National Football Museum, Urbis Building, Cathedral Gardens, Manchester, M4 3BG – Visit Now
The National Football Museum is one of Manchester and the UK’s top attractions and after a tough year, it has reopened to the public with a few minor adjustments to the usual proceedings. Most importantly for eager visitors, it’s now open from Thursday to Sunday but opening times remain the same, from 10am to 5pm. Happily, all the floors will be open, including the popular café and on-site shop. However, some interactive activities will be offline, at least initially.
Originally based in Preston, The National Football Museum has been in Manchester for the best part of a decade now, making the famous Urbis building its own and welcoming nearly half a million visitors a year to the city’s attractive Medieval Quarter.
When it comes to footballing cities, it’s hard to think of anywhere more suitable than Manchester. We welcome hundreds of thousands of visiting football fans each year and the city is home to both the world’s biggest club, Manchester United, and one of the most successful teams of recent years, Manchester City – not to mention the fierce rivalry between the two. One of the few pleasures of the past 12 months of lockdown has been being able to watch football, so the reopening of the National Football Museum will have added meaning for many.
One of the UK’s top attractions is ready to reopen to the public with a few minor adjustments
The footballing heritage here extends beyond the Manchester clubs and across the North West, with the region boasting an enviable roster of historic football royalty; from Sir Stanley Matthews’ Blackpool, via Sir Tom Finney’s Preston, to Huddersfield Town (the first to be English champions three years in a row), the famous Merseyside clubs and a plethora of iconic players and managers.
Visitors to the National Football Museum can dive into this heritage and more as they explore the whole world of football across several floors of changing exhibitions, vast collections of memorabilia and impressive interactive installations. Relive classic moments from years gone by with the BBC Radio archive, get yourself photographed with (virtual) silverware and take part in the various engaging games and activities dotted throughout the venue.
Of course, the national and global situation means things will be slightly different for a time. You can expect a reassuring amount of safety measures to protect the vulnerable and unvaccinated, such as hand sanitiser available at regular locations through the venue, clear signage to aid people on their visit and greatly enhanced cleaning measures to ensure risks are kept to an absolute minimum. This also means groups will be limited to a maximum of six, from both online bookings and walk-ups, and school visits and larger groups are by appointment only.
There will always be a one-way system around the venue, including a separate entrance and exit, to avoid people mingling unnecessarily. Some of the areas which involve a lot of touch and interaction, such as the soft play Discovery zone, will be closed for the time being. Other restrictions include a maximum of five people in the shop at once, plus a queuing system in place in the café and a limited number of internal and external tables for dining. All food sold will be prepackaged to keep any risk of cross-infection at a complete minimum.
For more information about the exhibitions and other details about one of Manchester’s most adored cultural spaces, visit the venue’s website at the link below.
Admission ChargesFree for Manchester residents. Admission charges apply for non-Manchester visitors.
Services and FacilitiesCollection, temporary exhibitions, family events and activities, cafe, restaurant, bar, cloakroom, lockers
AccessibilityWheelchair access to all public areas
Commercial and hire servicesAvailable to hire for private functions and corporate events