Register to visit & visiting information

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

Ideas Worth Exploring - at home and online with People’s History Museum

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

When will PHM reopen?

The museum is temporarily closed due to Government restrictions.  Sign up to receive PHM’s e-newsletter for information about reopening dates.

What will PHM’s opening hours be?

  • Open: As soon as possible
  • Closed: Until further notice


Is PHM free to visit?

Yes, entry to the museum remains free, with a suggested donation of £5.

PHM is a registered charity and all support is gratefully received.  Join the Radicals and help PHM continue to champion ideas worth fighting for.

Planning your visit

Do I need to register to visit?

Yes; to ensure a safe and enjoyable experience, PHM is asking visitors to register for timed entry visits via Eventbrite, where visitors can select a date and time to visit the museum.  This helps us manage the number of visitors at the museum and supports social distancing.  This information also ensures the museum can support NHS Test and Trace.

In line with government regulations, the maximum group size we are able to welcome is six.  At present, you must not mix indoors with people from another household (unless you have formed a support bubble).

PHM will ensure some capacity is reserved for visitors who are unable to register to visit online, who can register on arrival at the museum using a smartphone, or by adding their details to a paper registration form.

How do I register for a timed entry visit?

Follow the link below to register to visit with a timed entry slot.  You are able to book your visit four weeks in advance.

Register to visit

How will I receive my booking confirmation?

You will receive your booking confirmation by email, though you do not need to bring this with you as Visitor Services staff will check your full name from the list of registered visitors when you arrive.

Do I need to print my booking confirmation?

No; as PHM is committed to sustainability and to ensure less contact, we ask you not to print your booking confirmation.  Visitor Services staff will check your full name from the list of registered visitors when you arrive.

Will I be able to visit if I have not registered in advance?

Whilst we cannot guarantee entry will be available for those who have not registered to visit in advance, we will ensure some capacity is reserved for those unable to register to visit online.

If you are unable to register to visit online you can register when you arrive at the museum using your smartphone, or by adding your details to a paper registration form.

What if I miss my time slot?

You should arrive within 30 minutes of your registered time slot, but if you arrive earlier or later we will do our best to accommodate you.  However if the museum reaches capacity you may be asked to wait.  This is for the safety of visitors and staff, ensuring social distancing inside the museum is maintained.

How can I travel to the museum?

PHM is located in the Spinningfields area of Manchester city centre. You can visit on foot, by bike, bus, train or tram, or use nearby city centre parking.  See the Visit page 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 and get up to date government guidance on travelling by public transport.

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 Services staff at the museum’s Info Desk will help with any queries you have.

Visitor Services staff will check your full name from the list of registered visitors when you arrive.

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, take time to browse the books, gifts and souvenirs in PHM’s shop, where every purchase supports the museum.

It is possible that queuing will be required to enter the busier parts of the museum.  We will be very grateful for your patience and understanding where this is required.

Can I book a group visit?

Following government guidance and due to the limited space in PHM’s main galleries, we are unable to accommodate groups of more than six people whilst social distancing measures are in place. At present, you must also not mix indoors with people from another household (unless you have formed a support bubble).

PHM offers a range of online and outreach experiences that can be booked for groups, including virtual tours and creative writing workshops.  Contact PHM’s Learning Team on learning@phm.org.uk to find out more.

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

Safety

Is social distancing in place at the museum?

Yes; we are asking visitors to register timed entry visits to allow us to manage the number of people in the building, allowing space for social distancing.

Help us to keep you safe by adhering to the government guidance on social distancing.  Where possible, please keep two metres apart from other visitors who are not in your household.

A clearly signed visitor route is in place around the museum to support social distancing.

What other safety measures are in place?

Asking visitors to register timed entry visits ensures the museum can support NHS Test and Trace.

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.

A protective screen has been installed at the Info Desk, and contactless donations and payments are encouraged.

Enhanced cleaning regimes have been implemented throughout the museum in line with government guidance, especially in busy visitor areas, with special attention given to stair handrails, doors, lifts, toilet areas, and interactive experiences.

Are visitors required to wear face coverings?

In line with government guidance, all visitors should wear a face covering.  If required, single use face masks are available to visitors on arrival, with donations encouraged to support the museum.

All museum staff have been provided with clear visors or face masks.  There are some circumstances where people are not expected to wear face coverings.  Please be respectful of others, whether they are wearing a face covering or not.

Are face coverings available at the museum?

Yes; if required, single use face masks are available to visitors on arrival, with donations encouraged to support the museum.

What should I do if I fall ill with Covid-19 symptoms within seven days of visiting the museum (or any other public building)?

You should not visit PHM if you are feeling unwell.  If you develop Covid-19 symptoms within seven days of visiting, it is vital you follow the latest NHS Test and Trace guidance so anyone you have come in to contact with can be informed.

PHM will also follow NHS Test and Trace guidance should any member of the staff team develop Covid-19 symptoms.

When you register to visit we will retain your name and contact details for the purposes of NHS Test and Trace.  You can find out more in PHM’s Privacy Policy.

What to expect from your visit

What is open?

PHM’s two permanent galleries Main Gallery One and Main Gallery Two are open, where you’ll meet the radicals and changemakers of the last 200 years.  Explore the ground-breaking stories of the Peterloo Massacre, the Match Girls’ Strike, votes for women, workers’ rights, and much more.

On display across the main galleries, visit the 2020 Banner Exhibition, a selection of historic and contemporary banners reflecting on past and present migration movements, exploring the many challenges and opportunities migration presents.

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

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

PHM’s shop is open, and a picnic area in the large and airy Engine Hall space is available for visitors bringing their own food and drink to the museum.

The Labour History Archive & Study Centre is open, by advanced appointment only.  See further details below.

A clearly signed visitor route is in place around the museum to support social distancing.

Are some areas closed?

The Changing Exhibition Gallery on the ground floor is closed until January 2021 when the museum will launch a series of exhibitions exploring the theme of migration.

The Left Bank cafe bar is due to reopen in early 2021.  A picnic area in the large and airy Engine Hall space is available for visitors bringing their own food and drink to the museum.

Are interactive features available?

The majority of interactives in the main galleries are available, with an enhanced cleaning regime and additional control measures in place to ensure the safety of visitors and staff.  Interactives requiring close contact with the face will be temporarily unavailable.

Use of hand sanitiser is encouraged, located at stations at key points in and around both main galleries.

The museum’s gallery content and experiences will be reviewed regularly to identify where any changes need to be made.

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.  The museum is Family Friendly throughout, and we welcome visitors of all ages and abilities.

Where toys, books or interactives have been removed we’ve added signage with ideas for activities that families can do safely using their imagination.

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

In Main 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 Main 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.

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

Are exhibitions and events happening at PHM?

The 2020 Banner Exhibition is open, which is on display across Main Gallery One and Main Gallery Two.

Unfortunately, no physical events will take place at PHM for the remainder of 2020.  This will be reviewed for 2021.  Events continuing online include My First Protest Song, Have Your Say, The Fabric of Protest, and PHM’s Radical Late programme of events.  Check out what’s on and Exploring migration @ People's History Museum. Illustration by Danielle RhodaIdeas Worth Exploring at home and online.

PHM’s programme exploring the theme of migration will be extended into 2021, and some elements of this will take place online.  The Changing Exhibition Gallery on the ground floor is closed until January 2021 when the museum will launch a series of exhibitions exploring migration.

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

Is the Labour History Archive & Study Centre open?

Yes; the Labour History Archive & Study Centre is open Tuesday to Thursday, 10.30am to 3.30pm with no lunchtime closure, closed on Mondays, Fridays, weekends, and all English bank holidays including additional days at Christmas and New Year.

Booking an archive appointment in advance is essential by email to archive@phm.org.uk (not by telephone), with a minimum of seven working days’ notice required.  No access without appointment.

Is The Conservation Studio open?

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

Facilities

Is the shop open?

Yes; the shop is open the same days and times as the museum; Tuesday to Sunday 10.00am to 5.00pm.

The number of visitors in the main shop area at the same time will be limited to two people or one household or support bubble.  Shop stock and displays have been spread out into the museum foyer area to support social distancing.

We ask visitors not to touch products unless they intend to purchase them.  Contactless payment is encouraged.

A clearly signed visitor route is in place around the museum to support social distancing.

Is the cafe open?

The Left Bank cafe bar is due to reopen in early 2021.  A picnic area in the large and airy Engine Hall space is available for visitors bringing their own food and drink to the museum.

Can I use cash to make a donation or pay for purchases?

Yes; we accept cash.  We would be grateful if you could use contactless payments where possible to reduce the need to pass anything between visitors and staff.

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

Yes; a picnic area in the large and airy Engine Hall space 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; the museum building has several spaces available for hire that are suitable for distanced and hybrid events.

PHM’s Venue Hire Team are working in accordance with the latest government guidance, welcoming event bookings and wedding and civil partnership ceremony bookings for small groups.  The Venue Hire Team are able to consider enquiries for larger events in the future.  Find out more about the museum’s event spaces.

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 or member of staff.  Find PHM’s contact information.

Query not answered here?

If you have any queries that have not been answered here, please contact the relevant department or member of staff by email or by phoning the museum on 0161 838 9190.

 

We are hugely grateful to the generosity of our funders who have supported People’s History Museum (PHM) during our period of closure and to reopen safely:

Arts Council England, Granada Foundation, Greater Manchester Combined Authority, Manchester City Council and the National Lottery Heritage Fund.

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