In Event

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 15 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


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. These local restrictions will be in place until at least Wednesday 19 August when they will be reviewed.  

Official guidance confirms that households should not mix indoors. This includes a rule prohibiting the mixing of households in hospitality venues such as museums and galleries, hotels, pubs, bars and restaurants such as pubs, bars and restaurants as well as attractions.  

Venues are adapting 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 and to wear a mask.  

Ten things to do in Greater Manchester this week 

1. 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

2. The amazing Chill Factore, which houses the UK’s longest indoor ski slope is planning to reopen to visitors on Monday 17 August, subject to no further changes to local restrictions. In the meantime, the team are busy making snow!   

3. One of the most highly-anticipated reopenings of the summer, Manchester’s Science and Industry Museum is now welcoming visitors back to their vast site. Initially, the museum will focus 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. After a delayed reopening, 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. 

5. Elizabeth Gaskell’s House has reopened its doors, with visitors invited to enjoy exploring the Grade II* listed Regency-style villa where Elizabeth wrote some of her most famous novels. Tickets can be pre-booked up to two weeks in advance via the website

6. 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. 

7. A phased reopening of museum sites in Stockport saw both the superb Tudor manor house Bramall Hall and the eerie and poignant Stockport Air Raid Shelters reopen last week Thursday to Sunday. Tickets for both attractions need to be booked in advance

8. The wonderful people at Food Sorcery Cookery School in Didsbury were 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. 

9. Speaking of the Eat Out To Help Out scheme, if there’s one thing that you must do this week and throughout the rest of August, it’s 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 WordsWood, and Yang Sing – just remember to book in advance to avoid disappointment! 

10. 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. 

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. 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. 

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

3. Rochdale Pioneers Museum charts the history of the Co-operative movement which had a significant impact on improving the lives of many in poverty with social reform, will reopen on August Bank Holiday weekend - visitors are asked to pre-book a free slot.  

4. Get involved in virtual Radical Sounds from the Working Class Movement Library. On the 31st August, actress Maxine Peake has curated a celebration of working class talent with music and readings available live online. 

5. Although regular Manchester Pride celebrations will not 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. 

6. Manchester Food and Drink Festival has confirmed it will return this year under strict Covid-safe guidelines, featuring 12 days of hospitality from some of Greater Manchester’s top restaurants, bars and chefs. Taking place from 24th September to 5th October, the Festival Hub will be in Cathedral Gardens, and will be free to attend with limited capacity and, an app to improve ordering and reduce queues.  Keep a look out for further announcements about what to expect in the coming weeks. 

7. The International Anthony Burgess Foundation, which contains an extensive collection of works from one of Manchester’s most prolific cultural figures and author of novels such as A Clockwork Orange. The foundation re-opens for pre-booked research visits from the 8 September and will begin takeout service from its café on 15 September, with food and drink from independent and local suppliers. 

8. The popular Bolton Food & Drink Festival returns again, this time taking a virtual format. Staged over the August Bank Holiday Weekend, the event features the usual favourites of cooking demonstrations, music, and special online offers from traders.  The full line-up of celebrity chefs and restaurants taking part will be released soon, so keep checking back if you’re hungry for more news! 

9. Castlefield Gallery is set to reopen in September with their latest exhibition ‘Soft Bodies’  featuring 3D digital works, photography, prints and drawings. You can also listen to their latest podcast with conversations with artists on Spotify. 

10. 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 that glides quietly through the streets as you take everything in from the comfort of your back seat. 




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