Days out in Yorkshire: Thackray Medical Museum, leeds

editorial image
Have your say

Leeches, scalpels, saws and a giant toilet – all the makings of a great day out, right?

Then you can’t go far wrong with a trip to the Thackray Medical Museum.

Charting the history of medicine – warts and all – through the ages is a fascinating journey.

It’s stomach churning at times, but the simple interactive displays make it accessible and fun.

One thing that will grab you is the museum’s amazing use of smell – no more so than in the recreation of a Victorian street.

Piles of faeces often sat just yards from hanging meat and pies. The squalor is horrendous and presumably germ heaven.

The smell of the place is as nasty as the things contracted by the poor souls living there. What’s great is it shows the methods and suggested cures put forward at the time, which proved mixed in their success at best.

Further along, other galleries show the journey of food as you step through the giant teeth and come face-to-face with a massive toilet.
A wall of touch, smell and sight is brilliant for the younger kids – as is the snug reading area.

Older kids (of all ages!) will lap up the more grotesque, huge arrays of medical equipment and the stories told alongside them.

The museum is also running a special exhibition linking medicine, science and the illusion of magic which is intriguing.

Parking is brilliant value at just £1 and the staff are friendly and chatty.

There’s a large shop plus a good cafe serving tasty food – assuming you’ve got the stomach for it!


Price: Adults £7, children £5, U5 free (all annual tickets, see website)

Opening Times: 10am to 5pm

Address: 141 Beckett Street, Leeds

Car Parking: £1 onsite

Attraction Website:

Telephone: 0113 244 4343

Sat Nav: LS9 7LN

For more days out:

Days Out: Seeing Santa this winter