Image: Halloween in the City

From Friday 23 October Greater Manchester enters the tier three “very high” category of the UK government’s three alert levels. There are various implications of the new restrictions and we recommend that you familiarise yourself with our Know Before You Go page as you plan your trip to make sure that you have the latest information. 

One of the main implications is that people are advised to not travel to regions within tier three and likewise those in tier three should not travel to other regions. Whilst this means that there will be less visitors, residents of Greater Manchester can still in enjoy much of the region’s tourism offer and this week’s blog outlines just some of the many things that residents can STILL do safely in the coming week. 

When out and about in Greater Manchester, please remember to keep your distance from others, wear a face covering and wash your hands regularly.  

1. You can still enjoy a meal out with your family household or housemates. The new restrictions allow restaurants to remain open as well as many pubs and bars as long as they offer a substantial meal, such as one that would be eaten at dinner or teatime. Our top pick for the week is Vermillion over in New East Manchester which has just launched a new menu developed by Masterchef hero Chef Bobby Retnakumar Geetha. If you fancy something different check out the Food and Drink section of the website and don’t forget that many of your favourite restaurants are relaunching their make-at-home dining kits if you would rather stay at home. 

2. You can still visit our wonderful art galleries and museums. With half term upon us, we’ve pulled together a list of some of the best things do to across Greater Manchester to keep the kids entertained – from amazing science to treasure hunts, dinosaurs to pumpkin picking – just make sure you plan in advance and pre-book tickets where necessary. One of our top cultural picks right now is the timely White Psyche exhibition at The Whitworth, which takes a new look at the story of Cupid and Psyche and addresses white dominance in its own collection of art. 

3. You can still take in the beauty of our abundant green spaces. Greater Manchester is packed with amazing green spaces to enjoy in groups up to six people. Our recently launched #GreenSalford series of films is well worth checking out for inspiration, with great places to walk, run and cycle including Clifton Country Park, Kersal Wetlands, Peel Park and Worsley Delph. Elsewhere in Greater Manchester, in Oldham we are super excited about Northern Roots, a 160-acre work-in-progress site offering lush urban green space that looks out onto the foothills of the Peak District. 

4. You can still shop and enjoy some retail therapy. With Christmas fast approaching Greater Manchester’s shops are all still open and ready to welcome you safely. From the high street to quirky boutiques, the Shopping section of the website has loads of inspiration. Wherever possible we recommend getting behind smaller businesses and organisations that need the most support, so our pick for this week is Northern Quarter icon the Manchester Craft and Design Centre which is open Tuesday to Saturday throughout October and November. And remember that some of the best gifts can be found within gift shops at our museums and galleries! 

5. You can still celebrate Halloween. Yes, it’s that time of year when The Monsters descend on Manchester city centre making a great day out to find them all – look out, look up, beware! Of course, there’s lots of other great Halloween events still planned and you can find details about them all on the dedicated Halloween in the City section of the website. Outside of the city centre, our top Halloween pick is Ordsall Hall in Salford where they have an outdoor Scarecrow Trail, spooky tours of the hall and pumpkin painting workshops. 

6. You can still treat yourself to a night in one of our fabulous hotels. Whilst it’s advised that those from outside of Greater Manchester should avoid staying overnight in the region, there’s nothing to stop you booking a night away and enjoying a bit of local hospitality. The Where to Stay section of the website is packed with ideas and there are some great offers to take advantage of. 

7. You can still take part in outdoor events. 50 Windows of Creativity is a new city-wide art trail showcasing the work of artists and makers and will see spectacular mosaics, installations, fine art, photography, craft, and murals displayed in a series 50 windows and spaces across the city centre. Brought to the city by the same organisation that create the Bee In the City Trail back in 2018, you can download an app or map, then get exploring from Monday 26 October. 

8. You can still join a walking tour. Limited to groups of six people, one of the best ways to explore Greater Manchester is on an organised tour with a guide 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 the city. For an alternative viewpoint, tour guide Hayley Flynn has recommenced her hugely popular Street Art: The Modern History of the Northern Quarter with a selection of tour dates across autumn. Emma Fox is offering bespoke tours, covering places such as Southern Cemetery and the Bridgewater Canal Trail around Worsley. 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 November. Ed Glinert who runs New Manchester Walks has several varied tours planned, with highlights this upcoming week including ‘Manchester Music: The Hacienda Years’ and ‘Angel Meadow’. And Free Manchester Walking Tours are running daily, starting from the Alan Turning Memorial in Sackville Gardens. 

9. You can still get behind some of our cultural institutions that have yet to open. Unfortunately, there are still many places like theatres and music venues that have not been able to open yet and need our support. Oldham Coliseum has been closed for over six months, with no ticket income and is crowdfunding to secure its future. Contact youth theatre has Coronation Street actor Julie Hesmondhalgh amongst its many high-profile backers urging audiences to donate to help complete the renovation of the theatre which has been closed for three years and was due to reopen in 2020. If you can spare the cash, these organisations will greatly benefit from your donations. 

10. And you can still be confident that all of the places and spaces you visit across Greater Manchester are Covid-safe and ready to welcome you. But if for whatever reason, you don’t want to travel around Greater Manchester, are shielding or live outside of the region; you can still enjoy our Manchester Misses You series packed with our favourite ideas, inspirations and resources so that you can continue to enjoy Greater Manchester from home. 

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