New Islington, Manchester

The opening of outdoor dining, pubs, non-essential shops and outdoor attractions has been a welcome step for the tourism industry in Greater Manchester. Here we’re providing you with a weekly list of ten things that you can now plan and enjoy for the week ahead, starting from Saturday 1 May.

Please remember to check if venues require pre-booking before visiting. All businesses are following Government guidelines on Covid-19 safety, please remember to keep your distance where possible, where a face covering where required (unless exempt), wash your hands regularly, and seek spaces with good ventilation.

Here are our top highlights for the week ahead:

1. Take a cruise along the River Irwell

Manchester River Cruises are back for a three-day special this weekend, with open top river cruises starting at Pier 8 in Salford Quays running all day across the Bank Holiday weekend. The relaxing journey will take you at a leisurely place, taking in sights including Old Trafford, Imperial War Museum, and the new neighbourhoods of St John’s and The Factory, offering a unique perspective of the changing city. Tours last 60 minutes, follow Covid guidelines, and offer a bar service at your seat. Book your ticket online.

2. Join East Lancashire Railway’s 30th anniversary celebrations

East Lancashire Railway in Bury is celebrating the 30th anniversary of the re-opening of Rawtenstall Station with a special Bank Holiday weekend event which will see its diesel and steam trains welcome passengers on board again for the first time since the third lockdown.

In a nod to its heritage, pre-booked tickets will be priced as they were in 1991, providing a significant discount on return journeys from Bury to Rawtenstall. Visitors can also enjoy the railway’s platform pub – The Trackside – which is open from midday until late offering outdoor tables on a first come, first served basis.

3. Browse our new guide to shopping

Shopping centres, high streets and markets have now re-opened across Greater Manchester, including Manchester’s Craft and Design Centre which recently unveiled a new street art mural worth going to see, as well as their resident artists and makers who have reopened shops selling handmade craft and design pieces.

For inspiration on some of the best hidden shopping gems across Greater Manchester, including places such as Hatch, Bury Market, and Levenshulme Market, check out our new Instagram guide to Greater Manchester Shopping

4. Get out and about in the city

Since outdoor dining has returned, the city and our towns are bustling again. Joining the businesses already open including Ducie Street Warehouse’s new terrace, and the Great Northern Beach Club is Motley, the new restaurant of Qbic, Deansgate’s latest environment-led hotel. Motley will open its terrace from Saturday 1 May, welcoming guests to try its veg-led menu with walk-ins available until 5 May when pre-booking opens.

Also this weekend is the popular Makers Market, which returns to Great Northern on Sunday 2 May offering a haven for foodies and lovers of independent shopping, with a range of food stalls, artisan products and arts and craft.

5. See the latest blockbusters at Trafford’s drive-in cinema

Experience a cinematic event from the comfort of your car seat at Park & Party at Trafford’s EventCity. A range of films for all audiences are shown all week on huge HD screens, with hits including Mamma Mia, The Greatest Showman and The Nun. The experience includes a drive through tunnel, local food stalls and a fully licenced bar with outdoor seating, as well as photo opportunities and some events with live actors




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