London takes the crown for most hashtagged museums in the UK

Six of the top 10 are in the capital

The UK has a fine line of artists, designers, architects and painters to its name. The cold winter months make for the perfect time to discover the cultural heritage of Britain by visiting one of the many museums and art galleries on offer. Holidu, the search engine for holiday rentals, has analysed the popularity of British museums and galleries on Instagram, taking into account the number of hashtags that appear for each of them. These are the museums that most inspire the millennial art and history lovers, who visit these buildings to enrich their knowledge (and Instagram feeds).

1. Tate Modern | London | #1,048,124

Tate Modern, London

The most hashtagged British museum on Instagram is the Tate Modern in London. Opened by the Queen in May 2000, this is a relatively young gallery when compared with some of the other institutions that make the list. But the Tate’s extensive collection of international contemporary and modern art has made its popularity skyrocket in the past two decades, making it one of the top visitor attractions in the whole of the UK. With an impressive 3.2 million followers on Instagram, it’s only fair that the Tate Modern receives the crown. @tate

Interesting fact: The architect who designed the power station that houses the Tate Gallery, is the same man who designed the iconic red telephone boxes.

2. British Museum | London | #544,519

Second is the British Museum, with a history that dates to 1759, making it one of the oldest museums in the world. A visit here will leave you totally inspired! It has more than seven million objects available to view, making it one of the world’s most comprehensive collections that contains materials from all continents, giving visitors an in-depth insight into the history of human culture. @britishmuseum

Interesting fact: Believe it or not, but the British Museum has been around longer than the United States of America.

The V&A. Photo Aaron Bradley via Flickr

3. Victoria and Albert Museum | London | #255,954

Dubbed as “the world’s greatest museum of art and design”, it’s unsurprising that the V&A Museum rounds off the top three. This prestigious museum contains an amazing collection of art pieces, sculptures and also artifacts. What’s perhaps most appealing about this museum is that it manages to strike a perfect balance between classical and modern: the architecture of half of the museum is very old-fashioned with intricate marble walls and pieces that are centuries old, while the other half is an ode to the contemporary age we are living in, with a very futuristic style. There is definitely something to suit art lovers of every taste preference and age here. @vamuseum

Interesting fact: Leading the way, the V&A was the world’s first museum to have an in-house restaurant, which is still serving food to this day.

4. Tate Britain | London | #200,161

If you’re interested in Britain and also art, the Tate Britain is a must-visit for you. Housing collections of British art that date back to 1500 and up to the present day, you can marvel at the classical pieces while witnessing the ways in which art in the UK has evolved over the years. As if the art itself was not enough to entice you, this museum can be found within the walls of an equally stunning building that will appeal to any architecture lover. @tatebritainlondon

Interesting fact: You can quickly get from the Tate Britain to its sister gallery, Tate Modern, by taking a high speed boat that connects the two along the River Thames.

5. National Portrait Gallery | London | #157,235

Holding the special title of being the first portrait gallery in the world when it opened in 1856, this institution houses a collection of portraits of important British men and women, past and present, who have had a significant impact on British history and culture. The art gallery will close its doors this June to prepare for a massive three-year refurbishment plan, so make sure you arrange a visit before then! @nationalportraitgallery

Interesting fact: The National Portrait Gallery is where you can view the largest collection of historic portraits in the world.

6. Beamish Museum | Beamish | #106,833

Highly regarded as one of the best open air museums in the world, Beamish passionately tells the story of the people who lived in north-east England during the 1820s, 1900s and 1940s. Fun for all the family, take a stroll around the amazing museum and learn about the fascinating facts and tales in which are to be shared. With a special perk of the entrance ticket being valid for a whole year, you will be sure to want to visit again and again. @beamish_museum

Interesting fact: While the costumed people at Beamish are actors, the buildings are entirely authentic, and were rebuilt using bricks from around the region and rebuilt to give a true sense of the history.

7. Natural History Museum | London | #45,064

Next up, located on the same road as the third place V&A Museum, you will find the Natural History Museum. Have you ever wanted to see a 25.2-metre-long skeleton of a blue whale? Well, look no further than the Hintze Hall where you can see just that. Explore the rest of the museum to feast your eyes on their amazing paleontology section (which is what they’re famous for), but they also proudly display more than 80 million specimens which date back to the whole 4.5 billion years of Earth’s history! A truly fascinating experience awaits. @natural_history_museum

Interesting fact: This museum welcomes more than five million visitors a year who all flock to view the most important natural history collection in the world.

8. Titanic Belfast | Belfast | #38,566

Infamously known as one of modern history’s deadliest peacetime commercial marine disasters, the Titanic now is one of Northern Ireland’s most iconic symbols. This interactive museum in Belfast takes visitors through the Titanic story from new and interesting perspectives, covering information from the ships conception in the early 1900s, the devastating voyage and sinking and also beyond that and features the discovery of the wreck. @titanicbelfast

Interesting fact: The museum can hold more than 3,547 visitors at any one time, the same number the Titanic could hold!

9. Tate Liverpool | Liverpool | #36,648

The third Tate gallery to feature in this top 10, the Tate Liverpool displays collections of both British and international modern and contemporary art. Located at the Royal Albert Dock, the Tate Liverpool is nestled between a number of other interesting museums, top restaurants and bars that all overlook the water. Since its opening, this gallery has housed more than 150 exhibitions and collections of work done by hundreds of different artists. It is definitely a special place to visit the next time you’re in Liverpool. @tateliverpool

Interesting fact: In 2007, the Tate Liverpool hosted the Turner Prize, which was the first time the prestigious competition was held outside of London.

10. Ashmolean Museum | Oxford | #35,955

Last but not least, we have the Ashmolean Museum. Ashmolean is the museum of the University of Oxford, and was the world’s first university museum when it opened in 1683. This museum is a true gem, housing collections covering a wide range of topics, from ancient Egypt and the history of Buddhism, to art from both the East and West. @ashmoleanmuseum

Interesting fact: As well as being the world’s first university museum, the Ashmolean also holds the title of being the world’s first public museum, officially opened in 1683!


This ranking was created in January based on Instagram data. An extensive list of more than 50 British museums and art galleries were taken into account. The top 10 was created on the basis of Instagram hashtags, whereby the museum or gallery with the highest hashtag count would be considered the most popular.

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David Buckley

Dave Buckley is a career journalist. “I once went painting girders for a week and discovered I didn’t like heights,” he says. “Apart from that it has always been journalism for me in one form or another.” Past publications worked for include the South-East London Mercury*, Kent Messenger, Daily Express, Today*, News of the World* and Hong Kong Star*. All those marked with an asterisk no longer exist (trend emerging?). He owned and edited a Thailand-based property magazine before returning to England and currently works as a production editor for an East Midlands-based publishing group.

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