The rise of domestic tourism

Painting with a small figure bathing on rocks by a river

Falmouth Harbour c.1812-1814, watercolour with some bodycolour, Lady Lever Art Gallery

Many of Turner's tours were in response to commissions and he would make pencil sketches direct from the landscape as the basis for finished watercolours and paintings. His first real tour was in 1791 when he explored the area around Bristol, possibly sketching Wells Cathedral in the process.

The rise in popularity of travel around Britain was aided by the French Revolution, which made it unsafe to cross the channel to the continent until Napoleon's defeat in 1815. Guidebooks by writers like the Reverend William Gilpin encouraged tourists to see the remote regions of the Lake District, Scotland and Wales.

Travellers came to rely on these guides for recommendations of routes, viewpoints and essential equipment. The list of equipment might include a Claude glass, drawing pads, portable watercolour sets, memorandum books, pens and pencils, telescopes, barometers, maps and guidebooks.