University attractions make headlines

The Japanese Bridge in the Winterbourne garden

It has been a successful year for our cultural attractions. The Barber Institute of Fine Arts, the Lapworth Museum of Geology and Winterbourne House and Gardens have been making headlines. With 2023 almost over, we’ve rounded up some of the coverage the sites have gained throughout the year.

Our attractions bagged two top spots in Condé Nast Traveller's best things to do in Birmingham. The luxury travel magazine named Birmingham one of the UK's best city breaks, with Winterbourne topping the list for what to see and do.

“Built in 1903, Winterbourne House is a rare surviving example of an early 20th-century suburban villa and garden…it’s the majestic gardens that are the standout feature here,” says the reviewer. “From the shaded Nut Walk to the curious glasshouses, the gardens are a wonderfully serene spot to spend a balmy afternoon.”

It marks a string of success for the Edwardian site, which also made Hand Luggage Only’s 12 Of The Best Things To Do In Birmingham and the Top 7 attractions in Birmingham on Viator, a TripAdvisor company.

Meanwhile, the Barber bagged seventh place in the Condé Nast Traveller describing it as “the city’s best art gallery”. “The pleasant grounds of the University of Birmingham are an enjoyable afternoon stroll, but tucked away behind the School of Mathematics is the city’s best art gallery. Within the Barber Institute of Fine Art’s quiet Art Deco corridors is a splendid collection of lesser-heralded works from the likes of Van Gogh, Manet and Renoir. It’s free to enter and also offers revolving exhibitions.”

Both the Barber and Winterbourne also feature in The Crazy Tourist’s 25 Best Things to Do in Birmingham. The Barber is in the first stage of a £10m building improvement programme and is currently closed, reopening in April 2024. Museums + Heritage detailed the exciting renovation plans.

The Barber’s critically acclaimed collaborative exhibition, Mastering the Market: Dutch and Flemish Paintings from Woburn Abbey, co-curated with MA Art History and Curating Students, garnered plentiful news, preview and review coverage in the national press. It made page-9 picture in the Daily Telegraph, extensive reviews in The Oldie, was included in not-to-be-missed exhibitions round-ups in Country Life and news digest The Week, as well as extensive and effusive previews in Homes and Antiques and Art Daily online!

Lapworth Museum of Geology has been making international news after a Blue plaque was unveiled at the University of Birmingham for Chinese geologist Li Siguang, who studied at the University in his early years. Li's blue plaque is placed at the Lapworth, which is one of the UK's oldest specialist geological museums.

The Lapworth also landed in the Selly Oak bucket list: 10 things to do in Birmingham’s student-friendly neighbourhood on Birmingham World.

With the Barber reopening next year and lots of exciting events and talks upcoming at all three attractions, there's plenty more in store for 2024 so watch this space!


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