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Culture and Arts Tour of Bankside


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There is more than to see than just the Tate and Globe! This walk guides you along the best independent galleries and theatres of Bankside.

Start your tour on Hopton Street. Located at number 65 is the Purdy Hicks Gallery. Located in a 3000 sq ft former Victorian warehouse, the gallery is dedicated to exhibiting the best of contemporary international art by established and emerging artists: Opening times: Mon-Fri : 10:00 -18:00 Sat: 11:00-18:00.

Next door, at 65a Hopton Street is the Wapping Project Bankside. Founded in 2008 byJules Wright, Director of The Wapping Project, the spectacular gallery focuses on showcasing the best in photography, film and video. Opening times: Mon by appointment. Tues- Sat 10:00-18:00.

Walk right and you’ll find next to Tate Modern is the Bankside Gallery,home to the Royal Watercolour Society and the Royal Society of Painter-Printmakers .In view is a changing programme of exhibitions, which includes vibrant exhibitions celebrating the very best in contemporary watercolour and original print.Opening times: Mon- Sun: 11:00-18:00.

Continue walking past the Tate Modern down to Park Street.  At 56, Shakespeare fans must check out theRose Theatre Exhibition.The Rose,built in 1587, was the first Elizabethan Theatre on Bankside and where Shakespeare learnt his craft. Remains of the Rose can be seen an exhibition at the theatre. If you fancy a show in this historical theatre, the Rose Theatre Trust stages many productions of contemporary Elizabethan and modern dramatic work at the venue. Opening times: Exhibition open every Saturday, plus prearranged tours. Show times vary. Check their website for more information.

Retrace your steps and head down Park Street and you’ll find yourself at Unit 24 galley, a modern and minimalist art space. The unit features a changing array of contemporary art which also is home to a functional dry cleaning business -completely unique! Opening times: Mon-Wed: 8:00- 17:00 Thu-Fri: 8am-18:00 Sat-Sun: closed.

Walk down Great Guildford street and head left to 51-53 Southwark Street, the home to theatrical power house, Menier Chocolate Factory. Situated in the historic factory, the award winning 180 seat fringe studio produces some of the most innovative and exciting theatre in town. There is also a cool atmospheric restaurant with a new delicious menu. Enjoy a great value with their hugely popular Meal Deal which includes a two course meal and ticket for the show! (check their website for details). Also within the factory, the Menier Gallery offers a dramatic space to view and exhibit works of contemporary art and design. Opening times: Mon-Wed &Sat: 11:00-6:00, Thu-Fri 11:00-18:00.

A stort stroll onRedcross Way leads to a renovated school keeper's house next to a primary school which is home to The Art House Foundation,asmall art led charity, which showcases an ever changing selection of engaging contemporary art. Opening times: Thus & Fri: 13:00-17:00, Sat: 12:00-16:00.

The Poppy Sebire Gallery at 6 Copperfield Street, is beautifully located a stunning high-ceilinged, vaulted Victorian church hall. Featured here are a variety of exciting series of expositions from mid-career artists and graduates from Europe and USA. Opening times: Tues-Sat : 10:00-18:00 or by appointment

Located at 171 Union Street is home to Jerwood Visual Arts, an impressive 2,600 sq-ft exhibition space. The space features a contemporary gallery programme of awards, exhibitions and events at Jerwood Space. The gallery features a diverse range of work from talented emerging artists across the disciplines of drawing, painting, sculpture, applied arts, photography and moving image. Opening times: Mon – Fri: 10:00– 17:00 Sat & Sun: 10:00 – 15:00.

Under the railway arches, the Union Theatre and café at 204 Union Street, hosts a wide range of innovative events, plays, musicals, local art exhibitions and a youth theatre. They also have a quirky, affordable and yummy café!

Continue walking down past union theatre and you’ll find yourself at Southwark tube station.

Insider’s tip:

If you are visiting on the weekend, Alma Enterprise Gallery, a project space which features individual artists showing sing/ular pieces of work as a result of a lengthy engagement with the space. A great space toto discover talented up and coming artists Opening times: is Sat-Sun: 12:00 -18:00 or on Fridays by appointment.