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Royal Academy of Arts

A genteel respite from the hub of Piccadilly, a visit to the RA provides immediate delight in the form of the Palladian gem Burlington House. This is Britain’s first art school, for which the famous Royal Academy Summer Exhibition still provides funding, as well as sending the capital’s art critics into a flurry. These days, the Academicians are less stuffy (Tracey Emin is a recent recruit) and the exhibitions nod to contemporary art. These tend to be blockbuster events located in the Main Galleries and Sackler Wing, for which you’ll have to pay. But you can see highlights from the RA’s Collection, including Constable and Hockney, in the John Madeiski Fine Rooms: access is free, but you must book a one hour guided tour.

Burlington House, Piccadilly
Tel: 020 7300 8000
Opening Times: Open Mon-Thu, Sat, Sun, 10am-6pm; Fri, 10am-10pm
Entry Charges: Admission Free: Charge For Special Exhibitions
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