While we were in Bournemouth at the weekend we discovered the fabulous Russell-Cotes Art Gallery and Museum on the East cliff above Bournemouth Pier. The Russell-Cotes were avid collectors of just about everything in the latter stages of the 19th Century. This house was built between 1898 and 1901 as both a home and a showcase for all their collections.
This is the view of the house as you go through the gates into the formal gardens. To me it has a slightly 'Disney-esque' look - but it appears to be a restauration that is accurate to the original appearance of the building.
There's a collection of Japanese Art and artifacts in the modern extension above the shop. I'd just started taking photos when I was told to put my camera away... Ooops! Nevertheless I'm rather pleased with this little effort...
This is a (slightly illegal) photo of the dining room - the first room that you visit. I am a complete fan of Victorian decoration and design so I was completely 'bowled over' by the amazing interiors. We spent more than two hours just gazing at the wallpapers and furniture. The house is also full of paintings and beautiful collections. I'm going to have to go back again to have a proper look at those.
Since I got home I've discovered that the Museum has a great website which includes 360 degree tours of each of the rooms. Here's a link so that you can enjoy the wild Victorian decor too.... Explore East Cliffe Hall
And the most amazing thing about all of this....? It's completely FREE! It was a brilliant way to the spend the morning with my parents and friends.