Please note our writer visited the following attractions prior to the coronavirus pandemic
Manchester entered Tier 3 on Friday October 23, but despite this being the highest level of the tier system, there are still a number of things to do and places to visit, which are all allowed as long as you only do so on your own or with your own household. Many of the greatest attractions are still open for business (with extra safety guidelines in place), and many of the most popular spots will be much less busy than normal. In parks, the rule of six still applies. In some ways, it’s a good time to explore as a family, and you can still do so while adhering to the new rules (which are outlined in detail here).
Take part in a street art 'anti-tour'
Manchester’s Northern Quarter is one of the coolest neighbourhoods in the city, with street art, independent businesses and the highest density of listed buildings in Manchester. On a street art tour with Skyliner, you’ll find out how the area became filled with creatives, the stories behind some of the street art, and the knowledgeable guide, Hayley, will discuss social issues.
Insider’s tip: Bring your camera as Hayley will take you to see some of the most interesting pieces of street art in the Northern Quarter, including a huge lady in a scarlet dress called Serenity and a mural of Anthony Burgess.
Contact: 07542002485; theskyliner.org
Nearest Metrolink: Shudehill
Learn about the city’s history by way of your stomach
A fantastic introduction to Manchester’s varied and booming food scene, Scranchester Tours’ Eat the City tour combines tasters at around eight venues with Mancunian culinary history. In areas such as the Northern Quarter and Chinatown, you’ll stop to sample egg tarts, poke, ice-cream and more while your guide, Rob, teaches you about everything from the origin of ice-cream cones to mead. Each tour is for one household only.
Contact: 07824617650; scranchestertours.com
Appreciate the people who fought for equality
On the banks of the River Irwell, The People’s History Museum shares stories of those who have fought for equality and social justice. There’s a broad range of exhibits including banners and political cartoons to teach you about the Peterloo Massacre, the women’s suffrage movement and more. Children will enjoy exploring with bee backpacks, and the interactive 1930s Co-op shop.
Insider’s tip: Climb down the steps outside to see a huge mural by street artist Axel Void on the riverside wall of the museum. Commissioned for the 200th anniversary of the Peterloo Massacre, it’s a tribute to the sacrifice of ordinary people.
Contact: 0161 838 9190; phm.org.uk. Late sessions are now online.
Nearest Metrolink stop: St Peter’s Square or Exchange Square
Oxford Road Corridor
Admire indoor and outdoor artwork
In 2015, the Whitworth doubled in size after a £15 million development. Set in Whitworth Park, there’s a diverse range of artwork to look at including textile collections, historic fine art, modern art, a wallpaper collection and sculptures indoors and out. A trip here is extremely family friendly with regular events, plenty of space and free children’s art hampers.
Insider’s tip: Allow some time during a visit to have a coffee or lunch in the Whitworth’s café. Known as the café in the trees, the floor-to-ceiling windows with views across the park make you feel like you’re dining outside.
Contact: 0161 275 7450; whitworth.manchester.ac.uk
Discover Manchester’s industrial and scientific past
Manchester was a key city in the Industrial Revolution and you can learn all about the stories, technology and impact of that time in the city centre Science and Industry Museum. Other Manchester milestones that are brought to life here include the world’s oldest surviving passenger railway station (the 1830 Station) and “Baby”, the world’s first stored-program computer.
Insider’s tip: To imagine what life was like as a Manchester mill worker 150 years ago, plan an afternoon visit as demonstrations of mill machinery are held at 2pm and 4pm. The noise is deafening so it’s not suitable for small children.
Contact: 01 61 832 2244; scienceandindustrymuseum.org.uk. Book a ticket in advance
Nearest Metrolink stop: Deansgate-Castlefield
Wander around the largest LS Lowry collection in the world
On the Salford Quays waterfront, looking towards MediaCityUK, The Lowry is home to the world’s largest collection of its namesake’s work. Learn more about the Mancunian artist and see some of his most famous pieces, such as Going to the Match, then admire digital or contemporary art in another gallery. The Lowry theatre hosts a broad range of shows too. Note that the galleries do not reopen until November 1, and performances will begin on November 27.
Nearest Metrolink stop: MediaCityUK
Pose like The Smiths
Music fans should head to St Ignatius Walk in Salford to pose outside the red-brick Salford Lads Club. Made famous by The Smiths as it featured on the inside sleeve cover of The Queen is Dead album. Normally, you can take take a tour of the listed building with Manchester Music Tours (manchestermusictours.com) but for now they are on hold.
Contact: 01 61 872 3767; salfordladsclub.org.uk