National Football Museum, Urbis Building, Cathedral Gardens, Manchester, M4 3BG – Visit Now
Every city has one. New York has the Empire State, Paris has its Eiffel Tower and Manchester has the Urbis building, more recognisable and more iconic than the blunt backhand of Beetham Tower, which is mostly just taller than everything else. The city’s skyline may be forever represented by Ian Simpson’s glass and steel swoop, but under that sleek surface Manchester’s most distinctive building has been quiet for two years. Back in 2010, when the eponymous museum of urban life and popular culture closed after 8 years to make way for the council-favoured National Football Museum.
A scrolling text bar wraps around the main hall, with names from the Hall of Fame on a loop, while a wall of monitors show a collage of sacred football footage, famous quotes and images of players from across the ages. It’s kind of like walking into a church, albeit a church that resembles an unusually fancy branch of JD Sports. An impressive array of lovingly-curated artefacts, archived media, up-to-date interactive installations and engaging activities work together to create a well-rounded visitor experience, with something for all ages and interests.
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