Dynamic, diverse and utterly brimming with creativity and culture, London ticks all the boxes for when you’re feeling crafty and artistic. From hundreds of unique art galleries to workshops of every kind, the city has heaps of brilliant artsy activities to get stuck into. Here’s our list of the top eight things to do if you love art and want to embrace your creative side.
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Image Courtesy of M.Y.O
Explore your creativity at a M.Y.O class
M.Y.O offers a range of crafty classes in London designed to help unleash your creativity and explore your inner child. None of the M.Y.O classes require any previous experience, so they’re an excellent opportunity to try something completely new. They host seasonal classes like Christmas stocking making and festive wreath workshops, as well as the mainstays like lino printing, candle painting and embroidery. Oh, and they’re BYOB (bring your own booze), making them the perfect activity to do in London if you love art and are partial to a drink or two.
M.Y.O | Multiple Locations
Make your way around London’s galleries
When it comes to art, London’s got it all. Whether you’re looking for classic or contemporary, the city is home to well over a thousand exhibition spaces and around 800 galleries, all featuring something unique. Tate Modern (WA) is the most famous place to go for contemporary art in the capital. At the same time, Tate Britain (WA) showcases the development of British art that has evolved from the 16th century to the present day. There’s also The Wallace Collection (WA), where more than 5,500 of the most prestigious European paintings reside, and Mimosa House (WA), an independent non-profit gallery that houses the work of female and queer artists worldwide. And the best bit? All of the places we just named have free entry.
We also LOVE a guided tour of the city’s best art galleries and museums, like this affordable tour where you’ll explore the National Gallery with an art expert.
Image Courtesy of Yougi
Get stuck into a candle-making workshop
These Candle Making Workshops with indie wellness brand Yougi offer the opportunity to make your very own eco-soy wax aromatherapy candle that you can take all the way back home with you. They have themed classes like the Christmas Candle Making Workshop, where you’ll infuse your candle with a blend of orange, cinnamon, tonka bean, cedar wood and frankincense essential oils; they describe it as ‘Christmas in a candle’. There’s also the Crystal Candle Making Workshop, where you’ll learn about aromatherapy and the crystals you’ll be using in the class, and the Aromatherapy Candle Making Class, which is all about fragrances and how to create your own blend of essential oils to add to your candle. All materials used in the classes are ethically sourced, cruelty-free, eco-friendly and 100% natural.
Candle Making Workshops at Yougi | Shoreditch
Image Courtesy of Doodle Bar
Sip, eat and scribble at The Doodle Bar
If you’re the kind of person who finds yourself doodling on everything, you’ll love this bar in Bermondsey. The Doodle Bar is a laid-back bar and restaurant where they serve a tasty menu of burgers, like their aged beef burger with smoked applewood cheese, bacon, jalapeño relish and chipotle mayonnaise. But the best bit is the dedicated doodle wall where you can scribble away to your heart’s content while sipping on beers, wine and zingy cocktails. They also host occasional creative events and workshops.
The Doodle Bar | Bermondsey | WA
Image Courtesy of Get Your Guide
Learn about the East End’s colourful street art scene
Since London’s street art movement in the ‘80s, when the capital was home to a thriving underground scene, the city has remained a canvas for eye-catching murals. You’ll find graffiti painted in every neighbourhood, especially in East London, and one of the best ways to experience it is by heading on this Street Art and Graffiti Guided Walking Tour. This particular tour will take you to some of the city’s trendiest areas, teaching you all about the history of the East End as you wander down streets and alleyways covered in colourful graffiti, much of it with a message behind it. You’ll get to see art by over 40 artists while learning about the area’s urban art and street art culture with a local guide.
Street Art and Graffiti Guided Walking Tour | Spitalfields | WA
Image Courtesy of Experimental Perfume Club
Make your own perfume at The Experimental Perfume Club
In The Experimental Perfume Club’s workshops, you’ll get to create your very own scent that’s totally unique to you. They offer classes that take place at different times, so you’ll easily find something suitable. From the Apprentice Workshop, which is half a day and is essentially an introduction to perfumery, to the Expert Masterclass for those who want to dive even deeper and learn more about advanced perfumery skills. All classes are led by expert perfumers and are suitable for all levels.
Experimental Perfume Club | Covent Garden
Image Courtesy of Fabrications
Get crafty at a Fabrications textiles class
The classes at Fabrications are designed to help you embark on a personal creative journey and learn all about the craft of textiles. You can get stuck into all sorts here, from learning how to use a sewing machine or hand sewing to hand embroidery, printing, and dyeing. All the staff hold a wealth of knowledge in their dedicated craft, so you’ll be learning alongside super-experienced teachers who will always be on hand to answer any questions and help lead the way.
Fabrications | London Fields
Image Courtesy of Pinot and Picasso
Channel your inner Picasso (with wine)
Pinot and Picasso offer painting classes in the heart of the buzzy East End. The clue is in the name: you get to sip on wine while you paint. What a dream. They run all kinds of different classes so you can paint something that you might actually want to hang up, ranging from ‘Paint your Partner’ to ‘Winter Wonderland’ and ‘Paint your Pet’. It’s the perfect activity to get stuck into something creative while drinking wine and mingling with other like-minded people.
Pinot and Picasso | Shoreditch
Planning to visit London like a local, and only do the London-approved stuff? Well we’ve put together the BEST hidden gems you won’t want to miss, so you can save yourself hours of planning and researching. It’s all in our Casual Tourist Guides, so go have a look if you want to explore London with that “I could live here” feeling.