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An artist rendering of Soundwave at Wakehurst
An artist rendering of Soundwave at Wakehurst

6 art exhibitions worth leaving London for

Cultural day trips for when you’ve seen everything London has to offer

Written by
Eddy Frankel

It’s hard to believe, but there is stuff to do outside of London. And not just stuff like walks in big fields and going to a Harvester, but, like, culture and art and junk. The UK is full of incredible museums and art spaces, all within pretty easy reach of the capital, so here are six shows that are definitely worth getting on a train for. 

Great art exhibitions outside London

After an enforced pandemic delay, the Folkestone Triennial is back at the Kent seaside with a town-wide exhibition featuring artists like Turner Prize-winning architects Assemble, Rana Begum, Gilbert and George and the apparently ubiquitous Bob and Roberta Smith. The whole festival is based on the theme of movement, like move off your couch and get a train to Folkestone to see some art.

Until Nov 2. Free. Details here.

Wakehurst, Kew’s sister site out in West Sussex, is a noisy place this summer, thanks to a series of sound installations plonked around the grounds. There are listening cones, gongs, megaphones and robotic woodpeckers by a variety of artists. It sounds like it might ruin the peaceful tranquility of the place, but peaceful tranquility is for retirees and toddlers, neither of which is you, so go make some noise. 

Wakehurst. Until Sep 12. Details here.


If you missed British artist Akomfrah’s recent-ish exhibitions at the Barbican and 180 The Strand, this is your chance to right that wrong, because his immersive, beautifully produced video work will stay with you forever. This film installation at Towner in Eastbourne (which was also shown at 180) sees Akomfrah doing all his usual tricks: combining stock footage, archival imagery and new recordings to powerfully emotive effect. 

Towner Eastbourne. Until Sep 26. Details here


One of the greats of British modern art has the spotlight turned on his love of still lifes. This show at Chichester’s Pallant House Gallery takes you on a journey from coffee cups to abstraction, so you can watch how Nicholson turned the objects around him into, like, art? Crazy. There are paintings, works on paper and reliefs, all displayed alongside the objects that inspired him.

Pallant House Gallery. Until Oct 24. Details here.


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