As lockdown is lifted and more businesses start to open, we’re providing suggestions on what you can safely see and do in Greater Manchester from Saturday 1 August as well as ideas for places to visit in future weeks across the summer. 

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

Image Credit: Science Museum Group, Copyright © The Board of Trustees of the Science Museum

IMPORTANT NOTICE 

On Thursday 30 July, the UK Government announced new local restrictions that apply across the whole of Greater Manchester which aim to minimise the spread of Covid-19.  

Official guidance has been released confirming that households should not mix indoors. This includes a rule prohibiting the mixing of households in hospitality venues such as pubs, bars and restaurants as well as attractions.  

Venues are ready to adapt to these rules in line with the Covid-19 Secure guidance that they followed when planning their reopening but please take extra precautions to minimise social contact with anyone outside of your household wherever you go. 

The full guidance, which also includes a useful Q&A, now available on the Government website 


Ten things to do in Greater Manchester this week
 

1. Imperial War Museum North at The Quays is due to reopen on Saturday 1 August on a timed ticketing system. Plan your day to coincide with Box on the Docks; a unique outdoor dining experience featuring dining pods in the form of sheds and greenhouses, decorated by Salford-based artists. 

2. Northern Quarter icon the Manchester Craft and Design Centre will finally reopen its doors this weekend, welcoming back visitors each Friday and Saturday throughout August. If you’ve never visited before MCDC is the perfect place to pick up gifts or treats from a range of fantastic independent makers. Pop along to show some support relax with some alfresco food and drink in one of the Northern Quarter’s new pop-up, traffic-free outdoor areas. 

3. A phased reopening of museum sites in Stockport will see both the superb Tutor manor house Bramall Hall and the eerie and poignant Stockport Air Raid Shelters open on Thursday 6 August. Tickets for both attractions need to be booked in advance.

4. The wonderful people at Food Sorcery Cookery School in Didsbury we’re busy during lockdown making meals for vulnerable people, delivering prepared meals to the local community and hosting online cookery events. They’re now back open and running face-to-face cookery classes with reduced numbers and new social guidelines. They are also taking part in the Eat Out To Help Out scheme whereby you can get a discount on classes Monday to Wednesday throughout August. 

5. Speaking of the Eat Out To Help Out scheme, if there’s one thing that you must do this week, its to take advantage of this great offer and support eligible businesses. You can find your nearest participating venues by popping your postcode into the Eat Out To Help Out search tool or by looking out for posters in windows. If you’re planning a weekday visit into Manchester city centre some of our favourite restaurant taking part in the scheme include Albert Square Chop HouseDishoomFazendaHawksmoorThree Little Words, and Yang Sing – just remember to book in advance to avoid disappointment! 

6. If you’re a fan of old halls, 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. There are three tour slots each Monday, Wednesday and Thursday for a maximum of eight people composed of either your own household or a ‘bubble’ of two households. 

7. Take a day trip to explore Bolton 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. Whilst visiting Bolton we also suggest a wander around popular filming location Le Mans Crescent and shopping for some lovely local produce at Bolton Market. 

8. The National Football Museum has thrown open its door again and 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.

9. 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 just the city centre. What’s more, John has recently upgraded his taxi to a roomy electric vehicle with huge glass roof so that glides quietly through the streets as you take everything in from the comfort of your back seat. 

10. And if you fancy a no-fuss day out of Greater Manchester tour operator Mountain Goat are restarting their daily tour to the Lake District from Manchester from Saturday 1 August. The tour includes the Langdale Valley, Blea Tarn, Hawkshead, Tarn Hows and a cream tea at a traditional Lake District country hotel. Competitor operator BusyBus also offers a regular day tour to the Lake District (Mon, Wed, Fri, Sun) as well as day tours to North Wales (Tue, Thurs, Sat) and Yorkshire (Sat, Sun) 

Ten 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. Elizabeth Gaskell’s House is preparing to reopen its doors on Wednesday 12 August, with visitors invited to enjoy exploring the Grade II* listed Regency-style villa where Elizabeth wrote some of her most famous novels. 

2. Bury Art Museum and Sculpture Centre will reopen to the public on Thursday 13 August. The museum – something of a hidden gem that helps visitors to discover more about Bury’s rich history – comprises an art gallery that houses the Wrigley Collection that contains over 200 oil paintings, watercolours, prints and ceramics whilst the Scuplture Centre features some of the most prominent  

3. The amazing Chill Factore, which houses the UK’s longest indoor sky slope will reopen to visitors on Monday 17 August. In the meantime, the team are busy making snow! 

4. Manchester’s Science and Industry Museum is getting ready to welcome visitors back to their vast site from Friday 14 August, restoring the opportunity to explore 250 years of innovations and ideas that started life in Manchester and went on to change the world. 

5. Manchester Art Gallery will reopen on Thursday 20 August for four days a week, Thursday to Sunday. Visitors will be able to see the gallery’s much-loved displays of British and European art and design, including the world famous Pre-Raphaelite paintings by Millais, Holman Hunt and Rossetti, and other highlights including works by Stubbs, Turner, Landseer, Lord Leighton, and Wagner’s The Chariot Race. Until then you can make the most of their online events programme and online collection

6. Although regular Manchester Pride celebrations will no be going ahead this year, the team at Manchester Pride have announced that they are going to deliver three days of celebrations for LGBTQ+ people in Greater Manchester over the August bank holiday weekend. The Alternative Manchester Pride Festival will feature free content that can be enjoyed at home via the United We Stream platform and Youtube.  

7. Electric Playbox and Roxy Lanes will be two brand new openings in Manchester when they open later this summer at Manchester Arndale Centre. Electric Playbox is an interactive digital adventure where visuals and graphics are projected onto all four walls within a booth and movements are tracked using motion sensors and touch screens – think escape room gone digital. Roxy Lanes will be the second in the city, offering competitive games including bowling, gaming and indoor golf. 

8. The People’s History Museum, the national museum of democracy, is set to reopen on Tuesday 1 September, welcoming visitors to explore the past, present, and future of ideas worth fighting for. 

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

10. And finally… walking tours are back and there are loads to choose from. Manchester Guided Tours are running their Discover Manchester tour every Saturday and Sunday at 11am, offering an ideal way to get reacquainted with your city. For alternative views of the city,  Invisible Cities offer tours by people who have experienced homelessness and have trained as guides with tours running every Saturday (starting 11am) and Sunday (starting 2pm), whilst tour guide Hayley Flynn has recommenced her hugely popular Street Art: The Modern History of the Northern Quarter with a selection of tours across the summer. Emma Fox is offering bespoke tours for groups of five people or two households, covering places such as Southern Cemetery and the Bridgewater Canal Trail around Worsley. And Jonathan Schofield has a vast array of tours to choose from, but one of his most popular explores the abandoned majesty of Mayfield Station, running on selected dates throughout July and August. 

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