Government Art Collection Tour

November 1st, 2017 / / No Comments »

The Government Art Collection, (lunchtime tour)

There are plenty of ways to explore London on a Budget but the Government Art Collection FREE tour is a lesser known attraction that offers something unusual for art lovers.  We popped along recently to see how these tours worked & were impressed with what we found. Find out below how to apply for free tickets plus a few top tips to help you make the most from your visit.

TOP TIP; explore our Cheap Ticket & Voucher Guide to the London Eye to save yourself both time & money on your next trip to London.


view from inside the government art collection

Inside the Government Art Collection


The Government Art Collection; Tried & Tested

The Government Art Collection, (known as the GAC), is just that; an art collection that has been acquired by the government on our behalf since 1898.  The GAC runs FREE tours each month that offers both a glimpse at the collection itself plus a fascinating insight into the workings behind the acquisitions.

Works of art from this collection are displayed in UK Government buildings including 10 Downing Street, the Foreign Office as well as British Embassies around the round.  Their main role is to promote British art whilst supporting cultural diplomacy around the world and often selects works of art associated with the host country in some way.  Whilst 75% of the collection is normally out on display, the GAC run monthly lunchtime tours to give the public a flavour of their work in this behind-the-scenes tour.

Whether you are an art lover or simply enjoy exploring Alternative Attractions in London this lunchtime tour is a hidden gem that is well worth a visit.


find out about framing on the Government Art Collection tour

Framing at the Government Art Collection


The Government Art Collection; Tips & Tricks

1. These FREE lunchtime tours only run once a month so you will need to book tickets in advance, (see below).

2. The GAC premises are set back off Tottenham Court Road making it difficult to locate the exact location.  A simple tip is to follow the numbering along the main road & then look out for a narrow passageway, (Queen’s Yard).

3. There is a security check in place before joining the tour and an unsecured area to leave coats & belongings as space is limited.

4. Pick up a collapsible chair at the beginning of the tour – there is a fair amount of standing around during the tour so a seat can be welcome. Unfortunately, the GAC premises are not suitable for wheelchair users.

5. You need to book in advance and present your online ticket to the security desk on the day of your visit. Tours are aimed at those age 16 years & above with a maximum of 4 tickets booked per person.

TO BOOK TICKETS GO TO Government Art Collection Tour.


exhibits with the Government Art Collection

Works of art with the Government Art Collection


The Government Art Collection; What’s Included?

A Guided Tour; each tour is guided by a curator who offers an interesting insight behind the history & workings of the collection.

Set The Scene; understand how works of art are selected for particular governmental offices.

A Private View; view a selection of works from the collection – these will change depending upon art works available.

Behind The Scenes; during your tour you will explore the storage facilities for works of art not currently on display, the packing area and any art restoration work currently underway.

TOP TIP; follow our Budget Guide to London packed with more money saving ways to enjoy London without spending a fortune.

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