The Rugby League World Cup is set to take place soon and three Greater Manchester boroughs have been selected as host towns. We have no doubt that Greater Manchester’s venues will be home to some incredible sporting moments. The University of Bolton Stadium, Manchester Central, Old Trafford and Wigan’s Leigh Sports Village will host games in the Men’s, Women’s and Wheelchair events, helping to secure our city-region’s status as a sporting capital. 

Thousands of fans will flock to the city-region to watch some games, and for many, it may be their first time visiting Greater Manchester. To make sure anyone attending the Rugby League World Cup gets the best possible experience, we’re rounding up some of the best activities to keep you entertained in Bolton, Trafford and Wigan when the on-pitch action stops. 


Bolton Steam Museum 

The Bolton Steam Museum is a world-class attraction and a great way to understand Greater Manchester’s industrial heritage. With the largest collection of working mill engines in Europe, you can see first-hand how the cotton mills of Lancashire and Yorkshire were powered, fuelling the beginning of the industrial revolution. The museum is operated by volunteers from the Northern Mill Engine Society who have masterfully restored the engines. Admission is free but donations are welcome. 

Shop at Bolton Market 

Bolton Market has been recently redeveloped with a brand new lifestyle hall which includes a coffee specialist, real ale bar, tropical florist, patisserie and more. It also has an award-winning food hall which is certainly worth a visit, packed full of Mediterranean delis, locally sourced meats and cheeses as well as fresh fish. Voted ‘Best Food Market’ at the BBC Radio 4 Food and Farming Awards in 2011, this is definitely worth a visit. It even has in-store cookery demonstrations and a second-hand flea market on designated days. What treasures will you find? 

Visit Smithills Hall 

Dating back to medieval times, Smithills Hall Museum is one of Bolton’s original family homes and remains one of the oldest and best-preserved manor houses in the North West. With a history spanning over 700 years, this is undoubtedly one of Greater Manchester’s most fascinating historic attractions. With architectural details spanning different eras and set in a country park with its own farm, there’s plenty to keep the whole family entertained. 

Take a country walk 

Bolton is home to some stunning scenery if you’re looking to take in some fresh air as you visit Greater Manchester. There’s Jumbles Country Park which hosts beautiful parkland, a reservoir and picturesque walks. While Moses Gate Park is a restored industrial site which has now become a place of national scientific interest due to its unique wildlife, making for a beautiful country stroll. For the more adventurous walkers, Rivington Pike and its tour are high up on the West Pennine Moors and offer views for miles, on a clear day you can see the Lake District and Blackpool Tower. 

Catch a show at the Octagon Theatre 

Bolton’s Octagon Theatre was the first theatre to be built in the North West after World War 1. Following a recent redevelopment, it’s now back open to the public and offering incredible shows to capture your imagination. If you fancy a break from the Rugby League World Cup, local theatre might just be the ticket. During the Rugby League World Cup, listings include Noel Coward’s Brief Encounter and the Octagon’s Comedy Club, so get ready for a laugh a minute. 


Visit The Trafford Centre 

You can’t visit Trafford without visiting The Trafford Centre. This iconic Manchester shopping centre has something to suit all tastes, whether you’re shopping until you drop, looking for some delicious food and drink or searching for unique entertainment. With world-class shops, restaurants and an abundance of entertainment venues including cinemas, adventure golf, laser quest and more the Trafford Centre will certainly help you pass the time between matches. If that’s not enough it’s also home to SEALIFE Manchester, a LEGOLAND Discovery Centre and the Nerf Action Experience Manchester, so there really are a whole host of attractions waiting for you in Trafford. 

Visit Altrincham Market 

Altrincham Market is infamous amongst Greater Manchester residents and for good reason. The town itself is an original market town dating back to 1290 but now, the market is once again at its centre. The Market House is now an incredible food hall filled with talented independent street food traders serving everything from brunch to burgers, pizzas to coffees. As well as this, the market has stalls selling fresh fruit and vegetables, baked goods, cheeses and more, so it really is a delight for the senses. Altrincham Market is a great place to spend a chilled-out afternoon. 

Visit Imperial War Museum North 

Trafford is home to the Imperial War Museum North, which is worth a visit for the architecture alone. This purpose-built museum tells powerful stories of over a century of war dating back to WWI. Its exhibitions will take you back in time and change your perspective on world-changing events, with an immersive picture show and hundreds of objects to help you discover more about recent conflicts. It’s a thought-provoking day out for the whole family. 

Play some water sports  

Trafford Water Sports Centre, located at Sale Water Park will help you keep active during your visit to the Rugby League World Cup. You can hire out row boats, kayaks, canoes and paddleboards while you take in the stunning and relaxing setting of Sale Water Park. There is also Orienteering, Archery, Bush Craft and special events to keep the whole family entertained. If you want to be as active as the players on the pitch, this is certainly one for you. 

Try some Indoor Skydiving 

When visiting Trafford why not take to the skies? With iFly Manchester Indoor Skydiving the dreams of flying can become a reality. It’s a totally unique experience that the whole family can enjoy. In this vertical wind tunnel, you can expect super-fast and super-smooth airflow for a perfect indoor skydiving experience. Make this year’s Rugby League World Cup one you’ll never forget by treating yourself to something completely different. 


Grab a pint at Wigan Brewhouse 

In a fully restored 19th Century Grade II listed building in the heart of Wigan, you’ll find Wigan Brewhouse. It combines heritage with imagination to produce true northern beers. These award-winning beers and ales offer both traditional flavours and more modern, imaginative combinations. You can book a tour of this great Northern brewery while staying in Wigan for the Rugby League World Cup. Failing that you can visit one of Wigan’s many pubs like the award-winning Real Crafty Wigan which was voted Greater Manchester Pub of the Year in 2022. Here you can try beers from around the world and even sample some local brews. 

Visit The Museum of Wigan Life 

Learn more about the people and places of Wigan at the Museum of Wigan Life. The building which was once Wigan’s first public library is now home to a fascinating display of the town's past dating back to Roman times. Plus, right now the main exhibition is currently ‘Gerrumonside!: The passion of rugby league, past, present & future’, which is on display until 19 November 2022. What could be more ideal to complement your trip to Greater Manchester for the Rugby League World Cup? Entry to the museum is free which makes it a great way to discover more about your host town. 

Visit The Leeds – Liverpool Canal 

It wouldn’t be a trip to Greater Manchester without a trip down to the canal. The Leeds Liverpool Canal is the longest of its kind in Britain and connects Wigan’s best attractions. Its traffic-free tow paths make for a great walk before or after a rugby match. Explore more of the town’s industrial heritage and natural environment, starting from Wigan Piere, there are a series of walks that you can complete to take in the best of the town. 

Take on the Three Sisters Circuit 

Adrenaline junkies and car lovers will not want to miss a chance to visit the Three Sisters Race Circuit. With outdoor go-karting, car track days, motorbike events and more, this is an activity motor buffs will not want to miss. Called ‘The Jewel of the North’ by motorsport lovers and dubbed as one of the UK’s most challenging race circuits, if you’re up to the challenge a trip to Three Sisters will give you a day out to remember. 

Haigh Hall and Country Park 

In Wigan, 250 acres of wonderful and historic woodlands and plantations wrap around the Georgian Hall to create Haigh Hall and Country Park. What was once the home of earls and lords is now a must-visit attraction for anyone coming to the borough. Haigh Hall and Country Park is home to country trails, a 15-inch gauge railway, a model village, children’s rides, adventure golf, walled gardens, and stables centre with its café, chocolatier, ice cream maker, and craft gallery. It makes for a truly magical family day out with plenty of adventures, but it also gives you the chance to admire some of Wigan’s natural surroundings. 

There are plenty of unique activities and sights in Greater Manchester, and so anyone who is in town for the Rugby League World Cup will find themselves with plenty to fill their time. When you’re not at the stadiums cheering on our teams, you certainly won’t be bored in Greater Manchester. 

To learn more about events across the city region during your stay, visit our What’s On page


Rugby League World Cup
Sporting Highlights
Rugby league world cup players

In a breakthrough moment for Rugby League, the men's, women's and wheelchair games will come together for the first time on the sport's biggest stage. Squads will now assemble in 2022 for an even bigger and better celebration of Rugby League.



  1. Divine
    Oh yes this is kinda great sport. I also like placing bets and play casino. Well i'm not sure what i love more but anyway. I think the best thing in England are casinos, besides some of them you can play even if you signed to Gamstop so for me it is kinda fun. By the way i would love to see this sport event live!

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