Museums & Galleries - Exciting Openings for 2018
Britain is renowned for its rich cultural heritage, for such a tiny island the United Kingdom has contributed a vast amount to history and continues to lead the way with some of the finest museums and galleries in the world. Visitors to England in 2018 will be delighted to learn that there are a number of exciting new exhibitions and openings this year in London and beyond.
The Victoria & Albert Museum, an icon of British culture and a must for anyone visiting London, opens its new Photography Centre in the autumn. The custom-built space will display images selected from the V&As 500,000-strong photography collection, which dates all the way back to 1856. The centre will also showcase pictures from the Royal Photographic Society as well as a huge range of cameras and historic equipment.
Another iconic London landmark, Westminster Abbey will launch The Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Galleries, displaying treasures from the Abbey’s collection. The galleries will be housed in Westminster’s medieval triforium, boasting incredible views across Parliament Square and into the church itself. This incredible space, which has been closed to the public for over 700 years, will be open for all this summer.
Following an extensive renovation to celebrate its 250th anniversary, London’s Royal Academy of Arts will reopen, bigger and better than ever, on the 19th May. As well as receiving a substantial “facelift” (the Academy’s grand façade has been restored during the renovation), the RA now also boasts three day-lit galleries dedicated to contemporary art and architecture.
The beautiful city of Cambridge can be reached in just 45 minutes by train from London. Famous for its magnificent architecture and as a historic seat of learning, Cambridge isn’t just about old buildings and old academics! Kettle’s Yard is a wonderful modern art gallery featuring works by artists such as Joan Miró, Barbara Hepworth and Henry Moore. Founded by then curator of the Tate, Jim Ede, in the 1950s, the gallery reopened in February after a 2-year redevelopment.
Bristol is a beautiful, historic city full of colour with a host of independent shops, unique markets and fantastic food making it a perfect day-trip if you’re staying in nearby Bath or the lovely Cotswolds. A brand-new museum, Being Brunel, opened in March on Bristol’s picturesque harbourside, right next to the renowned civil engineer’s SS Great Britain. The museum’s exhibits, which celebrate the life and work of Isambard Kingdom Brunel, include an incredible refurbishment of Brunel’s Drawing Office.
Another draw for history lovers is the D-Day Museum, which reopens this spring in Portsmouth. Refurbished in preparation for the 75th anniversary in 2019, the museum focuses on the personal stories of those who took part in the D-Day landings. It’s less than a two-hour drive from London to Portsmouth, through the beautiful Surrey countryside and the South Downs National Park, once there you can even hop across the water to spend a day on the lovely Isle of Wight.