Discover great days out along the coastline in the new year, as Su Carroll rounds up the the very best sights to see and things to do on the coast in January.


This prestigious competition for contemporary artists returns to Tate Liverpool after 15 years. Established in 1984, the Turner Prize is sometimes controversial, often provocative and always interesting. The £25,000 prize is awarded to a British artist for an outstanding exhibition or other presentation of their work. This year’s finalists are Heather Phillipson, Ingrid Pollard, Veronica Ryan and Sin Wai Kin. Tate Liverpool was the first gallery outside London to host The Turner Prize in 2007 when it helped launch the city’s year as European Capital of Culture. Exhibiting at the Tate Liverpool ( until March 19.


Everything from the Ferry Cross the Mersey to the Magical Mystery Tour. It’s not all about the Beatles and ’60s pop though – museums encompass everything from contemporary art to slavery. Liverpool also gets to host Eurovision this year too!


Turner Contemporary on Margate seafront has an international reputation but its new exhibition begins much closer to home. Artists and friends Sophie von Hellermann and Anne Ryan both live and work in Margate and take inspiration from their surroundings for Sirens, which will evolve and change throughout the exhibition. For Sirens she looks towards the sea across a changing series of large-scale canvases, which she will paint in the gallery. If this feels like an exhibition you’d love to witness, see it as something to do on the coast in January, exhibited until the spring –


Sculptor Antony Gormley is fascinated by the sea – his figures appeared at Crosby Beach near Liverpool and his work Look II stares out to sea from a pier on Plymouth Hoe. Visitors to Margate will discover 100 solid cast-iron figures, Another Time, on the foreshore where they will be discoverable three hours before low tide. They will remain for ten years. Information at


Beautiful Durlston Country Park near Swanage is the gateway to the Jurassic Coast World Heritage Site and is designated as a Heritage Coast, a Special Area of Conversation, a Site of Special Scientific Interest, an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and National Nature Reserve. George Burt helped to turn a town dominated by stone yards into a stylish seaside resort. He was instrumental in bringing trains, a pure water supply and gas to the people of Swanage and built the Town Hall, Durlston Castle and the Great Globe stone sphere that stands in the park. Now a free exhibition about him and his uncle, John Mowlem, can be seen in the Fine Foundation Gallery at Durlston Castle. Ends February 9. Visit for information.


In Swanage, a visit to the Museum and Heritage Centre is a fascinating trip back in time from Victorian history all the way back to the Jurassic period –



The Wildlife Photographer of the Year competition attracts nearly 40,000 entries from 93 countries – stunning images of all creatures great and small. Organised by the Natural History Museum, London, the work helps to spark a global conversation about sustainability and the conservation of wildlife and challenges and encourages people around the world to consider their responsibility to protect our planet’s breath-taking biodiversity. One of the places where you can see the extraordinary photographs outside the Natural History Museum is Brighton Museum. If this appeals to you as something to do on the coast in January, be quick- the exhibition ends on January 22! Details at It can also be seen at M Shed (, Bristol until May 28 and Weston Museum ( at Weston-Super-Mare until February 19.


Who can be beside the seaside and resist the temptation of a good old-fashioned pier? Brighton Palace Pier has fairground rides, arcade games or the chance to take a stroll as the Victorians would have done. Visit

An extraordinary encounter with a young southern right whale in New Zealand is one of the Wildlife Photographer of the Year pictures on show. PICTURE: Richard Robinson


The National Waterfront Museum in Swansea has two fascinating exhibitions running in tandem which reflect the harsh realities of coal production. Kings of The Underground captures the memories and facial features of the last generation of Welsh coalminers and Tip Girls covers the topic of female workers in the Welsh coal industry. For the Kings of the Underground project, surviving colliers and their relatives were photographed using a process called photogrammetry, which converts two-dimensional images into three-dimensional portraits. Tip Girls examines, probably for the first time, how women worked in the pits – on the surface and underground – and later in the offices and medical centres. Both exhibitions are at the National Waterfront Museum, situated in Swansea’s rapidly developing maritime quarter. Tip Girls ends on March 5 and Kings of the Underground on March 19. Details at


Visit the beautifully restored Edwardian suburban house at 5 Cwmdonkin Drive in the Uplands area of Swansea. It was here that the writer Dylan Thomas was born in the front bedroom in 1914 and where he spent the first 23 years of his life. Information at


An exhibition of photographs and illustrations from the Historic Environment Scotland archives explores the influence of the sea on Scottish life through the Viking era, fishing and oil industries, 19th century seaside holiday makers, coastal castles, industrial heritage and lighthouses. The archives span pre-historic times to the modern day and gives visitors an insight into how important the coast has been to life in Scotland. The Scotland’s Coasts exhibition celebrates 5,000 years of history at Blackness Castle, Linlithgow, until February 12. Full details at


Getting steamed up! Enjoy a day of pure nostalgia at the Museum of Scottish Railways in Bo’ness with historic locomotives, carriages and wagons, as well as models, displays and photographs telling the history of building, operating and using railways in Scotland. Details at

St Michaels Mount by Fred Yates (1922-2008) at Penlee House. Oil on canvas. PICTURE: Private Collection/Penlee House


Penlee House in Penzance is celebrating the centenary of the birth of Fred Yates with a retrospective that looks at his relationship with Cornwall and the Cornish people. Cornwall was where Fred learned how to be an artist, where he attracted his first collectors, a place he loved and the place where he is buried. The John Martin Gallery, London, which represented the artist for almost 30 years, has tracked down some extraordinary paintings to allow this collection of Cornish works be shown together for the very first time. If you’re looking for something to do on the coast, Fred Yates in Cornwall is at Penlee House Gallery and Museum, Penzance ( until January 7.


This part of Cornwall is famous for establishing the Newlyn School of artists – people like Stanhope Alexander Forbes, Walter Langley and Dame Laura Knight – and there are plenty of examples at Penlee House. But head for Newlyn Art Gallery ( to see some contemporary artists. Admission also covers The Exchange – opened in 2007 on the site of a former telephone exchange in the town.


A new exhibition at Ferens Art Gallery will celebrate Queen Victoria’s relationship with Hull, tell the tale of Victorian Hull and showcase the long lasting relationship the throne has with the city. King Charles has given permission for a prized exhibit from The Royal Collection Trust – Queen Victoria’s Jewel-Cabinet. This Victorian masterpiece, designed by Ludwig Grüner, was commissioned as a gift from her husband Prince Albert. It was an important exhibit at the nation’s Great Exhibition of 1851, a celebration of Victorian advancement and cultural sophistication. The Queen Victoria exhibition will showcase Hull’s Royal Charters, affectionately known as Hull’s birth certificates, on loan from Hull History Centre. Visitors will also see Victorian costume and artefacts from across Hull Museums Collections. Entry to Ferens Art Gallery ( is free and the exhibition ends on February 19.


The iconic The Deep, looking out over the Humber estuary, is celebrating 20 years since it opened. An aquarium with more than just sharks, fish and turtles – there are penguins and reptiles too.


Pictures Around Cromer is an outdoor exhibition with up to 30 life-size replica artworks based on the National Gallery collection, through the streets of Cromer on the Norfolk Coast. Visitors to Cromer Bus Station can admire Vincent van Gogh’s painting of a wheat field or at Cromer Pier you can see a replica Degas. The pictures are on display until April 30. Find out more at


Their very own hero – Coxswain Henry Blogg who served with the RNLI for 53 years during which time he was involved in 387 rescues, saving 873 lives. He is the most decorated man in RNLI history and retired at 74.


Back by popular demand! Roll up for the return of this fascinating exhibition. It opened at the National Maritime Museum Cornwall in Falmouth in 2017 and after touring it’s back where it all started. The NMMC commissioned an installation, The 100 Hands, based around one hundred silicone arms, each tattooed with an original design by leading tattoo artists across the UK. The exhibition runs alongside British Tattoo Art: Reclaiming the Narrative with 14 pieces of newly commissioned work created by 14 UK-based Black and Persons of Colour tattoo artists. A new perspective giving something to do on the coast, at the National Maritime Museum, Falmouth ( until April 23.


Falmouth has a real thirst for art – Falmouth University is rated the top arts uni in the country. Henry Scott Tuke lived and worked here and the town was a haven for Surrealists in the Thirties, including Man Ray and Henry Moore. Start your art journey at the brilliant Falmouth Art Gallery ( Free entry.

The Box has brought new life to Plymouth’s city museum and library. Credit: The Box


Plymouth’s city museum and library were landmarks in the city centre. Dating back to the 1860s, the buildings, with their Edwardian Gothic exteriors, were too small to house much of the city’s impressive collections of natural history and art. Rather than knock them down, it was decided to add a huge glass structure at the back and put a cantilevered storage space on the top – the biggest of its kind in Europe. It re-opened in 2020 after three years of work as The Box. Discover the story of its regeneration with an architectural tour (spot the retro toilets saved from the original museum!) Book online ( for tours on January 19, February 16 and March 16.