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Things to do on and offline

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Windermere

Windermere’s 200-year-old boating history is brought to life at the reopened Jetty Museum, which houses displays, exhibitions and activities. Stories of the lake’s boats, builders, owners and sailors are told through interactive displays, oral histories and a fascinating collection of boats, equipment and curiosities.

(lakelandarts.org.uk)

Hull

Taking inspiration from Radclyffe Hall’s novel The Well of Loneliness (1928), Jamie Crewe’s current exhibition at the Humber Street Gallery, Solidarity & Love, addresses the provocations of the book, which has had a lasting impact on generations of queer, lesbian and transgender people.

(humberstreetgallery.co.uk)

Blackpool

The world-famous Blackpool Illuminations bathe the Golden Mile in multicoloured hues. Visitors can be part of the display by taking an illuminated tram tour, departing regularly from the Pleasure Beach. Bookings can be made in advance via Blackpool Heritage’s website. 

(blackpoolheritage.com)

Leeds

Bumped Body is an exhibition by German sculptor Paloma Varga Weisz, featuring enchanting figurative works made using traditional techniques, including woodcarvings and ceramics, alongside watercolours and drawings that present a world of masquerades, disguises and role reversals. Showing at the Henry Moore Institute galleries with booking required, an online programme is also available:  video conversations between Varga Weisz and head of the Henry Moore Institute Laurence Sillars, a virtual tour of the exhibition and creative activities are all available. 

(henry-moore.org)

Manchester

Form is an exhibition celebrating contemporary British sculpture, showcasing a huge variety in style, materials and technique from a selection of artists, including acclaimed ceramicist Halima Cassell. It’s the first exhibition at the new Saul Hay Gallery.

(saulhayfineart.co.uk)

Rochdale

Terrifying tales of horrifying hauntings are told on guided ghost walks through Rochdale. Starting from outside the Baum Pub at 7.30pm on 17 Sept, professional actor Colin Meredith will guide participants around the town for 90 minutes, pointing out places of horrible happenings and dark deeds. At the end of the walk you can warm yourself in the cosy surroundings of the Baum, one of Rochdale’s finest real ale pubs. 

(facebook.com/rochdaleghostwalks)

Sheffield

Lines of Beauty: Master Drawings from Chatsworth is an exhibition at the Millennium Gallery featuring works by Carpaccio, Poussin, Rembrandt, Rubens, Van Dyck and more. The exhibition is the largest display of drawings from one of the UK’s most significant collections of Old Master drawings in over 20 years. Visitors are encouraged to pre-book, entry is free. 

(museums-sheffield.org.uk/welcome-back)

Bradford

The National Science and Media Museum is open Wednesday-Sunday and visitors need to book a free ticket online prior to visiting. Once there you can experience Wonderlab – a series of live demos, new experiments and fantastic adventures in the science of light and sound.   

(scienceandmediamuseum.org.uk)

Manchester

Contemporary art space the Castlefield Gallery is reopening on 16 Sept with group exhibition Soft Bodies. It explores a field of computer-generated graphics that create simulations of soft materials such as muscle, fat, hair, vegetation and fabric. By placing works made with these digital technologies alongside photography, painting, drawing and print it considers the shared limits and potential of these mediums. 

(castlefieldgallery.co.uk)

Blackpool

The Opera House has reopened and is offering the latest cinema releases, daily entertainment and an exhibition from York’s Jorvik Group. Live theatre is set to return in October. 

(wintergardensblackpool.co.uk)

Leeds

Leeds’s museums and galleries are now welcoming back visitors. Leeds City Museum, Leeds Art Gallery, Abbey House Museum, Leeds Industrial Museum, the Lotherton estate and Leeds Discovery Centre are opening their doors to offer a host of exhibitions and displays. Some venues have limited capacity so booking may be required. 

(museumsandgalleries.leeds.gov.uk) 

Manchester

The People’s History Museum has reopened its doors to offer the opportunity to explore stories of revolutionaries of the past, present and future. The museum’s galleries are currently displaying images from Manchester’s Black Lives Matter Protest by photographer Jake Hardy, a display investigating the legacy of Peterloo and an exhibition of 25 protest banners on the theme of migration. 

(phm.org.uk) 

Barrow

Photo in Focus 2 is an online exhibition including never-before-seen images from the Sankey Photo Archive – shot between 1890 and 1963 by father and son team Edward and Raymond Sankey in Barrow and the wider Cumbria area.

(signalfilmandmedia.com)

Liverpool

St George’s Hall is providing guided tours that reveal the history and architecture of one of the finest neoclassical buildings in the world. You can explore the prison cells, the classical reception room and the ornate Concert Room, once described by Charles Dickens as the “most perfect room in the world”. 

(stgeorgeshallliverpool.co.uk)

Keswick

A visit to the Lingholm Estate not only allows you to visit the location where Beatrix Potter spent many summers but you can also experience it alongside alpacas. This includes meeting the herd, taking them for a paddle in the lake and helping with feeding time. The estate is also home to the Lingholm Kitchen, which offers locally sourced meals, real coffee and a range of teas, alongside artisan breads and home-baked cakes made in the onsite bakery.

(alpacalyeverafter.co.uk)

Hull

Humber Street Gallery is showing Solidarity & Love, a collection of work by Glasgow-based artist Jamie Crewe. Crewe was awarded a Turner Prize bursary. This exhibition is inspired by Radclyffe Hall’s novel The Well of Loneliness (1928), which has had a lasting impact on generations of queer, lesbian, and transgender people. Crewe deploys TV, video, sculpture and text to look at themes of heartbreak, LGTBQ+ solidarity and conflict, and experiences of transphobia. 

Until 13 December (absolutelycultured.co.uk) 

Todmorden

Join Emma Decent on a two-mile walk through the picturesque hills of Cornholme, Todmorden. The event, Words in the Wild, invites you to connect with the landscape as you amble through the countryside accompanied by Decent’s poetry and prose, which reflects on time, memory and being in the present. 

Various dates (emmadecent.co.uk)

Grizedale

Gerry Judah’s sculpture exhibition Bengal: The Four Elements continues at Grizedale Forest Gallery. Bringing together a striking body of work built over nearly a decade and originally commissioned by the Arts Council, Judah’s works poetically engage with issues of climate change in India and explore the artist’s personal history. 

(grizedalesculpture.org)

Doncaster

Every day throughout the summer holidays families can take part in a free fun adventure with a historical twist at Brodsworth Hall. Follow the trail through the grounds and track down the clues – crack them all to claim an adventurer’s certificate. While the Victorian house remains closed, the carefully restored pleasure gardens are open, as is a pop-up outdoor café. 

(englishheritage.org.uk/visit/places/brodsworth-hall-and-gardens) 

Manchester

The Science & Industry Museum is open for visitors again. Free tickets have been introduced to stagger entry times and allow social distancing, as well as additional safety measures. Exhibits include a display showing the city’s rich legacy of world-changing innovations, discoveries and ideas in the Revolution Manchester Gallery, the story of how cotton transformed the city into an industrial powerhouse in the Textiles Gallery, interactive science in the Experiment Gallery; and temporary exhibition The Sun. Visitors can enjoy an acre of outdoor space in the cobbled Upper Yard.

(scienceandindustrymuseum.org.uk/visit)

Manchester

The Frog & Bucket comedy club is open with a reduced capacity and running its regular Beat the Frog open mic nights on Mondays and its Barrel of Laughs shows, featuring three top acts, every Friday and Saturday night. 

(frogandbucket.com) 

Leeds

Harewood House is hosting a season of events with exclusive access for bookings and limited capacity. Activities include curator-led behind-the-scenes tours of non-public exhibitions, alpaca walks, afternoon tea, late evening garden visits and twilight tours of the Bird Garden.

(harewood.org) 

Liverpool

The Bluecoat has reopened with two exhibitions. Frances Disley’s exhibition Pattern Buffer explores the potential of the gallery space to create a restorative environment. It includes an ambient soundtrack of calming forest and beach sounds alongside specially chosen plants. Jonathan Baldock’s Facecrime explores ceramics as a tool for communication. The exhibition (pictured) features a surreal landscape of totem-like poles, which emit noises such as giggles and groans, and are adorned with weaving, basketry and glass.

(thebluecoat.org.uk)

Online

AI artist STiCH resurrects artist Jean-Michel Basquiat on the 32nd anniversary of his death. AI platform Urbancoolab launches 10 new artworks by STiCH artists in the style of Basquiat. They feature famous faces such as Idris Elba, Michelle Obama and Jay-Z alongside unidentified individuals and are available to view online. 

(urbancoolab.com/meet-basquiat)

Preston

The Harris museum and galleries are now open for online bookings. Visitors will be allocated time slots and a museum guide. Current exhibitions include: UCLan’s MA fine art student show; More T’North – a contemporary exhibition by the Harris Young Producers; The Artful Line – an exhibition of drawings; and The Unfurlings: Banners for Hope & Change. 

(theharris.org.uk) 

York / Manchester

Invisible Cities is restarting its family-friendly walking tours, available to book. Founded in 2018 the social enterprise trains those who have previously experienced homelessness to be walking tour guides. Each guide provides a unique experience of their city, such as Gavin’s family-friendly fun tour in York or Laura in Manchester, who explores the history of inspirational Mancunian women. A disposable mask is also offered at the checkout when you book. 

(invisible-cities.org)

Liverpool

If we listened to animals, what would we hear? And Say the Animal Responded?, at the newly reopened Fact, is a free immersive exhibition using film, art and creative technology that explores the relationship between human and animal. Tune in to a choir of whales and dolphins, encounter a wolf pack filmed from above and listen to a live colony of leafcutter ants turned scratch DJs.

12 August-13 December (fact.co.uk)

Online

In.flo.res.cence sees Cuban New York-based jazz pianist Elio Villafranca performing pieces by
12 composers over two months. The compositions have been created in response to daily life during the pandemic and will take place on the online platform of the Showroom, a contemporary art venue in London. They will also feature conversations between musicians and invited guests. 

7 August-3 October (theshowroom.org) 

Wakefield

The Hepworth Wakefield reopens its doors with the popular Bill Brandt/Henry Moore exhibition now extended. Six free galleries will also present work, including recent acquisitions by Turner Prize-winning Helen Marten and painter Lisa Brice. Booking now available and strongly recommended.

1 Aug-1 Nov (hepworthwakefield.org)

Liverpool

This major exhibition of Linda McCartney’s photography at the now re-opened Walker Art Gallery includes more than 200 images, from the music scene of the 1960s – including the Rolling Stones (pictured) – to family life with Paul. Booking essential.

8 Aug-1 Nov (liverpoolmuseums.org.uk)

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