Make the most of London’s galleries

London has a wealth of art galleries, catering for all tastes: Old Masters, Impressionists, modern paintings and sculpture. From the great national collections to the more eclectic, London has something for everyone.

Whether you want a highlights tour or one geared to your personal interests or specific themes, I can bring knowledge, enthusiasm and insight to your visit. If you only have an hour or so to spare, and wouldn’t know where to start, leave it to me and I’ll show you some of the most extraordinary and fascinating items – some of the world-famous highlights of the museum or gallery and some more quirky things besides!

NATIONAL GALLERY, Trafalgar Square

This is the biggy! Over 3,000 Western European paintings from the 13c to the 20C. Here are the Raphaels, Titians, Rubens, da Vincis; the Renbrandts, Gainsboroughs and Constables. Not to mention the Impressionists.

GALLERY IS FREE OF CHARGE

NATIONAL PORTRAIT GALLERY, Trafalgar Square

Here is history of Britain in portraiture. From the Tudor period to the current day, there is an enormous array of the great, the good, the bad and the downright fascinating. There is also a photographic collection.
At the top of the building is a restaurant with a superb view over the rooftops of Westminster, not to mention a stunning bookshop.

GALLERY IS FREE OF CHARGE

THE WALLACE COLLECTION, Manchester Square

Often said to be the jewel in London’s art galleries, the Wallace Collection, housed in what was the family home, was built up by five generations of the same family, Immensely wealthy, they could outbid anyone, and here we see an extraordinary range of paintings, furniture, snuff boxes, porcelain and armour. With a strong French flavour, this collection is set within sumptuous rooms and has an intimacy which is a joy to experience. So close to the bustle of Oxford Street, this is a wonderful place to escape to, and, after the visit, enjoy a coffee or a cream tea in the spectacular courtyard restaurant.

TATE BRITAIN, Millbank

This gallery houses the UK’s collection of British art from 1500 to the present day. Here are the Pre-Raphaelites, Gainsborough, Constable and Turner. And here is the Turner Bequest, a spectacular collection of works from, arguably, England’s greatest artist left to the nation in his will. Not to be missed. The art continues in the superb restaurant with walls decorated by Rex Whistler.

THIS GALLERY IS FREE OF CHARGE

TATE MODERN, Bankside

Housed within a spectacularly restored power station, across the river from the majestic St Paul’s Cathedral, this is Britain’s collection of international modern and contemporary art, ranging from Picasso to Rothko and Warhol and Damien Hirst. Not to mention temporary exhibitions, fun and provocative installations in the great Turbine Hall and one of the greatest views in London across the Thames.

THIS GALLERY IS FREE OF CHARGE

And why not visit both Tates? The fun way… by a fast clipper along the river taking in a spectacular view of the Houses of Parliament en-route.

THE COURTAULD GALLERY, The Strand

If Impressionism is your thing, this is the place to come. Housed within the magnificent Somerset House overlooking the river Thames, these rooms are choc-a-bloc with the paintings of Monet, Manet, Van Gogh, Renoir, Degas, Pisarro, Sisley and others. The setting is glorious, the rooms intimate, the whole place redolent with history.

THIS GALLERY HAS AN ENTRY FEE OF £6 FORPER ADULTS; £4.50 FOR CONCESSIONS, BUT IS FREE OF CHARGE MONS UNTIL 2pm