Find some headspace with a Student Art Pass

Published 4 March 2019

Need space to think? Here are 10 museums and galleries where you can chill out and refuel as Easter approaches – whether you're holidaying or revising.

Did you know that visiting museums and galleries more regularly can be good for wellbeing?

If you're feeling the pressures of student life, why not use your Student Art Pass to break with routine and find headspace somewhere a little bit different?

We're sure that, with a visit to any of our 10 picks below – or many more museums and galleries near you – you'll find the inspiration you need to tackle that next project, or just forget your to-do list altogether.

Take a look at our suggestions, and find out more about how museums can help us unwind.


British Library

It's the mother ship of study spaces and tailor-made to help you sail through your revision. Four floors of reading rooms require free registration to enter, but if you don’t need to use the collections, join your fellow scholars at the many public desks and seating areas, and rejoice in the free WiFi and plug sockets.


Museum of the Jewellery Quarter

Escape the 21st century altogether in Birmingham's Jewellery Quarter. Locked up and abandoned in 1981, the Smith & Pepper jewellery workshop is a perfectly preserved time capsule which now forms the centre of a museum exploring the history of jewellery-making in the city and beyond. And if you're not yet ready to return to reality, a lovely shop and café are on site for cake and retail therapy.



Join Bristol’s freelancers in this favourite hangout and alternate hard work with watching boats glide by. As Arnolfini is an international contemporary arts centre, there's loads to do when your brain goes fuzzy: wander the free exhibitions, browse the specialist bookshop, and if you like locally brewed beer, you don't even need to leave your seat at the end of the day.


South London Gallery

While Tate Modern is a great place to clear your head, it’s often packed with people who’ve had the same idea. Why not head further south and unwind at another of London’s leading contemporary art galleries? South London Gallery recently doubled in size by redeveloping an old Fire Station, kitting out the new gallery spaces with the support of lots of lovely donors through our crowdfunding platform. When you’ve had your fill of cutting-edge international art, you can kick back in the café, enjoy the relaxing Fox Garden and, on weekends, the artist-designed Orozco Garden.


Barbican Art Gallery

If you’re planning a major session, you can disappear into the giant of brutalist architecture that is the Barbican and not emerge until 11pm. With plenty of study areas, you can find a space even if you're in a group, and you don’t need to leave the complex to revive yourself with art, cinema, music, theatre or, indeed, food.


National Museum of Scotland

You won’t be short of inspiration or places to study in this large, wide-ranging museum. Its collections cover nature, art, fashion, design, science and technology, so find yourself a nook and settle in. The Balcony Café is a good spot when you want to refuel and gain some perspective; it overlooks the Grand Gallery, the museum’s spectacular, light-filled atrium.

Staircase with Lothar Götz wall painting, Leeds Art Gallery

Leeds Art Gallery

Perfectly positioned between Leeds' central library and art gallery – all housed within the same building – the grand Tiled Hall Café was originally the library’s reading room. What better place for students seeking a good study spot? Before you head out again, lose yourself in artist Lothar Götz’s immersive wall painting, which was funded through our crowdfunding platform.


Blenheim Palace

If too much study is giving you cabin fever, hop on a bus from central Oxford and in half an hour you can be frolicking in the vast parkland of Blenheim Palace, or wandering its magisterial state rooms in awe. There's far more to enjoy here than can be covered in one trip, from pleasure gardens to priceless art collections, which means you can treat your brain to something new every time you visit.


Leighton House Museum

If you ever dream of retreating to a place tailored entirely to your own tastes and needs, take inspiration from Victorian artist Frederic Leighton; instead of a mere house, he built a ‘private palace of art’. Filled with works by himself and his contemporaries and collections from his travels, it attracted the great and the good – even Queen Victoria popped in for a gander – but he included only one bedroom: his own. Find time for yourself in the vast studio, Silk Room and dazzling Arab Hall lined with over 1,000 Islamic tiles.


The Whitworth

The first English gallery to be set in a park when it was founded in 1889, the Whitworth truly makes the most of its natural setting. Avoid cabin fever by heading to the ‘café in the trees’ where you can enjoy the beautiful art garden come rain or shine. As an extra cherry on the cake, you can now also enjoy 10% off in the shop with your Student Art Pass.

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