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.

To ensure entry to our house exhibitions - and some gardens - you may need to book in advance. Please check the property webpage you wish to visit for details. Below, you can also enjoy highlights from some of our major online exhibitions.

Forthcoming exhibitions
Chartwell visitor book open on page with Queen Elizabeth II's signature

Churchill and the Crown: Chartwell, Kent

This outdoor photography exhibition charts the friendship between the young Queen Elizabeth II and Sir Winston Churchill, whose family home was Chartwell. So strong was the relationship between the two that the Queen wrote Churchill a handwritten letter when he retired, thanking him for his wise guidance for which she would always be profoundly grateful. 15 Jan – 27 Feb 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

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

Song (After Nature): Lindisfarne, Northumberland

Lindisfarne reopens for the 2022 season with 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

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 workshops with him throughout the year. From 1 March 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

Exhibitions currently open
The 125 Treasures display at Petworth House

125 Treasures special displays 

With more than one million objects at 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

'The Last Frost' photograph by Nigel McCall, Finalist in the Beautiful Gardens category.

International Garden Photographer of the Year: Calke Abbey, Derbyshire 

Head into Calke’s walled kitchen garden to take a peek at this year’s International Garden Photographer of the Year Exhibition. View a selection of award-winning photographs, and see if Calke’s vibrant gardens can inspire you to pick up the camera yourself. Until 15 December 2021

Emobridery

Grayson Perry and Diverse Threads: Nunnington Hall, Yorkshire 

Head to Nunnington Hall for a special Christmas exhibition. York based artists with a passion for textiles will be celebrate all aspects of the season in their works – from crisp winter walks to festive food and spending time with loved ones. Plus, while Nunnington Hall’s 17th century Verdure tapestries are away for conservation work, you can see Grayson Perry’s ‘Essex House Tapestries: the life of Julie Cope’ hanging in their place. Both until 19 December 2021

Orange tree embroidery

The Orange Tree: Batemans, Sussex 

Celebrate the skill of embroidery with this exhibition inspired by the Orange Tree embroidery, created by May Morris, daughter of designer William Morris. See this intricate work of art hanging in the parlour, and discover more about how we look after embroideries and other textiles for the future. For a small donation you’ll also be able to pick up a kit with everything you need to create a small embroidery at home. Until 3 January 2022

A lone figure silhouetted against a multi coloured skyscape

Astronomy Photographer of the Year: Lacock, Somerset 

Explore beyond your horizon with a new exhibition at the Fox Talbot Museum: 100 extraordinary images showcasing the very best in astrophotography. Galaxies, aurorae and skyscapes all feature in the Astronomy Photographer of the Year, an annual competition run by the Royal Observatory Greenwich. Until February 2022

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

Winter 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

Artist Mark Wallinger and architect James Lowe stood in the entrance of 'Writ in Water' at Runnymede, Surrey

Trust New Art exhibitions 

Many of the places we look after were built with art at their heart. Since 2009, Trust New Art has been continuing this creative legacy with contemporary exhibitions and art displays. Pay a visit to discover the latest exciting works of art, all set against magnificent historic backdrops. Ongoing

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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.