The Holburne Museum, Bath

Former Georgian party house turned art gallery/museum with excellent – eclectic – fine and decorative arts, stonking exhibitions and outdoor theatre.

28 May 2024Add to My FavouritesSave

The former Georgian party housed in the historic Sydney Pleasure Gardens opened as Bath’s first public art gallery in 1893, with exhibits from the extensive collection of former owner Sir William Holburne (1793-1874).

Today, with the addition of a stunning 21st century extension, the collection has more than doubled in size and includes a fascinating selection of fine and decorative arts from around the world, including paintings by Gainsborough and Stubbs.

Hats off to whoever programmes their brilliant temporary exhibitions. Past and current shows include big names like Caneletto, Dante Gabriel Rossetti, Rodin, Degas, Gwen John, David Hockney, Henry Moore… and graffiti artist Sam Cox (AKA Mr Doodle).

Kids are well catered for with discovery drawers in some of the galleries, a Space to Make creative area, activity trails and sensory bags.

Keep an eye on their events, which include workshops for adults, families and children, talks, music and lots of outdoor theatre during the summer.

Head to the light-filled Garden Café at the back of the museum which opens onto Sydney Gardens (lovely), for handmade sandwiches on sourdough bread, beautiful patisserie, local ice cream and great coffee.

The bookshop may be small but it’s packed with beautiful stationery, books and gifts.

You can even get married here.

The Holburne Museum is open daily Mon to Sat (10am–5pm), Sun and Bank Holidays (11am–5pm). Closed 24–26 Dec and 1 Jan.  Unlike some other museums and galleries, entrance tickets include access to exhibitions as well as the permanent collection and everyone can visit the permanent collection for free on Weds afternoons.


At a glance

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Great Pulteney Street, Bath, Somerset BA2 4DB



01225 388569

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