We are Re-opening! 

Starting on August Bank Holiday weekend and in September, we will be open to the general public by advance booking only.

We will be open between Wednesdays - Fridays to start with and hope to extend this in the near future.

Tickets are free, but must be booked in advance so we are able to cap numbers of people in our building.


We have acquired the industry standard mark for following government
and industry COVID-19 guidelines for risk assessment and a process to maintain
cleanliness and aid social distancing.


How do I book?

Go to our events page Events and select the dates you are interested in, you will be able to book directly and you should receive an email confirmation of the date and time. Do remember to check your spam folder for this.

How far in advance can I book?

We are taking bookings for up to two weeks in advance.

What if I change my mind about my booking?

Please cancel your ticket on our website as soon as possible - at least 24hrs beforehand in order to give others a chance to book. We are a free museum, but staffing our sites costs the charity money so we need to make sure staff don't have a wasted journey.

Can I book for more than one person or household?

If you want to visit as a group, with friends, or another household as part of a ‘bubble’ you can book up to 8 tickets in one name per slot but we will require all parties to give their contact details on arrival for tracing purposes.

What are you doing to make sure visiting is safe?

Social distancing measures are in place in the building, with markers to help guide visitors and a 'one way' system for visitors to enter and exit the building. We have removed items which visitors regularly touch and will be propping doors open to make access easier. We have installed hand sanitisers on every floor and outside the toilets and will be operating a strict cleaning rota throughout the day.

We have spaced seating in our learning loft for users to watch films, but are unable to hold indoor events or provide hot drinks or children's group activities at the moment. 

Members of my group are medically vulnerable or at increased risk from Covid-19.. can I still visit?

If you wish to make a booking for a vulnerable group (including residents of care homes and those being looked after in the community), please contact [email protected] We will try to assist you to visit safely.

How many staff will be in the building?

There will always be two staff present to ensure the building is clean and safe and these staff members will be temperature checked on arrival. A maximum of ten people can be on site during each visiting slot.

Will I need to wear a mask?

The museum has an air conditioning system for ventilation; but as government guidelines have recently changed, we will require visitors to wear a mask in the building. Staff will be wearing protective visors in solidarity with our colleagues in the retail trades as well as to protect our visitors. Please note that this advice is subject to change and will be advertised on site as well as on our website.

Can I book a tour/talk for a group?

At the moment we are offering talks and tours for larger groups digitally via Zoom. Please contact [email protected] to find out more about booking a ‘Live from Toad Lane’ digital tour. If you have a group of less than 30 people, you can arrange a private on site booking with us.

Are there any changes to parking?

Due to the cobbled street area being used to serve customers at The Baum Public House next door there is currently no parking available on Toad Lane.

What if I don’t want to give my contact details when I visit?

Unfortunately; no entry can be permitted unless details are filed with us for 21 days. This ensures that we are compliant with the regulations around NHS 'Test and Trace' to be allowed open to the public. Details will be stored in a safe and shredded 21 days after your visit. You will only be contacted by the NHS in the event of a known exposure to Covid-19.

Can I volunteer at the museum?

At the moment we are only taking remote volunteers to help us with our archive work. When this changes we will post updates on our website in the 'Support Us' section.

Can I donate to the Co-operative Heritage Trust?

Yes please! We have lost the majority of our income since March and every donation we receive helps us stay open and rebuild for the future. You can donate in person at the museum or digitally through our website. Just go to https://www.co-operativeheritage.coop/Appeal/Donate

Contact us by email at [email protected]

How to find us 

female sitting in a 1970s co-op delivery van

By car or coach - Leave the M62  at junction 20 for Rochdale. Take the A627 M link to A664 (Edinburgh Way) and turn right on Manchester Road.

Pass Rochdale Town Hall on the right and turn right at the traffic lights filter opposite the co-op van. Turn onto on Hunter's Lane and park in Rochdale Exchange Car Park on your right.

Toad Lane is opposite. There is limited on street parking.

Don't forget to use 31 Toad Lane in your Sat Nav instead of our postcode. 

Public transport options 

By Train  - From Leeds or Manchester, alight at Rochdale station and follow Drake Street into town to the river. Cross the concourse and walk up Yorkshire Street until you reach the Baum passage on the left (sign- posted for the museum). Cross the road and we are opposite St Mary’s in the Baum Church.

By Metrolink  - The East Didsbury to Rochdale line stops in Trafford, Manchester and Oldham before terminating in Rochdale at Smith Street. Cross the concourse on the right to Yorkshire Street to find the museum as above.

On foot! – Legend has it that the Pioneers walked to Manchester to buy their goods. You can do the same by following the towpath of the Rochdale Canal. It is 13.5 miles and takes around 4.5 hours to walk, half that to cycle!

When we are closed

Bank holidays, 25-26 December and 1 January 2021.

We occasionally have to close for staff training or essential maintenance to take place.

When this happens, we will update our website and social media channels so please check before you travel.