If you’re an art lover, I think there are some fantastic destinations for art-based holidays right here in the UK. Newcastle particularly stands out, since it has a broad range of art galleries, including everything from venues with ever-changing exhibitions to commercial galleries where you can buy the pieces you love the most.
Of course, with so many galleries to get around, it’s worth staying in Newcastle for as long a break as possible. Basing yourself in a hotel in the city centre (you can see some examples here) is a good idea, because it means you can be just a stone’s throw from lots of different establishments. Hotel du Vin, County Hotel and Jurys Inn NewcastleGateshead – which, by the way, is just two minutes’ walk from the celebrated BALTIC Centre – are just some of the options worth considering.
However, that’s enough on the practical side of things. Below, you can get a few ideas of exactly where you should visit.
University Gallery & Baring Wing
My first suggestion is the University Gallery & Baring Wing, which you’ll find at Northumbria University. What I like about this gallery is that as well as showcasing work by well-known national and international artists, it also provides an exhibition space for up-and-coming names. So, by visiting here you have the potential to see the next big thing.
It was established in 1977, from which time it helped to provide more interaction between the university and the town. These days, you can check out public lectures, alongside other educational events, relating to current exhibitions during your visit.
The Biscuit Factory
Next on my list is The Biscuit Factory, which is in Shieldfield. This is a commercial gallery, so it’s the place to come if you want the chance to buy any of the pieces you spot. While some are priced as high as £10,000, others are as little as £20, so there’s scope for most people to treat themselves here.
What I like about this gallery is that a wide range of art forms can be admired here, including sculptures, ceramics, glass and jewellery, as well as paintings and prints. Plus, there are also regular workshops, so be sure to check out the programme if you fancy going along to one during your visit.
Laing Art Gallery
Over in New Bridge Street, you’ll come across the Laing Art Gallery, which has an extensive collection and a programme brimming with free events – a winning combination, I think!
There are several things that really appeal to me about this gallery. One is that the works on display from the gallery’s permanent collection are frequently changed, which means that even if you’ve visited before, chances are what you see will be new to you.
Another is that there is a great variety of free events you can go to, including artists’ events, gallery talks and family activities. So, it’s a really inclusive programme – and I think that’s what makes it so special.
BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art
The last gallery on my list is one of the most exciting in Newcastle and, I think, the whole of the UK. The BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art has the distinction of being the biggest gallery of its kind in the world, having no permanent collection and instead offering a regularly changing programme of exhibitions and events.
The work displayed here typically has international significance and spans a wide range of styles of contemporary art. So, if you want to experience something a bit different and see some cutting-edge works, this is the place to come to.