On Friday 23 October Greater Manchester entered 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. 

50 Windows of creativity display - Akse. Photo credit: David Oates Photography

50 Windows of creativity display - Akse. Photo credit: David Oates Photography

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 suggestions for this week include Hawksmoor, who are offering a lunch and early evening set menu; Dishoom, the Bombay-Irani style café set inside Manchester’s former Freemasons Hall; or Fazenda Rodizio Bar and Grill, offering a set price dining option with both meat and vegetarian options. For more taste tingling ideas, take a look at the many restaurants across the region in the Food and Drink section of the website.  

2. You can still visit fantastic museums and art galleries. Our top cultural pick this week is the long-awaited reopening of The Lowry’s galleries, with a brand-new exhibition on how Salford endured lockdown, alongside its permanent collection of L.S. Lowry paintings. The galleries will open every weekend with visitors asked to pre-book a free ticket. Elsewhere, cultural powerhouse HOME welcomed visitors back to its galleries last week with three new illustration exhibitions. Pre-book a ticket to the gallery or enjoy the restaurant and independent cinema. 

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, take a walk in one of the regions country parks and wide-open green spaces – take a look at our Find Your Space page for inspiration for your next outdoor adventure.    

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 you can, get behind smaller businesses that will need the most support – our pick this week is the artisan, handcrafted Makers Market featuring art, craft and music, this time  held outside Great Northern Warehouse this Sunday, but be sure to catch it at one of its other locations across the region throughout the month. We also suggest taking a look at Levenshulme Market, which runs every Saturday and Sunday; or checking out the covered Altrincham Market and food hall.  

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 are 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 East Lancashire Railway’s ghost trains, offering a spooky 65-minute return ghoulish train ride, complete with socially distanced monster squad. 

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. Don’t forget that some of the city’s best restaurants are located within hotels –Hotel Gotham’s 2 AA-rosette Honey Restaurant is offering dusk dining specials by candlelight alongside its afternoon tea and à la carte menus; and Peter Street Kitchen at The Edwardian continues to serve its famed fusion of Mexican and Japanese, which won it the ‘Best Luxury Restaurant in the UK’ of 2019. You can also check out the Where to Stay section of the website for ideas and 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 created 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 ‘Secrets of the Northern Quarter’. And Free Manchester Walking Tours are running daily, starting from the Alan Turning Memorial in Sackville Gardens.  

9. You can still discover hidden gems. The region is home to lots of unexpected experiences – in Rochdale until 12 December, you can see Dippy, the world-famous dinosaur cast on tour from the National History Museum and its accompany Jurassic exhibition at Touchstones Rochdale. Just a short walk from the city centre, in Cheetham Hill, you will find over 70 vintage buses, coaches and trams at the Museum of Transport Greater Manchester, currently open on weekends for a nostalgic trip or day out for kids. For an authentic trip back in time, Elizabeth Gaskell’s House, home of the Victorian Manchester author, is a hidden restored villa with Victorian style garden and a period Tea Rooms.  

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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