Days Out: Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum, Glasgow

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The Independent Travel

The venue

A spectacular Victorian building in the Spanish Baroque style, Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum reopened last week after a £30m renovation. Visitors can now enjoy a 50 per cent increase in exhibits on display, ranging from animals to armour and Spitfires to Titians. But this is a civic museum, too, and space is also devoted to gritty social issues, such as domestic violence and mental illness.

For children

Pre-renovation favourites such as the natural history galleries, with their stuffed animals and preserved creepy crawlies, are still in place, but lifelike models of dinosaurs have been added and real fossils have replaced the poor-quality replicas of the past. There's also a new gallery of Egyptian mummies, on 25-year loan from the British Museum, and a mini-gallery for the under-fives in the main hall allows parents to have a coffee while their kids explore. There are also plenty of hands-on options.

For adults

Don't miss the new Mackintosh and the Glasgow Style gallery, which features an impressive re-creation of three tearooms designed by Charles Rennie Mackintosh. The gallery also provides an introduction to the work of influential women artists of the same period, including Mackintosh's wife, Margaret Macdonald. She helped him, uncredited, on many projects. Another draw is the Conflict gallery, with the museum's excellent armoury collection and its grisly descriptions of how each weapon is used. Other highlights include the collection of French impressionist paintings and the Scottish art and life rooms. Periodically, the enormous organ in the main hall breathes into life for free concerts.

Refreshments

A licensed cafe in the basement serves hot and cold food. There's a coffee bar in the main hall.

Access

Fully wheelchair accessible, with disabled toilets and adult and baby changing facilities. There is disabled parking and buggy park.

Admission

Open Monday- Thursday and Saturday 10am-5pm, Friday and Sunday 11am-5pm. Admission free.

How to get there

Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum, Argyle St, Glasgow G3 8AG (0141 276 9599; glasgowmuseums.com).

By underground: five minutes' walk from Kelvinhall station, 10 minutes' walk from Kelvinbridge station.

By train: five minutes' walk from Partick station, 10 minutes' walk from Charing Cross station.

By bus: 9, 16, 17, 18/A, 42/A, 62 and 64.

By car: limited pay and display parking, maximum stay of three hours.

Jill Starley-Grainger travelled to Kelvingrove with the help of Visit Scotland (visit scotland.com/citybreaks)

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