Special exhibitions

Each year we host exhibitions at some of our most iconic buildings and outdoor spaces. Some celebrate the people who hold special connections to those places; some shed new light on their histories. Others explore different aspects of our collections, from paintings and sculpture to interior design and photography.

Our Trust New Art exhibitions showcase contemporary artwork inspired by our places. You can also enjoy highlights from some of our major online exhibitions.

Forthcoming exhibitions
Kaffe Fassett at Hidcote

Colour with Kaffe Fassett: Hidcote, Gloucestershire 

Kaffe Fassett has inspired people across the world with his colourful work in fabric, patchwork, needlepoint and knitting. Keen to encourage others to find their own creativity, he's produced over 30 publications and tours giving workshops and lectures. This new exhibition will tell the story of how colour has been an inspiration to him and how colour and art can act as a pacifier, reliever and stimulator. 27 August 2022 until 26 March 2023

Exhibitions currently open
Conservator working on a painting

Constable Revealed: Anglesey Abbey, Cambridgeshire 

The largest known painting by artist John Constable, the Embarkation of George IV from Whitehall: the Opening of Waterloo Bridge, 1817, has been brought back to its full glory by our conservators, revealing a long-vanished Thames skyline view. Now back on show at Anglesey Abbey, discover the painting's story and explore more of the Constable collection with an object trail in the house. 29 April until 31 October 2022

Hilt collar from an ornate seax hilt

Swords of Kingdoms: The Staffordshire Hoard: Sutton Hoo, Suffolk 

Two of the most important Anglo-Saxon archaeological discoveries to have ever been made are to be reunited in this new exhibition. Swords of Kingdoms: The Staffordshire Hoard brings together original treasures from the Sutton Hoo Great Ship Burial alongside objects from the Stafford Hoard – the largest hoard of Anglo-Saxon gold and silver ever found. 19 May until 30 October 2022

Faberge egg, rhodonite with diamonds

Treasured Possessions: Riches of Polesden Lacey: Polesden Lacey, Surrey 

Showcasing over 100 treasures, this exhibition is marking 80 years since Dame Margaret Greville left Polesden Lacey and her collection to the National Trust. It offers a unique opportunity to see these treasures which reflect her place in early 20th-century high society, with precious objects by Cartier and Fabergé alongside rare ceramics, silver and paintings. You can also view this exhibition online. 25 April until 30 October 2022

Mother and son looking at Beatrix Potter artwork in the Beatrix Potter Gallery, Hawkshead

Language of Flowers: Beatrix Potter Gallery, Cumbria

The Victorians famously used flowers as a ‘language’ to communicate messages and emotions. This new exhibition explores the importance of flowers in Beatrix Potter’s art and life, bringing together books, sketches, watercolours and decorative items from her personal collection. 27 March – 30 October 2022

Stuffed birds in a glass dome at Penrhyn Castle

What a World!: Penrhyn Castle, North Wales 

What a World! is looking at some of the objects in Penrhyn Castle that connect to its colonial history. It’s a creative approach where local school children have worked with poets to write poetry in response to the objects. The work was done in 2018–2019 but, due to the pandemic, it wasn't revealed to the public until last year. This year is the first time the exhibition can be seen in its entirety. Until November 2022

Penrhyn Castle, Gwynedd, North Wales

Beyond Penrhyn: Penrhyn Castle, North Wales

The Beyond Penrhyn installation will look at placing Penrhyn Castle in the context of its local landscape and history. It will have a special focus on the local quarry that was owned by the family and the slate industry and disputes that they were involved in – primarily the Great Penrhyn Quarry Strike 1900–1903. From late April 2022

Rye River at Nunnington Hall

Cause and Effect: Nunnington Hall, Yorkshire

Explore the geography and rich wildlife of the River Rye through a new art exhibition in partnership with North York Moors and the ‘Ryevitalise’ Landscape Partnership. New films show the social history of the river’s local area, and you can join in with workshops, talks and hands-on activities running alongside the exhibition. 19 February – 3 July 2022

Tennis clothing through the ages

Active minds and busy bodies: Killerton, Devon 

Delve into a world of fashion with this exhibition at Killerton. Explore how fashion has changed and adapted over time as the activities enjoyed on this country estate spread out into wider society. Look at how some clothing remains quite traditional while other sportswear and equipment now combines cutting-edge technology and high fashion. Also discover a display by Heather Ritchie, a rugmaker and teacher from North Yorkshire. Until 30 October 2022

Scree Wordsworth House

Scree: Wordsworth House and Garden, Cumbria 

This exhibition challenges us to rethink the basis of our relationship with the fells. Co-created with Cockermouth poet, photographer and writer Lucy Burnett, Scree encourages us to respond personally to this landscape and the impact we as humans have on it. Until 6 November 2022

The three big heads installation at Allan Bank

A Letter to the Earth from Beatrix: Allan Bank, Cumbria

Artist Hideyuki Sobue will be creating a giant portrait of Beatrix Potter at Allan Bank, the former home of Trust founder Canon Hardwicke Rawnsley. The mural has been inspired by Beatrix’s longstanding friendship and shared conservation legacy with Rawnsley. Visit early for the chance to watch Sobue painting the mural, or attend an art workshop with him during the year. From 1 March 2022

Visitors walking on the beach at Lindisfarne Castle, Holy Island, Northumberland

Song (After Nature): Lindisfarne, Northumberland 

Lindisfarne reopens for the 2022 season with a new soundscape installation: Song (After Nature) by artist Paul Rooney. The work evokes renowned Portuguese cellist Madame Suggia, using the howling of the seals residing around the island as a siren song for the impending climate catastrophe. From 1 March 2022

Beatrix Potter's Two Bad Mice watercolour, published 1904

Beatrix Potter and the V&A exhibition 

Tickets are now on sale for 'Beatrix Potter: Drawn to Nature', a new exhibition of Beatrix Potter's life and love of nature, which opens at the V&A Museum in London in February 2022. It's created in collaboration between the V&A and the National Trust and explores the life story of this beloved children's author-illustrator. Until January 2023

The 125 Treasures display at Petworth House

125 Treasures special displays 

With more than one million objects in over 200 historic places, the National Trust looks after one of the world’s most significant collections of heritage objects and fine art. Our book '125 Treasures from the Collections of the National Trust' brings together a selection of highlights. Read on to find out where you can see some of these treasures in person. Until Spring 2022

Sal Taylor Kydd exhibition image

Janus Rising photographic exhibition: Lacock Abbey, Wiltshire 

A new photographic exhibition has opened at Lacock Abbey which is an exploration of time passing, the interplay between fragility and strength and the resilience of self. Sal Taylor Kydd's work draws on landscape, home and family. Discover images that, like the two-faced Roman god Janus, look back to the past but also forward to the future. Ongoing

Visitors in face coverings looking at room three of Dyrham Park's latest exhibition

The world of William Blathwayt and the birth of modern Britain: Dyrham Park, Bath 

This exhibition sets the scene in the 1690s when leading civil servant William Blathwayt set about rebuilding Dyrham Park. It introduces the transforming local, national and global climate of the period and links historic events and contemporary figures that shaped Blathwayt's world, job and influenced the place he called home. Spread across three rooms - two featuring short videos and the third an interactive display of object and collection items, brings to life the late 1600s. Ongoing

Visit Newton House, Dinefwr to see works by Hannah Walters, ceramic artist

Spring exhibitions: Dinefwr, Wales 

Dinefwr's 'Archaeology of Home' exhibition reveals a fascinating glimpse of the historic materials and decorative techniques used at Newton House since it was built in the mid-17th century. You can also discover a collection of work by contemporary ceramic artist Hannah Walters, inspired by the house's remarkable decorative ceilings. Ongoing

The mountstewart yacht with Theresa, Lady Londonderry on board

Mystery of the Mountstewart: Mount Stewart, County Down 

On 11 April 1895, a boating accident on Strangford Lough took the lives of eight people, including six servants from Mount Stewart. Now, thanks to a team of research volunteers, this fascinating exhibition uncovers the mysteries of what happened on that fateful day, and shine a light on the lives of those who were tragically lost. Ongoing

The Denney Edition at Rainham Hall

The Denney Edition: Rainham Hall, London 

This innovative exhibition celebrates Vogue photographer, designer, and former Rainham Hall resident Anthony Denney. Working with creative company The Decorators, and a host of designers and local craftspeople, the Hall has been transformed into a ‘living magazine’, showcasing objects and photographs from Denney’s life and career. Ongoing

Search for more exhibitions near you
Online exhibitions
Scottish painter Joan Eardley (1921-1963)

Joan Eardley's paintings 

Discover the work of Joan Eardley (1921-1963), whose acutely observed and expressive paintings of post-war Scotland stood at the vanguard of 20th-century British art. Three of Eardley's pictures are in the collection at Mottisfont in Hertfordshire, having been donated in 1996 by artist Derek Hill as part of a wider collection of 81 artworks.

Images from 'A Portrait of the National Trust'

125 Portraits online exhibition 

Explore our online photography exhibition showcasing portraits from our new book: A Portrait of the National Trust: 125 stories for 125 years’ It's part of our 125th anniversary celebrations. Come face to face with some of the extraordinary people who support our cause through the dramatic black and white portraits and discover the stories behind the images.

Detail of Saint Agatha by Carlo Dolci (1616 – 1687), oil on canvas, c. 1665-70 / Osterley NT 2900293

Treasures of Osterley: Rise of a Banking Family 

Explore the rise to fame and fortune of the Child family of Osterley Park and discover the works of art they collected from around the globe, featuring stunning new photography and in-depth information by our curatorial experts. The centrepiece of the exhibition is the recently acquired painting of Saint Agatha by the 17th-century Italian artist Carlo Dolci.

Chippendale green dressing table with open drawer

Chippendale Revealed 

Our first-ever online exhibition features specially commissioned photography showing previously unseen and unique aspects of Thomas Chippendale's furniture and showcasing the expertise of our Furniture Research & Cataloguing team.