Victoria Baths Photography Workshop

Victoria Baths stained glass and tiled wall - image by workshop participant Darren Quinn

Victoria Baths facade

Victoria Baths Photography Workshop

With Aidan O’Rourke Tutor Photographer
To book e-mail
Text or phone: 07779 290082
or use the Contact Form

Sundays in 2017 (10am = 1pm): 9 Apr – 14 May – 11 Jun – 9 Jul – 10 Sep – 8 Oct – 12 Nov


About the Workshop

The Victoria Baths Photography Workshop offers an opportunity to gain exclusive access to the interior of this amazing building with very few people around. The group will also get to visit parts of the building that are not normally open to the public. The course is run by Aidan O’Rourke, who has been involved with the Victoria Baths since 1998. It’s limited to approximately 10 people. On some workshops a model may be available. If people prefer they can concentrate on photographing the building.

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Video by Aidan O’Rourke featuring photographs taken by people who attended the Victoria Baths Workshop
Victoria Baths Gala Pool filled with water
The Gala Pool 13 May 2009. The Gala pool is normally empty.

Victoria Baths stained glass window - Gala Pool - Photo by Aidan O'Rourke

Victoria Baths stained glass window - Turkish Rest Room- Photo by Aidan O'RourkeStained glass windows Victoria Baths – photos by Aidan O’Rourke

What you will photograph

We start in the Turkish Rest Room with its green tiles and magnificently restored stained glass windows. We continue into adjoining rooms including the Turkish Bath area next door. The magnificent Gala Pool offers many photo opportunities from ground floor and balcony level. Please note there is no water in the pool at the moment! The former males second class pool was used as a sports hall and is the venue for fairs and other events. The smaller females pool has its own special atmosphere. At 12 o’clock we will climb the ‘secret’ staircase to the top floor rooms, a place of crumbling plaster and peeling wallpaper, full of the memories of past times. There are great views out of the windows.

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  • The Turkish Rest Room
  • Beautifully restored stained glass windows
  • The Turkish Bath with its tiled walls and doorways
  • The Gala Pool (empty of water)
  • Ornate changing cabins along the sides of the Gala Pool
  • Restored rose window above Gala Pool balcony
  • The Sports Hall, venue for fairs and events
  • Womens pool (empty of water)
  • The elaborate roof on all three halls
  • The Aeratone, forerunner of the jacuzzi
  • Top floor rooms, not normally open to the public
  • Numerous hidden surprises

Changing cabins Gala Pool Victoria Baths - Photo by Jamie Hyde

Victoria Baths top floor rooms - Patterned glass window shadow - Photo by Trevor SimpsonPhotos by Jamie Hyde and Trevor Simpson

Style of the workshop.

The workshop is very relaxed and informal. There is no instruction as such. You are free to get on with exploring and photographing. Aidan will be there to chat to you and ask you about what you like to photograph and the techniques you are using. If you’re not so experienced he will be able to give some useful tips and advice. If you’re very experienced you can chat to him about your photography and talk about your own preferred techniques! Aidan is the ‘facilitator’, not a lecturer. He is there as a guide, and to lend a friendly ear.

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  • No formal lecture or teaching element – you can just explore and photograph
  • Aidan is on call to chat, provide feedback, give tips and listen
  • Information sheets available to take away
  • Chat about photography with Aidan and the group – It’s a social experience!
  • Ask Aidan about anything to do with photography and he will help if asked.

Womens pool roof - Photo by Karen Regn Moore

Victoria Baths Gala Pool balcony - Photo by Martin HydePhotos by Karen Regn Moore and Martin Hyde

Who is the workshop suitable for?

The Victoria Baths Photography Workshop is suitable for any photographer at any level from beginner to advanced. Many very experienced photographers attend the workshop and take some remarkable and unique photographs. Beginners also take many excellent photographs. You are invited to pick out your best photos send them to Aidan and they may appear on future updates of this page. Please note, a tripod will be very useful, but it’s not a requirement. Bring a wide angle lens if you have one, but it’s not essential.

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  • Any level of experience from beginner to advanced
  • Wide angle lenses will be useful
  • Tripod advisable, but not a requirement
  • Try to photograph the building in a new way
  • If you’re a novice, you’ll learn tips and techniques
  • If you’re an advanced photographer, share your expertise
  • Talk about photography with like minded others

Feedback from people who have been on the workshop

“Workshop was clearly explained, interesting, and constructive critique was given in a positive and helpful manner.”
Rivka Blum, Manchester
“We spent a most enjoyable morning with Aidan in Victoria baths, the information given was both interesting and informative. Aidan was very helpful to the group and gave us ideas of what to photograph. I have lots of ideas how to use the images I took and will do a return trip very soon. It was a Sunday morning well spent in good company.”
Viv Buckley, Manchester
“The Victoria Baths photo lesson with Aidan is one of the best training courses I have been on. Practical, pragmatic and pleasant I can’t recommend it highly enough.”
John Brennan, Warrington
“Had a great morning at Victoria Baths on Aidan’s photography workshop. This was a superb opportunity to wander round a truly interesting site and capture as many photographs as I liked, without feeling pressurised in any way. The format for the amateur or, even professional photographer is ideal. Aidan is on hand with helpful and interesting tips and points, pitched at individual levels,”
June Poston, Liverpool
“I attended Aidan’s Victoria Baths Photography Workshop on Sunday 1st May this year. It was a thoroughly enjoyable day, with lots of time to explore this wonderful building at my own pace. Aidan was always on hand to give advice and review photographs I had already taken. One of the highlights for me was having the chance to photograph the disused rooms upstairs, not usually open to the public.”
David Upton, Altrincham
“Hi Aidan, just wanted to say that we had a great day at Victoria Baths in your photography group, so thank you. With the craft fair and the added bonus of the choir, we had a lovely day. My friend Chris and I stayed most of the day.”

Pauline Chorlton, Manchester

Victoria Baths photos by Katie Arnold and Karen Regn Moore

Victoria Baths photos by Karen Regn Moore and Les PeelPhotos by Katie Arnold, Karen Regn Moore and Les Peel

Times, dates, cost and how to book

The workshop runs from 10am to 1pm on the Victoria Baths open days.

The price of the workshop is £25 per person, payable in cash on the day. Your fee includes admission to the Open Day so you can stay for the rest of the afternoon.
To book, simply get in contact via the contact form on the right or by e-mailing info (at) You can also text or phone 07779 290082 or send a message via Twitter, Facebook or LinkedIn.

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  • Workshop time: 10am to 1pm
  • Meet outside at around 9.50am
  • £25 per person in cash on the day
  • Open Day admission price included
  • Non-cash payment also acceptable
  • Takes place on Open Days (first Sunday of the month during the season)
  • The workshop may not take place if not enough people have booked. Please contact.
  • To book, simply get in touch with Aidan via the contact form, email info(at) or text 07779 290082

Contact and book

To enquire or book, just get in touch via the contact form.

You can also text or phone 07779 290082.

Don’t miss out on this unique opportunity to photograph the hidden interior of the best loved restoration project in Manchester, if not the entire country. There is a possibility that the building could change in the near future. You need to see it now, while it is still awaiting full restoration. You night regret it if you don’t, so book now.

“Just dropping you a line to say how much both Maggie and myself enjoyed the workshop yesterday at Victoria Baths, we appreciated the way you led this and provided guidance that was appropriate to the situation. It was lovely to have a small group of varied skills and approaches and work both together and individually throughout the whole time, the interaction was also a very enjoyable element. Having a model enhanced the day and worked well in such a great location – so thanks for facilitating both of these. We’ll be recommending this to our photographic friends as a really good day out, and in the dry too!.”

Maggie and Paul Bullock, Warrington

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