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Digital Subscriptions > Lonely Planet Traveller (UK) > April 2016 > London’s Best Art Collections

London’s Best Art Collections

The capital’s art scene is as eclectic as the city itself, and it’s possible to flit between Renaissance masterpieces and contemporary stars all within a few gallery steps.
Tate Britain, originally opened in 1897



This outstanding art gallery, housed in a creatively revamped brick power station on South Bank, has been extraordinarily successful in bringing challenging work to the masses, both through its free permanent collection and fee-paying, big-name temporary exhibitions. There are free, guided highlights tours at 11am, noon, 2pm and 3pm daily (tate.org.uk; Queen’s Walk; free).


Famed for courting controversy, the gallery hosts temporary exhibitions of experimental and thought-provoking work across a variety of media. The white and sanded bare-floorboard galleries are magnificently presented, but save some wonder for Gallery 13, where Richard Wilson’s beautiful 20:50 is on permanent display. An interesting shop draws visitors in on the first floor (saatchi gallery.com; King’s Rd; free).

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