Discover somewhere new as museums and galleries open their doors

Published 5 May 2021

Wondering where to start as museums and galleries begin to reopen? Here’s our pick of exciting, inspiring and unusual spaces to explore across the UK.

Coastal galleries, city art spaces and a famous writer’s home – these are just some of the fascinating places reopening their doors this spring.

From a contemporary art gallery nestled inside a historic manor house, to a hidden gem in the Scottish Highlands, below you’ll find a few of our favourites to get you started.

There’s so much more to explore, so why not bookmark our full listings, so you can keep track of what’s opening when?

You’ll also find plenty of exhibitions at these venues to launch you back into art and culture. Spot up-and-coming talent at South London Gallery, explore the craft of floral decoration at the Garden Museum, or dive into the beloved British seaside at Hastings Contemporary.

And of course – don’t forget to pack your National Art Pass.


Remember that many venues now require booking ahead and have additional measures in place for your safety; be sure to check their websites before visiting, and enjoy your day out.

Dates listed below are when the museums are planning to reopen, in line with the government's roadmap.

Want more inspiration? Sign up for our newsletter Art in Your Inbox and follow us on Instagram for more ways to engage with the art you love.

Theicon signifies when there is a National Art Pass offer
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Museum Of Brands, Interior

Museum of Brands

  • Greater London
50% off entry

At the Museum of Brands you can explore the advertising, packaging and branding that's shaped our lives for generations. For a sneak peek, listen to actor Mathew Horne as he explores the museum in a recent episode of our podcast Meet Me at the Museum.

The Museum of Brands is open. Check their website for details and to book.


2

Hastings Contemporary

  • East Sussex
50% off entry and exhibitions

This coastal gallery has lovely views over the beach and celebrates the work of modern and contemporary artists. Hastings Contemporary will reopen with the exhibition Seaside Modern: Art and Life on the Beach, which explores the beloved British seaside in the 20th century, as depicted by artists such as LS Lowry and Laura Knight.

Hastings Contemporary is open. Check their website for details and to book.


3
South London Gallery © Marc Atkins / Art Fund 2020

South London Gallery

  • Greater London
Free to all
10% off

One of the winners of Art Fund Museum of the Year 2020, South London Gallery boasts a fantastic art space in the south of the capital. The gallery will reopen with the annual exhibition that showcases the work of the next generation of emerging artists, Bloomberg New Contemporaries.

South London Gallery is open. Check their website for details and to book.


4
Gairloch Museum © Marc Atkins / Art Fund 2020

Gairloch Museum

  • Ross-shire
50% off entry

This magical museum in remote Ross-shire, Scotland, was another winner of last year’s prestigious Museum of the Year prize. The museum reopens with the exhibition Lusan nan Gàidheal ~ Flora Gadelica by Cindie Reiter, celebrating plants, herbs and flowers in the Highlands.

Gairloch Museum is open. Check their website for details and to book.


5

Laing Art Gallery

  • Tyne And Wear
Free to all
50% off exhibitions

The Laing Art Gallery is particularly known for its impressive collection of works by 20th-century artists, and will reopen with an exhibition exploring four pioneering women artists working at that time, Challenging Convention.

The Laing Art Gallery is open. Check their website for details and to book.


6
Kettle's Yard, interior of the new galleries

Kettle's Yard

  • Cambridgeshire
Free to all
10% off

This unusual house and gallery is littered with spectacular examples of modern and contemporary art – spot unique pieces sandwiched between pieces of furniture or carefully displayed in glass cabinets. In October Kettle's Yard will exhibit the work of Sutapa Biswas, exploring poignant themes such as migration and the supression of women in art.

Kettle’s Yard is open. Check their website for details and to book.


7
Ditchling Museum of Art + Craft, 2014

Ditchling Museum of Art + Craft

  • East Sussex
Free entry and free exhibitions

Tucked away in the heart of the South Downs, Ditchling celebrates the Arts and Crafts movement, focusing on art that has been locally made in Ditchling, once a hub of crafting activity. The collection includes prints, direct carvings, wood engravings and objects relating to silversmithing, calligraphy, typography, dyeing and weaving.

Ditchling Museum of Art & Craft is open. Check their website for details and to book.


8

Whitechapel Gallery

  • Greater London
Free to all
50% off exhibitions

Known for cutting-edge modern and contemporary art, the Whitechapel Gallery will reopen with several intriguing exhibitions including A Glittering City, exploring the work of filmmaker Ayo Akingbade, and Phantoms of Surrealism, bringing together photography by 11 women artists. And running until autumn, you can step inside an immersive artwork by artist and activist Nalini Malani, bringing together animations with quotes from the likes of James Baldwin and Hannah Arendt.

The Whitechapel Gallery is open. Check their website for details and to book.


9

Nottingham Contemporary

  • Nottinghamshire
Free to all
10% off

There's lots to see when Nottingham Contemporary reopens, including an exhibition of the intricate sculpture work of Brazilian artist Erika Verzutti. Meanwhile their powerful Grace Before Jones exhibition, exploring the complex identity of music icon Grace Jones, is available to explore in virtual reality online.

Nottingham Contemporary is open. Check their website for details and to book.


10

Russell-Cotes Art Gallery & Museum

  • Dorset
Free entry and free exhibitions

Missed wandering the halls of historic houses? Why not plan a trip to one of the last Victorian houses to be built in England? Oozing gothic charm, the impressive structure and decorated interiors of Russell-Cotes are combined with an art gallery and gorgeous garden to explore.

Russell-Cotes Museum & Art Gallery is open. Check their website for details and to book.


11

Pallant House Gallery

  • West Sussex
50% off exhibitions

Following a time when we've all become more aware of our domestic surroundings, rather topically Pallant House Gallery will present an exhibition celebrating humble household objects in Ben Nicholson: From the Studio in June. You can also still catch the anticipated exhibition Degas to Picasso: International Modern Masters until 13 June at this splendid gallery-come-Georgian townhouse.

Pallant House Gallery is open. Check their website for details and to book.


12
Garden Museum

Garden Museum

  • Greater London
50% off entry

Gardens have had a renaissance over this past year, with more people than ever seeking their own cherished green spaces and appreciating nature. A museum that shares this admiration for garden life is the wonderful Garden Museum in the heart of London. They will reopen with Constance Spry and the Fashion for Flowers, an exhibition celebrating floral decorator Constance Spry.

The Garden Museum is open. Check their website for details and to book.


13
Dulwich Picture Gallery, Interior

Dulwich Picture Gallery

  • Greater London
Free entry and 50% off exhibitions

Particularly known for its stunning collections and exhibitions of portraiture, prints and paintings, this gallery in the leafy London suburb of Dulwich will reopen with the exhibition Unearthed: Photography's Roots, featuring photography inspired by nature.

Dulwich Picture Gallery is open. Check their website for details to book.


14

Brontë Parsonage Museum

  • West Yorkshire
Free entry

The former home of one of the world’s best-known literary dynasties, the Brontë Parsonage Museum is dedicated to telling the stories of the Brontë family through beautiful period rooms, original manuscripts and personal possessions. Get the creative juices flowing again at this literary landmark.

The Brontë Parsonage Museum is open. Check their website for details and to book.


15

Horniman Museum and Gardens

  • Greater London
Free to all
Free entry and free exhibitions

Tucked away in a peaceful corner of London's Forest Hill is this fantastic museum and oasis garden. When the museum reopens you'll be able to see the exhibition An Ode to Afrosurrealism and a display curated by the museum's Access Advisory Group, Always Part of the Story, exploring the group's lived experiences of disability through objects in the collection.

The Horniman Museum is open. Check their website for details and to book.


16

Fashion Museum

  • Somerset
Free entry and free exhibitions
10% off

In the historic city of Bath, the Fashion Museum is a treasure trove of gladrags through the ages. Immerse yourself in everything from catwalk, couture and street style to royal attire and everyday wear. The museum reopens with three displays perfect for post-lockdown wardrobe planning: A History of Fashion in 100 Objects, Dress of the Year 2020 and Shoephoria!

The Fashion Museum is open. Check their website for details and to book.


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