My monthly roundup of ten excellent exhibitions to visit during October 2021.

Nero – The man behind the myth

British Museum

Ends 24th October

Adults: £20 | Children: Free | Concessions: £18 | Members: Free

This exhibition explores the true story of Rome’s fifth emperor informed by new research and archaeological evidence from the time, challenging the biased historical accounts written after Nero’s death that have shaped his legacy.

Reserve tickets here


Barbican Art Centre

Adults: £18 | Children: £5 | Concessions: £13 | Members: Free

An exhibition celebrating Japanese American sculptor Isamu Noguchi, one of the most experimental and pioneering artists of the 20th century. Over 150 works are presented, including an extraordinary range of sculptures – made in stone, ceramics, wood and aluminium – as well as theatre set designs, playground models, lighting and furniture design.

Reserve tickets here

Fantastic Beasts: The Wonder of Nature

Natural History Museum

Adults: £22 | Children: £12.25 | Concessions: £17.50 | Members: Free

Discover where the real world and the Wizarding World intertwine, and how the wonders of the natural world have inspired myths, legends and magical creatures for generations.  Celebrate real-world scientists who, like the character Newt Scamander, help us to understand our planet’s extraordinary creatures so we can protect them for the future.

Reserve tickets here

Tokyo 1964: Designing Tomorrow

Japan House


This exhibition shows how a group of young Japanese designers and architects harnessed the opportunity presented by the 1964 Olympic Games to reframe the country’s profile and tell a fresh story to the world. Their ground-breaking designs are important as they have informed the design principles of all subsequent major international sporting events.

Reserve tickets here

The Art of Banksy

Covent Garden

Adults: £27.50 | Children: £19.25 | Concessions: £19.25

This globally acclaimed showcase features original and authenticated works associated with, arguably, the most intriguing and talked-about artist in modern history. On display are prints, canvasses, screenprints, sculptures, unique works and limited-edition pieces mainly dated between the years 1997 to 2008, the period which resulted in Banksy’s most recognisable and well-known works.

Reserve tickets here

V for Vendetta: Behind The Mask

Cartoon Museum

Adults: £8.50 | Children: Free | Concessions: £3/£5 | Members: Free

This exhibition invites you to step inside the story and characters of one of the world’s most iconic graphic novels: V for Vendetta. Presenting 36 original comic artworks alongside storyboards and costume designs from the hit Warner Bros movie, V for Vendetta: Behind the Mask charts the rise from comic to graphic novel, Hollywood film to iconic symbol of protest.

Details here, tickets not required

Tudors to Windsors: British Royal Portraits

National Maritime Museum

Adults: £10 | Children: £5 | Concessions: £6.50 | Members: Free

Come face-to-face with the kings and queens who have shaped British history for over 500 years. Tudors to Windsors: British Royal Portraits includes over 150 of the finest portraits from across five royal dynasties.

Reserve tickets here

Paddington: The Story of a Bear

British Library

Adults: £8 | Children: Free/£4/£6 | Concessions: £6

Featuring over 50 books, documents, film clips and original artworks, the exhibition explores Michael Bond’s creation of Paddington, from his arrival in the UK from Peru, to finding a new home, and his adventures in London.

Reserve tickets here

Larking: The Thames and Beyond

Southwark Cathedral


An exhibition to celebrate the release of A Field Guide to Larking by Lara Maiklem, author of the bestselling Mudlarking: Lost and Found on the River Thames. Objects from Lara’s own collection and treasures borrowed from other larkers. It also features some of the original illustrations by Johnny Mudlark and Chiz Harwood.

Details here, tickets not required

Bellotto: The Königstein Views Reunited

National Gallery


Five monumental views of the Saxon fortress of Königstein, painted by Bernardo Bellotto, are reunited for the first time in more than 250 years.

Painted at the height of Bellotto’s career, when he was court painter to August III, Elector of Saxony and King of Poland, these views were commissioned as part of a larger series of 30 views of Dresden and its surroundings.

Details here, tickets need prebooking


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Thank you

  1. David says:

    Thank you – really useful

  2. MilesT says:

    I visited the larking exhibition last week at 4pm on Thursday, but only found 3 display cases on show (tried to follow signs to more but more was not apparent).

    An interesting 10 mins (and I was especially wanting to see early modern period items, so that was good). But nothing more. Good add on to a refuelling stop at Borough Market. I was already nearby so it wasn’t a special trip.

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