A guide to the Serpentine Galleries

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    If you’re visiting London and looking to enjoy a bit of culture, then you might want to plan a bit of time to explore some of the capital’s many art museums and galleries. There are plenty to choose from and if you enjoy contemporary works, then the Serpentine Galleries are an excellent choice.

    These two galleries – known as the Serpentine Gallery and the Serpentine Sackler Gallery – are located in Kensington Gardens and are linked by a bridge over the Serpentine lake. Exhibitions in these spaces feature works spanning the 1970s through to today, with pieces from notable artists, as well as lesser-known individuals. The galleries also host a variety of special events and educational programmes – including talks, walks, conversations and screenings – throughout the year.

    • The Serpentine Gallery – Established in 1970, this gallery is housed in a Grade II listed former tea pavilion that was built in 1933-34 by architect J Grey West. This gallery is also the location of the main London branch of Walther Koenig Books, Europe’s leading independent bookshop.

     

    • The Serpentine Sackler Gallery – This was established in 2013. It is located in a Grade II listed former gunpowder store that was built in 1805 and includes an extension designed by Saha Hadid Architects. As well as the gallery space, this museum also includes the Magazine Restaurant, a shop and social space.

     

     

    • Pavilions – Since 2000, the Serpentine has commissioned a temporary summer pavilion, built by a leading architect. The series aims to showcase the work of an international architect or design team that has not completed a building in England at the time of the gallery’s invitation. The pavilions are built in six months and situated on the Gallery’s lawn. They’re then open to the public for three months.

     

     Opening hours

    The Serpentine Galleries are open Tuesday through Sunday from 10am to 6pm, as well as bank holidays. The Serpentine Pavillion is open every day from June to October, 10am to 6pm. For the 2016 season, it was closed on October 9th. Admission is free.

    Getting there

    The Serpentine Gallery is located in Kensington Gardens, while the Serpentine Sackler Gallery is located a five-minute walk away in a former 1805 gunpowder store.

    The nearest tube stations are Lancaster Gate or Marble Arch (both on the Central line). If you’re planning on travelling by bus, the 148, 274, 390 and 94 have nearby stops. Drivers can find metered car parking in Kensington Gardens and Hyde Park. There’s also cycle parking at the gallery and a cycle hire docking bay can be found at the nearby Princess Diana Memorial Fountain.

    Accommodation

    If you’re planning to visit the Serpentine Galleries and are looking for a place to stay, the Park Grand Kensington is an excellent choice. Located just two minutes from Earl’s Court, this boutique hotel is just over 1.5 miles from the Serpentine Galleries and you can easily make the journey on foot or via public transport.

    We’ve worked hard to create a stylish and comfortable hotel that offers all the comforts of home, topped with excellent service and a restaurant that serves delicious food. With our elegant and well-appointed rooms, we cater to all types of visitors – from business travellers through to families and couples on city breaks and our convenient location means you can easily get to all of London’s most popular attractions quickly.

    Other nearby attractions

    After visiting the Serpentine Galleries, there are plenty of other things to see and do in the local area, so why not turn your exploration of these museums into a full day out?

    Since the galleries are situated in the middle of some of London’s most beautiful parkland, you could easily spend a day strolling through the carefully manicured lawns and ornate flower beds of Hyde Park and Kensington Gardens. Combined, these two parks cover more than 500 acres and they offer just about anything you could want from a park, from horse riding and swimming through to children’s playgrounds and monuments.

    If you’re looking for more amazing works of art, then consider heading down to the V&A in south Kensington. This is the world’s largest museum of decorative arts and design and includes a permanent collection of more than 4.5 million objects. Founded in 1852 and named after Queen Victoria and Prince Albert, the V&A includes pieces covering the last 5,000 years and the cultures of Europe, North America, Asia and North Africa. Just some of the items on display include ceramics, textiles, clothing, silver, ironwork, jewellery, furniture, sculpture, prints, drawings and photographs.

    Other nearby museums include the Science Museum and Natural History Museum.

    Another popular attraction is Kensington Palace. Located on the western edge of Kensington Gardens, this palace has served as a royal residence since it was purchased by King William and Queen Mary in 1689. Today, it’s the official home of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, as well as Prince Harry and other members of the royal family.

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