UK Art Galleries Which Are a Must Visit

The United Kingdom has dozens of world-class art galleries and museums to visit. Whether you love sculpture, modern art, old masters or impressionism, you can find the world’s best art on display in the UK. Here are 7 of the best UK art galleries which you must visit.

British Museum (London)

Perhaps the most famous museum in the United Kingdom, the British Museum is home to approximately 8 million pieces of art and antiquities. The oldest piece in the collection is a stone chopping tool approximately 2 million years old.


The museum’s huge collection of art works is dominated by British watercolours from artists including Turner, Hogarth, Sandby, Constable, Cotman, Girtin, Cox, Gillray, Rowlandson and Cruikshank. The modern art collection has pieces from a diverse range of countries including Germany, Sudan, Australia and the Netherlands. There are also a many works from indigenous artists.

The museum is incredibly popular, with more than 5.5 million people visiting each year.
The British museum is open from 10am to 5:30pm weekdays and admission is free.

Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum (Glasgow)

Kelvingrove Museum Glasgow

Kelvingrove receives more than 1 million visitors per year, making it the second most popular gallery in Scotland (behind the National Museum of Scotland). The collection has 9000 objects including the finest collection of swords and armour in the world.

The art collection focusses on the Old Masters, Dutch Renaissance, French Impressionists and Scottish Colourists. Kelvin grove underwent a £28m renovation between 2003-2006 and now includes a restaurant and larger display space. The gallery is free to enter and is sure to impress.

Tate Modern (London)

If you are a fan of modern art, then the Tate Modern art gallery is a must-see. The collection focusses on works from 1900 to the present day. It features works from artists including: Pablo Picasso, Georges Braque, Juan Gris, Robert Delaunay, Ernst Ludwig Kirchner and Paul Klee.

Tate Modern London

The gallery is arranged in a thematic groupings instead of chronologically or alphabetically. Visitors can enjoy the various themes including:

• Poetry and Dream (Surrealism),
• Structure and Clarity (Abstract Art),
• Transformed Visions (Abstract Impressionism),
• Energy and Process (work by artists including Arte Povera, Mendieta, Mario Merz and Jenny Holzer)
• Setting the Scene (installations with a theatrical or fictional theme)

There are also temporarily exhibitions in spaces including The Turbine Hall, The Tanks and The Project Space. These spaces usually house exhibitions for between 3 to 6 months.

The gallery receives over 5.3 million visitors per year, making it the second most popular gallery in the United Kingdom.

Scottish National Gallery (Edinburgh)

Scottish National Gallery Edinburgh

Located on The Mound in central Edinburgh, this is the official national gallery of Scotland. Situated within a neoclassical building the Scottish National Gallery features a huge collection of fine art from Scotland and around the world. Most of the art dates from the renaissance through to the start of the 20th-Century.

The gallery has some very important works of art including pieces by: Raphael, Monet, Rembrandt, Seurat, Diego Velázquez, Paul Cézanne and Van Dyck. The Scottish National Gallery is open daily from 10am to 5pm.

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National Museum (Cardiff)


The Cardiff National Museum has one of the best art collections in the United Kingdom. It spans over 500 years and includes many impressionist, modern and historic artworks. Some of the artists on display include Paul Cézanne, René Magritte, John Piper, Walter Richard Sickert, Cedric Morris, Pierre-Auguste Renoir, Claude Monet and Vincent Van Gogh. The art gallery is open Tuesday–Sunday, 10am–5pm and entry is free.

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Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art (Edinburgh)

Another must-see gallery for fans of modern art, the range of art work spans from 1900 through to the present day. The gallery is comprised of two buildings: Modern One and Modern Two. There are usually a variety of temporary exhibitions on offer as well as displays featuring collections owned by the gallery. The gallery’s collection includes more than 6000 paintings, drawings, prints and sculptures. It is open daily from 10am to 5pm.

Scottish National Gallery Modern Art Edinburgh


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