Welcome back to Rochdale: fantastic ways to enjoy the town centre

Welcome back to Rochdale: fantastic ways to enjoy the town centre

Rochdale is open and safely welcoming everyone who wants to spend some time exploring – or getting reacquainted with – a resurgent town centre.

This fabulous town offers a safe place to bring your family or to indulge your loved one and treat yourselves during the latter part of the summer.

Various measures have been put in place to ensure visitors to the town are kept safe. Not only have additional street cleaning measures been implemented, but businesses have their own safety signs to guide customers to the areas where they can safely queue and to help them navigate their stores. Hand sanitisers area being provided on entry and the wearing of masks in store provides further protection for all.

Paul Ambrose, Business Improvement District Manager for the town centre, said: “This summer is such a great time to enjoy the town centre

“We have lots of al fresco dining options, lovely open spaces and Riverside has got off to a fantastic start with its great selection of shops and leisure uses.  The response from the public has been very positive with many commenting its great to be back in the centre and they very impressed with what Riverside has to offer. 

“This is a real opportunity for residents to rediscover Rochdale Town Centre, to support their town, support the many independent shops, bars and restaurants which have had a very tough year, and to treat themselves.”

Rochdale has so much to offer everyone, so even if you’re a regular visitor there is always more to see. If you have not been for a while, let us whet your appetite and entice you back.

Here are eight things not to miss!

Eat Out to Help Out campaign

The Eat Out to Help Out Scheme is in operation at the majority of town centre venues Monday to Wednesday throughout August.

With the government’s new Eat Out to Help Out Campaign, now is the time to visit all those restaurants you never quite got round to trying.

Throughout August, every Monday to Wednesday participating restaurants, pubs and café’s will be offering 50 per cent off for each person (to a maximum of £10pp, with alcoholic drinks not included).

Participating venues are featured on the Eat Out to Help Out digital trail on the LoyalFree app which has now launched in Rochdale Town Centre to provide enhanced support to our town centre businesses.

You can download the LoyalFree app for free at www.loyalfree.co.uk/download or search ‘LoyalFree’ on the iOS and Google Play stores.   To see how easy it is to find out more about LoyalFree and the venues participating in the Eat Out to Help Scheme, please click on the link below. 


Puttstars - tees off!

A tee-rific new indoor mini-golf experience is now open at Rochdale Riverside, bringing a hole-lot of fun for all the family.

Puttstars offers customers mini-golf with a unique and modern twist, thanks to three interactive and fun-filled nine-hole courses for what is the ultimate mini-golf experience, combined with a range of measures put in place for their safety.

Gone are the days of pencil and paper scoring – at Puttstars, scores are digitally calculated using high-tech screens at each hole, which will be thoroughly cleaned after each group has used them.

Scores are totted up as players make their way around the course and at the end of the game, everyone is in with a chance of making it onto the top putter’s leader board.

As well as mini-golf, customers at Puttstars can also refuel by enjoying a not-so-mini range of food and drinks, including pizzas, hotdogs, and tasty shakes, all available from the bar and diner. The centre also boasts an impressive amusement area with family-favourite games to keep the competitive spirit alive.


Exclusive deals and loyalty schemes are on hand for Rochdale town centre shoppers, with the multi award-winning app LoyalFree.

LoyalFree is an innovative place promotion app which showcases exclusive deals and loyalty schemes, plus a local guide, and fun local events and interesting trails - all whilst encouraging you to shop safely.

Local businesses already signed up include, Costa Coffee, Bombay Brew, New Look, Holland and Barrett. Heavenly Desserts, Select Fashion, Browns Family Jewellers, United Carpets and Beds, Clarks and DCM Menswear.

LoyalFree’s digital trails are one way app users can explore the town's history, hidden gems and best independents. There are already some exciting trails live on the app including the Food and Delivery Trail, Blue Plaque Trail, Parks and Garden Walks, Mural Trail  and the Rochdale 360 Trail, a virtual tour showcasing the businesses and sites of interest in Rochdale Town Centre.

The app has been launched as a new partnership between LoyalFree and Rochdale Business Improvement District (BID), as part of the town's recovery plan from Covid-19.

Paul Ambrose, Rochdale BID Manager, said: ‘‘The LoyalFree app provides Rochdale Town Centre with a great digital platform to showcase all the amazing businesses here. There is so much on offer in the town and it’s amazing to be able to present that to locals and visitors through an app.’’

You can download the LoyalFree app for free or search ‘LoyalFree’ on the iOS App Store or Google Play store.

Mural trail

Street art came to Rochdale in 2019 with artists descending on the town to give it a fresh lick of paint. Known as ‘Rochdale Uprising‘ twelve new murals have been created around the town.

Hosted by the popular street art duo, the Nomad Clan. They local artists such as Tasha Whittle to bring street art to the area.

The murals are dotted around the town centre and all within an easy walk from one another. You can easily find out more about each mural and find out their locations via the LoyalFree digital mural trail.

Food and Artisans Faye

Taking place on the first Saturday of every month, in the Wheatsheaf Centre, the Food ad Artisans Market will be offering over 20 stalls of locally grown and sourced produce.

From meats, cheeses, dairy products and pies to crafts, gifts and unusual items – this new addition will contribute to the town centre diversity of offer, helping to satisfy a wider range of needs and attract local residents as well as visitors from a growing catchment area.

The first Food and Artisans’ Faye will take place on Saturday 5th September.

Memorial Gardens – Heart of the town!

Rochdale Town Centre benefits from some wonderful green spaces and perhaps the most impressive green feature are the Memorial Gardens which were commissioned in 1948 as Gardens of Remembrance which incorporate the impressive Cenotaph designed by architect Sir Edwin Lutyens.

There's a range of facilities at Rochdale Memorial Gardens, including, a play area, a sunken rose garden and an impressive fountain. 

As part of celebrating the town green spaces and to encourage people to come back into the centre, 30 love hearts have been painted on the grass lawns on either side of the cenotaph.  The love hearts are approximately 3m wide and are set over 2m from one another to encourage people to maintain safe distance from one another while using the gardens. 

Alfresco dining and drinking

Rochdale town centre has some of the best food and drink venues in Greater Manchester, the most talented chefs, the richest pickings in terms of producers and of course northern hospitality bar none.  The food and drink offer is helping to change the perception of the town. 

Gracie’s Gardens, located on Packer Street is great example of businesses, the Council and the BID working successfully together offering a great opportunity for visitors to drink and dine safely in a beautiful setting.    Gracie’s Gardens serves The Flying Horse, The Empire, Kokos and Yates. 

Large outdoor terraces and gardens can be found at the Hogarths, The Medicine Tap, Cask and Feather, The Baum, Bean, The Regal Moon, Vicolo Del Vino and The Reed. 

The venues have worked hard to provide a safe environment so please come and support them, whilst remembering to follow the local, regional and national guidelines.

Museums, art and culture

Rochdale has a fantastic selection of museums and historic buildings and two of the main attractions are the Rochdale Pioneers Museum, located on Toad Lane and the Touchstones - Museum, Cafe & Art Gallery which is located on The Esplanade.

The Rochdale Pioneers Museum is housed in the building where the Rochdale Equitable Pioneers Society started trading on 21 December 1844. The museum is regarded as the birthplace of the modern co-operative movement.

The ground floor faithfully recreates the original shop together with its rudimentary furniture and scales. Here the basic needs of daily life such as butter, sugar, flour and oatmeal first went on sale over 150 years ago. In the display and exhibition area you can learn of the inspiration the Pioneers received from visionaries such as the great social reformer Robert Owen; see how the profits from the shop were returned to the members in the form of a 'dividend'; and watch the story unfold of the Co-op's subsequent success. 

The Pioneers Museum reopens on a pre-booked basis to the general public on August bank holiday weekend. To book, visit co-operativeheritage.coop/Event/book-to-visit-the-museum

The Touchstones building was developed in three phases, beginning with the section nearest the town hall, which opened as the town's public library in October 1884. Nearly 20 years later, in 1903, local dignitaries were finally successful in their long campaign to establish an art gallery and museum. Another extension was added in 1913 to provide more space for the art gallery and museum.

Touchstones opened in 2002 and it is a great place to visit with something for all ages – and ideal for families with hands on activities in a child-friendly environment. Here you’ll find all under one roof: art Gallery, Museum, Local Studies Centre, Visitor Information Centre and a shop.  

Touchstones are working behind the scenes to get everything ready and will post updates as soon as they can to confirm the date of re-opening.














17 Aug 2020