Most of the major museums and galleries have now reopened, but not all. The following is a list of cultural venues expecting to open their doors from October.
John Soane’s Museum
Reopening 1 October. This remarkable house museum in Lincoln’s Inn Fields was once home to Sir John Soane, the architect of the Bank of England. He filled it with artwork and furniture from all over the world, and the delightful jumble is now one of London’s most cherished museums. An unforgettable experience, though perhaps not suited for younger children.
Entrance is free.
Reopening 7 October. The Wellcome Collection (top image) on Euston Road is a museum, gallery and cultural centre devoted to health and medicine. The venue has a very strong artistic leaning, which really brings the subject matter to life. The offering for smaller children is perhaps limited, but kids aged 7+ will find the place fascinating. The new Being Human gallery, which opened not long before lockdown, is a fascinating look at what it means to be human in the 21st century. Entrance is free.
Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery
Reopening 7 October. The highly regarded museum will open up its second floor galleries from this date, with others to follow later. Aside from facemasks and social distancing, visitors can expect a few positive changes as well. A two-metre long panorama of the city by artist Cold War Steve features a collage of its most famous inhabitants (including a gigantic Benny from Crossroads -- ask your grandparents), and the Natural History Museum’s Wildlife Photographer of the Year exhibition will also be visiting. The museum will be operating at reduced capacity, and only from Wednesday to Sunday (10am-5pm).
Entrance free, but donation encouraged.
National Museums Liverpool
Reopening 30 September. Most of Liverpool’s world-class museums and galleries have already reopened, including the International Slavery Museum, Merseyside Maritime Museum, Museum of Liverpool, Walker Art Gallery and World Museum. From the very end of September, these will be joined by The Lady Lever Art Gallery, Sudley House and Seized! (a gallery of the Maritime Museum devoted to smuggling and contraband).
Date not yet disclosed. The Norman castle at the heart of Norwich has struggled to reopen -- it’s undergoing an extensive renovation and upgrade, as well as having to deal with public health considerations. The management are hopeful that they can lower the drawbridge once again from October, after partially opening to members over the summer. Access will still be limited, and this will be reflected in a lower entrance fee.
Worcester Art Museum (7 October), Priest’s House Museum, Dorset (October, date unknown), Birmingham Hippodrome with immersive Van Gogh experience (8 October).
Although originally from the Midlands, and trained as a biochemist, Matt has somehow found himself writing about London for a living. He's a former editor and long-time contributor to Londonist.com and has written several books about the capital. He's also the father of two preschoolers.