Expressive venues in Scotland

Express yourself and get in touch with your creative side with a workshop or gallery visit in these art spaces in Scotland.

1) Summerhall

‘Open Minds Open Doors.’ Summerhall’s slogan perfectly sums up this beautiful multi-arts space. Situated on the corner of the Meadows in an old veterinary school, this place has something for everyone. Workshops, club nights, visual arts, performing arts and everything in between, just take your pick! In August, during the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, Summerhall is a must-visit venue and can comfortably claim to be one of the best arts venues in the world. And definitely one of Scotland’s great cultural hubs. There is also a cafe and shop. For their bar and gin distillery see chapter Drinks (Royal Dick).

interior full of photograph at the Summerhall Edinburgh art space

2) DCA - Dundee Contemporary Arts

DCA is an award-winning contemporary arts centre with limitless options to enjoy. There are two cinema screens, two substantial gallery spaces, a print studio, a shop and a cafe bar. That’s not to mention the busy calendar of events, workshops, and classes aimed to educate, empower and inspire. The Print Studio Taster Sessions are a lot of fun. The Jute Café Bar offers a great menu or a place to grab a drink before or after a movie. The shop is stocked with lots of interesting and unusual gifts, which are a great way to remember your time here.

People at an art exhibition at the Dundee Contemporary Arts

152 Nethergate, Dundee

+44 (0)1382 432 444

3) Barrowland Ballroom

The Barrowlands aka ‘the Barras’ is a Glasgow institution. Opened in 1934 its famous neon signs give you a warm fuzzy feeling and attract you in like midges to the light. Inside you’re met with the famous Glaswegian welcome and lively crowd. The main hall is famous for its excellent acoustics (essential for the unamplified orchestras it was originally created for) and its sprung dance floor, guaranteed to put a smile on your face! David Bowie, Oasis, U2, and Metallica are just a few of the previous artists to play the venue, however they host everything from hip-hop to electronic nights. Don’t expect much from the bar and let yourself be charmed by its faded glamour, you won’t regret it.

big red neon sign of the Barrowland Ballroom in Glasgow

4) Findhorn Foundation

The Findhorn Foundation is a spiritual village and ecovillage just a stone’s throw away from Findhorn village. Starting in 1963 from just a caravan, the community is now one of the leading pioneers in sustainable thinking and living. Both in Scotland and internationally. Education is at the heart of the foundation, there are workshops and learning opportunities to suit the freest of thinkers and experimenters around. The Great Hall is where many of these events take place, and it’s a magical building with its rounded lines and stained glass.

painting of a whale on a shed at the Findhorn Foundation

at: The Park, Findhorn, Forred

+44 (0)1309 690 311

5) House for an Art Lover

The plans for the ‘House for an Art Lover’ where originally submitted to a German magazine in 1901 by Glasgow’s most lamented architect Charles Rennie Mackintosh. They were entered for a competition of which he was later disqualified on the grounds of technical breach of the rules. His plans where eventually realised 80 years later and lead by Professor Andy MacMillan, former Head of Architecture at Mackintosh’s world-famous Glasgow School of Art. Now unfortunately in a state of disrepair. The story, gardens, cafe and studio pavilion make this a great way to spend an afternoon.

garden and exterior of the House for an Art Lover in Glasgow

at: Bellahouston Park, 10 Dumbreck Road, Glasgow

+44 (0)141 353 4770

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