Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Things to do in London: Art / Museums

London is fantastic for art and museum fans, not least because many have free admission [though temporary exhibitions usually have a charge]. Here are a few of my favourites, but there are plenty.

The Victoria and Albert Museum
A great and quite unique museum. You just can't go wrong here. A huge variety of things to see, wonderfully presented, not too busy and free admission. Even the museum shop is good. The icing on the cake comes on a sunny day as there's a large courtyard where you can take a rest and a cup of tea.
Tube: South Kensington. Map.

The Tates
The Tate Modern now gets all attention but the original, Tate Britain, is still great. Free admission.
Tube:Pimlico. Map .
Tube: Mansion House [and cross the bridge on the wobbly bridge]. Map.

The Courtauld Gallery
Unlike other museums you do have to pay to get in, but the Courtauld has three great things going for it: it's not very big [so there's no traipsing around], the quality of work is great, it's doesn't get very busy.
Tube: Covent Garden, Temple, Charing Cross. Map.

The Saatchi Gallery
Charles Saatchi gets plenty of bad press for his role in the art world but he can't be all bad as he's set up a great gallery showing cutting edge work. As it's free it can get busy.
Tube: Sloane Square. Map

Whitechapel Gallery
You have to pay to get into the main exhibition here, but it's a very popular exhibition space for good reason. Their latest show, of Thomas Struth photos, is excellent, and runs until Sept 16th.
Tube: Aldegate East. Map.

Other places that might interest you:
The Serpentine Gallery
The British Museum
Fold Gallery
Danielle Arnaud

One for the kids:
The Natural History Museum:
I used to love going to this museum as a kid because it had row upon row of insects. That said, it wasn't particularly child-friendly as many modern museums now are. It is now, though. Traditionalists like myself might complain about silly moving dinasaurs, but the changes which are educational and often interactive, are obviously a huge with kids.
Natural History Museum

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