The 8 Best Art Galleries in the UK & Ireland

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When wanting to visit the best art galleries in the world, many people think about the famous galleries of Europe, the USA and other exotic destinations.

However, you don’t need to worry about queuing up for hours at the Louvre in Paris, or hunting down sold-out Last Supper tickets in Milan. We have a large number of world-class galleries on our own shores, which are well worth visiting. 

Here are 8 of the best art galleries in the UK and Ireland.

  1. The National Gallery, London

Any list of the best art galleries in the UK wouldn’t be complete without the National Gallery. Located on Trafalgar Square in the centre of London, this is Britain’s key national art collection, and one of the world’s best collections of old master paintings. Among its more than 2000 paintings, the gallery has an incredible number of European masterpieces, from Botticelli and Leonardo de Vinci to Gainsborough, Turner and Van Gogh. 

Open daily, admission to the gallery is free, with tickets needed for some special exhibitions and events. The National Gallery also supplies audio guides in multiple languages, as well as offering free guided tours and a range of family-friendly activities. 

  1. The National Gallery of Scotland, Edinburgh

Located between Princes St and the Castle, this small but world-class gallery has fine works by Boticelli, Raphael, Titian, Vermeer, Rembrandt and Monet, among other masters. With a concise collection of works on display, you will see only the finest pieces of art!

The National Gallery of Scotland is open every day except Christmas Day, Boxing Day, and New Years Day. The permanent collections are free to visit, with some temporary exhibitions having an admission fee.

  1. National Gallery of Ireland, Dublin

The National Gallery of Ireland recently underwent a refurbishment, with impressive results. There is now no doubt that this is a world-class museum with a large collection of art, including the National Portrait Gallery, all in the centre of Dublin. The collection includes a large number of works by Irish artists, as well as international masters such as Caravaggio, Monet and Goya.

The National Gallery of Ireland is open daily, including late on Thursdays. The general collection is free to visit.

  1. The Tate Modern, London

Another of London’s most famous and prestigious museums, the Tate Modern is located in the old Bankside Power Station in South Bank, on the banks of the Thames.  This is the world’s most visited Art Gallery, with an extensive collection of premiere twentieth and twenty-first century art, including pieces from Cézanne, Matisse, Rothko, Pollock and Warhol, as well as a range of exhibitions and live art and installations.

The Tate Modern is open late on Fridays and Saturdays, giving you plenty of opportunities to visit, no matter your schedule. They also have daily free tours, which focus on different themes each day.

  1. The Ashmolean Museum, Oxford

The Ashmolean is one of the oldest public museums in the world, founded in 1683. This houses Oxford University’s art collection, an outstanding collection of international art across several centuries. This includes the famous renaissance work by Paolo Uccello, The Hunt in the Forest, as well as a range of other pieces from drawings by Rapheal, Michaelangelo and Leonardo da Vinci, to works from British masters Turner and Constable and ancient Japanese paintings.

The Ashmolean Museum is open to the public daily, and open late on Fridays.

  1. The Walker Art Gallery, Liverpool

The Walker Art Gallery in Liverpool has an extensive collection of paintings, sculpture and decorative art, from the 13th century to contemporary works. These include paintings and sculptures by British and European masters such as Rembrandt, Turner, Monet, Freud, Hockney, Degas, Rodin and Moore. Other interesting collections include decorative arts, fashion and installation art. 

Entry to the Walker Art Gallery’s collections is free, and the museum is open daily.

  1. Kelvingrove Art Gallery, Glasgow

One of Glasgow’s key attractions of any kind, the Kelvingrove Art Gallery has a very fine collection of paintings, focussing particularly on the Dutch Renaissance and French impressionists. It is also home to the famous piece by Salvador Dali, Christ of St John of the Cross. Founded in 1901, the museum also has diverse collections from animals to Ancient Egypt, as well as regularly changing temporary exhibitions.

The museum is open daily and admission to the permanent collections is free.

  1. The Tate Britain

The Tate Britain is the nation’s great collection of British art, spanning from 1500 to contemporary works. Here you will find masterpieces from the great British masters such as Turner, Constable,Reynolds, Francis Bacon and the Preraphaelites. Located on the riverside in a historic Portland building, and is in the middle of a 20-year redevelopment plan at the moment which aims to conserve the building’s original features, upgrade its galleries, and open new spaces. 

Along with a solid permanent collection of master works, the gallery also hosts a number of temporary exhibitions. It is also home to the perennially controversial Turner Prize exhibition, every September to January.

About Author

LaDonna Dennis

LaDonna Dennis is the founder and creator of Mom Blog Society. She wears many hats. She is a Homemaker*Blogger*Crafter*Reader*Pinner*Friend*Animal Lover* Former writer of Frost Illustrated and, Cancer...SURVIVOR! LaDonna is happily married to the love of her life, the mother of 3 grown children and "Grams" to 3 grandchildren. She adores animals and has four furbabies: Makia ( a German Shepherd, whose mission in life is to be her attached to her hip) and Hachie, (an OCD Alaskan Malamute, and Akia (An Alaskan Malamute) who is just sweet as can be. And Sassy, a four-month-old German Shepherd who has quickly stolen her heart and become the most precious fur baby of all times. Aside from the humans in her life, LaDonna's fur babies are her world.

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