Visit | Ideas worth exploring

People's History Museum in Manchester is the national museum of democracy, telling the story of its development in Britain: past, present, and future.

People's History Museum, Manchester
Child visit to People's History Museum
Spinning the Trail picker wheel at the Passport stand to see which Passport to follow round 'Migration a human story'
2022 Banner Exhibition at People's History Museum
Banner Bingo at People's History Museum
Trying out the interactive digital experience Grunwick strike (1976 1978)
PHM shop

Welcome to People’s History Museum

A visit to the national museum of democracy takes you through the past, present and future of ideas worth fighting for.

These stories are brought to life in our galleries and explored in our programme of exhibitions, which include More in Common: in memory of Jo Cox.  One of the most impactful exhibitions we’ve ever shown, it explores the life and legacy of Jo Cox MP, who was murdered in 2016.  There is also the 2022 Banner Exhibition, which spans two galleries and fills them with colourful banners representing different moments of protest.

Another way to discover our galleries is by following the Passport Trail that forms part of Migration: a human story, in which you will step into the shoes of a refugee, asylum seeker or economic migrant.

We are open Wednesday to Sunday, 10.00am to 4.00pm (term-time) and Monday to Sunday for the Spring Bank holiday (w/c 30 May), and with plenty of Family Friendly fun!

Our Visitor Experience team will do everything to ensure a safe, welcoming and enjoyable visit, with the continuation of some Covid-19 measures in place to help this happen.

We encourage bookings as it helps us to manage capacity, but walk-ins are always welcome. Follow the link below to book your visit:

Please book to visit

Those who are unable to visit PHM in person can enjoy activities and resources online. These have been produced for people to connect, create, explore and learn from home.  Check out Ideas Worth Exploring.

 

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Opening times

  • Open: Wednesday to Sunday, 10.00am to 4.00pm
  • Closed: Mondays and Tuesdays (term time)
  • Lates: After hours events, onsite or online

View the visitor map and take a 3D tour of PHM’s main galleries.

Take a 3D tour
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Book your visit & visiting information

Find out how to book and plan your visit, and what to expect when you get to PHM.

Self-guided groups of 6 people or more must complete the online Learning enquiry form or phone the museum Wednesday to Friday, 10.00am – 4.00pm on 0161 838 9190.

Book and plan your visit
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Free entry

Suggested donation £5.

Join the Radicals and help PHM continue to champion ideas worth fighting for.

Support PHM

Shop

People's History Museum shop, Manchester

A unique gift shop in Manchester inspired by the museum’s collection, full of books, cards, homeware, souvenirs and great presents for kids and grown ups!

Have a browse

Open Kitchen Cafe & Bar

Open Kitchen Cafe & Bar at People’s History Museum

Take a break from exploring with a sustainable, ethical, and delicious food experience at Open Kitchen Cafe & Bar at PHM; offering breakfast, lunch and drinks to grab and go, or sit in and enjoy.

A picnic area is available for visitors bringing their own food and drink to the museum.

Take a break

Which radical are you?

Which radical are you? @ People's History Museum

Take the quiz to find out your PHM Radical. At the end we’ll offer you access to our free e-newsletter which matches your interests to what’s on at PHM. 

Take the quiz!
Getting to People's History Museum

See below for how to get to PHM, or download a map and directions.  Check with travel providers for more information on their services.

On foot
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The museum is located on the corner of Left Bank and Bridge Street in the Spinningfields area of Manchester city centre.

Five minutes’ walk from Waterstones bookshop on Deansgate.

20 minutes’ walk / one mile from Peel Park, M5 4WU
In the footsteps of Liz Thorpe, PHM Learning Officer:
Starting at Peel Park (the first public park in Britain!), pop in to see our friends at Salford Museum and Art Gallery or look around the gardens by the River Irwell.
From here it’s an easy stroll down Chapel Street.
Take in the beautiful architecture – St Philip’s Church and Bexley Square to name a few.
A short detour round the back of Salford Cathedral and you’ll find a small refuge from the hustle of the city.  Sit for a moment on the stone benches under the trees and admire the birds and squirrels.
Just ten more minutes, a right turn onto Bridge Street will see you at Salford Central train station.  Listen to the thunder of trains overhead before reaching the bridge which divides Salford and Manchester.
It’s the same river here that flows from Peel Park!  Look up and you’ll see People’s History Museum on the other side.

22 minutes’ walk / 1.1 mile from Piccadilly train station, M1 2BN
In the footsteps of Abir Tobji, PHM CultureLabs Project Manager:
Leave the station from the city centre entrance and cross the Piccadilly Curve Bridge.
On your left at Piccadilly Place take a pick of your favourite from the five huge lamps reflecting various centuries of innovation in the city.
Cross Aytoun Street and walk alongside one of Manchester’s famous waterways, the Rochdale Canal.
Continue alongside Canal Street, the heart of Manchester’s gay village, passing Sackville Gardens where you’ll find statue of Alan Turing and the Beacon of Hope memorial; Britain’s only permanent memorial for people living with and lives lost to HIV or AIDS.
If you’re lucky you might see the canal lock being opened before taking your first and only turn right into Princess Street to look for number 103, the building where the first meeting of the Trades Union Congress (TUC) took place and the museum’s first home in Manchester.
Cross Portland Street, and on your right see Chinatown; a legacy of one of many migrant communities who made Manchester their home.
Wave to our friends at Manchester Art Gallery then walk on to St Peter’s square, near the site of the Peterloo Massacre in 1819.
Continue past Manchester’s Town Hall in Albert Square.
As you cross Deansgate, don’t miss The John Rylands Library, Grade 1 listed building to your left.
You will find the museum ahead of you on the banks of the River Irwell.

40 minutes’ walk / two miles from Old Trafford, M16 9QB
In the footsteps of Lisa Gillen, PHM Learning Officer:
Starting off on the corner of Ayres Road in Old Trafford, this walk will take you through the regenerated areas and diverse communities of Manchester.
Making your way up Chorlton Road you’ll pass the Tamworth Towers community allotment before turning onto Stretford Road, where you’ll see the Z-arts centre on your way to Hulme Park.
Whilst strolling through the park, look out for a sculpture commemorating the Rolls Royce factory and A Hulme’s People’s History artwork, reproducing a map of Hulme from 1835.
Once you cross over the Mancunion Way footbridge you can choose to either saunter through the shops and restaurants of Deansgate and Spinningfields to reach the museum, or take a historic route via Bridgewater Street and Lower Byron Street; this option takes in the sights of Roman ruins, Science and Industry Museum, St John’s Gardens and the Granada Studios site.

By bike
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Bike racks are located outside the entrance to Open Kitchen Cafe & Bar at PHM on Bridge Street.

Visit Transport for Greater Manchester’s website for more information on travelling by bike.

Cycling routes to PHM:
See below for different cycle routes to the museum from around Manchester, tried and tested from the wheels of Callum White, PHM Senior Visitor Services.  Please note these routes feature cycle lanes and shared pedestrian cycleways.  As a result, many parts of the routes provided below join on to roads with other traffic.

From Stockport:
The route from Stockport to Manchester is a fairly simple one.
From Stockport town centre join onto the A6 and head in the direction of Manchester.
This will take you through Levenshulme and then Longsight.
After going through Longsight you can take a left to go down the road Plymouth Grove.
Follow this road and turn left across Upper Brook Street to join onto the Oxford Road Corridor where you should see the University of Manchester.
Simply follow this road into Manchester and head into Spinningfields, where you will find the museum on the corner of Bridge Street and Left Bank, on the edge of the River Irwell.

From Didsbury:
The route from the leafy suburb of Didsbury is probably the best route in terms of cycling infrastructure as nearly all of it features cycle lanes.
If you’re coming from neighbouring areas it’s a good idea to join this route where you can.
From Didsbury Village head towards Manchester on Palatine Road which will lead you onto Wilmslow Road.
Follow Wilmslow Road through Withington, Fallowfield, Rusholme, and then through the Oxford Road Corridor which leads into central Manchester.
Simply follow this road into Manchester and head into Spinningfields, where you will find the museum on the corner of Bridge Street and Left Bank, on the edge of the River Irwell.

From Sale/Trafford:
The route from Sale and the Trafford area is well connected to Manchester city centre, though due to the surrounding cycling infrastructure it’s best to only take this journey if you’re confident on your bike.
From the Trafford area follow the A56 road through Sale and into Manchester.
Once in Manchester head towards Deansgate/Spinningfields and then onto Bridge Street, where you will see the museum on the corner of Bridge Street and Left Bank, on the edge of the River Irwell.

From Eccles/Salford:
The route from Eccles and the Salford area is fairly straightforward and features some good stretches of cycle lanes.
Take Eccles New Road towards Manchester.  This road runs alongside the tram into Manchester.
You can go straight on to Regent Road which will lead you on to Trinity Way and then into Spinningfields where the museum is located.
Or you can avoid Regent Road (as it’s a busy road, though it does feature a dedicated cycle lane) by taking a small diversion on to Liverpool Street which runs parallel to Regent Road – which will lead you on to Trinity Way and then into Spinningfields where the museum is located, on the corner of Bridge Street and Left Bank, on the edge of the River Irwell.

From Ashton-under-Lyne/Tameside:
If you’re coming from Ashton-under-Lyne and the Tameside area there are two options:
The first is to take the A635 from Ashton-under-Lyne all the way into Manchester city centre.
The second option is a more pleasant one but takes much longer; from Ashton-under-Lyne find the Ashton Canal and head towards Manchester.
This canal roughly runs parallel to the A635 and leads all the way into Manchester and you can get off it at Ancoats.
Follow signs for Deansgate/Spinningfields and then head towards Bridge Street where you will see the museum on the corner of Bridge Street and Left Bank, on the edge of the River Irwell.
A word of warning; the canal can be tricky to navigate in winter due to wet stone and ice, so always be careful to consider the weather and temperature before your journey.

From Oldham:
It’s possible to cycle from Oldham, although the journey is quite a long one!
Starting from Oldham town centre head towards the A62 which will take you all the way to Ancoats.
Follow signs for Deansgate/Spinningfields and then head towards Bridge Street where you will see the museum on the corner of Bridge Street and Left Bank, on the edge of the River Irwell.
A little advice for this route; while a lot of it has cycle lanes it is still a road with a high volume of traffic, so it might be preferable for the more experienced cyclist.
If you haven’t already, make sure to visit the statue of famous Oldham suffragette Annie Kenney!  You’ll also find lots of information on the suffrage movement at PHM.

By bus
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Nearest bus stop:

  • Bridge Street (2 min walk)

Visit Transport for Greater Manchester’s website for more information on travelling by bus.

By free bus
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Nearest free bus stops:

  • No 1: Gartside Street (1 min walk)
  • No 2: Gartside Street (1 min walk)
  • No 3 (evening service): John Rylands Library, Deansgate (4 min walk)

Visit Transport for Greater Manchester’s website for more information on travelling by free bus.

By train
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Nearest train stations:

  • Salford Central (2 min walk)
  • Manchester Victoria (15 min walk)
  • Manchester Piccadilly (20 min walk)
  • Manchester Oxford Road (20 min walk)

Visit Transport for Greater Manchester’s website for more information on travelling by train.

By tram
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Nearest tram stops:

  • St Peter’s Square (10 min walk)
  • Deansgate-Castlefield (15 min walk)

Visit Transport for Greater Manchester’s website for more information on travelling by tram.

Park and ride
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Visit Transport for Greater Manchester’s website for more information on park and ride.

By car
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The museum has no onsite car parking.  The nearest car parks are:

Visit Manchester City Council’s website to find out more about pay and display parking bays and accessible parking in Manchester.

By coach
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Drop off only outside the museum, opposite the main entrance on Left Bank.

Visit Manchester City Council’s website for more information on coach parking in Manchester.


What’s on - onsite and online

Family Friendly galleries at People's History Museum

Explore PHM’s galleries, exhibitions, and hands-on and digital interactives engaging adults and children alike.

Find out what's on

Families

We Love Kids in Museums logo

Enjoy a friendly welcome at PHM!  The museum is Family Friendly throughout, from facilities to family favourites including hands-on interactives and activities connecting you and your family with PHM’s unique collections and stories.

Plan your family visit

Access

People's History Museum, Spinningfields, Manchester

The museum is fully accessible wherever possible, and we are committed to supporting you during your visit.  If you have queries or require any assistance please contact the museum in advance of your visit on 0161 838 9190.

Access at PHM

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