Imperial War Museum North
This quayside location in Trafford Park was bombed heavily during WW2 so it’s especially appropriate that it was chosen as the home of the Imperial War Museum North.
The building itself is worth the trip in its own right. Its silhouette reflected in the Ship Canal has become one of Manchester’s iconic images. Designed by architect Daniel Libeskind, its jutting angles represent a globe shattered by war. The startling, unsettling design sets the tone for the emotionally-powerful exhibitions inside.
The first room is devoted to The Timeline which takes you from the First World War up to the present day, using video, artworks and objects including a US Harrier jet and some of the steel remains of the World Trade Centre.
Every hour the huge museum walls come to life with The Big Picture Show – a series of 360-degree, immersive shows that each focus on a different aspect of war.
Other highlights include an exhibition about the service personnel and civilians who came to Britain during the Second World War, and the ceramic poppies created by Paul Cummins which cascade down the towering Air Shard to form a pool of red on the ground.