For world-class art and award-winning architecture, take a trip to Middlesborough.
Since 2007, Middlesbrough Institute of Modern Art, or mima as it’s affectionately known, has hosted work by some of the biggest names in art.
Housed in an impressive glass-fronted building, overlooking Middlesbrough’s Centre Square, mima is home to the largest collection of public jewellery outside of London, and regularly hosts community art projects and family sessions. Best of all, it is completely free to visit.
After taking in the impressive views from the roof terrace, work your way downwards. There are plenty of friendly staff on hand to guide you through the exhibitions, which currently feature works by Yorkshire-born feminist, Margaret Harrison, and projects celebrating drawing. Taking centre stage on the gallery’s bottom floor is the hugely impressive Localism exhibition, which tells the story of art in Middlesbrough from its beginnings in 1829 to the present day.
It’s a superb showcase of all that is great about Teesside and features a timeline of the area’s social history, illustrated with all manner of interesting artefacts.
There are hand-drawn maps of the local area, historic front pages from the local paper, a music cabinet from one of the town’s original concert halls and a selection of Fly Me To The Moon fanzines documenting the life of Middlesbrough Football Club.
Even the trowel that was used to lay mima’s first brick gets a show.
Address: Middlesbrough Institute of Modern Art, Centre Square, Middlesbrough, TS1 2AZ
Opening times: Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday 10am to 4.30pm, Thursday 10am to 7pm, Sunday, 12pm to 4pm. Closed Monday (including bank holidays)
Entry price: Free