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Lady Lever Art Gallery is a little gem, set in one of Britain’s most complete visions of a model village, Port Sunlight and boasting an impressive collection of paintings, sculpture and pottery.

In this grand old building, built to commemorate soap magnate William Lever’s wife – and another expression of the industrialist’s Victorian munificence – you’ll find outstanding collections of the decorative arts and ceramics. The building has recently undergone a refurb, taking the galleries back to Lord Lever’s original vision in 1922, adding more interactive features and making it more child-friendly.

There’s also a smartphone app that provides a guided tour of the gallery as you move through it. Want more? We recommend this very interesting ‘In 100 Objects’-style page on the website.

The Lady Lever Gallery houses Lever’s formidable collection of pre-Raphaelite arts, 18th century furniture, Wedgewood jasperware and a number of ancient Greek and Roman sculptures and boasts paintings from Stubbs, Constable, Turner, Gainsborough, Millais and Rosetti. 17 large Picasso linocuts are on loan from the British Museum until 2017.

The Lever the Collector gallery tells the story of how the wealthy businessman collected objet d’art from all over the world and slowly assembled an impressive private collection. The story of his Sunlight brand of soap is also told through displays on advertising and design employed by Lever.

There are irregular guided tours on Wednesdays and weekend – make sure you check the website – and a shop selling art, craft and lovely Liverpool stuff. Lady Lever Art Gallery also has a pleasant basement cafe serving home-cooked meals and light lunches to hungry art lovers.

Lever’s words upon opening the gallery still ring true: “Art and the beautiful civilize and elevate because they enlighten and ennoble.”