Museums at Night

Museums at Night has been going for some time now, and gets more popular every year, with museums and galleries, historic houses and palaces and various venues all over the country opening their doors to the public for after-hours visits – and often laying on special events to boot. This year the event runs runs from May 16 to May 18, and there's any number of unusual places and events to entice you to stay out late. There are after-dark visits to historic houses like Petworth House in Sussex, west London's Osterley House and Park, and Rudyard Kipling's Sussex residence, Bateman's – not to mention the opportunity to sleep like a king at both Hampton Court and Kensington Palace. There are also spooky 'sleepovers' at Kenilworth Castle, so-called adults-only events at Dover Castle (though the 'adult' bit is a medieval banquet...) and all-action nights for kids at Portsmouth Historic Dockyard – plus the chance to spend the night at Wordsworth's Dove Cottage in the Lake District. Check out arts events, too, like Steampunk at Norwich's Dragon Hall, a night of poetry, music, sketches and wacky installations that sounds fab, and sculptor Gavin Turk's pyramids and crystals show at the Bristol Museum & Art Gallery. Whatever you choose, and wherever you're based, it's sure to be worth staying up late for. More info here.