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“All other art galleries could learn from this establishment”
5 of 5 bubbles Review of Holburne Museum

Holburne Museum
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City Sightseeing Bath Hop-On Hop-Off Tour
Ranked #13 of 155 things to do in Bath
Certificate of Excellence
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Owner description: With an impressive collection of fine and decorative art, this newly transformed Museum, with Garden Cafe, is situated in lovely grounds and is set to become Bath's must-see attraction. Open daily, admission free. 10am to 5pm (11am on Sundays)
Midsomer Norton, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
646 reviews
302 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 493 helpful votes
“All other art galleries could learn from this establishment”
Reviewed 26 February 2014


Sometimes I am impressed, sometimes I'm very impressed, and sometimes I'm overwhelmed. The thought and care that has gone into this refurbished gallery is impressive.

This gallery is situated majestically at the end of a long Georgian street from Pulteney Bridge in Bath. You cannot miss it unless you actually close your eyes. It is surrounded by greenery which I'm sure looks very nice in the summer and don't forget to go to the rear of the building where you will find a small park. Good for walking the dog.

This Gallery has so many good points I have to list them.

THE STAFF. Mostly volunteers who were very enthusiastic and I can almost say excited about the possibilities of this gallery. If I can describe it as manageable. The enormous galleries like Tate modern and MOMA in New York can be overwhelming in size. This one has got it just right. it's a bit like a meal, you go away satisfied but not bloated.

THE GALLERIES – there are about six and the wallpaper and background to the paintings and the layout of the paintings is exceptionally sensitive. They are not too close together or too far apart and the hangers have been sensitive to the subject matter. The condition of the paintings was much better than the average and was a pleasure to look at.

THE LAYOUT – they have definitely made the best use of small space and I love the mezzanine effect in one of the galleries.

SPECIAL FEATURES - if you look on the second floor by the grand piano you will see a compilation by children of what they think it would be like to be the subject of picture. e.g. 'I am 16-year-old and dressed in finery'. It is lovely to see the imagination of children.

They had a very special exhibition ( see images) what can be done with plaster of Paris. Here was I thinking that the main use for plaster of Paris was in strapping up your leg when you broken it, but here we have examples of use coffee cups, gloves, household utensils, anything you can think of.

There was a very small exhibition of 3-D photographs of Picasso, very rare, made in the 1950s which needed 3-D glasses available in a box.

There is a library and study centre in the basement which I did not visit; there is a very well-organised bookshop which also contains books about historical Bath.

There was also an opportunity for children to write poetry.

On the ground floor there is a restaurant cafe which has been leased to benugo. Seating is very pleasant and the food fresh. I had a quiche and rocket salad for £8.95 and a tall cafe latte for £2.50. I thought the quiche could have done with another menu item but the quality was to die for as was the coffee which was quite exceptional. I would have charged £6.95 for the quiche but hey if they can get £8.95 for it then why not? butIt has a delightful aspect (see photos) and on a summers day you can sit outside and eat.

I make it a practice now to speak to the communications and PR people about what I'm going to write and I had the pleasure of meeting Katie Jenkins and gave her positive feedback about the establishment. I do wish more people would do this. Most people do appreciate feedback even if it is so-called negative. They will probably bring it up at the next meeting.

Like the Tate Gallery, there are also a huge variety of lectures, musical recitals, and workshops. This place deserves to be taken seriously so well done Katie and all the staff, and the director Alexander Sturgis. Anyone contemplating a new gallery would do well to come here and use it as a model or at least a starting point.

Visited February 2014
1 Thank Brian-Snellgrove
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Southampton, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
200 reviews
60 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 74 helpful votes
“Worth a visit.”
Reviewed 25 February 2014

Quite a nice museum with a range of art and antiques on display. Had an interesting contemporary piece by Kathy Dalwood mainy consisting of various items covered in white plaster, worth inspecting closley to discover the more unusual items within the banquet detritus.

Visited February 2014
Thank Geoff444
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Orpington, Kent UK
Level Contributor
24 reviews
5 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 33 helpful votes
“What an eclectic collection!”
Reviewed 23 February 2014

The Holburne Museum has a great situation, right at the end of Great Pulteney Street. Our visit enabled us to escape several torrential downpours! This is a fascinating collection, and what's nice is that you can wander around without being bothered ... and the icing on the cake is that it is free! We both thought that the collection of miniatures was the best part, presented along with magnifying glasses if you wanted to examine them more closely. All the exhibits were well-presented, some hanging from the ceiling, which was unusual. Don't miss the excellent collection of paintings on the 2nd floor; just go up in the lift. Well worth a visit if you have around 75 mins to spare. There is a separate area serving food and drinks, should you need it.

Visited February 2014
Thank Steve_and_Kate
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Bath, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
106 reviews
52 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 43 helpful votes
“Take time out to visit -it's an oasis of calm”
Reviewed 21 February 2014

Holburne Museum has varying exhibtions throughout the year, which you can check out online before your trip, or you can pick up a leaflet from the Tourist office There is also the permanent art to enjoy.. Most people visiitng Bath will take the time to see where Jane Austen lived and the museum is just across the road. So before you go back to the hustle and bustle of the city, pop over and enjoy the art on display. There is a lovely cafe in the museum too, so you can relax over a cuppa and some food before heading out to explore the city.

Visited February 2014
Thank LondonChipper
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
South Shields
Level Contributor
28 reviews
3 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 32 helpful votes
“Joseph |Wright of Derby Exhibition”
Reviewed 18 February 2014

First time visit. What a joy. Great assistants who are keen that you maximise the benefit of your visit.

Only downer was its the first time I have been asked if I was a senior citizen. The discount made me smile though :-)

Visited February 2014
Thank ColumbusDixon
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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