fun and flexible tour style allows you to pick and choose to visit anywhere in Greater Manchester, whether you want to follow music threads at places like Salford Lads Club and Sifter Records, visit Corrie filming locations, see the best football pubs, or just have a standard history tour that isn’t confided to the city centre. What’s more, John has recently upgraded his taxi to a roomy electric vehicle with huge glass roof that glides quietly through the streets as you take everything in from the comfort of your back seat.
6. To celebrate its reopening, popular Bombay café Dishoom are presenting guests with ‘random acts of kindness’ cards offering complimentary surprises. The ‘act of kindness’ will most likely be food or one of their famous tipples, which will be decided by your server during your visit to ensure it’s as personal to you as possible. These ‘acts of kindness’ can be redeemed by reservation on Monday to Friday, 12 to 6pm until 30th October. Booking via this link.
7. In Oldham, five minutes from the town centre, lies a hidden wilderness waiting to be discovered. Northern Roots is a 160-acre site offering lush urban green space that looks out onto the foothills of the Peak District where you can walk, run, bike or ride. Alternatively, you could visit one of Greater Manchester’s National Trust properties such as Dunham Massey just outside of Altrincham; or Haigh Woodland Park in Wigan which is now also mostly open including the Children’s Woodland Adventure Play Park.
8. The Museum of Transport, Greater Manchester in Cheetham Hill – a leisurely walk north from the city centre – contains over 70 vintage buses, coaches, trams and historic objects, all housed within an iconic 1930s bus garage. It’s a fantastic day out for kids who’ve grown up only knowing newer forms of transport and offers a nostalgic trip down memory lane for those a bit older. The museum is initially only opening Saturdays and Sundays, but no pre-booking is required.
9. The National Football Museum is currently open every 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.
10. The fantastic East Lancashire Railway is back up and running with limited services. The heritage railway, which runs along a track through the beautiful Irwell Valley, had a very difficult few months during lockdown so plan a visit, buy a ticket or just have a few pints in the excellent Trackside pub or Buffer Stops Bar in order to support their reopening and help to secure their future.