With five historic buildings to explore, it’s a good idea to set aside the entire morning or afternoon when visiting the brilliant Museum of Science and Industry. Young and old alike will relish learning about Manchester’s many contributions to industrial innovation and scientific discovery, conveyed through a number of permanent themed galleries that aim to engage, educate, amaze and delight.
In the Air and Space Hall, marvel at an exquisite full-size replica of the 1909 Triplane 1, the first all-British aeroplane to take to the sky. The Power Hall is sure to impress with its excellent collection of working steam engines and locomotive exhibits. Little budding scientists will get a kick out of the Experiment! gallery in the Great Western Warehouse, where they can get hands-on with more than 20 interactive exhibits.
And if you’ve ever wanted to explore a real Victorian-era sewer, the Underground Manchester Gallery is the place to do it. Here, you’ll also learn about the history of the toilet (you’ll never look at toilets the same way again) and the city’s water supply and sanitation methods reaching as far back as Roman times. Send your senses into overdrive by taking in a show at the 4D cinema, complete with moving seats, water sprays and air blasts.
Entry into the Museum of Science and Industry is free (though donations are welcome). It’s open every day from 10am to 5pm, except on Christmas Eve, Christmas Day and New Year’s Day. The museum is located within the charming Castlefield conservation area and is just a short walk from the ancient Roman fort ruins and canal networks (great for a wander). The nearest railway station is Deansgate, or you can catch the free Metroshuttle 2 bus (green line) from the city centre, which drops you directly outside the museum on Lower Byrom Street.