Posted in Travel, Uncategorized

Imperial War Museum North

While in Manchester we noticed that the Imperial War Museum was not too far from our hotel so decided to take a trip down by the river and pay it a visit while also getting a chance to explore the quays.

The imperial war museum north is the newest of five branches and was open in 2002. It has very impressive, modern architecture but doesn’t have the stunning entrance of it’s London Counterpart.

As you enter the museum there is a large seating area, shop and café where you can get a bite to eat or just relax after walking around.

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The main exhibition space is upstairs and although everything is in one large space, it is split into mini exhibitions and goes through a timeline of conflicts in Britain and the commonwealth.

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As well as life sized vehicles on the floor and hanging from the ceiling, the space is filled with memorabilia from the time, including posters, letters, clothes and weapons. There are also hands on activities designed specifically for kids. I really liked the idea of the trench stenches, although I wasn’t quite daring enough to have a sniff myself!

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Although there are little videos you can watch in different rooms, every hour there is an audio-visual cinematic display that takes over the whole space. It is a real immersive experience and you can either sit and watch it on the benches around the middle of the space or continue walking around while taking it in.

I find these performances really interesting as they are like watching documentaries and include recounts and stories of people that were around during that time in history. Each show is different so you don’t have to worry that you are listening to the same thing if you are still around when the next film starts.

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I really liked the Imperial War Museum North, although it is nowhere near as big as the London Imperial War Museum, I actually like that I was able to take it all in within a couple of hours rather than choosing certain sections to visit. There was also a really good exhibition in an adjacent room about the conflict in Syria but I think this is now finished and will be replaced in July with a different show.

The Imperial War Museum North is free to visit and it is situated in a lovely space around Salford Quays, about a 15 minute walk from Old Trafford football stadium.

Posted in London, Travel, Uncategorized

Imperial war museum

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The Imperial war museum in London has been housed in the previous Bethlem hospital since 1936 but has in recent years undergone a £40 million revamp. The museum records the civil and military war effort and sacrifice of Britain and its Empire since 1914 and has some spectacular displays on show.

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As you enter the museum you are faced with the wide open atrium filled with all sorts of vehicles and aircraft hanging from the ceiling and over the sides of different levels.

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The museum is divided into different sections across four floors and it is suggested that it takes half a day to work your way around all the galleries.

I really wanted to see the holocaust exhibition and was really blown away by the size and vast amount of information in the one section, it is like a museum in itself! Unfortunately you can not take photos in this particular exhibition but it is filled with photos, personal stories, posters, models, film and so much more. Children under the age of 14 are not allowed in but this is understandable with the sensitive nature of the subject.

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Another part of the museum I perused was the first world war section. It was a lot busier downstairs so was hard to take in a lot but still contained lots of eye catching displays and interesting facts.

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I spend a lot of time in Elephant and Castle as I attend university there so found this painting really interesting.

If you are a history buff or student learning about the wars then this is a great hangout and it is also set in beautiful grounds with interesting architecture which complement an autumn stroll perfectly.