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“Not my cup of tea”

Russell-Cotes Art Gallery & Museum
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US$15,51*
and up
City Sightseeing Bournemouth Hop-On Hop-Off Tour
Ranked #2 of 79 things to do in Bournemouth
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Recommended length of visit: 2-3 hours
Owner description: Private home of extensive travelers Sir Merton Russell-Cotes and his wife Lady Annie was one of the last Victorian manor houses ever built.
Reviewed 1 April 2018

I am sure that will find this museum absolutely fascinating, but, it just did not float my boat. Maybe because it was a very dreary day or I just wasn't up to visiting a museum. Who knows? Just not for me.

1  Thank Ashgaroth24
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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"beautiful house"
in 54 reviews
"late victorian"
in 25 reviews
"amazing collection"
in 18 reviews
"guided tour"
in 36 reviews
"treasure trove"
in 22 reviews
"fascinating place"
in 21 reviews
"free entry"
in 31 reviews
"overlooking the sea"
in 24 reviews
"on display"
in 29 reviews
"cakes"
in 49 reviews
"worth a visit"
in 76 reviews
"nice cafe"
in 44 reviews
"royal bath hotel"
in 29 reviews
"couple of hours"
in 45 reviews
"entrance fee"
in 26 reviews
"rainy day"
in 40 reviews
"visiting bournemouth"
in 27 reviews
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91 - 95 of 1 831 reviews

Reviewed 31 March 2018 via mobile

Beautiful Art Nouveau house with an amazing collection. A museum like no other. So many beautiful and interesting items to look at. The set out flows nicely and the place has a really homely and welcoming feel to it. You definitely get a sense of Merton & Annie's passion and character. Staff were great and we had some lunch in the cafe which was very nice and reasonably priced.

Thank claireandchris164
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 30 March 2018 via mobile

Staying in Bournemouth for a weekend getaway, we were unsure of what to do and stumbled across the Russell-Cotes Art Gallery & Museum.

What a wonderful eclectic mix of architectural styles situated above Bournemouth beach alongside the Royal Bath Hotel. The house has a superb collection of art and sculpture within a beautiful house. The collection is rich and diverse, and a true reflection of their travels and passion for art and sculpture from across the globe. Their was a pianist playing in the main hall and the cafe was of a high standard, we enjoyed afternoon tea with a selection of cakes.

This was the highlight of our stay in Bournemouth.

3  Thank anglo-australian
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 27 March 2018

This was a planned visit so we had some idea of the museum and its history. The reality far surpassed the expectation and getting in free with our Art Cards was a bonus. It's worth the entry fee anyway! THere are things of beauty and interest in every nook and cranny - just go and see.

1  Thank Chez_labeille
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 26 March 2018 via mobile

Let’s start right from the beginning here, (pre-Museum entry) and lay down the basics for those visiting in a wheelchair.

Bournemouth = hills...and the museum entrance is at the bottom of big steep one. Unless you are young and fit, with arms like Popeye, you’re going to need a push up it again on the way out.

We parked in the free disabled bays in the street at the top of the hill and the museum was only a careful two minute back wheel balance down the hill from there. We were greeted with enthusiasm, good building accessibility knowledge and a £6 entry fee each on arrival. We felt this was a fair price as we were there for three hours. I think you must have to request the concessionary rate (£4), as we weren’t offered it. Perhaps the staff saw the boyfriend descend the slope outside with such style and grace they didn’t want to insult him by offering him a reduced rate as he was obviously Gifted (with a capital G).

I seem to recall an old boy asking about wheelchair access for a power chair when we were in reception and being told it wasn’t possible, because we found the lift entrance was very narrow between the ground, first and second floors. Bearing in mind the boyfriend has a super-sleek modern chair, with no bells or whistles on it, I really think anything wider than about 80cm would be struggling to get in and out easily. So ‘phone ahead first and check.

We went straight up to the second floor and stuffed our faces with delicious cakes and coffee in the cafe. Very nice indeed and a good, reasonably priced selection available. There were pictures and other arty bits and bobs for sale around the perimeter of the spacious airy seating area.

The whole art collection is housed on the second floor, barring a few rooms on the third floor which sadly aren’t accessible (this was explained to us in advance), so I had to run up and take a look and tell him how wonderful it all was instead, which I could tell just by looking at his face was nearly as good as the real thing for him...

There is a platform lift to get to the other side of a split-level section of the second floor, so that was good. Apart from the fact it wouldn’t work on the way back up and I had to go up the stairs, call the lift back up, then travel down in it again to get the door to open up from downstairs. Weird.

There are some wonderful works of art on show, from sculptures through to a lovely collection of Pre-Raphaelite paintings I’d only ever seen photos of previously. The house itself is just beautiful - stained glass windows; sea views out over the pier and gardens; ornate friezes; amazing frescos; Ancient through to ultra-modern art. It was all very interesting and engaging. There was a lady playing the piano in one of the rooms and this gentle background music somehow added to the ambience.

Toilets of the accessible and non-accessible kind were on the first floor and both a bit whiffy, but it seemed to be a drain kind of whiffy-ness rather than any individual human culprit. Not pleasant though.

Back down on the ground floor there was a gift shop full of very reasonably priced goods. I bought my own body weight in fridge magnetobilia, cards and coasters. There were lots of books for sale too, but by this point the boyfriend and I felt we had educated ourselves quite enough for one day. Plus we had That Hill to tackle, which we did somehow, fuelled only by brute force and the bread pudding in our bellies.

In all seriousness, this is a great way to while away a wet afternoon, but only if your wheelchair isn’t too fat. :-)

2  Thank Roll_and_stroll
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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