Plan Visit & Book

The Silk Museum and Paradise Mill are open – and we can’t wait to welcome you back!

Entry is by advanced booking only via Art Tickets.   

Book your tickets here

Art Tickets is operated by Art Fund_ as a free online ticket booking service for UK museums and galleries.

Initially, opening on Thursdays and Saturdays only, with more days to be added at the start of the school Summer holidays in July.

The Silk Museum open 10-4pm:

Visitors will need to pre-book half hourly slots which start at 10am with each half hourly slot having capacity for up to six visitors. This means that there’s plenty of space to explore and enjoy the collections in our largest ground floor gallery – the Red Room.

The Silk Museum Shop and Café open 10-4pm:

There’s no need to book if you want to visit our shop – we kindly ask you to wear a face covering and use our hand sanitisers. We accept both cash and debit/credit cards with contactless transactions up to £45.

The café serving a selection of teas, filter coffee, soft drinks, cake and biscuits. Served in disposable, recyclable cups and plates.

Paradise Mill Guide Tours:

Visitors will need to pre-book Guided Tours. As we’re open for fewer days, we’re increasing the number of tours to four on Thursdays and Saturdays at Paradise Mill: 10.15-11.15am | 11.30-12.30pm | 1-2pm | 2.15-3.15pm.

We are keeping your visit safe by –

Advance booking only
Limiting visitor numbers
Providing hand sanitisers
Protective screens
Regular cleaning
Friendly & helpful staff

Please remember to –

Wear a face covering unless you are exempt
Sanitise your hands
Maintain social distancing
Do not visit if you have Covid-19 symptoms

Wondering what your visit will be like? We’ll take you on a tour of the museum showing how we’ve prepared everything to make your visit as safe and enjoyable as we can. See you soon!



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What to expect – Safety & Hygiene

Test and Trace
As part of the NHS Test and Trace scheme the name and contact details of visitors will be required (if two or more people book and come together you only need one name/details) If you come to the Silk Museum without a timed ticket booking, you will be asked to provide your name and a contact telephone number at reception.

Do I need to wear a face mask?
To help keep each other safe and well, we’re asking all visitors aged 10 and over, who are able, to wear face coverings in the museum.

Will museum staff be wearing protective equipment?
We have introduced PPE for our staff, some will wear face coverings or visors. Acrylic screens have been installed at points where there is face to face interaction between staff and visitors.

Are you checking temperatures?
We will not check your temperature on arrival.
Please do not visit if you feel unwell or have a temperature. If you feel unwell during your visit, we ask you to alert a member of staff immediately.

How will I be able to social distance?
We have set a limit of visitors in the Silk Museum with a half hourly timed ticket entry system. You will have plenty of space to explore our wonderful collections and remain socially distanced.

Can I clean my hands?
We’ve provided hand sanitisers at key points around the museum.

When are you cleaning the museum?
There will be regular cleaning of touch points and toilet facilities throughout the day, during timed visits and at the beginning and end of the day when the museum is closed.

What to expect – our facilities

Is Paradise Mill open?
Yes. Entry by pre-bookable tickets. Guided tours on Thursdays and Saturdays at Paradise Mill: 10.15-11.15am | 11.30-12.30pm | 1-2pm | 2.15-3.15pm.

Is the whole of the Silk Museum open?
Not currently. The building will re-open in stages: initially you will be able to visit our largest gallery ‘The Red Room’. We have new displays focused on the history of silk in Macclesfield. The story of the rise and fall of the industry that shaped our town is told through the work and experiences of the people who powered it: mill owners, mill workers and even silk designers who trained in the Silk Museum building (the former Macclesfield School of Art & Design) all feature in the new display.

Our famous Ancient Egyptian collection will be on display once again. Come and find out about the lives of these fascinating people through the artefacts and inscriptions they left behind as you explore the oldest objects in our museums. Learn about the connection between silk and Egypt through the lives of Marianne Brocklehurst and Mary Booth, the two Victorian explorers who gave their collection of Ancient Egyptian artefacts to Macclesfield.

What about access?
The Silk Museum is all on the ground floor and is suitable for baby buggy/ pram, wheelchair, mobility scooter, crutches and zimmer frame users. The main entrance to the museum does have steps, but if you either call beforehand (01625 612045) or ring the bell to the side of the front door a member of our staff will open our disabled access entrance.

Paradise Mill is a listed industrial building accessed only via three flights of stairs, totalling 49 steps with no wheelchair access. A unisex disabled access toilet, with baby changing facilities is available at the Silk Museum.

Are the toilets open?
You are welcome to use the unisex disabled access toilet, with baby changing facilities. These are open only to our visitors who have booked a timed entry ticket to the museum. The toilets will be cleaned regularly at the end of each timed session. Public toilets are available around the corner from the museum on Park Green, SK11 7NA.

Is the shop open?
Yes, and we have lots of lovely new products displayed. We accept both cash and debit / credit cards with contactless transactions up to £45.

Is there parking?
Yes, there is free 1 hour on-street parking available directly outside the museum. If on-street parking is unavailable, less than 2 minutes walk away is council run The Old Library car park, with 28 spaces, with 1 disabled space. Located on the corner of Park Green SK11 7NA.

Can we visit as a group?
Initially, the maximum number of tickets you can book online is 6. As more or our Silk Museum galleries gradually re-open we will have greater capacity for larger numbers while still having the space for social distancing. When Paradise Mill reopens we will have more capacity again.


Please see our FAQs for full details about the changes we’ve made to ensure that you have a safe and enjoyable visit. If you have any other questions please contact us.