Inspired by Alice at The Atkinson

Gemma Gibb, Associate Editor
Inspired by Alice
John Tenniel

Inspired by Alice at The Atkinson, Southport, 25 May–7 September 2019, free entry - Visit now

We can’t think of many better combinations for a summer day out than a trip to the seaside that also takes in Inspired by Alice, an exploration of the origins of Alice in Wonderland and the creativity that Lewis Carroll’s masterpiece has sparked.

This immersive exhibition at The Atkinson features art, collectables, craft and a whole lot of dress up and free activities for families during the summer holidays.

Highlights include original sketches by Lewis Carroll, which he drew for “Alice’s Adventures Under Ground”, original wood blocks used for the prints in the book, Salvador Dalí’s rarely seen ‘Alice in Wonderland’ illustrations, collections of Alice material from the British Library and Macmillan Publishers, and illustrations from contemporary local artists

We love that this exhibition will appeal to young and old Alice fans alike, reflecting the continuing fascination with a story that has fired the imaginations of readers and inspired artists and craftspeople across the generations.

Don’t miss the chance to explore The Art Box, browse the Children’s Library and explore the Ancient Egypt and Between Land and Sea galleries at The Atkinson too. A packed theatre programme this summer includes The Tiger Who Came to Tea for more literary inspired shenanigans.

The Atkinson is named after cotton manufacturer William Atkinson who visited Southport with his sick wife to take the air. He donated the princely sum of £6000 to build an art gallery and library for the town in 1875. Six years after opening its doors after a major restoration project to bring this arts centre back to life, we love that Inspired by Alice celebrates a book that, startlingly, would have been current to the first visitors to this place at the time.

Southport’s charm for families is enduring. As well as the glorious sandy beach with views to Blackpool and North Wales, historic pier, marine lake, ice cream shops and fish and chips, it’s worth taking the time to seek out the quirkier attractions too.

We love any excuse to BFG our way around the Model Railway Village which has acres of landscape with a mini rail network weaving through pretty buildings and greenery. The internationally recognised Lawnmower Museum meanwhile is a treasure trove of vintage mowers no less.


Inspired by Alice at The Atkinson, Southport

25 May–7 September 2019
Free entry