Close to Salford University and in the grounds of Peel Park lies Salford Museum & Art Gallery, which opened in 1850 as the very first 'unconditionally free' public library in the UK.
Now, you can wander its rooms and marvel at the fantastic collection of artworks on display – it’s a real celebration of Victorian painting. The place has a charm about it and a sense of history – it's in the creak of the wooden floors, the wear in the boards where so many have walked. But it isn't all about the past. Contemporary work gets a look in with touring and temporary exhibitions too, with a varied programme ensuring that there's always something new to see.
In another section of the museum sits Lark Hill Place, a wonderfully realised recreation of a Victorian street. If the galleries felt a little like stepping into the past, this finishes the job as you stroll down the lane on a winter's evening as the gas lights throw their warming glow onto the cobbles and you peruse shop windows and peek inside houses. There's a chemist, a toy shop, grocers and a blacksmiths and the street is filled with the sounds of children playing and of horse-drawn carriages. You can even dress up in Victorian style dress to complete the experience.