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Art and Culture in London


United Kingdom
Buckingham Palace
Visit a Buckingham Palace for a glimpse inside one of the few working royal palaces remaining in the world today. During the summer, you can tour the 19 spectacular State Rooms. These magnificent rooms are decorated with some of the greatest treasures from the Royal Collection, including paintings by Rembrandt, Rubens and Van Dyck. Outside of the summer opening, you can still see the iconic exterior of the palace and watch the famous Changing the Guard.
British Museum
Founded in 1753, the British Museum’s remarkable collection spans over two million years of human history. Enjoy a unique comparison of the treasures of world cultures under one roof, centred around the magnificent Great Court. World-famous objects such as the Rosetta Stone, Parthenon sculptures, and Egyptian mummies are visited by up to six million visitors per year. In addition to the vast permanent collection, the museum’s special exhibitions, displays and events are all designed to advance understanding of the collection and cultures they represent.
Kensington Palace
Kensington Palace, a palace of secret stories and public lives, has been influenced by generations of royal women. Experience life as an 18th-century royal courtier whilst making your way through the magnificent King's and Queen's State Apartments adorned with remarkable paintings from the Royal Collection. Victoria Revealed, set within the rooms Queen Victoria lived in as a child, is an exhibition that explores her life and reign as wife, mother, Queen and Empress. Diana: Her Fashion Story - Kensington Palace’s newest exhibition - traces the evolution of Diana’s style; from the demure, romantic outfits of her first public appearances to the glamour, elegance and confidence of her later life. Highlights include the pink blouse worn for Diana’s engagement portrait in 1981 and the ink blue velvet gown, worn when the princess danced with John Travolta.
Tower of London
Despite the Tower of London's grim reputation as a place of torture and death, within these walls you will also discover the history of a royal palace, an armoury and a powerful fortress. Don't miss Royal Beasts and learn about the wild and wonderous animals that have inhabited the Tower, making it the first London Zoo. Discover the priceless Crown Jewels, join an iconic Beefeater on a tour and hear their bloody tales, stand where famous heads have rolled, learn the legend of the Tower's ravens, storm the battlements, get to grips with swords and armour, and much more!
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National Trust Runnymede
Seen by many as the birthplace of modern democracy, this picturesque open landscape beside the Thames was witness to King John's historic sealing of the Magna Carta on 15 June 1215. Today Runnymede is the perfect place to relax outdoors or to pause and reflect on the history of the struggle for freedom. As well as a monument to the democratic legacy of the Magna Carta, you'll find further memorials to John F. Kennedy and the Commonwealth Air Forces. There are two art installations to be discovered in the meadows. The Jurors by Hew Locke is a collection of 12 bronze chairs sat in the meadow, each intricately decorated with designs depicting current and past struggles relating to democracy and freedom. Writ in Water is a major architectural artwork by Mark Wallinger, in collaboration with Studio Octopi. The large scale circular building features a labyrinth style entrance leading to a central chamber, where a pool sits below a central opening, reflecting in light from the outside. Celebrating the enduring significance of Magna Carta, this unique piece of artwork offers space for reflection and contemplation.
Dorney Court
Dorney Court is one of England’s finest stately homes. It is a Grade 1 listed building, renowned for its architectural importance and historical significance, and any visit is a fascinating and unique experience. Built in the 15th century, the Tudor Manor House has been lived in by the Palmer family for more than 450 years – this remarkable and characterful building has been passed from father to son over thirteen generations. “Dorney” is the ancient Saxon word for “island of bees” and the estate remains famous for its honey which is still produced to this day. The very first pineapple to be raised in England was grown at Dorney Court and presented to Charles II in 1661 and the spectre of a bald lady haunts the wood-panelled hallways. Dorney Court is very much a family home and visitors will find that the House and Grounds have an easy charm and a warmth of welcome that reflect continuing family use and the passion and love of everyone involved with the Estate. Dorney Court has been used as a film and TV location since the 1970s. The House and Grounds have featured in a wide range of productions including Elizabeth: The Golden Age, The Other Boleyn Girl, Inspector Morse and Poirot. When you visit Dorney Court, you will find rooms full of history. Oak and beautiful lacquer furniture compete for space with family portraits and treasures collected over six centuries.
Stanley Spencer Gallery
The Stanley Spencer Gallery is situated in the heart of Cookham, the picturesque ‘village in heaven’ where Spencer was born and painted for most of his life. Established in 1962 the building was transformed ten years ago into a magnificent modern art museum, home to the world’s largest collection of Spencer paintings, drawings, personal letters, photographs, press cuttings and books. Visitor attractions: film and audio guide; exhibition catalogue; self-guided walk pamphlet; free children’s activity booklet; gift shop.
Huguenot Museum
Britain’s very first museum of Huguenot history has opened its doors to the public. Following a £1.5 million development project, Rochester’s museum tells the dramatic story of the Huguenots, their persecution in France, escape to Britain and the trades, crafts and skills they brought with them that has since contributed to the formation of modern Britain. Alongside beautiful new galleries displaying objects never seen by the public before, the museum also has a vibrant and engaging learning space. Here visitors will be able to further their learning either through a craft workshop, talk, lecture, film screening or cross-curricular schools session.
Restoration House
Fabled city mansion, stayed in by Charles II on eve of his restoration and the Satis House of Great Expectations. Superbly poetic interiors with a wonderful collection of English furniture and paintings, including several Gainsboroughs and Reynolds and rare Constable portraits. A good collection of English pottery and treen. The deliciously maintained twin-walled gardens of an acre now complemented by the ongoing restoration of monumental renaissance garden.
Eastgate House
Once the family home of Sir Peter Buck, a senior officer at the Royal Tudor Dockyard, the house has also been a Victorian boarding school, a hostel, a museum and an inspiration to the great author Charles Dickens. As part of a £2.2million Heritage Lottery Funded project, Eastgate House has undergone major refurbishment works and is now open to the public. Many of the building's original features and decorative schemes have been carefully restored, and new heating and lighting have been installed. Access has been greatly improved with a new lift at the back of the building, and the second floor of the house is open to visitors for the first time in more than 40 years. Visitors to the house can explore the amazing rooms of the house while learning the remarkable story of those who lived, worked and played here throughout the centuries.
Wysing Arts Centre
Wysing Arts Centre is a registered charity that provides a range of programmes for artists and ongoing exhibitions, public events, activity for young people, families and schools. Our large rural site near Cambridge includes a gallery, educational facilities, artists studios, a recording studio and ceramics studio, a 17th century farmhouse, outdoor sculpture, and café.
Fitzwilliam Museum
With over half a million incredible artworks in its collection, the Fitzwilliam Museum is one of the most impressive regional museums in Europe, presenting world history and art from as far back as 2500 BC to the present day.
Cambridge Arts Theatre
A thriving regional showcase, Cambridge Arts Theatre is an outstanding theatre, a beacon for the development of arts professionals and a much-loved regional and national institution, whose history is rooted in the city of Cambridge. The Theatre is the only high-quality presenting theatre within 60 miles serving the population of Cambridgeshire and the surrounding area. Founded in 1936 by the economist and founder member of the Arts Council, John Maynard Keynes, The Theatre has helped launch the careers of theatrical luminaries such as Ian McKellen, Derek Jacobi, Emma Thompson and Stephen Fry. Today Cambridge Arts Theatre is the venue of choice for all scale-appropriate drama, dance and opera in both the subsidised and commercial sectors, building strong and mutually beneficial relationships with the cream of the country’s touring producers and bringing productions to the region that diversify and enrich the city’s cultural offering.
Byard Art
Contemporary gallery Byard Art is located in the historic centre of Cambridge, opposite King’s College Chapel. Its innovative exhibition programme of solo and mixed shows by contemporary artists offers a unique selection of two and three-dimensional work, all in a friendly and welcoming environment. All of Byard Art artwork is original, and varies in medium, scale and price.
The Bridge of Sighs
Neo-gothic covered bridge linking the new court of St. John's with the older original college buildings. Built in the 19th Century and named after the covered bridge in Venice, on which prisoners would sigh as they were escourted to their cells.
Alice's Shop
A fundamental part of the tales of Alice in Wonderland, Alice’s Shop features in the original story written by Lewis Carroll. Situated across the road from Alice’s childhood home, the Oxford University college of Christ Church, Alice’s Shop was Alice’s sweet shop 150 years ago and was written into Alice’s adventures. Illustrator of Through the Looking-Glass, Sir John Tenniel, sketched two illustrations of the shop for the original book. An entire episode in the story even takes place in the shop. Oxford is the birthplace of Alice in Wonderland and many inspirations for the stories came from Oxford. Alice’s Shop is the most tangible link to an episode in the book that is still in existence today, and when you step into Alice’s Shop you are stepping into the Victorian world of Alice.
Oxford Playhouse
Oxford Playhouse is a theatre for everyone. Oxford Playhouse and its Burton Taylor Studio present and produce a wide range of live performances. The programme includes the best of British and international drama, family shows, contemporary dance and music, student and amateur shows, comedy, lectures and poetry. The Playhouse produces and tours its own shows, hosts Artists in Residence and presents Playhouse Plays Out, an ongoing series of off-site events which happen at locations across the county. The theatre’s Learning team works with over 15,000 people each year through post-show discussions, workshops, work experience, holiday schemes, a youth theatre and a young people’s theatre company.
John Hansard Gallery
John Hansard Gallery is an internationally recognised and locally engaged contemporary art gallery in Southampton. Being part of the University of Southampton, the Gallery aims to change the world for the better through great art. To realise this the Gallery creates innovative and critically acclaimed contemporary art exhibitions, events, engagement and research projects that excite, challenge, represent and reach the widest possible public audience. From 1979 the Gallery was located on the University's Highfield Campus. In 2018, the Gallery relocated to the new purpose-built arts complex Studio 144 in Southampton's city centre, significantly increasing the space available for exhibitions, events and integrated programming. Learning and engagement are at the heart of the Gallery and underpin all its activities. The innovative education and public programme are accompanied by special community-focused projects, including activities for all ages and levels of experience.
Southampton City Art Gallery
The gallery, based in Southampton's burgeoning Cultural Quarter, opened in 1939. The gallery attracts art-lovers, curious amateurs as well as those who simply enjoy the atmosphere of a gallery. Southampton City Art Gallery offers the opportunity to enjoy high-quality exhibitions ranging from painting, sculpture and drawing, to photography and film, as well as permanent collection and displays that change regularly to ensure new experiences with each visit.
Mayflower Theatre
Mayflower Theatre is the biggest theatre on the south coast. Their aim is to bring a diverse range of shows to Southampton, and present a mixture of spectacular touring productions, from musicals to dance, opera, drama, ballet and comedy. The Mayflower has its own on-site restaurant, The Ovation, where you can enjoy pre-show dinners.
Elton Hall and Gardens
The Hall has been home to the Proby family since 1660. It is an enchanting house which has evolved throughout the centuries. Every room contains magnificent treasures, from late 15th century Old Masters to Reynolds, Constable and remarkable Victorian painters such as Millais and Alma Tadema. Each generation has collected books and there are three libraries containing over 10,000 books. One of the most remarkable is Henry VIII’s prayer book with inscriptions by him and his three children. The garden has been lovingly restored over the last 35 years with mature topiary, a Gothic Orangery and billowing flower borders set between immaculately cut hedges.
Key Theatre
Situated in Peterborough's city centre the Key Theatre brings great entertainment to the area with the theatre programme made up of 'home-grown' productions, national touring shows, local community productions and a full programme of one-off concerts. Also part of the Key Theatre is ‘Riva’ the fabulous restaurant offering excellent food, plus views of the Nene embankment, making this a stunning setting for city-centre dining. The Key’s pantomimes are renowned throughout the region for their quality and traditional sense of good, clean, family fun. And with over 30 years of experience, it’s no wonder that thousands of children have grown up enjoying panto at the Key and many now bring their own families too!
The Prebendal Manor
Described as a hidden gem and dating from the early 13th century the manor is the oldest property in Northamptonshire. Included in the visit are a large recreated medieval garden, fish ponds and dovecote. The Tithe Barn museum houses artefacts from the archaeological excavations and the history of Nassington. The Manor is an affordable and fun place for families. A children's trail, corn grinding, pottery making in the holidays, quill pen writing, dressing up the farm animals add to the enjoyment. The manor and gardens provide a unique experience for groups, with guided tours of the manor and gardens. Morning coffee or homemade teas are available. Lunch can be provided by prior arrangement.
Peterborough Museum and Art Gallery
Located in one of the city's most historic buildings, Peterborough Museum has a wealth of stories to fascinate and enthral all the family. There are some amazing objects and interactive displays for all ages. The collections comprise over 200,000 items of great national and international importance. " Explore the historic building and its story: from private house to hospital and museum. Go inside the original Victorian Operating Theatre to learn about the grisly history of surgery. " Visit an underwater world! See the internationally important collection of fossils of Jurassic sea-monsters and find out more about the creatures that swam in our prehistoric seas over 150 million years ago. " Discover the story of the world's first prisoner of war camp, built 200 years ago during the Napoleonic Wars. See inside one of the cells and view the incredibly intricate items made by the French prisoners. " Learn about the story of Peterborough, from prehistory to the present. Come face-to-face with Britain's oldest murder victim, see Roman and Saxon treasures, look inside a Victorian railway cottage and clock in to find out what Peterborough companies have made over the last century.
Peckover House and Gardens
Peckover House lies at the heart of the North Brink in Wisbech, one of Britain's most perfect streetscapes. From the 1790s it was home to the Peckovers, a fascinating dynasty of Quaker bankers, collectors and philanthropists who created the spacious Victorian garden that lies behind the house. The majority of the indigenous Peckover collection was sold during a two day sale after the death of Alexandrina Peckover in 1948, but the house is still full of interesting artefacts, objects and stories.
Coventry Music Museum
The recently expanded Coventry Music Museum (CMM) is an award-winning permanent independent museum. Although 2-Tone music is well featured here, the museum never forgets all the many artists to come out of Coventry & Warwickshire. King, The Enemy, Hazel O'Connor, Delia Derbyshire, Panjabi MC are all showcased, as are The Coventry Carol, Frank Ifield, The Specials, The Selecter, The Beat and Madness. There is an interactive studio room, plus a mock record shop booth and a reproduction of a typical Ska fans bedroom.
Herbert Art Gallery & Museum
The Herbert Art Gallery & Museum is the perfect place to delve into Coventry’s history and immerse yourself in world-class art. Investigate the natural world, modern art, and the Old Masters. Wander through dazzling interactive displays and enjoy the latest exhibitions while admiring the building’s unique architecture. As well as the art gallery’s ever-changing displays, often created in partnership with national museums, the Herbert offers a wide range of talks, events and workshops for both adults and children. Permanent galleries range from the Visual Arts, to Social and Industrial History, Archaeology and Natural History, there really is something for every visitor.
Albany Theatre
The Albany Theatre is truly a hidden gem in the heart of Coventry, with its impressive Art Deco-style theatre behind a superb façade of the old Coventry Technical College.
De Montfort Hall
De Montfort Hall has been one of Leicester's premier entertainment venues for over a century, hosting live music ranging from pop to classical, theatre, stand-up comedy, musicals and operas. The venue hosts an eclectic range of quality shows, including live music and festivals from rock to pop, touring West End musicals, internationally recognised comedians, opera and orchestra, ballet and dance and children’s shows. De Montfort Hall is set amongst beautiful gardens, which occasionally host outdoor stages to treat visitors to stunning views whilst enjoying the show. The hall is proud to have been a residence of the Philharmonia Orchestra since 1997. Acknowledged as one of the world's greatest orchestras, the Philharmonia run a programme of concerts as well as community and educational events each year. The hall is also home to a magnificent pipe organ; it has almost 6,000 pipes and is believed to be one of the last surviving example of its kind in the world. It was constructed in Leicester by organ builders Stephen Taylor and Son Ltd., and was a gift to the town by local industrialist Alfred Corah.
New Walk Museum & Art Gallery
New Walk Museum & Art Gallery, Leicester's original museum, has wide ranging collections and displays spanning the natural and cultural world. A family friendly day out, the galleries include Ancient Egypt, Dinosaurs, Wild Space, The Den gallery for the under 5s, the Victorian art gallery, Arts & Crafts gallery and a modern and contemporary art gallery. The first floor galleries include World Arts, Picasso Ceramics: The Attenborough Collection and Leicester's internationally renowned collection of German Expressionism. The museum welcomes a vast array of temporary exhibitions, featuring works from the collections, touring exhibitions from national museums and a programme of contemporary art and craft displays.
Curve is a spectacular, state-of-the-art theatre in the heart of Leicester’s vibrant Cultural Quarter. Opened in 2008 by Her Majesty The Queen, the award-winning building designed by acclaimed architect Rafael Viñoly offers a completely unique visitor experience. Unlike any other theatre in the UK, there is no traditional backstage area. Audiences can enjoy the full theatre-making process, peek behind the scenes and maybe even spot an actor or two dashing from the stage to their dressing room or enjoying a coffee in the café. The building’s stunning curved façade is made from 1,192 tonnes of steel and 46,000 square metres of glass. Managed by Leicester Theatre Trust, Curve is a registered charity providing engaging theatrical experiences for the community. Working with people of all ages and backgrounds, the theatre is committed to nurturing new and emerging talent, as well as creating world-class productions.
The Guildhall
The Guildhall is a historic building and the oldest building still in use in the city. It was Leicester’s first police station and between 1876 and the 1900’s and saw many unsavoury characters pass through its doors. The Great Hall itself was built in about 1390 as a meeting place for the Guild of Corpus Christi (a small but powerful group of businessmen and gentry) and it’s also believed that Shakespeare performed here during Tudor times. Over the years it has had many uses, including housing one of the oldest public libraries and serving as the Town Hall. After restoration, the Guildhall was opened to the public as a museum in 1926. Today the Guildhall is best known as an excellent performance venue, attracting acts from across the country, and as a museum where visitors can step back in time and come face to face with Crankie Gemmie and Emma Smith, two of Leicester's notorious pickpockets who can be found lurking in the Victorian police cells. The museum is also home to the Medieval Leicester galleries. Through objects and activities, visitors can walk the streets of medieval Leicester and uncover a world both familiar and very different to our own!
The Grand Theatre
The Grand Théâtre is remarkable with its Italian architecture, frescoes and acoustics .
Russell-Cotes Art Gallery & Museum
Welcome to the Russell-Cotes: House Gallery Garden – One of the most fascinating historic houses in England. The Russell-Cotes was the home of two Victorian collectors and travel enthusiasts, Sir Merton and Lady Annie Russell-Cotes.
Pavilion Theatre
The Pavilion Theatre and Ballroom is Bournemouth's venue for year round entertainment. Built in the 1920s, this vintage theatre retains its original and elegant styling. Bournemouth's regular home for West End stage shows, Opera, Ballet, Pantomime, Comedy and concerts as well as for corporate presentations and dinner dances, product launches and small conferences.
Sainsbury Centre for Visual Arts
An inspirational public art museum in a world-class Norman Foster building at the University of East Anglia (UEA). Set in acres of the countryside by the river. Visit the spectacular outdoor art exhibitions by Henry Moore and a sculpture garden. Modern art donated by Lord and Lady Sainsbury, including works by Pablo Picasso, Francis Bacon and Edgar Degas, and world art spanning 5,000 years of human creativity. Regular special exhibitions and a programme of events day and night.
Akamba Hertiage Centre
Discover the spirit of Africa at Akamba Hertiage Centre in Solihull. The centre houses two acres of exotic plantlife and palms, stunning lifesize animal scultptures and the new African Bird walk where you can see some of the world's most colourful birds up close. Be sure to check out the jungle beer garden and tribal restaurant for some premier African and Caribbean cuisine.

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