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Tate Britain

Art, Sculpture Millbank Free
5 out of 5 stars
5 out of 5 stars
(21user reviews)
Tate Britain (Lukas Birk / Time Out)
Lukas Birk / Time Out
Martin Creed slow London (Ed Marshall / Time Out)
Ed Marshall / Time Out
Tate Britain (Britta Jaschinski / Time Out)
Britta Jaschinski / Time Out
Tate Britain exhibition (Tony Gibsom / Time Out)
Tony Gibsom / Time Out
Tate Britain exhibits

Time Out says

5 out of 5 stars

Tate Modern gets all the attention, but the original Tate Gallery, founded by sugar magnate Sir Henry Tate, has a broader and more inclusive brief. Housed in a stately Portland stone building on the riverside, Tate Britain is second only to the National Gallery when it comes to British art. It’s also looking to steal back a bit of the limelight from its starrier sibling with a 20-year redevelopment plan called the Millbank Project: conserving the building’s original features, upgrading the galleries, opening new spaces to the public and adding a new café. The art here is exceptional. The historical collection includes work by Hogarth, Gainsborough, Reynolds, Constable (who gets three rooms) and Turner (in the superb Clore Gallery). Many contemporary works were shifted to the other Tate when it opened, but Stanley Spencer, Lucian Freud and Francis Bacon are all well represented, and Art Now installations showcase up-and-coming British artists. Temporary exhibitions include headline-hungry blockbusters and the annual controversy-courting Turner Prize exhibition (September-January). The gallery has a good restaurant and an exemplary gift shop.



Address: Millbank
Transport: Tube: Pimlico/Vauxhall
Price: Free (permanent collection); admission charge applies for some temporary exhibitions
Opening hours: Daily 10am-6pm (last admission for special exhibitions 5.15pm)
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  • Until Monday May 25 2020
  • Until Sunday April 19 2020
  • Until Sunday May 3 2020
  • Thursday April 9 2020 - Sunday May 10 2020
  • Tuesday May 19 2020 - Monday August 31 2020
  • Wednesday October 28 2020 - Sunday March 7 2021

Users say (21)

5 out of 5 stars

Average User Rating

4.6 / 5

Rating Breakdown

  • 5 star:12
  • 4 star:7
  • 3 star:1
  • 2 star:0
  • 1 star:0
4 people listening

A truly great museum. The Turners alone would be worth the price of admission, if there were a price of admission. The recent Burne-Jones retrospective, running as I write for one more week, is a perfect example of how to curate an exhibition, pace the idiotic review in The Guardian. I live in Munich and visit London twice a year on average, and I always try to make time for the Tate.


Great for a lazy afternoon (especially if you can find time when it is quieter during the week!) I most recently went to the Tate Britain for the launch of their London 1968 exhibition, which included works that he been inspired or impacted by the protest of 1968. 

Whilst some exhibitions can feel at times stale and lacklustre at the Tate Britain, this felt full of vitality and energy, reflecting the passions of the time. Open till the end of October, check it out if you have time!

Did I mention the whole museum is free!

This is my favourite museum in London so far. The building in itself is incredible, bold and just stunning. There are no other constructions around it, making it really stand out. Inside you'll find endless art pieces, from sculptures to paintings, it's just a delight. Amongst the incredible art in there you'll find artwork by Turner, Hockney, Bacon and many more. It's definitely worth the visit - and it's all free :)


Like Samantha H below, I used to work in Millbank Tower next to Tate Britain and appreciated its beauty and peace during much-needed lunch breaks.  There is so much on offer here.  I attend the free Soapbox event every other month, which educates older people like myself in a fun and relaxed environment, about different aspects of art that I never had time to explore when I was working.  I have only now begun to appreciate the wonderful world of art and today revisited the free "Blue"  project by Derek Jarman, then took another free tour of JMW Turner's works (only 45 minutes long so just a taster).  There is so much to see and do here, that a visit to the website is needed to check everything out and plan before you visit.

The Djanogly Cafe on the lower ground floor is charming, does an interesting (small) range of hot dishes (served 12 - 3 pm) and cold food at reasonable prices, including vegetarian. Everything is good quality.  There is a fairly large outside space for diners when weather permits.

The shop just inside the main entrance is large, interesting and not overly expensive.

Its situation is superb - the main entrance steps provide a view of the Thames and across to the other side.  You can catch the excellent Tate boat from the pier just a couple of minutes walk away and sail across to Tate Modern (or the South Bank) in style. 

Tate Britain is a wonderful place, a British Institution to be proud of. 


The Tate is renowned in the UK for it's amazing art but I think the Tate Modern is probably the one that people think of straight away. The Modern is good but please don't discount the Tate. The building alone is gorgeous both inside and out. Even if you're not in to art it's worth a visit just to see the interior of this lovely building. A work of art in itself.

The site also has some great art on display and they change them fairly regularly. Hockney and a Queer Art exhibition were on when I visited. Both really great exhibitions.


The Tate Britain is a beautiful space. Every time I visit, I always take the same photograph of the high ceiling with the circular dome and windows. It is truly beautiful. They have some great arts, after dark events and exhibitions. I currently like the Light installation by Cerith Wyn Evans. (Pictures don't do it justice - It is stunning in person)


Having worked next door to the Tate Britain I am ashamed to say I really haven't given it the attention it deserves until recently.  During a recent fire drill, instead of waiting outside in the cold, I decided to take a wander around.  The first thing you will notice is the building is stunning.  You could spend an hour just walking around the outside taking it all in (don't though, unless you have even more time to spend indoors!). When you step inside, there is a serene atmosphere which immediately washes away the stress of the day.  Even on a March Tuesday morning the place is busy but almost silent.  School groups are dotted around the place sketching some of the masterpieces absolutely enthralled by the details, couples walk around quietly pointing out and discussing pieces and many many people on their own (as I was) stroll slowly around, stopping occasionally when a particular piece catches their eye. I spent only 40 mins walking around but walked out in a completely different mood. I will definitely be making this a more regular spot to go in the week!  


This building is stunning with huge ceilings and large columns - it really is majestic and full of space which is what you need in such a popular gallery. Despite the weekend lunchtime crowds, we managed to get a table for 3 (I visited with my parents) in the basement cafe. The food was pretty disappointing, we had a sandwich, a pasta salad and a piece of cake - all were a bit 'lacking' - the hot food may well have been better.

There were 2 exhibitions on at the time - Paul Nash and Hockney. 

This gallery consistently has great exhibitions - a regular art fan may well want to become a member of the Tate galleries which provides discounted and sometimes free entry into exhibitions.


I had forgotten just how beautiful and enchanting this gallery was until I visited yesterday in a thinly veiled attempt at giving my baby some culture (I wanted some selfish quiet time to look at something truly beautiful and thought provoking that didn't come with a hyperactive theme tune and an irritating voice). As I stood in the room filled with pre-Raphaelite masterpieces I felt an amazing wave of tranquility enveloping me, and for that I am incredibly grateful. Luckily my baby was on his best behaviour and despite numerous attempts to stroke Henry Moore sculptures our visit was an outstanding success. Our cafe lunch was of course over priced but it was tasty and I was in such a lovely mood I honestly would have paid double. We will be back soon. 


Thoroughly enjoying my newly acquired Tate membership, the members room at Tate Britain is the whole upper floor with views down into the circular central dome. Such an oasis of calm and serenity, I often use the members room to meet clients. As well as of course enjoying the extensive Turner collection over a lunch break. The members room has it's own cafe serving a selection of decent lunch options, as well as cakes and wine.


By far my favorite gallery in London.  A chronological look at British art from 1500 to now.  It gives you a real idea of the breadth and depth of British art through the ages with key artists being highlighted along the way like Turner, Hockney and my personal favorite Henry Moore.  Make sure you have enough time to see all the artisits including their spotlight on new and up and coming artists from Britain. This spaces makes you feel like some consideration went into the layout unlike the Tate Modern which feels like a bit of random mix of artists and era's. 

The building is truly spectacular aswell after its big refurb a few years back. 


This is one of the many great free things in the capital.  Often forgotten about in favour of its evil twin, the Tate Modern, this gallery is the original (and best) Tate. 

I went there in my lunch break, so only had about 20 minutes to look around, but that is one of the many beauties of the free entry, that you can visit 'little and often' and take in one or two galleries at a time.  I've not been there for a couple of years, but now I work relatively close by, I'm going to work my way around it gradually, so this was a first reccie of what's there to plan my future visits.

I started off in the contemporary area - Henry Moore, not bad, quite artistic, but at the same time I wonder whether his sculptures just turned out that way or if he could actually do an accurate sculpture if he wanted to.  I moved on round the contemporary area and things got more and more 'Tate Modern'ish.  I started to feel that this place may not be much better than the Tate Modern, then I got to the picture below and stood there in indignant bemusement at the picture I've added below - unless the picture was an example of what an artist did when they were about 5 before they got good at art, then what is it doing in an art gallery??  I started to feel deflated and disappointed that Tate Britain was not what I remembered, but let out a mighty sigh of relief when I found the 'proper art' - a Turner and Constable gallery.  Running out of time, I took in some of the glorious paintings for a few minutes, then made my way back to work.  I'll be visiting again, but having limited time, I will plan which gallery to visit in advance, so as to avoid any further trauma.


Of all of the Tate's, Tate Britain is my favourite (and the original of the four that exist today). Set amongst the backdrop of Millbank, it has a calmness that the Tate Modern misses. My favourite is the Pre-Raphaelite collection (BP Walk through British Art - Room 1840) which has a perfectly positioned bench opposite my favourite paintings. It houses British art from 1500 to now, so you can spend a good couple of hours here (for little or even no money). It's also worth checking out the cafe and shops which are both well stocked.

Staff Writer

Tate Britain is a wonderful gallery, the collection that they hold gives me such pleasure to view. The building itself is a work of art in my eye, the whole experience from the moment you walk towards the steps to the viewing of the fine art and sculptures is delightful.  

Great gallery, I prefer this to the tate modern. The permanent collection is much more interesting and the building is also worth a visit. Look out of the late at the tate events! All for free too.


Great museum with absolutely tonnes of great art to appreciate. You could spend ages wandering through the big open galleries..... or just half an hour appreciating a few.


Not really being an 'art person' I still found this museum to be enjoyable, but more for the architecture of the building itself. The atrium is so open and looking down or up provides incredible lines and curves, wonderful for the camera if you like that kind of thing. 

Yup, plenty of paintings and they also do tours showcasing quite a few of them (which in hindsight probably would have enhanced my trip, so would give it a bash if you are around!)

Again-- free museum is always a good shout. Thanks London! Don't forget to donate though to keep it free for years to come!

Its also a lovely walk down the Thames to Westminster tube or indulge and take the Clipper to your next destination-- as long as its not Westminster... thats just a waste of money! :)

Loved Turner and Bacon paintings and many more. Beautiful building and free admission with option for donation which makes the Tate accessible to everyone visiting London. Great gift shop.

Really interesting! There is a film piece by Douglas Gordon called 'Play Dead; Real Time' which I could honestly watch for hours.

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