The Best Museums and Art Galleries in Devon
Art Gallery | © Mark Turner/Flickr
breeds inspiration—two stunning and dramatic coasts, two wild and blustery moors and two contrasting cities which dance to two wildly different beats. With such breath-taking scenery and rich culture, it’s no wonder there are more galleries and museums here than you can shake a stick at. Here are Devon’s best, perfect for a rainy day in one of England’s finest holiday destinations.
Brook is one of Devon’s most famous galleries. Since its opening in 1997, it has gone from strength to strength and has gained an irrefutable reputation up and down the country. The collections at Brook focus on artists who have pushed boundaries in both technicality and aesthetics, all covering a broad spectrum of styles from a huge range of influential artists all over the U.K.
Brook Gallery, Fore St, Budleigh Salterton, Devon, United Kingdom, +44 01395 443003
White Space Art
Smack bang in the heart of Totnes
, White Space Art
was established in this beautiful and quirky market town in 2003. The gallery has a rolling exhibit space, which features work by both emerging and established British artists who mostly come from the south-west. There are several changing exhibitions in the gallery, and representatives can almost always be found trading at markets in the area throughout the year.
Museum of Dartmoor Life
Dartmoor is a mysterious place. With many myths and legends surrounding its stone circles, giant tors and gnarly woodlands, there is plenty reason to dive into the Museum of Dartmoor Life
and learn more about it. Set over three stories, this museum houses a collection of objects which showcase life on Dartmoor
from the Bronze Age through to the mid-20th century. This is a great museum for children, as there are tons of discovery zones and trails for little hands and minds to explore at their own pace.
Museum of British Surfing
Britain’s self-appointed national surf museum
could not be set in a better place, physically and metaphorically. Not only has it grown in popularity, but also some consider the surrounding beaches of Croyde
and Braunton to be the true home of British surfing. The majority of the museum is dedicated to the past, present and future of surfing in Britain, including a photo of Devonian Agatha Christie with a board. Whether you’re a hardened, sun-bleached surfing vet or a newbie looking for some inspiration, this is a great way to spend a few hours if the sea is flat and there is no surf.
This independent museum in the heart of Torquay is truly a one-of-a-kind place. In Bygones
, you can wander along Victorian streets and step into the homes and shops of history with sounds and smells of the past in every room. Step into a WWI trench, see an Anderson shelter, and dine in the tea rooms to feel as though you’ve travelled back a few hundred years. The tea and cake, however, are absolutely fresh.
The Brownston Gallery
is tucked away in the small village of Modbury in the South Hams and is one of Devon’s finest contemporary art galleries. Emerging and established artists who have lived in and been inspired by this Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty are represented here. There are exhibitions throughout the year that feature different themes or individual artists.
Spread over two floors, Dart Gallery is in the harbour-side town of Dartmouth and has a constantly evolving collection of work from a selection of hand-picked British artists. Dart also offers regular solo and mixed shows and has earned a reputation for consistently offering high-quality art in one of the most beautiful settings in England.
Dart Gallery, 4 Lower St, Dartmouth, Devon, United Kingdom, +44 01803 834923