Abbot Hall Art Gallery, Kendal, LA9 5AL – Visit Now
Built in 1759 as a private home, saved from dereliction and opened as an art gallery in 1962, the Grade I-listed Abbot Hall on the banks of the River Kent is now one of the best centres for visual art in Cumbria.
Its permanent display, presented across a suite of elegant period rooms, features numerous 18th and 19th-century masterpieces.
Its permanent display, presented across a suite of elegant period rooms, features numerous 18th and 19th-century masterpieces, including one of the most comprehensive collections of John Ruskin’s drawings and watercolours in the country. And it boasts a substantial collection of modern and contemporary artworks among its treasures, with works by Bridget Riley, Frank Auerbach, Paula Rego and Richard Wentworth, as well as lithographs by Pablo Picasso, Georges Braque and Henry Moore. A year-round programme of changing historic and contemporary exhibitions runs alongside, bringing work by internationally renowned artists such as Monet, Rembrandt, Canaletto, Rodin, David Hockney, Barbara Hepworth, Elisabeth Frink and Patrick Caulfield to the region.
Abbot Hall is a great place to bring the family, too.
Abbot Hall is a great place to bring the family, too, with a host of activities ranging from a child-orientated picture trail through the galleries to regular family activities during school holidays, while the permanent Art Studio, stocked with plenty of art supplies, is a space to get creative inspired by the art around them. Nearby Abbot Hall Park is equally the perfect spot to let off some steam, complete with an adventure playground and picnic area.
Another of Abbot Hall’s main highlights is its picturesque setting and surrounding location. A morning visit can be paired with an afternoon spent walking in the Lakes or a few hours exploring the neighbouring Museum of Lakeland Life and Industry (a joint ticket for the hall and museum can be purchased for £9.90). Contemporary art space Cross Lane Projects and the Brewery Arts Centre are also just a stone’s throw away. The on-site Bakestone Café offers a high-quality selection of locally sourced options and the gallery shop is definitely worth checking out, with a decent selection of art books and craft related gifts and materials.
Abbot Hall is one of Kendal’s star attractions and well-worth venturing outside of the big smoke for.
Abbot Hall is one of Kendal’s star attractions and well-worth venturing outside of the big smoke for. On the brink of a major redevelopment project that will allow the gallery to exhibit more work and collaborate with an even greater range of artists, this is a cultural destination to watch.
Note: Opening hours are 10.30am-5.00pm during the summer and 10.30am-4.00pm during the winter (1 November-28 February).The gallery will also be open on Sundays from 14 July – 8 Sept 2019.
Admission Charges£7.70 / £7 / Free
Services and FacilitiesGallery, shop, food, drink