Imperial War Museum North

Imperial War Museum North, Stretford

Imperial War Museum North
4.5
Speciality Museums • History Museums
10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Wednesday
10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Thursday
10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Friday
10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Saturday
10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Sunday
10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
About
Purpose-built to tell powerful stories of over a century of conflict, IWM North makes full use of its extraordinary exhibition space to deliver a moving and immersive experience.
Suggested duration
More than 3 hours
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Popular mentions

4.5
2,819 reviews
Excellent
1,498
Very good
859
Average
284
Poor
113
Terrible
65

mysonjohn
England, UK173 contributions
Sep 2021
Parking is directly outside and you pay when you leave at a kiosk by typing in your number plate or when you get home online. It cost me £5 which is the lowest price on offer for around 5 hours. I used this time to tour the museum and go to the lowry afterwards.
The entrance is free but they will ask if you want a guide book which goes towards the charity. There is also a gift shop and cafe selling cakes and drinks.

The museum is not attractive but reflect the subject. Brutalist, harsh and cold looking. Not just cold in appearance but cold inside so take a jacket.

There are no steps and its accessible for wheelchairs throughout as its a slope up to the displays and also has a lift.

It's quite dark inside, there are corridors with information about various wars and related content illuminated along them with larger rooms and an even larger central room for larger displays. There is also a show on at certain times where you can sit around the room and watch the walls light up as the projectors give a light and sound to immerse the tourists in even further.
The museum has done well to create a touching tribute to those who lost their lives, the letters they wrote to bring their story alive and why wars started during the wars and how they ended. If you were to read nearly every display it would take a number of hours but to browse around it stopping at certain points, would take about an hour.
Written September 3, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

CommissarTownsend
74 contributions
Dec 2021
I visited Imperial War Museum North whilst solo travelling in Manchester and had a very interesting time and memorable experience, learned a great deal of new things in the main exhibition room I was not aware of before, the cabinets were jam packed full of acquisitions over the years which were fascinating to look at and The Crusader sculpture whilst entering the main room was particularly profound.

The main exhibition room was well layed out with staff manning it who clearly looked like they enjoyed being there and doing what they do, same can be said for the whole museum in general. I could be a little critical and say I wish there was a bit more to do with the 21st century and that I wish there was temporary stuff on bar the main room but that would be being overly harsh considering it's free entry.

The Cafe I went to afterwards was great with a very bubbly and friendly blonde haired lady manning it. The Turkey, Brie and Cranberry Bauggette was delicious and very much worth the money.

As someone who has done the main IWM a number of times, I'm pleased I've done IWM North alongside visiting the main one and will be back again especially if there's a temporary exhibition on when I'm in Manchester.
Written December 24, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

VDV11
London, UK110 contributions
Aug 2020 • Family
Firstly, a question to management - do you genuinely believe, given the dire straits that the arts/museums etc that it is proportionate to decline cash donations? I had already paid the hefty car park fee (the majority of which goes to the museum, which is great) and therefore didnt fancy the minimum £5 card donation. I did however have a pocketful of change I wanted to put in a donation box, but no. Assuming this is due to Covid, do your seriously believe the "risk" of handling cash warrants the loss, which can surekly be mitigated against with gloves/mask/"quarantining" the cash/hand washing??!!

Anyway, on to the museum. Another really enjoyable trip to this fantastic space. The displays and layout really are top notch. I have visited multiple times in the past and have seen many changing exhibitions, all of which have been superb. With the absence of one this time around, it was main exhibition only, which although great, has barely changed in all my years of visiting it. Given the IWM's stock, it would be great to see the content rotated more often. Still, very worthwhile and a must-see for first time visitors.

The museum captures the horrors of war brilliantly and it is a moving experience. It depressingly puts our current society in context compared to the horrors that past generations suffered.

100% worth a visit.
Written August 18, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Paul R
UK337 contributions
Nov 2021
I visited this museum when it first opened in 2002 and was very disappointed. I thought after nearly 20 years it might of improved. Unfortunately I was wrong and it is still rubbish. Hardly any artifacts on display. This building was obviously a massive ego trip for the architect who was only interested in the form of the building and no interest in its use as a museum. Don't waste your time with this place when there are so many excellent museums in the UK including the 2 other IWM sites in London and Duxford
Written November 18, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

stasabroad1
Greater Manchester, UK23 contributions
Oct 2020 • Family
the good: they have made an effort with the displays, they don't have much in the way of artefacts, a lot of text, but nice open space, good baby change and lots of staff. nice gift shop.

not so great: £5 to park! lots of spaces had their paint markings worn away. the car park had about 10 cars in (could hold 100+ cars). I parked,got my young son out and into the museum (lashing with rain). I was then told by the young man on the front desk that as I had received free entry, the museum needed money from me, and I needed to buy a tote bag or museum map. it was more than pushy, it felt almost aggressive. I declined, saying I planned to buy something for my son from the gift shop. left me feeling icky and i hadn't even got in the displays.

once inside, whilst I can appreciate the museum covers different aspects to the London imperial war, but why can't the London museum share some of their exhibits? the gulf between the quality of the two museums is huge. I had been inside 45 mins, when an announcement over the tannoy that the owner of my car needed to move it. no idea why , the car park was empty and I had parked in a space, albeit the lines were faded. I decided then to head off.

won't return !
Written October 25, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Derek W
East Grinstead, UK19 contributions
Dec 2021
“A bit grim up north” resonates throughout this place.

We were accosted on entry by an over enthusiastic and slightly batty volunteer who seemed insistent that we visit the “poppies”. We headed for the rather grim exhibition hall instead. The only good thing about from my point of view was that it was out of the rain and wind.

I really didn’t enjoy the experience or the intrusive volunteer who seemed to think we would all enjoy the same things she would. Rule number one should be to ask rather than impose.
Written December 4, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

stephen T
16 contributions
Mar 2020 • Couples
The building looks amazing from a distance but entrance is very underwhelming, looks like a fire exit. On entering you are received in a corridor with what looks like a temporary desk with a security officer behind it, we had to ask him whether this was in fact the entrance.
The low, narrow corridor eventually opens into a huge space which is imposing.
There is only 1 hall which is very under utilised with small display cases around the walls and very little in the hall itself except open space.
The hall was quite dark, presumably for the video show that took place, but it made the whole experience rather dull.
The display cases seemed haphazard in their themes with nothing to see that is not quite familiar these days.
The building obviously cost a lot but seems to be under used and unimaginatively curated
Written March 14, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Mike39
4 contributions
Jan 2022
Very thought provoking and graphic images of the horrors of war.
interesting exhibits, particularly 9/11, but seems a lot more could be shown in a space of this size.
If you are going, eat first - don't rely on the café for lunch as we did. We got there about 12.30 and only hot food on offer was 1 sausage roll and a few dried up baked potatoes. Rolls were dry too.
Written January 4, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Lee Pycroft
Greater Manchester, UK59 contributions
Aug 2020 • Family
We enjoyed our visit to this museum, you could easily spend 2 or 3 hours here if you were to read all the literature with each exhibit and watch of the various videos/films that are played on the huge walls within this huge building.

Lots of information and the tour can be followed in date order, World War and Two very detailed.

Think the museums car park costs are a little pricey but apart from that overall visit was enjoyable. Nice gift shop, there is a cafe area but this was closed to due Covid 19.
Written August 21, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

KatwinD
62 contributions
Jun 2021 • Family
Very well presented museum with lots of information. The special exhibition on aid workers under fire was exceptionally well done and informative with a spacious layout. The main, permanent, exhibition contained lots of information in a time line style order around the main space. Bold summaries of each section told the story with the option to read further detail below if interested. Staff were friendly and knowledgable. Hourly shows brought the story to light. There was not much to do for younger children and we were glad that we didn’t have our toddler with us, the baby slept peacefully in the sling throughout. Toilets were clean, the baby change was spacious and lockers were available. A very enjoyable visit.
Written July 30, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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Imperial War Museum North is open:
  • Wed - Sun 10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
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