London exhibitions: what not to miss this summer

Friday, 15 June 2012 7:43 AM

If you're planning a short getaway to London over the summer, make sure you include a trip to one of the fantastic exhibitions scheduled to take place. A great opportunity to explore exciting topics while spending some quality time together, they are the perfect addition to all kinds of breaks.

Indeed, you can see everything from fabulous sculptures displayed in the great outdoors to ancient artefacts dating back to the Egyptian period. With such a huge selection on offer, the key question is: which are the best to see?

Of course, this largely depends on your personal taste, but we have compiled a guide to some of the best across a broad range of topics.

Shakespeare: Staging the World

Whether you're interested in literature or the history of London, Shakespeare: Staging the World is a wonderful exhibition to attend. Running from July 19th to November 25th at the British Museum, it looks at the role of London as a world city in the early 17th century, examining the Bard's plays for insights into what life was like both in the capital and overseas.

In addition to looking at the plays themselves, it also uses contemporary sources, such as maps, drawings, arms and armour, medals and prints - among other things - to provide an in-depth look at London. Keen literature enthusiasts, meanwhile, are likely to be particularly interested in the section that studies the role of the playhouse in providing a look at life outside the capital, as well as Shakespeare's hand in creating a sense of national identity in Britain.

Codebreaker: Alan Turing's Life and Legacy

Another exhibition likely to appeal to those interested in history - as well as science, maths and computing - is Codebreaker: Alan Turing's Life and Legacy, which is being held at the Science Museum from June 21st 2012 to June 2nd 2013. Famous for his codebreaking role in World War II, Turing is to this day one of the best-known names in a variety of fields, including mathematics and computing.

Indeed, his ideas still influence the modern day - and you can find out how and why by exploring the fascinating array of exhibits. These include personal accounts, in addition to treasured historical artefacts, such as the Pilot ACE computer which Turing himself devised. Celebrating the centenary of his birth, the exhibition is free to enter and will take around 30 minutes to explore.


A particularly appropriate attraction to visit if you are attending any Olympic events this summer, Superhuman looks at the human race's quest for physical improvement. Being held at the Wellcome Collection, it will be shown from July 17th to October 16th and will ask questions about what constitutes enhancements (including everything from prostheses to mobile phones) and showcase a range of interesting historical artefacts, such as an artificial toe dating from Egyptian times.

David Nash at Kew

If you're an art lover, David Nash at Kew is a must to add to your calendar. Staged at the famous Kew Gardens, this exhibition includes both large outdoor sculptures and indoor displays featuring things like drawings and films that will help you explore the British artist's work to the fullest. Among the works on show will be 12 existing outdoor pieces, such as Wooden Boulder, while a range of new works will be added in October.

Whichever exhibition you decide to visit, it is worth searching through London's low-cost hotels online to make sure you find a good deal.

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