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Top Secret: From ciphers to cyber security

Discover the fascinating world of codebreaking, ciphers and secret communications with our free must-see exhibition Top Secret: From ciphers to cyber security.

From Alan Turing and his team of codebreakers at Bletchley Park, to one of the most successful Soviet spy rings in Cold War Britain, to modern-day cyber-crime, Top Secret explores over a century's worth of communications intelligence through hand-written documents, declassified files and incredible artefacts from GCHQ's and the Science Museum Group's historic collections.

Test your skills and challenge your friends and family to become codebreakers in our interactive puzzle zone. Trace the evolution of the gadgets and devices used to conceal and decode crucial messages. Hear from GCHQ staff doing top secret work to defend against terror attacks and find out more about the challenges of maintaining digital security in the 21st century.

Top Secret comes to Manchester after a hugely successful premiere at the Science Museum in London in 2019, coinciding with the centenary of GCHQ, the UK's intelligence, security and cyber agency. It is the first exhibition to be held in the Science and Industry Museum's stunning new Special Exhibitions Gallery.

Top Secret trail

Super-sleuths of all ages can investigate the exhibition with our activity trail. See what amazing things you can do with the skills you use every day, from observation to teamwork.  

Pick up a copy of the trail when you visit (make sure you bring your own pencil), download a copy to print out at home, or use this online version of the trail on your smartphone. 

Top Secret shop

Pick up a souvenir from the Top Secret shop after you’ve seen the exhibition. With spy tech, clothing, books and more, there’s something for everyone.

A red telephone, a notepad and a rubber stamp

Booking information

Principal funder

Principal sponsor

Media partner

Part of the Science Museum Group