A guide to Tate Britain Art Gallery in London

Tate Britain

Address: Tate Britain, Millbank, London, SW1P 4RG

If you’re an art lover, you’ll surely want to pay a visit to the Tate Britain Art Gallery on your trip to London. Established as the National Gallery of British Art in 1897 and previously known as the Tate Gallery, it is one of the capital’s key cultural attractions. Tate Britain is part of the wider network of Tate galleries, which include the Tate Modern, Tate Liverpool and Tate St Ives.

The gallery is located on Millbank, a site previously occupied by the Millbank Prison. Even under its initial guise, the gallery was colloquially known as the Tate, after its founder Sir Henry Tate. It officially adopted that name in 1932. The gallery suffered bomb damage during the Second World War and has also been affected by flooding from the River Thames, but it remains one of the most frequently visited cultural attractions in the capital.

Up until the millennium, the gallery housed both traditional and modern art, but the opening of the Tate Modern in 2000 inside the defunct Bankside Power Station saw the contemporary collections moved. Today, the Tate Britain is perhaps best known for its collection of work by the J. M. W. Turner and other famous British painters.

Tate Britain art gallery

The Tate Britain building

The front part of the Tate Britain was designed by Sidney R. J. Smith, with key features including a classical portico and dome, while John Russell Pope outlined the plans for the central sculpture gallery. One of the highlights of the building is the Clore Gallery, which is renowned for its postmodern architecture.

Between 2012 and 2013, a major renovation project was undertaken within the Tate Britain, partly funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund and Tate members. A number of new sections opened, with the circular balcony in the gallery’s domed atrium displaying art to the public for the first time in almost a century.

In addition to the various galleries and display spaces, the Tate Britain offers a library, archive, reading rooms, a members room, administration offices, a restaurant and cafe. Special events – including live demonstrations – take place at the gallery during the course of the year.

Art on display within the Tate Britain

Inside the Tate Britain, there are a number of permanent exhibitions, showcasing the work of artists including J. M. W. Turner, John Constable, William Blake, Anna Lea Merritt, David Hockney, Peter Blake and Francis Bacon. Art by the likes of Tracey Emin, John Latham, Douglas Gordon and Sam Taylor-Wood is also displayed on a rotation basis.

Tate Britain houses various temporary exhibitions throughout the year, including the annual Turner Prize exhibition between October and December. This features the work of four artists aged 50 or under, who have been selected by a jury of experts chaired by the director of the gallery.

Opening times at the Tate Britain

Monday to Sunday opening times at the Tate Britain are 10:00 to 18:00. Last admission for special exhibitions is at 17:15.

Tate Britain london

Tickets for the Tate Britain

All members of the public can enjoy free entry to the Tate Britain Art Gallery in London. The only charges apply for tickets to special exhibitions. Tate members and patrons can access special exhibitions at no charge.

Contact details for the Tate Britain

General enquiries can be made to Tate Britain by phone, email or post. Contact details for the gallery are as follows:

  • Telephone: +44 (0)20 7887 8888
  • Email: visiting.britain@tate.org.uk
  • Post: Tate Britain, Millbank, London, SW1P 4RG

Tube stations close to Tate Britain

The nearest London Underground stations to Tate Britain are as follows:

    • Pimlico Tube Station on the Victoria Line (5-minute walk)
  • St James’s Park Tube Station on the District and Circle lines (13-minute walk)
  • Westminster Tube Station on the Circle, District and Jubilee lines (14-minute walk)

Car parking close to Tate Britain

For visitors arriving by road, the closest car parks are as follows:

    • Q-Park Westminster: Great College Street, Westminster, SW1P (9-minute walk)
  • Pimlico Masterpark: Cumberland Street, Victoria, SW1V (15-minute walk)
  • Semley Place NCP: Semley Place, Victoria, Victoria, SW1W (19-minute walk)
  • Q-Park Trafalgar: Spring Gardens, Westminster, SW1A (22-minute walk)

Hotels close to Tate Britain

There are a number of high-quality hotels situated in the area around the Tate Britain Art Gallery, offering an ideal base for people visiting London. These include:

    • London City Suites By Montcalm: 46 Chiswell St, EC1Y 4SB (1.32 miles miles to Tate Britain)
  • The Montcalm at The Brewery London City: 52 Chiswell St, EC1Y 4SD (1.35 miles)
  • M by Montcalm Shoreditch London Tech City: 151-157 City Rd, EC1V 1JH (1.70 miles)
  • The Marble Arch By Montcalm London: 31 Great Cumberland Pl, W1H 7TA (1.75 miles)
  • The Montcalm London Marble Arch: 31 Great Cumberland Pl, W1H 7TA (1.76 miles)