The National Portrait Gallery is often lost in the museum shuffle in London, mostly because it's located behind the National Gallery, so it's often an afterthought for tourists. And frankly, if you're walking from Trafalgar Square to Leicester Square or Covent Garden, it's easy to walk right past it and not know that it's there. They aim to change that with a major renovation … [Read more...] about London Alert: The National Portrait Gallery to Close for Three Years for Major Refurbishment
The Tate Britain is the flagship of the Tate museum group and has been a fixture in British art since it opened in 1897. Its collection is full of art from throughout the United Kingdom going back to the Tudor era and includes some of the country’s biggest names from J.M.W. Turner to William Blake. With so many works over such a long span of time, there are plenty of … [Read more...] about Top Ten Works of Art to See at the Tate Britain
Housed in the former Bankside Power Station, the Tate Modern is a repository of art from 1900 to the present. With thousands of items in their collection and over 5 million visitors per year, the Tate Modern is the second-largest art museum in the UK. As such, you can believe there are many interesting works to see from Warhol, Matisse, Picasso, Pollack, and more. Since art … [Read more...] about Top 10 London: Top Ten Things to See in the Tate Modern Art Museum
Marking the 500th anniversary of the death of Leonardo da Vinci, this exhibition at the Queen's Gallery, Buckingham Palace, brings together more than 200 of the Renaissance master's greatest drawings in the Royal Collection. As the Royal Collection has more drawings by Leonardo da Vinci than any other Renaissance artist, it forms the largest exhibition of his work in over 65 … [Read more...] about London Exhibition Report: Leonardo da Vinci: A Life in Drawing – Blockbuster New Exhibition at Buckingham Palace
The National Gallery in London is one of the finest Art Museums in the world - and one of the oldest. It's one of my favorite places to visit when I visit London. This is one of London's top free museums, and you can just walk in whenever you like and admire some of the finest works of art humanity has ever produced. But there are thousands of works in the museum - which ones … [Read more...] about Top 10 Works of Art to See in London’s National Gallery On Your Next Visit
Stanley Kubrick: The Exhibition has opened at The Design Museum in Kensington and is on until 15 September 2019. A global touring exhibition which started its journey in 2004, has at last reached London where so many of Kubrick's movies were filmed. Marking the 20th anniversary of Stanley Kubrick’s death, the exhibition explores his unique command of the whole creative … [Read more...] about Laura’s London: Stanley Kubrick: The Exhibition – The Design Museum – Our Review – Is It Worth Going?
This major exhibition at Tate Britain focuses on the time Vincent van Gogh (1853-1890) spent in Britain between 1873 and 1876 when he was in his early twenties. He explored the (then) largest city in the world a decade before he became an artist. The exhibition is able to look at the artist's relationship with Britain and explores how Van Gogh was inspired by British art, … [Read more...] about Laura’s London: Van Gogh and Britain – Landmark New Exhibtion at Tate Britain – Full Report
Editor's Note: We have a real treat this week - Laura was given an exclusive tour of the newly restored Painted Hall in Greenwich before its re-opening so we're chuffed to bits that she's written up a huge report about it. Please consider subscribing to the Londontopia Magazine as it allows us to commission great articles like this. As reported here recently, The Painted … [Read more...] about Laura’s London: Take a First Look at the Beautiful Restored Painted Hall in Greenwich – Re-opening in March!
London is a world-class city and one thing it lacks right now is a world-class symphonic concert hall. Yes, it has the Royal Albert Hall, but that's over 150 years old and not exactly to the standard of modern concert halls. This is set to change in the coming years and we now have our first good look at what the place could look like. The London Centre for Music is due to … [Read more...] about Future London: Take a Look at London’s Future Symphonic Concert Hall
Great news! After being closed for almost two years and undergoing at £3 million restoration, The Painted Hall at the Old Royal Naval College in Greenwich will be re-opening to visitors! This place is sometimes referred to as the UK's 'Sistine Chapel' and it's an incredible sight to see in person. If you've been the Greenwich the last few years, you may have been … [Read more...] about London Alert: The Painted Hall in Greenwich to Re-Open in March After Multi-year Restoration
This came through the inbox the other day and I knew we had to share it. This beautiful new map from artist Cally Lathey and it took her 11 months to create. Wow! About the map: From Winehouse to Willesden, Elizabeth Taylor to Elephant and Castle, Bowie to Brockley... This map has it all. Did you know that Mozart wrote his first symphony in London in 1764? That Alfred … [Read more...] about London Maps: Check Out This Beautiful New Map of London History and Culture
Big news for fans of British star Ian McKellan, to celebrate his 80th birthday next year, he's going to go on a national tour around Britain, celebrating his greatest hits and raising funds for theatre. Here are the details: Ian McKellen is to celebrate his 8oth birthday next year by raising funds for theatres, with a new solo show which will play on 80 … [Read more...] about Ian McKellan To Go On Tour For His 80th Birthday – Tolkien, Shakespeare, others
A very moving scene has been created in London at the Tower of London and you only have until the 11th to see it. 10,000 gas lanterns have been lit in the Tower's moat in commemoration of the end of World War I. If you're in London right now, you have until Sunday to see this. Go! I wish I was there to see it in person. From Historic Royal Palaces: As the nation … [Read more...] about London Alert: Tower of London Lights 10,000 Torches in its Moat in Remembrance of World War I – See it by Sunday!
We reported on this a couple weeks ago (and it was the most popular thing we've posted in months!) so we figured we would let everyone know that the Giant Harry Potter Wands are now on display on the walk to St Paul's Cathedral from the Millenium Bridge for a very limited time. Put up to coincide with the upcoming film Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald, Fantastic … [Read more...] about Wands At The Ready! Giant Harry Potter Wands Unveiled On Walk to St Paul’s Cathedral
For the first time in London for 70 years, the National Gallery is displaying major Impressionist and Post-Impressionist masterworks from the Courtauld Gallery, purchased in the 1920s by Samuel Courtauld (1876–1947). These are shown alongside paintings from the National Gallery's own collection which the businessman and philanthropist financed and helped acquire. Courtauld … [Read more...] about Laura’s London: A Look at the Courtauld Impressionists at The National Gallery – From Manet to Cézanne
One of the greatest things about London is that most of the museums are free. Government funding and charitable donations ensure that many of London’s best musuems are obligated to keep entry to the general public free (but they can charge extra for special exhibitions). This makes many of the museums more accessible to those who many not be able to afford a trip to the museum. … [Read more...] about The Best of Free London: The Best Free Museums in London
For ten weeks each summer we get to go inside Buckingham Palace and see the State Rooms while the Queen is away at Balmoral (Scotland). There's also a special exhibition included and this year, to mark the 70th birthday of The Prince of Wales, the Summer Opening of Buckingham Palace includes a special display of over 100 works of art personally selected by His Royal … [Read more...] about Exhibition Alert: Laura Visits the 2018 Summer Opening of Buckingham Palace – Prince Charles’s Favorites in the Royal Collection
It's pretty common for London's museums to be variously closed while renovations are done. Next up is the Courtauld Gallery, the art gallery located in Somerset House. This small gallery is often overshadowed by the bigger National Gallery and National Portrait Gallery, practically across the street but it's home to some amazing art. As with most museums in London, the building … [Read more...] about London Alert: The Courtauld Gallery is Closing for 2 Years – Visit by September!
The Royal Academy of Arts is hardly new. In fact, it's celebrating it's 250th anniversary this year. But to mark the occasion the RA has undergone an enormous transformation and expansion. And the new Royal Academy is opening on Saturday 19 May 2018. About The Royal Academy The RA was founded in 1768 by a group of 40 artists and architects who became the first Royal … [Read more...] about Laura’s London: A Look Behind the Scenes of the New Royal Academy of Arts Renovations Opening This Weekend
History was made today in Parliament Square, located directly across from the Palace of Westminster. For 200-years great leaders have been honoured with a statue in front of the Houses of Parliament. Lincoln, Churchill, Gandhi, Mandela are just a few of the names. But one thing all those names had in common was that they were men despite the many important women in Britain's … [Read more...] about First Statue in Parliament Square of a Women Unveiled Today – Suffragist Leader Millicent Fawcett
Goodbye, giant Thumb's Up, hello Lamassu. The fourth plinth is one of the best public art projects in London. Every few years, a new artwork is put on display on the empty fourth plinth in Trafalgar Square (empty for a statue that was never made). It's prime place directly in front of the National Gallery is a great place to display a large work of art. There have been some … [Read more...] about Trafalgar Square: The Fourth Plinth Has a New Artwork – Replica of Statue Destroyed by ISIS
Editor's Note: This article is made up of extracts from the 2018 London Annual Guide to London in 2018 written by London expert Laura Porter. It's a massive article - over 20 print pages - too big to post here in one go. We still have copies of the Annual - you can get them here (we're almost out though so move quickly). But since people are planning trips for 2018, I thought … [Read more...] about Trip Planning: Top 10 Exhibitions To Plan Your 2018 Trips to London Around
In this article, I’m going to review a billboard. But not just any billboard, the most famous billboard in the world. Well, in London at least. I’m talking about, of course, the new electronic billboard that has replaced the previous iconic billboards at the heart of Piccadilly Circus. First some terminology - in Britain they don’t really use the word billboard. It’s a … [Read more...] about The New Piccadilly Circus Billboard: A Review
Charles I had one of the most extraordinary and influential art collections. For the first time since the 17th century, this landmark exhibition at the Royal Academy has brought together the astounding treasures that changed the taste of the nation. Charles I: King and Collector reunites 140 of the most important works of art, ranging from classical sculptures to Baroque … [Read more...] about Laura’s London: Charles I: King and Collector – Royal Academy Exhibition Review – New Exhibition Alert!
Now a symbol of London’s ever-changing nature as new development takes over; Television Centre was once home to the UK’s most beloved dramas, comedies, and cultural programs. It was constructed specifically to be the BBC’s first dedicated television broadcasting studios and would oversee the news and such memorable shows as Blue Peter, Doctor Who, Top of the Pops, Monty … [Read more...] about Great London Buildings – The Old BBC Television Centre