Bank holiday

May Bank Holiday 2017: Things to Do

Creative Tourist

With Salford’s premier music festival Sounds From the Other City, a nocturnal-themed adventure trail for families and the largest photography festival in the North all colliding beautifully around the first May Bank Holiday (29 April – 1 May), we thought we’d put together a guide to the very best things to do over the long weekend.

For more ideas, read our culture guides to exhibitions, music, cinema, theatre, literature and family events – and don’t miss our picks for the best beer gardens, spots for outdoor eating, our favourite roof terraces, hidden bars and afternoon tea haunts in Manchester.

Here are our picks

  • 1. Sounds From The Other City 2017 in Salford

    A billboard and people sitting on the pavement
    Sounds From the Other City 2015. Photo: Mike Hughes.

    Sounds From the Other City 2017 at Islington Mill, Chapel Street, 30 April–1 May 2017, from £23 adv. - Book now

    This eclectic music festival sprawls along Chapel Street in Salford (the ‘Other City’) for a Sunday of music programmed by independent promoters and creative revelry. Expect madcap happenings, and an immense atmosphere, whatever the weather.

  • 2. [Re]construct at Yorkshire Sculpture Park

    Alex Chinneck A hole in a bag of nerves. Courtesy Yorkshire Sculpture Park. Photo Charles Emerson.

    [Re]construct: A National Partners Programme Exhibition from the Arts Council Collection at Yorkshire Sculpture Park, 1 April–25 June 2017, free entry - Visit now

    As art destinations go, Yorkshire Sculpture Park is hard to beat: this internationally important centre for modern and contemporary sculpture occupies 500 acres of the 18th century-designed Bretton Estate in Yorkshire, and boasts an impressive cafe. Great for families, the stunning exhibitions currently on display here include [Re]construct, an exploration of art and architecture, Kaleidoscope, which examines the art of the 1960s and a showcase of portraits of sculptors by photographer Anne Purkiss.

  • 3. The Sleep Walk at Little Moreton Hall

    Wild Rumpus

    The Sleep Walk at Little Moreton Hall, 28 April–27 September 2017, from £5.00 - Visit now

    Another good pick for families, The Sleep Walk by Wild Rumpus at Little Moreton Hall is an adventure trail around the hall and gardens, exploring a night’s kip Tudor style, including segmented sleep (they enjoyed two sleeps in a night) sleeping potions and “nightmare creatures”.

  • 4. Spike is 60: Bamboozled and Panel Discussion at HOME

    Image courtesy of We Are Parable

    We Are Parable present: Spike is 60 An exclusive film screening of ‘Bamboozled’ followed by Q&A at HOME Manchester, Manchester, 29 April 2017, from £5.00 - Book now

    Kicking off a season of films by the ferocious, hilarious, politically attuned and stylistically astonishing director Spike Lee is this Friday evening screening of Lee’s 2001 film Bamboozled at HOME, followed by a panel discussion. Great way to kick off the bank holiday weekend.

  • 5. LOOK/17 Liverpool International Photography Festival

    Michael Wolf, Hong Kong, 2017. © Michael Wolf.

    LOOK/17 Liverpool International Photography Festival at Open Eye Gallery, Waterfront, 7 April–14 May 2017, free entry - Visit now

    LOOK/17, the largest photography festival in the North, returns in its 10th year to explore Cities of exchange – themes of urbanism, social housing, architecture and commerce – through new works from artists based in the UK and Hong Kong. Spend the weekend catching exhibitions at Open Eye Gallery, Victoria Gallery and Museum and more before the festival ends on 14 May.