List of Top 10 Most Visited Museums and Art Galleries in the UK


Last Updated on February 25, 2024 by Ali Hamza

The UK has always had a rich history and a strong love for art. This has led to many wonderful educational museums and beautiful art galleries being established all over. So, if you are a history and art buff and have a UK visa, here’s a list of the top 10 most visited museums and art galleries in the UK:

The Hepworth Wakefield Art Gallery in Wakefield 

Consistently ranked in the top 50 art galleries in the world, The Hepworth Wakefield is an amazing place that carries all the works of artists Barbara Hepworth, and some from Anthony Caro, Ben Nicholson, and Henry Moore. Housed in a purple-grey concrete building, the gallery is a popular place in UK’s art scene  

Science Museum 

Previously operating as the South Kensington Museum in 1857, the Science Museum came into being in 1885 after only the science-related collections remained. Today, the London-based Museum is one of the best museums in London, holding more than 300,000 items and seeing more than 3 million visitors.  

Imperial War Museum in Manchester, England

The internationally famous architect, Daniel Libeskind, the Imperial War Museum in Manchester is one of 5 museums dedicated to the reflection of the war-affected shard of the globe. It has war memorabilia related to the Commonwealth and Britain right from the First World War. The museum started in 2002 and has been popular ever since. 

Nottingham Contemporary Art Gallery 

The Nottingham Contemporary is one of the best places to witness contemporary art. The structure of the gallery is an ode to the factories and warehouses that were once in Nottingham. Inside, the building is massive and hosts many exhibitions of contemporary art and even live music and dance events, making it one of the most popular national galleries in the UK.

The Tate St. Ives Museum in Cornwall

St. Ives is an idyllic coastal town that played host to many artists like Hepworth, Gabo, and Nicholson in the 20th Century. Hence, the art culture is strong here and can be best witnessed at the Tate St. Ives Gallery & Museum located on Porthmeor Beach. The museum mostly hosts art inspired by St. Ives. 

Ashmolean Museum of Art & Archaeology in Oxford

Ashmolean Museum of Art & Archaeology easily ranks among the top museums in UK. It has been in existence since 1683 and is home to artwork by some of the greatest artists to ever exist like Leonardo da Vinci, Raphael, and Michelangelo. Here, you can also find amazing artefacts from all over the world. This is a must-see place. 

Tate Liverpool Museum Art Gallery 

Located in the repurposed warehouse in Liverpool’s Albert Dock, the Tate Liverpool Museum Art Gallery boasts of some of the most amazing names in the art world like Louise Bourgeois, Jackson Pollock, and Pablo Picasso. This place also hosts many events and exhibitions, including UK’s biggest art fair, Liverpool Biennial. 

Whitworth Art Gallery in Manchester 

One of the best places to see contemporary art, the Whitworth Art Gallery is also one of the best-looking art galleries. Victorian exteriors and modern interiors juxtapose beautifully and reflect the quality of art held within. Many exhibitions are held regularly and crowds flock to witness the best of contemporary and modern art in North England. 

BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Arts in Gateshead

Slowly, the BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Arts in Gateshead is counting itself among the famous museums in UK, thanks to its ever-rotating collection of art. This place is one of the few museums that have no permanent art fixture. The displays and collections keep changing, and this is one of the reasons why many people keep coming back. 

The Yorkshire Sculpture Park

Is it a park, an art gallery, or a museum? Well, most of the world knows this place as a gallery without walls as it is located on the grounds of Breton Hall Estate. Yorkshire Sculpture Park showcases many stunning sculptures that are a treat for art lovers. The atmosphere here is always amazing. 

So, the next time you are in the UK, visit all the given British history museums and contemporary art galleries to witness amazing culture and creativity. 

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