Find some headspace with a Student Art Pass

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

While the largest library in the world is the mothership of study spaces, it’s also an amazing place to ditch the books and have yourself some downtime. Wander into one of the free temporary exhibitions and enjoy 50% off the major shows with your Student Art Pass; explore the Treasures of the British Library collection, or just treat yourself to something from the café and enjoy all that zen...


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 pretend to do some work while watching boats glide by. As Arnolfini is an international contemporary arts centre, there's loads to do: wander the free exhibitions, browse the specialist bookshop and, when you’re finally exhausted from all that (non-) work, reward yourself with a locally brewed beer.


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 want to escape the daily grind and go into hiding for a while, you can disappear into the giant of brutalist architecture that is the Barbican and not emerge until 11pm. As well as the art gallery, there are plenty of areas where you can hang with a book or some mates, and you don’t need to leave the complex to revive yourself with art, cinema, music, theatre or, indeed, food.


National Museum of Scotland

When your brain is overheating, head for this large, wide-ranging museum. Its collections cover nature, art, fashion, design, science and technology, so you can wander for ages or find yourself a nook and get some headspace. The Balcony Café is a good spot if you want to refuel and gain some perspective; it overlooks the Grand Gallery, the museum’s spectacular, light-filled atrium, and Window on the World, a showcase of objects from across the museum rising four stories high – the largest single museum installation in the UK.

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 inspiration, study time or a cuppa? Lose yourself in artist Lothar Götz’s immersive wall painting, which was funded through our crowdfunding platform, and head up the psychedelic staircase to the new galleries above.


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. Recharge your batteries while wandering between the sculpture terrace, orchard garden and new gallery spaces, explore contemporary and historic art collections, and make time for 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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