I had a proper walk around Salford Quays at the weekend and decided to have a look round the Imperial War Museum North. The actual physical presence of the museum is striking. It's modern streamlined architecture stands out along the Quay front and you're immediately enticed to go in and have a look inside.
It's free entry which is a thumbs up in my book. I think all museums should be free and if you want you donate something. This gives everyone the opportunity to learn and experience what museums have to offer.
The Imperial Museum North is very different to it's sister in London. In the North it's very open and modern and takes you on a journey through all the wars since WW1. There are lots of 'action stations' which allow a more hands on approach to learning. I think my favourite interactive learning post was trying to 'guess the war smell' and know the difference between mustard gas and smelly soldiers feet.
As the museum has an array old tanks, cars, jet engines and more on display you can't get tired as you walk round. It strikes a good balance of information, artifacts and interaction. One of the most astounding pieces of war history on display is a section from the Twin Towers destroyed in the September 11th attacks. Very surreal. It may be this is most significant to me because I remember it happening. You learn a lot at most museums, but when you visit one which reminds you of the atrocities man, you leave feeling slightly subdued and thoughtful. The Imperial War Museum is definitely worth a visit, even if it's just to remind you that we're actually quite lucky considering what other people in history have been too. I will make another trip to the museum.