Museums & art galleries
What is it?     What you need     Getting started     Find out more


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What is it?

  • Many people visit museums and galleries just occasionally as part of a day or afternoon out or when on holiday.  

  • But others visit these attractions much more regularly, either as a matter of general interest in history, science or the arts, or as part of a learning programme on some special subject of interest (see also eg visiting historic houses, arts and crafts appreciation, history and geography hobbies, nature hobbies).  

  • There is a very wide range of subjects covered by museums and galleries, from painting and drawing to earth sciences, and from local history to the characteristics of far away countries.  

  • Some museums and galleries are small and specialise in a limited set of topics, while others are much larger and/or more general in subject matter.   Most museums are open through the year and generally at weekends.  .

Find out more


24 Hour Museum
Art Guide
New Exhibitions of Contemporary Art
Sculptural Solutions


British Museum Magazine 
Museums & Galleries in Great Britain and Northern Ireland 
V&A Magazine

Getting started

  • Find a local group or club that covers the type of museum and gallery that interests you (see organisations above).

  • Take a class or course at your local adult education centre or see if you local museum has special events of interest.

  • Consult books or magazines on different types of museums and galleries and their collections.

  • Check in your local library/paper, museum, gallery, or education centre for more information.

What you need

Skills and people
  • Anyone can go to visit museums and galleries, and entry may be free.  Younger children may need to be accompanied by an adult. 

  • You can easily visit a museum or gallery on your own, but many people like to go in an informal group with family or friends.  

  • A number of organisations arrange special visits, often with a guide or associated talk.  Many museums or galleries also have  associations of "friends" which give entry privileges to members and organise special events.

Equipment or clothing
  • You do not need any special equipment or clothing to visit museums and galleries.

A place or facilities
  • There are museums and galleries of some kind in every part of the UK and abroad.  

  • The larger collections tend to be in towns and cities.  Interesting collections are also kept in many of the historic houses

Have a go - get started now 

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