For military history that’s as moving as it is interesting, round up the troops and march down to the Fusilier Museum in Bury. Consistently awarded the TripAdvisor certificate of excellence, it may be compact, but its interactive galleries will have everyone standing to attention.
Commemorating the near 350-year history of the XX Lancashire Fusiliers, the museum tells the story of the regiment from the part it played in the Napoleonic Wars right up to army life in the modern era. With unparalleled access to an amazing range of memorabilia, permanent exhibits of rifles, uniforms and tanks are complemented by a year-round calendar of temporary exhibitions, family activities and special events. And, while there are some fascinating objects on display, the building itself has lovely features too - such as the contemporary stained glass Rose Window and the stunning Gallipoli Garden.
If you’re staying at one of our Manchester hotels, the museum is only a 30-minute Metrolink tram ride away from the city centre - and it’s well worth making the about-turn. But forget doing battle with public transport because you can stay even closer to the action. Clean and comfortable, our Premier Inn Manchester Bury hotel is just a quick march away.
Weaving together artefacts and personal stories, the museum brings the story of the Lancashire Fusiliers XX regiment to life.
Among the uniforms, rifles and tanks, you’ll find moving artefacts, like diaries and notebooks. You can’t fail to be touched at the WWI letters written by Thomas Gribble to his wife Madeline - part of a collection of 400 letters housed at the museum.
Recent exhibitions include ‘Missing of the Somme’ to commemorate 100 years since the Battle of the Somme and ‘Soldiers and Samurai’ which told the fascinating story of the murder of two 20th East Devonshire officers by Samurai in Japan in 1864.
Coming to the museum with little ones? Family Fun at Fusiliers is held every Wednesday in the school holidays and it’s packed with workshops and activities to keep young visitors entertained - from Christmas crafts to Easter Egg hunts.
Don’t feel you have to cram everything into one day. Your Fusilier Museum ticket lets you visit as many times as you like in the next 12 months, so you can always go back again, for free!
In the heart of Burys burgeoning Cultural Quarter, the museum also houses the town's Tourist Information Centre - so stop by to find out what else the town has to offer.
The museum is open Monday to Friday from 10am until 5pm (last admission 4pm) and Saturday 10am to 4pm (last admission 3pm). It’s closed on Bank Holidays, and closes for the whole Christmas period.
You’ll find the museum at Moss St, Bury BL9 0DF and it’s telephone number is 0161 763 8950. Tickets cost under £5 per adult, £4 for children and concessions, while a family ticket costs under £15.
There’s a well-stocked gift shop located in the main entrance of the building, and you can get in without buying a museum ticket. With memorabilia and souvenirs alongside the pocket money toys, it’s a great place to shop for that one-of-a-kind gift.
Blue badge holders can park for free within 100 yards of the museum. The land surrounding the museum is flat, and once inside there are wheelchairs for hire and disabled toilets throughout. A hearing loop is available in all parts of the building.
When it comes to culture in Bury, the Fusilier Museum is only the tip of the iceberg. There’s also the Met Theatre, the Transport Museum and the Art Museum - and they’re all just a stone’s throw from the Fusilier’s automatic doors.
If you’re in town with the family, the Bury Transport Museum will keep them amused for hours. There’s a great collection of vintage vehicles from steam rollers to trams, with plenty of things to have a go on - such as the bus simulator.
Or try the Bury Art Museum which has changing exhibitions of both international and local art and is a great way to learn more about the history of the town.
The museum has its own cafe, but if nothing there takes your fancy, why not head to nearby Bury town centre?
While museum cafes can be hit and miss affairs, the restaurant at the Fusilier wins rave reviews across the board.. Glass-fronted, the lovely views out over Gallipoli Garden make the perfect backdrop to your lunch. But what will you have? There’s so much choice, from sandwiches and soups, to hot food made to order. And while the baked potatoes are delicious, why not treat yourself to the Prosecco afternoon tea?
For lunch with an ever-changing view of the Lancashire countryside, head to Bury Bolton Street station and board a historic dining steam train. At Dining With Distinction, you sit in Pullman-style carriages and enjoy fine dining, from Sunday lunches to traditional afternoon tea - there’s even a great-value two-course midweek lunch. Or take the gin train to try the best spirits along with your meal.
No prizes for guessing what’s on offer at Quick Crepes. But if you love huge pancakes that manage to be thin and delicate at the same time, you’ll be in total heaven. Made with a secret crepe recipe, they’re both ridiculously filling and ridiculously good value. The most expensive minted lamb crepe will set you back less than £6. Non-crepe lovers should try the bacon and maple syrup waffle.
You’ll find the museum opposite the Bury Art Gallery on Moss Street in Bury, just 200 yards from the main bus and tram station in the town centre.
The Fusilier Museum is ten miles north of Manchester city centre - the drive should take about 35 minutes. Leave the M66 at Jn 2, then follow the brown tourism signs to the East Lancashire Railway. Park here in the pay and display car park.
While the tram is the quickest option, buses do go from Manchester city centre to Bury - they just take almost twice as long! Hop on the 163 from Manchester’s Piccadilly Gardens, or take the 135 from either the city centre or the intu Trafford Centre.
Bury has its own train station, but it’s more of a tourist attraction than a transport hub. Called Bury Bolton Street station, it’s on the East Lancashire Line - a heritage railway service that runs from Heywood to Rawtenstall.
You can get to the museum in just 30 minutes by taking the tram. Take either the number 1 or 4 from city centre stops including Victoria and St Peter’s Square. There’s one every 12 minutes, and at peak times, there’s one every six minutes.
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