After months of closure, our seaside galleries are slowly opening their doors again with dazzling exhibitions, great coffee and your safety in mind. We round up some of our favourites from around the British coast.
WORDS JESSICA JOHNSON
1 Pinkfoot Gallery, Cley-next-the-Sea, North Norfolk
The fisherman of the North Norfolk coast, depicted as a series of evocative oil paintings by artist Jane Hodgson, are part of a vibrant series of autumn exhibitions at this small-but-perfectly-formed independent gallery. Set up 15 years ago, Pinkfoot represents a variety of artists from across the UK; from oil paintings and sculpture to woodcarving and handmade prints (pinkfootgallery.co.uk).
If you're visiting Norfolk, check out some of our favourite cafes and restaurants along the Norfolk coast.
2 Russell-Cotes House & Gallery, Bournemouth, Dorset
An opulent collection of art and artefacts amassed by Victorian collectors Sir Merton and Lady Annie Russell-Cotes lives on as one of the cultural gems in Bournemouth’s crown. With views overlooking the bay, it’s well worth a tour of the lovely Japanese garden too, making sure you leave room for a spot of tea and cake on the terrace (russellcotes.com).
For more tips on how to spend your time when visiting this seaside town, check out our Bournemouth weekend guide
3 Skoon Gallery, Isle of Harris, Scotland
Informed by the sea, skies and plantlife of Scotland’s west coast, artist Andrew John Craig paints year-round in his tiny studio on the Isle of Harris and opens his adjacent gallery to visitors, offering hot drinks and cake to take away. Booking is currently by appointment only (skoon.com).
4 Yew Tree Gallery, St Just, West Cornwall
Sited on the coast road from St Ives, this long-established gallery shows exhibitions of contemporary fine and applied art – often themed around the tenor of the times. The exhibition Seeing the Light, which runs through September and October, focuses on Sutton Taylor’s iridescent lustreware ceramics and oil paintings by Michael Sheppard which reflect the luminescent light of Cornwall’s far west coast (yewtreegallery.com).
5 Scarborough Art Gallery – Scarborough, North Yorkshire
A handsome Grade II-listed Italianate villa houses permanent collections, locally inspired seascapes and, this autumn, the prestigious New Light Prize Exhibition, showcasing some of the best emerging new artists in the north (scarboroughmuseumstrust.com).
6 MOSTYN, Llandudno, North Wales
A sprawling six-gallery exhibition space, MOSTYN is the largest contemporary art gallery in Wales. Until 1 November you can catch the colourful sculptures of the Canadian artist Athena Papadopoulos, as well as ceramics by Kiki Kogelnik, and leave with some cool, contemporary craft pieces from the shop’s ‘Wonderland’ showcase. The Oriel Café here is a cracker too, offering views out to sea, light lunches and locally sourced coffee (mostyn.org).
7 The Art Café, Whitby, North Yorkshire
Marrying artwork and milkshakes with aplomb, the walls of Whitby’s Art Café are refreshed every six to eight weeks with new contemporary pieces. The café is set to re-open later in the year; drop in for a scone, leave with a wild north coast seascape which you can also pay off in monthly instalments (theartcafe.org).
8 Atishoo Gallery, Charlestown, South Cornwall
Bobbing boats, bustling harbours and dreamy seascapes: all of Cornwall is here, brought to life on canvas in vivid watercolours, oils and acrylics by a flock of talented British artists. Atishoo’s original paintings – and its extensive collection of crafts, gifts and homewares – can be viewed at the gallery shop or snapped up online at atishoogallery.co.uk.
9 Radius68, Budleigh Salterton, East Devon
Situated on the High Street, RADIUS68 is a contemporary art gallery and picture framer’s, celebrating local and regional artists both emerging and established. Alongside original paintings and prints, glass, ceramics, jewellery and sculpture, the bespoke framing service offers picture-cleaning, canvas-stretching and restoration (radius68.com).
Looking to make your trip extra special? Here are some great ideas for days out, places to eat and unique accomodation in Devon.
10 Newlyn Art Gallery & The Exchange. South-west Cornwall
Drinking in breathtaking views across Mounts Bay, Newlyn Art Gallery is an old hand on the contemporary arts scene together with sister space, The Exchange, just down the road in Penzance. The Vanity of Small Differences, a series of six large-scale tapestries by the Turner Prize-winning artist Grayson Perry, is set to run from 3 October joining a ceramics showcase and a postcard exhibition depicting local life during lockdown (newlynartgallery.co.uk).
Please check the galleries website before travelling in case of any changes to opening due to COVID-19.