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Plan your visit

Everything you need to know about visiting People's History Museum.

Image of visitors exploring at People's History Museum.

What are PHM’s opening hours?

  • Open: 10.00am to 5.00pm, every day except Tuesdays
  • Closed: 24, 25, 26 December & 1 January

 

Is PHM free to visit?

enjoyEngland Quality Assured Visitor Attraction logo.

Yes, entry to the museum remains free, most visitors donate £10.

We accept cash and card payments for donations.

PHM is an independent charity and all support is gratefully received.  Support PHM to preserve and inspire ideas worth fighting for, past, present and future.

Planning your visit

How can I travel to the museum?

The museum is located on the corner of Left Bank and Bridge Street, opposite the Civil Justice Centre, alongside the River Irwell, in the Spinningfields area of Manchester city centre, postcode M3 3ER.  You can visit by walking, cycling, bus, train or tram, or use nearby city centre parking.  Visit the Getting to People’s History Museum page of our website for further information on how to get to PHM.

Check with travel providers for more information on their services.  We recommend you visit Transport for Greater Manchester’s website to plan your journey.

Is the museum accessible?

We are committed to supporting all visitors during their time at PHM.  We understand that everyone has different access needs.  Visit the Access page of our website for further information on access at PHM.

Please talk to us if you have queries or require any assistance in advance of your visit on 0161 838 9190 or access@phm.org.uk.

What should I do when I arrive at the museum?

Signs outside the museum and as you enter the building will inform you of what to expect during your visit, and Visitor Experience staff at the museum’s Info Desk will help with any queries you have.

How busy is the museum?

When arriving at the museum, the Info Desk area may be busy with visitors and groups arriving.  The Processional Way to the right of the Info Desk can also be a busy space.  If you’re feeling overwhelmed, please speak to a member of staff.

Quieter hours to visit are between 3.00pm and 5.00pm on Mondays, Wednesdays and Thursdays, between 2.00pm and 5.00pm on Fridays, and between 10.00am and 12.00pm on Sunday mornings.

How long will a visit to the museum take?

We recommend you set aside one hour and 30 minutes for your visit, but of course you are welcome to stay longer.

As well as exploring the main galleries and exhibitions, take time to browse the books, gifts and souvenirs in PHM’s shop, where every purchase supports the museum.

Take a break from exploring with a sustainable, ethical, and delicious food experience at Open Kitchen Cafe & Bar; 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.

Can I book a group visit?

Yes; book a group visit and receive a welcome upon arrival with details of the latest exhibitions and self-led activities to get the most out of your visit.

To book a group visit for over six people please fill in this enquiry form or phone the Learning Team on 0161 838 9190, who will help you plan your visit to the museum.

Check out the Learn pages of the website for resources to support your group visit.

Please note all self-guided group visits are currently paused, back available from Monday 18 March 2024. Please be aware un-booked groups are unlikely to be admitted to the museum during this time.

Sign up to receive PHM’s Learning e-newsletter to be the first to hear the latest news.

Temperatures in the museum

The temperature is lower in all the galleries due to air conditioning systems

What to expect from your visit

What can I explore?

Visit PHM’s two permanent galleries Gallery One and Gallery Two, where you’ll meet the radicals and changemakers of the past and present, inspiring those of the future.  Explore the ground-breaking stories of the Peterloo Massacre, the Match Girls’ Strike, votes for women, workers’ rights, and much more.

In the main galleries you’ll find hands-on interactives and two immersive digital experiences, allowing greater access to PHM’s collections and stories, engaging adults and children alike.

On display across the main galleries, visit the latest Banner Exhibition, and come face to face with the handiwork of the people who fought for the rights we have today.

Find out more about the museum building by viewing the visitor map, and follow the link below to take a 3D tour of the main galleries:

Take a 3D tour

To discover a range of exhibitions, installations, events, workshops, and activities, check out what’s on at PHM, and Ideas Worth Exploring at home and online – suitable for a range of ages, see individual event information.

See behind the scenes into The Conservation Studio through the viewing window in Gallery Two.

Browse PHM’s shop, where all purchases made support the museum.

Take a break from exploring with a sustainable, ethical, and delicious food experience at Open Kitchen Cafe & Bar; 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.

Delve into the collections at the Labour History Archive & Study Centre, by advanced appointment only.  See further details on this page below.

Can I take photos?

Yes, please do!  We just ask that your camera flash is switched off to protect our objects.  You can share your snaps with us on social media @phmmcr using #IdeasWorthFightingFor.

We Love Kids in Museums

Are there things for families to do?

Yes!  PHM is a previous winner of Kids in Museums Family Friendly Museum Award, and we welcome visitors of all ages and abilities and families of all shapes and sizes.  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.

In the main galleries you’ll find hands-on interactives and two immersive digital experiences, allowing greater access to PHM’s collections and stories, engaging adults and children alike.  In Gallery One discover the Match Girls’ Strike of 1888 and experience the harsh working conditions at the Bryant & May match factory through an arcade style game.  In Gallery Two get up close to items from strikes that changed the face of protest using augmented reality (AR) through a specially created app revealing 3D digital scans of objects and archive material.  Download the app ahead of your visit to your Apple or Android device.

PHM offers an engaging programme of Family Friendly exhibitions, installations, events, workshops, and activities, both onsite and online, suitable for a range of ages; check out what’s on for families.

Browse PHM’s shop for pocket money friendly souvenirs, and books about inspiring people from history, to inspire little radicals for the future.  Recurrent winner of the Toymark Good Practice Award, PHM shop is recognised for its inclusivity and for challenging gender stereotypes by the Let Toys be Toys campaign.

Take a break from exploring with a sustainable, ethical, and delicious food experience at Open Kitchen Cafe & Bar; offering breakfast, lunch and drinks to grab and go, or sit in and enjoy.  Open Kitchen has worked with PHM to develop a Family Friendly offer to ensure the cafe is welcoming and affordable to all families.  There is a child friendly menu that balances healthy with appealing, even for picky youngsters

Continue your visit at home through more Ideas Worth Exploring; online events, activities, and resources to connect the whole family with PHM’s unique collections and stories, exploring the development of democracy in Britain.

What exhibitions and events are on at PHM?

To discover a range of exhibitions, installations, events, workshops, and activities, check out what’s on at PHM, suitable for a range of ages – see individual event information.

To be the first to hear about exhibitions, installations, and events at the museum, sign up to receive PHM’s e-newsletter.

Can I visit the Labour History Archive & Study Centre?

Yes; the Labour History Archive & Study Centre is open Wednesday to Friday, 10.00am to 4.00pm (lunchtime closure 12.00pm to 1.00pm), closed Mondays, Tuesdays, weekends, bank holidays, and additional days around Christmas and New Year.

Access to the archive is available by appointment, booking in advance is essential by email to archive@phm.org.uk.

Can I view The Conservation Studio?

Yes; see behind the scenes into a working conservation studio through the viewing window in Gallery Two.

Facilities

Does the museum have a shop?

Yes; the shop is open on the same days and times as the museum.

You can also visit PHM’s online shop to browse and purchase a selection of products available from PHM’s onsite shop.

All purchases made from PHM’s shop both onsite and online support the museum, helping us continue to preserve and inspire ideas worth fighting for, past, present and future.

We accept cash and card payments for shop purchases.

Does the museum have a cafe?

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

Please note the cafe does not accept cash payments.

National Art Pass holders (Art Fund members) are entitled to a 20% discount off food and drink (excluding alcohol) in Open Kitchen Cafe & Bar and 20% off all purchases in PHM shop.  Show your Art Pass in the cafe and museum shop to receive your discount.

Can I bring my own food and drink and where can I have it?

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

We ask that visitors using the picnic area clear their areas after use and take their rubbish with them to reduce waste.

No eating or drinking is permitted in the galleries.

Are toilets and baby changing facilities available?

Yes; toilets with hand washing facilities and baby changing facilities are available, and enhanced cleaning regimes have been implemented in these areas.

Disposable paper towels are available in place of hand dryers, with the exception of single occupancy toilet cubicles, where hand dryers are available.

Hand sanitiser stations are located throughout the museum, including at key points such as entrances, exits, and interactive experiences.

Are lockers or a cloakroom available?

No cloakroom facilities are available, and we ask that you don’t bring large bags or luggage to the museum.

A limited number of small self-service lockers requiring a returnable £1 coin are available on a first come first served basis, situated outside the Labour History Archive & Study Centre on the lower ground floor.

Can I hire an event space at PHM?

Yes; PHM’s friendly Venue Hire Team will work with you to plan your event in one of the museum’s unique event spaces available for hire.

All income generated through venue hire supports the museum, helping us continue to preserve and inspire ideas worth fighting for, past, present and future.

Safety

To ensure everyone is able to safely share and enjoy the museum we do not permit:

  • Sharing any external materials: including leafleting, stickering, third party sales, or displaying banners
  • Obstructing the use of public areas within the museum: including protests and rallies or not following guidance from our team 
  • Inappropriate behaviour or language: we do not tolerate aggression, hostility, or discrimination towards others or exhibition content
  • Smoking or vaping

 

Is social distancing in place at the museum?

Where possible, please keep a distance from other visitors who are not in your household to help ensure everyone can enjoy their visit safely.

Do I have to wear a face mask?

You are welcome to wear a face mask.  Please respect people’s choice to wear a face covering, including our staff.

Face masks are available free of charge from the Info Desk.

What hygiene measures are in place?

Hand washing and hand sanitiser stations are located throughout the museum, including at key points such as entrances, exits, and interactive experiences to ensure visitors can wash and sanitise their hands regularly.

Regular cleaning regimes are implemented throughout the museum, especially in busy visitor areas, with special attention given to stair handrails, doors, lifts, toilet areas, and interactive experiences.

How can I give feedback following my visit?

We welcome feedback on how to improve a visit to PHM.  If you would like to share feedback, please speak to a member of staff when visiting, or phone the museum on 0161 838 9190, or email the relevant department using the enquiry forms.

Query not answered here?

If you have any queries that have not been answered here, please contact the relevant department using the enquiry forms or by phoning the museum on 0161 838 9190.

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