Exhibitions Worth Travelling for in 2022

Art, culture and food are always at the top of my list when planning a weekend away. Here are my Exhibitions worth Travelling for in 2022.  I’m keeping everything crossed that 2022 will be the year when travel once again becomes easier.

Graphic showing words Exhibitions Worth Travelling For

Cultural Wednesday’s Pick of Exhibitions Worth Travelling For in 2022

When going away for a weekend I prefer not to get on a plane, so most of the destinations here are accessible in a few hours by train or car. 

Belgium

Pick almost any Belgian city at random and you will probably find that it has an abundance of interesting art and architecture to keep you busy for a weekend.  Bruges is the Flanders city that springs to mind but take a look at Ghent and Antwerp too.

Antwerp Fine Arts Museum reopening

Antwerp is a culture vultures dream.  Everywhere you look there are stunning churches, museums and architecture.  When I visited I stood outside the scaffolding surrounding the Fine Arts Museum and vowed to return when it was restored and reopened.  25 September 2022 is the date that the doors reopen on a collection that includes Rubens, Van Eyck and Magritte among many others.  Whilst in Antwerp I would pay a visit to the Plantin Moretus one of my favourite museums in the whole wide world and check out MoMu dedicated to fashion and opened in 2021

  • Antwerp Fine Arts Museum
  • Reopens: 25 September 2022
  • How to Get There: Eurostar to Brussels South change platforms to catch train to Antwerp about 3 hours 15 minutes from St Pancras.

England

Cultural weekends away in the UK are perfect for a mini break.  In the years before children when I travelled widely in the UK for work it was always a joy to pop into the local gallery, museum or castle

Rodin – Degas at the Holburne Museum, Bath

Rodin and Degas both towering figures of nineteenth century art.  One producing massive emotion filled sculptures and the other dainty depictions of ballet dancers.  Rodin – Degas promises to bring together the sculptures of the pair and highlight the similarities as well as the obvious differences between the two.

  • Rodin – Degas
  • The Holburne Museum, Great Putney Street, BA2 4DB
  • 3 September 2022 – 2 January 2023
  • Open: Daily 10am – 5pm
  • Admission: included in general gallery admission £12.50
  • Getting there: trains leave Paddington and take just under an hour and a half

Visions of Ancient Egypt at the Sainsbury Centre, Norwich

Ancient Egypt has an enduring hold on our imagination.  Visions of Ancient Egypt will explore The Sainsbury Centre presents a major new exhibition exploring the enduring appeal of ancient Egypt in art and design from the ancient past to the present day. The way in which the motifs have been reinvented over time and the way the changes reflect politics and contemporary life. 

  • Visions of Ancient Egypt
  • When: 3 September 2022 – 1 January 2023
  • Open: Tuesday – Friday 9am – 6pm, weekends 10am – 5pm
  • Admission: adults £14
  • Getting there: trains leave London Liverpool Street and take about 2 hours

Eric Ravilious at Towner Gallery, Eastbourne

Eric Ravilious is one of my favourite artists, a postcard of one of his woodcuts in directly in my eye line as I type.  He produced an extraordinary amount or work, especially as he was killed aged only 39, whilst on active service during World War II.  Winchester Discovery Centre put on a special exhibiton to mark 80 years since his death that ended in May. So many of you are still searching for Eric Ravilious Exhibition that I have kept him here. By far the best place to see Eric Ravilious in a permanent collection is the Towner Gallery in Eastbourne. Even better it is free AND you get to stroll round by the seaside afterwards. 

  • Eric Ravilious at the Towner Gallery, Eastbourne
  • When: 18 February – 15 May 2022
  • How to Get There:  Trains take about an hour and a half from London Victoria station
  • Where to Stay: I recently stayed at the Langham Hotel, Eastbourne family owned and comfortable

Hockney’s Eye at Fitzwilliam Museum and Heong Gallery, Cambridge

David Hockney is THE grand old man of British painting and yet he doesn’t rest on his laurels. He is always exploring new ways of creating art. Both embracing modern technology and looking back at learning from the Masters who came before. At the Fitzwilliam Hockney’s work is shown side by side with works from the past showing the dialogue that he has with those that came before. Over at the Heong Hockney’s forays in cutting edge technology from the 60s right up to the present day are explored.

  • Hockney’s Eye at Fitzwilliam Museum and Heong Gallery, Cambridge
  • When: 15 March – 29 August 2022
  • Admission: Free but booking essential
  • Open: Tuesday – Saturday 10am – 5pm, Sunday Noon – 5pm
  • Getting there: Trains from Kings Cross take an hour or an extra 15 minutes from Liverpool Street

Lindisfarne Gospels at Laing Gallery  Newcastle upon Tyne

This is easily the exhibition that I am looking for to most in 2022.  I have always wanted to see the Lindisfarne Gospels. In the last century I went to University in Newcastle upon Tyne and spent many happy hours in the Laing Art Gallery.  To see the Gospels in the Laing is just the perfect location.  Book your gallery and train tickets now!

  • Lindisfarne Gospels at the Laing Art Gallery, Newcastle upon Tyne
  • When: 17 September – 3 December 2022
  • Open: Monday – Saturday 10.30am – 4.30pm
  • Admission: fee yet to be announced
  • Getting there: Trains from Kings Cross take just under 4 hours

France

Hopping across the Channel from Cultural Wednesday Towers is so easy.  We are a fat hour away from both ferry terminals and the Eurostar and then Northern France is our oyster.  

Louvre Lens

Lens in Northern France is the country home of the mighty Louvre Museum.  2022 sees the Louvre Lens celebrating its first decade.  The party starts in January and lasts all year.  In April there will be an exhibition celebrating all things Roman featuring the Louvre’s magnificent collection of Roman art and antiquities.  In September an exhibition devoted to Hieroglyphics will celebrate the 200th anniversary of the unlocking of their meaning.

  • Louvre Lens
  • When: All Year
  • Open: Wednesday – Monday 10am – 6pm
  • Admission: Free, charge for temporary exhibitions
  • Getting There: Eurostar to Lille-Europe, short walk to Lille -Flandres to Lens 3 hours 45 minutes from St Pancras Catch a DFDS ferry or Eurotunnel to France, Lens is about an hour and a half from Calais.

Cité de Vitrail opening in Troyes

Troyes in the heart of Champagne country was the the stained glass capital of Europe of centuries.  All things stained glass will be celebrated in the new museum devoted to the art la Cité du Vitriol housed in a beautifully restored 18th century building.  Glass from the 12th century to the present day will be on display.  I concede that I have no more exact date than 2022 at the moment but will keep my eyes peeled and let you know as soon a more definite date appears.  Once you’ve seen the new museum you can download an app from the Aube region tourist board and set off on a tour of local churches to see more stained glass windows in situ.

Villa Lalique in Wingen sur Moder

More glass, this time vessels and sculptures. Lalique makes beautiful glass.  My mother loves glass and Lalique is one of her favourite producers.  René Lalique lived and manufactured his glass in the picturesque Alsace town of Wingen sur Moder.  in 1922 he built himself a rather fancy villa which is now a boutique hotel.  Next door there is a museum devoted to all things Lalique.  Sounds like the perfect weekend break to me!

  • Villa René Lalique, Wingen sur Moder, Alsace
  • Getting there: Eurostar to Paris, then walk to Gare l’Est catch train to Strasburg, change again to Wingen sur Moder takes just under 7 and a half hours from St Pancras.
  • Drive: Five and half hours from the Northern France coast via EuroTunnel or Ferry.
  • Fly to Strasbourg and then catch train to Wingen sur Moder.

Germany

Germany is a little further than France, Belgium and The Netherlands and touch harder to get to but German is my only foreign language and the museums are excellent.  

Oberammergau Passion Play

OK, so not an exhibit or a museum but a play.  Nevertheless I have wanted to see the Oberammergau Passion Play ever since I first learnt about in German lessons at school.  In 1633 the villagers of Oberammergau promised to perform the death and resurrection of Christ every 10 years as long no more villagers died from plague that year.  In 1634 no more villagers had died and the first Passion Play was put on.  The promise has been kept until 2020 when Covid took hold and the play was postponed for two years.  My parents in law went in 2000 and loved it.  

Netherlands

Fun Fact: The Netherlands has a higher density of museums than any other country. Here are the Dutch shows that I would most like to see this year, it looks like the perfect year to visit The Hague.

Mauritshuis 200 in The Hague

If I was to live in a Dutch museum it would be  the Mauritshuis.  It has perfectly sized rooms, a rather magnificent staircase that encourages grand entrances, great art and is located in The Hague a pocket sized city with easy access to the beach.  In 2022 the Mauritshuis is celebrating 200 years. Flowers are to be the main theme of the celebrations, the Mauritshuis is home to some of the very best flower paintings of the 17th century.  In addition the gallery is to be dressed in a changing wardrobe of flowers.  Everything will be very sustainable with the blooms being locally grown and the panels used to mount the flowers made from waste materials from the bulb industry and will be repurposed as furniture after the celebrations.

Antony Gormley Ground at Museum Voorlinden

If you are headed to The Hague be sure to head just outside to Museum Voorlinden right by the sea.  Antony Gormley has worked with the museum to create a retrospective of his work tailored to both the gallery and surrounding environment.  It looks like the perfect place to explore his explorations of the human body and the space around us.

Pieter Teyler’s House, Haarlem

Pieter Teyler was a fabulously wealth banker who lived in 18th century  Haarlem.  When he died childless he left his money and collections to form a museum dedicated to  contemporary art and science.  The Teylers Museum has fulfilled his wishes perfectly.  Pieter Teylers house forms part of the musuum and has just been restored to its full 18th glory.  I would love to see the famed Oval Room which has impressed both Napoleon and Albert Einstein in the past.

Clara the Rhinoceros at the Rijksmuseum 30 September 2022 – 15 January 2023

Miss Clara celebrity Rhino exhibition Barber Inistitute Birmingham
Clara the Rhinoceros on show at the Barber Institute, Birmingham

Last year I travelled to Birmingham to meet Clara the Rhinoceros at the Barber Institute. Clara was probably the most famous animal in the world in the 18th century and it seems that she has lost none of her allure in the 21st. The Rijksmuseum exhibition will focus on her journeys around Europe. The Rijksmuseum has a cracking 2022 planned with exhibitions devoted to Crawling Creatures, Barbara Hepworth and the struggle for independence in Indonesia.

Fingers crossed that travel becomes easier in 2022, before you make any travel plans check out the Government Covid Travel Advice.

Contains affiliate links, if you buy some ferry tickets the cost will be the same to you but I may get a small payment.

If you are in London check out Cultural Wednesday’s Best London Exhibitions. For more travel dreaming check out my ideas for UK Cultural Travel Destinations

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