20 things to do this bank holiday

  • 21 August 2013

Finish off this amazing summer in style and treat yourself to one of our recommended days out over the long weekend.

1. ​Go rowing in Kew gardens

If the weather's good, it's hard to beat a visit to the Royal Botanic Gardens in Kew, especially when the summer festival features a 'fruit salad' boating lake with a floating pineapple island. Get 50% off entry to the Gardens with a National Art Pass; the boating lake costs £4.50 for adults and £2.50 for children.

2. Tour a literary landmark

Whether you're a keen Shakespearean or an Austen aficionado, we've picked our favourite authors' homes for you to visit across the UK.

3. Visit the Museum of the Year

Walthamstow's inspirational William Morris Gallery won the Art Fund Prize for Museum of the Year 2013 following a renovation that transformed it into a world-class attraction.

4. See Stubbs' kangaroo and dingo

Gaze at the first western paintings of a kangaroo and a dingo at the National Maritime Museum's Sammy Ofer Wing, while the museum raises funds to acquire the works permanently.

5. Explore the Edinburgh Art Festival

From the founder of video art to an architectural intervention, see our exhibition highlights of Edinburgh's annual summer festival.

6. Follow in Lowry's footsteps

Visit the locations that were closest to L.S. Lowry's heart with our interactive map, from London's Piccadilly Circus to Wenlock Edge in Shropshire.

7. See The Kiss in Scotland

Bought for the Tate collection with help from the Art Fund in 1953, Rodin's iconic sculpture is on display at the Scottish National Gallery until February 2014.

8. Discover Britain's greatest masterpieces

From gorgeous Pre-Raphaelite scenes to cosmic exploded sheds, these are the ten most popular British works of art as chosen by the public through the Art Everywhere project, which we ran with our partners this August.

9. Check out the Serpentine Gallery Pavilion

Designed by award-winning Japanese architect Sou Fujimoto, the Serpentine's latest temporary pavilion floats like a cloud in Kensington Gardens.

10. Go to a free Artist Rooms show

From the master of kitsch Jeff Koons to land artist Richard Long, discover works from the Artist Rooms collection across the UK.

11. Take a trip to the seaside with the Horniman walrus

The Horniman Museum's famously overstuffed walrus is one of the highlights of the Turner Contemporary's eclectic exhibition Curiosity: Art and the Pleasure of Knowing.

12. Tour the Yorkshire Sculpture Triangle

It may be called a triangle, but there are in fact four excellent museums within a 20-mile radius where you can see internationally important works of art: the Yorkshire Sculpture Park, the Hepworth Wakefield, Henry Moore Institute and Leeds Art Gallery.

13. Visit Victoria and Albert's holiday palace on the Isle of Wight

Queen Victoria built this beloved villa as a seaside retreat from the pressures of court duties, making it a perfect place to escape the rat race for a day – don't forget to have a paddle on her private beach.

14.Open your mind to outsider art

While you're visiting the Southbank Centre's Festival of Neighbourhood, make sure you see the Hayward Gallery's fantastically eccentric Alternative Guide to the Universe exhibition.

15. Get introduced to modern art

Come face-to-face with works by some of the greatest figures in modern art at the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art, with a special introductory talk on Bank Holiday Monday.

16. Take tea at the Royal Pavilion 

With a balcony overlooking the Pavilion gardens, the beautifully restored Royal Pavilion Tearoom is the perfect place to take afternoon tea this bank holiday weekend. Enjoy 15% off with your National Art Pass. 

17. Dine at the Wallace Collection

The Wallace Collection is something of a hidden gem, home to one of Europe's finest collections of art, armour and pottery. Art Fund members can save on meals in the gallery's serene Oliver Peyton restaurant.

18. ​Attend a late-night opening at the V&A

Explore power and militancy through posters, photographs, music and film at this one-off late-night special event at the South Kensington museum.

19. Visit a film location

From the lake that Mr Darcy (aka Colin Firth) emerged from in Pride and Prejudice to the Art Deco palace in the BBC's Brideshead Revisited, visit some of our favourite sets.

20. See Jeremy Deller's Venice Biennale exhibition in London

Before the national tour of Jeremy Deller's English Magic kicks off at the William Morris Gallery in the New Year, enjoy this taster show featuring some of the works.