Three to see: National Heritage Centre for Horseracing & Sporting Art
If you're short for time but still keen to explore the finalists for this year's Art Fund Museum of the Year, here's our quick guide to three must-see exhibits at each venue. First up, the National Heritage Centre for Horseracing & Sporting Art.
Take a look at our Q&A with the National Heritage Centre for Horseracing & Sporting Art to discover more about the venue, and visit Art Fund Museum of the Year 2017 to find out more about the prize, the history, the judges and the rest of this year's finalists.
- A chance to get up close to the racehorses and find out more about their lives after racing
The museum covers everything there is to see about the sport of horseracing. Since opening it has offered visitors the chance to meet the stars of the sport – the horses themselves. Not only do you get the chance to get up close to these beautiful animals but you can find out what they do when they retire from racing in the daily demonstrations at 11.00am and 2.30pm.
- Try your hand at racing, guided by expert former riders
Who knew you could find out how to ride a racehorse in a museum? The racehorse simulator replicates the movement of a racehorse galloping – and visitors are encouraged to jump on and enjoy the thrill of being a jockey. The gallery is supervised by retired stable staff and former riders who often relate some fantastic stories of their time in the sport.
The Fred Packard Galleries
- Explore the rich history of British sporting art
In the remains of the palace built for Charles II, you'll now find the Fred Packard Galleries. Set over three floors, a rich collection of paintings, objects, prints and photographs have been beautifully hung to create a national gallery of sporting art and, for the first time, a permanent home for the British Sporting Art Trust. There's so much to see, including the wonderful Lady Fishing – Mrs Ormond by John Singer Sargent, which is currently on loan from Tate.