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Best Art Destinations

Where are the Best Cities in the UK for Art Lovers?

Friday, 05 July 2024

Here at PACK & SEND we help many of our customers ship fine art or antiques, so we understand how much our UK patrons value the arts.

Consequently we decided to do some research, to find the overall best city in the UK for art lovers.

Looking at a wide variety of categories including art galleries, antique shops, and theatres, we scored each city both by quantity and quality of their facilities.

Following thorough analysis from our team of researchers, Lincoln has been named the UK’s best city for art lovers.

The study rated 72 UK cities according to a range of criteria, giving each of them a score for the number of art facilities and average rating from Google reviewers for each category. Another consideration was the average cost of art courses in the city.

After scoring cities in each category we gave them an overall rank based on their performance across all categories.

And the result is…

Lincoln was named as the best art destination in the UK, with an overall ranking of 6.98 out of 10.

Best Art Destinations

Why Lincoln Stands Out:

  • Abundance of Antique Stores: With 142 antique stores, Lincoln ranks second only to London.
  • Extensive Museums: Home to 120 museums, including the must-see Lincoln Castle and the Museum of Lincolnshire Life.
  • Affordable Art Courses: Offering a diverse range of courses at an average cost of £23.35, the lowest in the study.

Art Destinations - Lincoln

Lincoln, in Lincolnshire, has a lot to offer lovers of the arts, with many highly-rated art galleries located within the city’s stone walls.

If you are interested in taking an art course, Lincoln has plenty to discover and offers the lowest average cost per course.

Fun fact: Lincoln is now the only place in the world you can see the original Magna Carta from 1215.

Other Top Cities for Art Lovers:


  • Overall Score: 6.2/10
  • Highlights:
    • Famous for its unique three-spired cathedral.
    • High-quality museums (average rating 4.75) and art galleries (average rating 4.67).
    • Hosts the annual Fuse festival with free public access to various art events.

Art Destinations - Linchfield

Another cathedral city, Lichfield in Staffordshire came out second in our rankings.

Lichfield boasts a number of highly-rated museums, with an average Google Reviews score of 4.75 (out of 5).

The city has imprints of Anglo-Saxon history almost everywhere you look and makes for a great day-out for anyone passionate about history and art.

Fun fact: near Lichfield, the world’s largest excavation of  Anglo-Saxon gold and silver was uncovered in 2009 – the Staffordshire Hoard.


  • Overall Score: 6.12/10
  • Highlights:
    • The only city in West Sussex, known for its Roman Cathedral.
    • It features 17 highly rated museums (average rating 4.59) and the award-winning Novium Museum.
    • The art courses in the area cost an average of £59.26, which is slightly more expensive than the study average (£45.81).

Art Destinations - Chichester

Making up the top three was Chichester in West Sussex – another cathedral city (there’s a theme here).

Chichester has nearly 70 art courses to enjoy. However, they are on the pricier side – our data showed the average cost to be £59.29 for a course.

The city has plenty to get art enthusiasts excited with high ratings for its art galleries, theatres and museums, though if you’re looking for more to do there are plenty of shops and beautiful rural scenery in and around the city.

Also in the top 5…


  • Overall Score: 0/10
  • Highlights:
  • Excellent theatres with perfect ratings (5/5).
  • Highly rated antique stores (average rating 4.8).


  • Overall Score: 69/10
  • Highlights:
    • Offers some of the cheapest art courses (£28.51).
    • Art galleries in Preston have the second-highest average rating (4.86).

If you need help shipping your fine art or antiques, we can help you with that – check out our art and antiques shipping services today:

Fine Art Shipping

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Expert Commentary

Graeme Rhodes, Head of Marketing at PACK & SEND, emphasises the unique and rich art scenes across UK cities. He highlights that each city offers distinct characteristics worth exploring, making cultural trips or holidays more accessible and enriching.

For those planning a cultural trip, this study by PACK & SEND provides valuable insights into the best cities to visit for a comprehensive art experience in the UK.


We gathered data for the number of art galleries, theatres, museums, antique stores and art courses, as well as their ratings on Google Reviews, using a scraping tool called Data for SEO. Next, we got the average Google Reviews rating for each category and the average cost of an art course. For museums, galleries, theatres, antique stores, and art courses, we divided the number of them by the city’s area to score each on number per square kilometre.

For each category, we normalised the data – giving each number a value between 0-10 (0 given to the lowest score, 10 to the highest) – to give each city a normalised score in every category. Finally, we took all the normalised scores in each category and averaged them to calculate the overall score for each city.

Our data sources:

Google Maps

Google Reviews

World Population Review



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