On Monday 12 April England entered step two of the Government’s roadmap to reopening the economy, which means that some tourism, hospitality, leisure and retail businesses can now reopen. As restrictions lift we’ve compiled a list of suggestions for what you can now safely see and do in Greater Manchester.  

All businesses are following relevant government guidance. Please check if pre-booking is required before visiting. And when you go out, please remember to keep your distance where possible, wear a face covering, wash your hands regularly and seek spaces with good ventilation.  

1. You can now enjoy food and drink outdoor 

Come rain or shine, we’ve all been waiting for this moment – to enjoy a pint outside with friends, and there’s no better place to do than at The Trackside pub at East Lancashire Railway, where you can enjoy real ale besides a vintage steam engine. 

Restaurants have gone above and beyond to create safe, outdoor dining terraces, and Ducie Street Warehouse is one of our favourites, converting what was a dull unused space into a superb decked and covered dining terrace. Based inside Native aparthotel, you can also book self-contained overnight stays in one of its self-catered apartments.  

Elsewhere, another favourite The Refuge have opened up their tucked away courtyard between the historic Kimpton Clocktower hotel to offer a heated outdoor dining experience, recently refurbished and filled with plants, expect DJs to accompany the usual Refuge food and drink favourites.  

After you’ve visited the now open shops (see below), why not visit one of the restaurants at the Corn Exchange which have outdoor covered seating such as, Delhi House Kitchen, Vapiano or Zizzi, a full list and how to book a table is available here

2. You can now shop in person 

Indoor shopping is now open for browsing and buying, with stores in Manchester Arndale now open including the Arndale Market; and The Trafford Centre welcomes shoppers back with nine new stores, including Tommy Hilfiger, Rituals and Forever Unique, alongside its other well-known major brands. Indoor dining remains closed with some takeaway options at both shopping centres, and visitors are asked to shop with their household or support bubble only.   

The city centre’s Royal Exchange has reopened, including its historic arcade, with shops opening including Lush, Sostrene Grene, and Whittard. A short walk along New Cathedral Street will bring you to designer department store Selfridges who have welcomed shoppers back, also resuming its beauty, styling and gift consultation sessions.   

To support your independent makers and crafters, head to the gem that is Manchester Craft and Design Centre for handmade jewellery, ceramics, glassware, prints and more. The centre will be open every day until 5:30pm. Just around the corner, Oklahoma, Manchester’s favourite gift and homeware store at the edge of the Northern Quarter opens its doors selling an eclectic range of colourful homeware, stationary and curiosities. 

3. You can now take in the beauty of our abundant green spaces 

Greater Manchester has a surprising amount of green space, and you can easily fill a day hiking, picnicking or cycling in one of the Country Parks and stunning landscapes.  

For an escape to a green oasis in between the cities of Salford and Manchester, take a walk around Peel Park nestled next to the River Irwell, ideal for a socially distanced catch-up with a friend, or for entertaining the kids with a play area, and three Salford Tree Trail’s to spot  25 different varieties of tree. 

Visitors of Reddish Vale Country Park in Stockport will recognise it immediately from its famed railway viaduct. Designated as a Local Nature Reserve, Reddish Vale is your go to place for spotting a variety of birds including the Buzzard, Kestrel and Kingfisher, as well as a whole host of wildlife from rabbits to squirrels, butterflies and frogs.   

For panoramic views of Manchester and Liverpool, and over 200 acres of open space for walking, Werneth Low Country Park offers a space to escape and find some peace and relaxation. 

For more inspiration on Greater Manchester’s Green Spaces, be sure to check out our Find Your Space page.  

4. You can now join a physical walking tour  

Why not be a tourist in your own city? Tours are now available across Manchester if social distancing guidelines are practiced. This week you can join physical tours with guide local tour guides such as Jonathan Schofield, who is taking over the Discover Manchester tour (£12) on 17 and 18 April, offering a fun and informative walk around the city, which uncovers the exciting past, present and future of Manchester with one of the city’s most informed guides. 

From 16 April, Free Manchester Walks will begin offering their ‘just turn up’ tours of the city every Friday, Saturday and Sunday, starting at 11am at the Alan Turing Memorial, and tour guides Emma Fox and Sue McCarthy from Show Me Manchester are now offering private tours for groups of friends. 

5. You can now visit outdoor attractions and events 

Whilst we can’t all step aboard a plane to our favourite sunny destinations, we can still marvel at their take off and landing with a day out at the Runway Visitor Park, open every day from 8am – 4pm, expect fantastic views of Manchester Airport’s runway, alongside a children’s play area, aviation shop, and café available for takeaway.  

Admire the beautiful Ordsall Hall Gardens in Salford. Whilst the 15th century Hall remains closed, visitors can wander its landscaped Tudor style knot gardens for free, every Monday, Tuesday and Sunday, with a takeaway café operating from the old Hall. 

For something different, try Trafford Watersports Centre at Sale Water Park, where you can hire a paddle boat, try your hand at canoeing, kayaking, windsurfing or sailing. For a dryer approach to experiencing the outdoors hire a bicycle from Didsbury Bicycle Hire, who provide a pair of vintage bicycles, with options to add on an afternoon tea or champagne hamper which you can enjoy in the leafy suburban parks of Didsbury. 

And if you’re lucky enough to live in Cheshire, you can now visit Chester Zoo and see some of its 35,000 animals. Tickets should be booked in advance on its website, but hurry -weekend tickets are selling out fast! Why not also tag on a visit to Cheshire Oaks Designer Outlet while in the area. 




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