Exploring art beyond the city
Why not beat the winter blues by taking a weekend getaway to see some art? Hop on a train or jump in the car and explore what the UK has to offer beyond the big city.
For a quick jaunt out of London
Only half an hour outside the capital, Woking offers a convenient choice for those wanting a quick cultural getaway, and The Lightbox, in all its cuboid glory, is a must for those looking to discover some great examples of Modern British and Contemporary art.
Home to the prestigious Joan Hurst and Ingram collections and featuring work by the likes of Anthony Caro, Eduardo Paolozzi, Elisabeth Frink and Barbara Hepworth, this compact, but surprising gallery will not disappoint – and a change of scene is bound to do you some good.
For nature lovers
Set just outside Gloucester, Nature in Art is the world's only museum dedicated exclusively to fine, decorative and applied art inspired by nature.
Spanning 1,500 years and housed in a Georgian mansion, the collection embraces work in all media and styles, ranging from Oriental treasures to watercolour landscapes. Over 600 artists are represented, including Sir Jacob Epstein, Renee Lalique, Picasso, Michael Porter and Charles Tunnicliffe.
For a trip to the seaside
Nestled in the heart of Margate, a town famously loved by JMW Turner, is the Turner Contemporary, where the move from 19th-century to contemporary art occurs before your very eyes.
Turner is one of Britain’s most beloved artists, and one of his favourite subjects was the East Kent coast. The gallery is in partnership with the Tate, ensuring it always has a diverse range of works to see, including many from the 18th century to the current day that respond in some way to Turner's work.
Even better, it's only an hour-and-a-half from London by train.
For a step back in time
Transport yourself back to the era of Louis XIV by spending a day trawling Waddesdon Manor, the glittering country residence built by Ferdinand de Rothschild over a century ago.
Situated between London and Birmingham, the mansion – in all its splendour – is home to vast 17th and 18th century art collections, including works by Gainsborough and Reynolds.
Once you’ve soaked up the artistic grandeur of the mansion’s interior, the extensive gardens provide the perfect place for a leisurely stroll or an afternoon adventure – just make sure to wrap up warm.
For a stroll in the great wide open
If your looking to combine a countryside jaunt with a cultural adventure, head to Cass Sculpture Foundation, a stunning contemporary sculpture park around 30 minutes from the beautiful cathedral city of Chichester.
Set in 26 acres of ancient woodland on the Sussex Downs, each individual piece of work is revealed in its own space in the landscape, while benches, pavilions and other works by contemporary designers are scattered among the trees.
The National Art Pass offers you a huge range of exhibitions, galleries, museums and stately homes to visit either free or at a reduced price. From old masters to historic artefacts to cutting-edge art, from Stromness, Skye and Stornaway on the Scottish Islands to Penzance in Cornwall and Enniskillen in Northern Ireland, you're never far from a memorable cultural experience.