TATE BRITAIN ULTIMATE GUIDE
Open: Everyday: 10:00AM to 6:00PM
Time Needed: 2 hours
It may not be as popular or as visited as its sister-museum Tate Modern, but if you’re a lover of everything and anything related to British art, then London’s Tate Britain certainly won’t disappoint.
The gallery was founded in 1889 by the famed industrialist Henry Tate, who owned a massive collection of British art after making a fortune as a sugar refiner. Because there was no space to house his art in the National Gallery, he decided to open up a new art gallery focusing specifically on British art.
Originally, Tate Britain was meant to be one museum and was a single gallery consisting of merely 65 British paintings; however, due to popular demand, the venue was eventually expanded into four different sites in 2000 (Tate Modern, Tate Britain, Tate St. Ives and Tate Liverpool).
All of the pieces of artwork in Tate Britain are organized chronologically and feature everything from Pre-Raphaelites, 20th century art, pop art, sculptures, and even historic artifacts and live dancers.
A lot of art lovers in London flock to Tate Britain to see the J.M.W. Turner collection, which is the largest of its kind in the world. The collection is located in The Clore Gallery is comprised of 300 oil paintings, thousands of sketches and watercolours, 300 sketchbooks, and much, much more.
Other must-see galleries in the Tate Britain include The Archive Gallery (which houses over a million items), the Digital Archive Corridor (where visitors can “turn” pages of digitized sketchbooks, scrapbooks and albums), and The Duveen Galleries (focusing on sculpture displays).
If you have some time, then make sure you check out the Prints and Drawing Room (located on the upper floor of the Clore Gallery), which contains even more collections of artwork that aren’t currently on display in the galleries.
Some of the many world-renowned artists you can expect to see during your Tate Britain visit include:
By becoming a Tate Britain member (for £70 a year) you will get free entry into all exhibitions as well as the Member Rooms, and even invites to private viewings and special events.
For the ultimate Tate experience, take the Tate Boat down the River Thames to the Tate Modern (boats usually run about every 40 minutes).
The food at the café can be quite expensive, so if you're on a budget, check out some of the many pubs in the vicinity if you want to have a quick bite to eat before or after your visit.
Millbank, Westminster, London SW1P 4RG, United Kingdom (See map).
The nearest stations are Vauxhall (a ten-minute walk away) and Victoria (a 19-minute walk away).
The nearest station is Euston which is a 16-minute walk away.
You can reach the Tate Britain via routes 87, 88, C10, 2, 36, 185 and 436.
Please note that there are four Tate Britain different entrances:
Recommended visiting time is around two hours, and photography throughout the permanent galleries is allowed (but only for non-commercial purposes).
There are a variety of free daily guided tours which usually take place between 11 a.m. and 3 p.m.; for more information view the Tate Britain map which is available on its official website.
There are cloakroom facilities that are free of charge and located on the lower floor (which can be reached via a ramp/steps). All large bags and buggies must be kept in the cloakroom, however this is subject to space availability so try to avoid bringing large items altogether.
There are toilet and baby-changing facilities located on the lower floor as well as in the foyer of the Clore Gallery, and there are three lifts located at the Manton and Clore Gallery entrances. There are also benches and seats scattered all throughout the galleries, and folding seats are available upon request.
The Information Desks are located near the Manton and Millbank entrances; if you are visiting with your family, then be sure to pick up a Family Welcome Card here to help guide you through the many areas of the venue. If you want to purchase a ticket for some of the temporary exhibits, you can get your ticket on the ground floor.
Tate Britain is free for anyone to enter, although some special exhibitions may have a fee.
Tate Britain is open from Monday to Sunday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. (with last admission at 5:15 p.m.) and closes from December 24th to 26th every year.
The Prints And Drawing Room is open from Monday to Friday (10:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.) and closes for lunch between 1 p.m. and 2 p.m.
If you are visiting Tate Britain in a group of ten or more people, you can book your own tailor-made private tour around the museum from £10 to £14 per person; (check the official website for more information).