Imperial war museum (Manchester) – anyone been?

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  • Imperial war museum (Manchester) – anyone been?
  • philfive

    Yep, went last year, was very good. They had a kids during WW2 which fascinated my kids.

    Premier Icon buck53

    Yes, it’s brilliant, highly recommended. Bit more to do/see in the surrounding area these days too.

    Premier Icon muddydwarf

    Def worth it. Very interesting exhibits and some differing viewpoints.

    One of the best I’ve been to really good


    Well that’s tomorrow sorted then,
    thanks all 😆


    Hmm, I went 2 years ago and was very disappointed.
    This is what I wrote then:
    “mperial War North. I was expecting good things of this. It is crap.
    7 large exhibits. Harrier jump jet, small howitzer, barrage balloon,
    fire tender, Wellington rear gun turret, and other things I cannot
    remember. It is very dark inside, almost gloomy. Static exhibits of
    soldier uniforms and paraphenalia in cases. A few rifles and machine
    guns. And thats it. If we’d took our time, we would have been there an
    hour. “

    And, over the canal, the Lowry Gallery wasnt high on my list, but was really good – get on one of the ‘talks/walks’ and learn about him, well worth it, and made the trip better as we were so disappointed with the IWM.

    Premier Icon GrahamA

    I was very disappointed, it felt more like a traveling exhibit than a permanent museum – no real substance.

    Nowhere near as good as Duxford, MOSI is much better in my opinion.


    Thinking of going tomorrow with Mrsmuddodger,
    is it worth a visit? Anyone been recently?


    that’s not really what I wanted to hear, was wanting to spend the day there.

    Premier Icon buck53

    Horses for courses, really. I happily spent quite some time there with my Dad. I definitely think you can get a day out of that and The Lowry across the way.

    Premier Icon paul4stones

    Was there yesterday actually. I thought it was good. Covers major wars with British involvement since the First World War. Not massively in depth and probably not as good as Duxford/Bletchley which we went to last year but I learnt a lot more about the FWW than I did at those places. The whole place becomes a sort of cinema every hour or so and there are informative presentations about weapons or experiences in the blitz, etc. We were only there for a couple of hours and I reckon I got about a third of the way through so you probably could spend all day there but, hey, it’s free and if you get bored pop over to the Lowry or something else.


    Depends if you want to understand more about war (good) or more about stuff from war (bad). Deffo worth going IMO unless you only like big stuff in which case stick with Duxford, Belfast, IWM, Cosford, Hendon etc.

    toby mc

    Worked for the organisation quite a bit over the last decade. What it does best is put the technical aspects of conflict in a social context, and they do it well. Fantastic Libeskind building too – make sure you go up the tower with its opaque/mesh floor! Go and check it out, and the Lowry too. Sounds like a good day out!

    went quite a few years ago I think it hadn’t been open long it’s ok but not an all day half a day at most but if you go across to the lowry and have lunch inbetween in one of the many café/bars you will have a not half bad day 🙂

    Premier Icon Cougar

    Given that I’m not hugely into war, I thought it was pretty good.

    MOSI is way better though, you could easily spend a day there.

    Was brill! Well worth a visit!

    Complete rubbish IMHO

    Visited with the GF’s kids

    Amazingly warned off climbing on a tank!
    A tank WTF
    If the kids fell off my problem
    If the tank was damaged then surely a carp tank???

    Minimal interactive stuff to hold their attention

    The Lowry on the other hand was “epic”
    Really really great

    As both are free take your pick



    I love military history

    I thought it was ok, but wasn’t overly impressed

    not sure why, just seemed to lack something


    Don’t forget the Bluuue Peter garden at Media city as well 😀
    I suppose as I worked pretty much next door to the place for a number of years you forget whats on the door step. Go to the Lowery on a regular bases though for photographic exhibitions and the odd show 🙂

    Overall worth a visit plus more to do over the bridge 🙂

    Premier Icon mike399

    As said above – “Warning: do not touch the Tank”
    WTF? That thing has driven through buildings! The French national tank museum in Saumur (fantastic) has three tanks in its kids play area for them to climb all over…


    Minimal subject material stretched cleverly trying to fill a empty space. Londons (when fully open) is the opposite.

    Go to the Museum next to China town.

    Premier Icon martinhutch

    Have to side with the disappointed folk.

    Thought there really wasn’t that much there to see, compared with the London one. Dark, noisy and above all, boring.

    The Imperial War Museum (North) is in the City of Salford. Not Manchester.


    So I dont live in Manchester?

    Took my boys a few years ago – we loved it.
    Not an adventure playground more look, read, learn type of place.
    If they have a “show” on it’s even better.
    MOSI is more touch, feel and do – equally brilliant but different.

    Premier Icon Harry_the_Spider

    It is OK. Not a full day though.

    Premier Icon coolhandluke

    Found it very moving but there was a photo exhibition from Dom mcCullen ( or was it Cappa?) when I went.

    Not sure why people above think its ok to allow their kids to climb all over museum exhibits regardless of how tough the exhibit might be. I do think there’s a difference between a tank in an exhibition and one in a clearly defined kids play area.

    Premier Icon Harry_the_Spider

    Going waaaaay off topic. I think the issue with the tank is the tank damaging the kids not the kids damaging the tank.

    8ft drop – concrete.

    OK the kid thing….

    Im a grown up, I have a fair attention span and an interest in conflict with several family members and friends in the services past and present, I personally found the war museum trip pretty good

    On the other hand it was hands off, not hands on, most of the things I found interesting I had to read or look at through glass cabinets

    I remember when I was a kid museums had stuff that you could actually touch

    Our own local museum is a bit Craggy Island but the kids love it because you can pick things up and interact with them which I guess is where we were disappointed with the Imperial War Museum in Manchester

    I didnt think it would have been a big deal to have had access to the inside of the tank, even just to look inside a hatch not use as adventure playground or be able to fiddle with a Bren gun (deactivated) or get your hands on the bomber turret or…….. or…… or…..

    So for us its for grown ups not kids

    PS Im not suggesting its OK for a small child to handle the Mona Lisa but a tank, come on 🙂

    Premier Icon itsallgood

    @Derek The war musuem is in Trafford, just across the water from Salford.

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