Art

The Serpentine Gallery

Perched on the lake of the same name in the middle of Kensington Gardens, the Serpentine is one of London's most popular modern art galleries. There's a permanent display dedicated to Diana, Princess of Wales by Ian Hamilton Finlay, and a year-round programme of changing exhibitions ensures the Serpentine is always worth a visit.

Halcyon Gallery

In the heart of Mayfair, the Halcyon is an avant-garde spot specialising in contemporary art, with a number of Impressionist and Pop Art pieces. Established relatively recently in 1982, it's a favourite destination for collectors from around the world. Paintings vie for attention with unique furnishings, sculpture, glasswork and photography.

Clarendon Fine Art Gallery

Another contemporary Mayfair gallery, the Clarendon features the work of renowned artists from around the world, such as Fabian Perez and Kim Donaldson. It also supplies works for display on board the Cunard cruise line on ships such as the Queen Elizabeth, the Queen Victoria and the Queen Mary II.

Exhibition Centres

If you're visiting the capital to see an exhibition, The Montcalm London Marble Arch is centrally located for easy access to many of the top venues.

Central Hall Westminster

This Grade II listed building a stone's throw from the Houses of Parliament often amazes visitors with its beautiful exterior and unexpectedly eye-catching entrance hall. The event space is equally spectacular, with the Great Hall seating more than 2,000 people.

Olympia

One of Britain's best known exhibition centres, Olympia opened in 1886 in West Kensington, with a vast main hall topped by an impressive glass and iron dome. Today, the venue comprises three exhibition spaces and is home to a multitude of annual events, including The National Wedding Show and Master Chef Live.

Business Design Centre Islington

In avant-garde Angel, just off Islington's bustling Upper Street, the BDC Islington is an immense venue spanning more than 20,000 sq ft. The Grade II listed building was completed in 1861 and served a variety of purposes, including a World War II sorting office. It was converted to an exhibition centre in 1986, and with its striking glass facade is a popular venue for design and fashion conventions.

Museums

The National Gallery

Commanding the north side of Trafalgar Square and only a few steps from Charing Cross Station, The National Gallery is simply unmissable for any visitor with even a passing interest in art. Built in the 1830s, it houses more than 2,300 works from Old Masters and British artists, as well as famous names like van Dyck, Rembrandt, Canaletto, Goya, Cezanne, Monte, Renoir and Caravaggio.

The Queen's Gallery

With a regularly changing collection of works on display, the relatively little known Queen's Gallery at Buckingham Palace opened in 1962 to display items in the Royal Collection that were held "in trust for the nation". It's a fascinating place, with a variety of paintings from around the world, as well as sculptures and furnishings.

Tate Britain

The original home of the venerable Tate Collection before it expanded and Tate Modern opened on the South Bank, Tate Britain houses the permanent collection of priceless works by revered British artists such as Blake, Constable, Waterhouse, Turner and Spencer. It is also the home of the annual Turner Prize exhibition.

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