Visitors can delve into Manchester’s inventive and industrial heritage at the Science and Industry Museum. Housed in a building that served as the world’s first passenger railway station, the museum includes a wide collection of vintage vehicles, historical machinery, hands-on exhibitions, and other engaging offerings.
Manchester played a pivotal role during the Industrial Revolution, and it’s been known as a hub of innovation ever since. The Science and Industry Museum contains five exhibition areas: the 1830 Station, the 1830 Warehouse, the Power Hall, the New Warehouse, and the Air and Space Hall. The collection chronicles the city’s best-known breakthroughs and inventions, including everything from a replica steam locomotive to “Baby,” the world’s first stored-program computer and arguably the very start of modern computing.
Free to enter and open to the public daily, the museum is an excellent stop on city walking tours and cultural ventures, and can also be seen during hop-on hop-off bus tours of Manchester.
Things to Know Before You Go
- The Science and Industry Museum is a must for families and those interested in the history of innovation.
- The museum is fully accessible to visitors with disabilities, and it also offers stroller parking.
- Interactive exhibitions are designed to appeal to visitors of all ages, while the museum’s Treasure Hunter app, complete with games and activities, keeps kids entertained.
- The Warehouse Café is a good place to grab a bite or a quick drink.
How to Get There
Located in the city center, the Science and Industry Museum can be accessed by multiple forms of public transportation. The free Metroshuttle stops nearby at Byrom Street, and the nearest Metrolink tram stop is Deansgate–Castlefield. The museum is within walking distance of Deansgate railway station; Oxford Road station is also nearby. Bicycle storage is available on-site.
When to Get There
In addition to permanent displays, the Science and Industry Museum hosts numerous temporary exhibitions as well as creative classes and events for families, so it’s worth checking the calendar before you visit to see what’s on. Engaging exhibits and an extensive collection mean families can easily spend half a day here. The museum is open daily 10am–5pm.
Liverpool Road Station
The Science and Industry Museum is as much a destination for its setting as for its exhibitions. After all, the museum is housed in a famed heritage site: the now-shuttered Liverpool Road Station, which first opened in 1830. The station was the original terminus for the first intercity railway in the world, and its original features have been carefully preserved.