Membership schemes are the best way to make the most of Britain's thriving culture scene. We pick some of the very best
Widely considered to be one of the best membership packages in London, the V&A scheme comes with exclusive previews of major exhibitions and new galleries, use of a swanky Members room, free priority entry to all the V&A exhibitions, the V&A magazine and an e-newsletter packed with special offers. £64 for a standard membership, through the V&A website.
Image ©Victoria and Albert Museum, London
Becoming a Friend or Patron is the best way of keeping up to date with everything that is happening at the Royal Opera House. There are many different levels of membership on offer, ranging from Friends to Patrons. Friends and Patrons both receive advance booking information for all performances, together with invitations to special events, plus the Royal Opera House's exclusive magazine and bespoke monthly e-newsletters. Patrons also have the benefit of a private Box Office. From £88 for Friends membership, throughthe Royal Opera House website.
Image courtesy of ROH / Bill Cooper
Friends of the RA gain free entry to all the Academy's exhibitions for themselves and a guest, plus invitations to exhibition previews, lectures and social events, all-day access to the lounges, restaurant, cocktail bar and garden at the Keeper's House and the RA magazine and e-newsletter. From £90 through the Royal Academy of Arts website.
Image courtesy of the Royal Academy of Arts
The Tate Gallery's membership package is a great way to explore some of Britain's most exciting art collections. The basic membership offers free entry to all Tate exhibition, access to the Members Rooms at Tate Britain and Tate Modern, plus fast-track entry and special viewings. Select extras allow you to preview major London exhibitions, gain free entry to both Tate Liverpool and St Ives exhibitions and be invited to their private views. From £62, through the Tate Gallery website.
Image courtesy of the Tate Gallery
The Art Fund is the main fund-raising charity for art and their membership is the ultimate culture scheme. Members receive a National Art Pass giving free entry to more than 200 museums, galleries and historic houses in the UK, plus 50% discounts on exhibition tickets and plus a subscription to teh Art Quarterly magazine. The National Art Pass starts from £42.75 per year, through The Art Fund.
Image courtesy of the Art Fund
British Museum members gain free fast-track entry and priority access to all exhibitions, invitations to special Members' events, lectures and parties, access to the Members room, which overlooks the Great Court, as well as special discounts at the Museum's shops and cafes and free Museum publications. From £60 through The British Museum website.
Image courtesy of the British Museum
Southbank Centre members get access to special events, private views and free exhibitions, as well as priority bookings for popular concerts and festivals - and admission to a private Members bar that enjoys spectacular views across London. Even the membership gift box is ultra-stylish: it's a special commission by artists Kai and Sunny. £65 for a full membership. www.southbankcentre.co.uk/membership Image courtesy of the Southbank Centre
Members of the National Museums Scotland enjoy free or reduced entry to four museums - the National Museum of Scotlamd, the National Museum of Flight. the National Museum of Rural Life and the National War Museum - free, unlimited access to special exhibitions. free or reduced tickets to talks and lectures and invitations to exclusive private view events, as well as discounts in the museums' cafes and shops. From £32, through the National Museums Scotland website.