Unfortunately, Going Places and Doing Things costs money so I was delighted when I discovered the National Art Pass...
|My Art Pass|
I was "looking at the website for a local museum when I noticed a bit of small print saying people with a mysterious thing called a "National Art Pass" got free admission. "I wonder what that is?" I thought, and Googled it. It turns out the National Art Pass is a great scheme run by the Art Fund that gives you free entry to lots of museums, galleries and historic houses across the country plus money off lots of exhibitions. Cool huh?
I wanted to make the most of my year's membership so I set myself the challenge of seeing how many places I could visit in the year and how much money I could save. As well as blogging about my trips throughout the year I kept a nerdy list recording all the places I'd visited and tallying how much I was saving. It was great to see the money I was saving but I also found my "challenge" was great motivation to get out and see lots of new things and explore lots of new places.
During my year's Art Fund membership (autumn 2013 to autumn 2014) I used my Art Pass to visit almost 20 galleries, museums and historic houses and over a dozen exhibitions. It was a very fun year!
|The Charles Dickens Museum|
|Gardens at Kensington Palace|
... Leighton House Museum, Dulwich Picture Gallery, the aquarium at the Horniman Museum, the Handel House Museum, the Guards Museum, Apsley House, Time Machine at the Manchester Art Gallery, Shakespeare's Family Homes, two exhibitions at the Mall Galleries, and the Mary Rose Museum.
|The National Portrait Gallery|
(N.B. some of these discounts may no longer be running, you can check the Art Fund's website for all their current offers)
My first year's membership cost me £39.75 (you can see the current prices here) and saved me a massive £254.55 (£57.65 of discounts and £196.90 free entry), or £214.80 when you take away the cost of the membership. Not half bad!
|The Fashion & Textile Museum|
The Art Pass has helped me save money on places and exhibitions I'd been planning on visiting anyway, and made others affordable for my budget when I might otherwise have said "How Much???" and sadly given them a miss.
I've also visited so many small, quirky, delightful museums and other attractions that would have never even been on my radar. And travelling to all these different places have taken me to places I'd otherwise never have visited, like Stratford-Upon-Avon, Portsmouth, and new-to-me bits of London.
With plenty more places still to visit I have, of course, renewed my membership for another year :)