We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.
We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.
The latest reviews. The lowest prices. The perfect place to shop for hotels.

Abbot Hall Art Gallery

Certificate of Excellence
Sponsored by:
Map updates are paused. Zoom in to see updated info.
Reset zoom
Updating Map...
Sponsored by:
Get directions
Address: Abbot Hall Art Gallery Kirkland, Kendal LA9 5AL, England
Phone Number:
+44 1539 722464
10:30 - 17:00
Closed now
See all hours
Mon - Sat 10:30 - 17:00
Recommended length of visit: 1-2 hours

Abbot Hall was designed as a opulent house by architect John Carr of York...

Abbot Hall was designed as a opulent house by architect John Carr of York in 1759 for Colonel George Wilson of Dallam Tower. Recognised as Kendal's finest building, it was lived in by a succession of different families over the next century. It was purchased by the Kendal Corporation in 1896 for £3,750.

Together with the Castle and the Parish Church, Abbot Hall was the only Grade I listed building in Kendal. By the 1950s it was almost derelict and threatened with demolition until a group of local people formed a charitable trust and raised money to save it. It opened as a public art gallery in 1962.

Today Kendal’s finest historic house is an award winning art gallery. Our exhibitions showcase a variety of works by a wealth of international artists. The Georgian period rooms allow you to glimpse what life was like in another time and provide views of the River Kent and Kendal Castle.

read more

TripAdvisor Reviewer Highlights

Read all 116 reviews
Visitor rating
  • 53
  • 35
    Very good
  • 20
  • 5
  • 1
Changing exhibitions - lovely surprise

Small but very interesting and surprising top artists - better than I had expexted. Double admission with Lakes Life Museum made it a valuable experience with lovely gift shop.

Reviewed 3 May 2015
Bradford, United Kingdom
Add Photo Write a Review

116 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

Traveller rating
Traveller type
Time of year
Showing 114: English reviews
Preston, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
66 reviews
31 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 28 helpful votes
Reviewed 31 July 2015

I was awestruck by the modern art from St Ives in the current exhibition as well as some of the older art showing Anne Clifford by means of a triptych as well as the picture of the Gower family.

1 Thank KennethC767
Cerritos, California
Level Contributor
514 reviews
257 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 147 helpful votes
Reviewed 18 July 2015

We stopped here during a day trip to Kendal. We were interested in seeing the exhibit of Romney paintings. Unfortunately, we arrived at 4 and they close at 5 so our time was limited. Some of the galleries focus on modern art; not our taste so we skipped that part. The museum is right along the river which made for... More 

Thank Barbara F
Level Contributor
41 reviews
13 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
Reviewed 1 July 2015

We visited to see the St Ives exhibition and were really pleased we did. We expected the rooms to be smaller, so were pleasantly surprised at the number of works on show and from top names too. Staff were extremely friendly and helpful. Delighted that with our National Art Card we got 50% off the normal admission price. Would recommend... More 

1 Thank TJA2
Level Contributor
6 reviews
3 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
Reviewed 28 June 2015

The current exhibition, "Taking Flight: St Ives in the 1950s", curated by Nick Rogers, gives visitors a rare opportunity to explore one of the most exciting and optimistic English art movements of the mid-20th century. Peter Lanyon emerges as the star of the show (which includes two of his rare constructions), but there are also fine works by Bryan Wynter,... More 

2 Thank Cacklegeese
Glossop, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
3 reviews
Reviewed 14 June 2015

For a small gallery it had a varied collection of art from centuries back to the present. Nicely laid out and easy to view (No standing several feet back behind a wire) . Cheerful enthusiastic staff. A good place for a wet day but don't let the weather make that decision for you. Go anyw.ay

Thank johngetrhythm47
Bradford, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
36 reviews
20 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
Reviewed 3 May 2015

Small but very interesting and surprising top artists - better than I had expexted. Double admission with Lakes Life Museum made it a valuable experience with lovely gift shop.

Thank HappyHeart2012
Lancaster, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
28 reviews
5 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
Reviewed 27 April 2015

Well worth a visit, even when no special exhibitions - although some may find the entry price a little on the high side. Outstanding for me are the Romney Gower family painting - just ravishing, and the magnificent Lady Anne Clifford triptych. Abbot Hall have a reputation for mounting some big, national scale exhibitions Canaletto later this year which is... More 

Thank 417mercian20142014
Kendal, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
58 reviews
16 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
Reviewed 20 April 2015

Amazing art x brill cafe to side of gallery xx want some history try the museum of lakeland life opposite

Thank Vix H
Glasgow, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
4 reviews
3 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed 6 April 2015

I enjoyed their current temporary exhibition of Barbara Hepworth lithographs, as well as the quirky portraits/identity exhibition. There were many examples of work from their permanent collection and I enjoyed those too. I'd like to go back to see more of what they show.

Thank Margaret N
Durham, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
94 reviews
61 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 48 helpful votes
Reviewed 30 March 2015

This Art Gallery, while revealing an interesting history needs to say more about the family before the tour starts .Information about the portraits are interesting if one can bend double and read the tiny print in the gloom. Accessibility is not served by an ancient hydraulic lift which leads to stairs down into the gallery on the upper floors. The... More 

Thank Diana S

Travellers who viewed Abbot Hall Art Gallery also viewed

Kendal, Lake District
Kendal, Lake District

Been to Abbot Hall Art Gallery? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Is This Your TripAdvisor Listing?

Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.

Claim Your Listing

Questions & Answers

Questions? Get answers from Abbot Hall Art Gallery staff and past visitors.
Posting guidelines
Typical questions asked:
  • Do I have to buy a ticket for my infant?
  • How do I get there using public transportation?
  • Is there a restaurant or café onsite?