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“an eclectic mix imaginatively presented”

The Beaney House of Art & Knowledge
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Day-Trip to Canterbury and Dover from London
Ranked #4 of 107 things to do in Canterbury
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Recommended length of visit: 1-2 hours
Owner description: The Beaney House of Art & Knowledge is an Art Gallery, Library and Visitor Information Centre situated in the heart of historic Canterbury. This award winning facility provides state-of-the-art exhibition galleries, excellent educational facilities and a varied programme of events for all ages. The building takes its name from its benefactor, Dr James George Beaney, a Canterbury-born man of modest background who studied medicine before emigrating to Australia, where he found his success. Upon his death in 1891, Dr Beaney left money in his will to the city of Canterbury to build an ‘Institute for Working Men’ with amenities for men from poor backgrounds such as his own. His patronage was fundamental in building the Beaney Institute: a new home for the Canterbury Royal Museum and Free Library, now known as The Beaney House of Art & Knowledge. A cultural hub in East Kent, praised for its welcoming atmosphere, providing a range of services under one roof, uniting art, heritage, books, ideas, information and collections. Whether you are a frequent Library user, a teacher on a Schools Workshop, a parent enjoying the perfect cup of coffee in our Cafe or an inquisitive explorer studying our treasures from the Ancient worlds; The Beaney is a building for everyone.
Useful Information: Wheelchair access, Stairs / elevator, Bathroom facilities, Food available for purchase, Activities for young children
Kent, England
Level Contributor
416 reviews
124 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 208 helpful votes
“an eclectic mix imaginatively presented”
Reviewed February 9, 2014

OK this is not 5 star as in The Louvre or Uffizi but in terms of a provincial gallery come museum the displays are attractively and carefully put together with a mixture of the whimsical and profound that make a visit here really worthwhile, enjoyable and sometimes thought-provoking.
A real effort has been made to appeal to and involve children with desk areas in the galleries where they can draw and be taught to observe what's on display. The building itself is attractive and with the facilities on hand it makes a visit here a really pleasant experience.

Visited February 2014
Thank Stephen S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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469 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
Date | Rating
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  • Dutch first
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English first
Level Contributor
156 reviews
94 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 108 helpful votes
Reviewed February 1, 2014

Beautiful building with Tourist information, museum and art gallery, bang in the middle of Canterbury, excellent.

Visited January 2014
Thank bookworm48London
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Crosby, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
36 reviews
13 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
“Museum visit”
Reviewed January 23, 2014

Best museum in Canterbury, lots of natural history. Take a look at the cabinet of curiosities. Very helpful and informative staff on the galleries.

Visited December 2013
Thank Tony M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Broadstairs, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
5 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
“Fantasitc and truly family-friendly!”
Reviewed January 23, 2014

Many museums and galleries say they're family-friendly but the reality is that they tolerate children through gritted teeth. Not the Beaney! There's something for children in every single room, the staff are genuinely friendly and welcoming and there was no sense that my son (who has additional needs and can sometimes behave 'badly') was anything other than extremely welcome. Really interesting selection of artworks and exhibits, and very well curated.

Bravo Beaney - we'll be back!

Visited January 2014
Thank MirandaBSP
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Royal Tunbridge Wells, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
30 reviews
6 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
“Amazing find - right in the middle of town centre”
Reviewed December 29, 2013 via mobile

Stumbled across this place whilst considering going to the cathedral or roman museum, but we're put off by the cost of both. What a find!
Loads for the kids to do - crafty stuff, dressing up, lots of interactive bits and bobs. If you're visiting Canterbury put aside an hour or so to go here - free and fun - perfect combination!!!

Visited December 2013
Thank Gordonzola
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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