The National Gallery, founded in 1824, is one of London's finest and most famous art galleries. It's open to the public 361 days of the year, and it's free to go inside and explore its wonderful collections.
Something few people seem to know about is the fact that the gallery organisers put on a number of free events throughout the year, events which would enrich any visit, thereby making it all the more enjoyable and rewarding.
The idea is that the magic carpet flies through the gallery and lands in front of one painting, about which an enchanting story is told.
The stories are linked to workshops organised for those aged between five and eleven, which take place from 11am to 1pm and again between 2pm and 4pm.
Booking for these events isn't necessary, but of course, places are limited so you should arrive in good time to have a chance of joining in. Also, children should be accompanied by an adult.
The gallery also organises creative sessions for adults. These are led by artists, poets and lecturers working at the National Gallery. The events often involve a talk combined with drawing (materials provided), or sometimes something like a poetry workshop.
It's a great chance to learn from skilled artists and meet new people. These creative sessions take place between 1pm and 2pm every Friday and occasionally on Friday evenings at 6.30pm.
Another free event taking place regularly at the National Gallery is called Artist's Eye, where a contemporary artist picks out a piece of work at the gallery and talks about why they chose it and how the work of the chosen artist may have inspired their own work.
These talks give visitors a unique insight into the world of art and various techniques used by artists, past and present.
There's so much going on at the National Gallery that it would be impossible to fit it all in here. Best take some time to explore its excellent website and then make a plan to visit.