From 10:30am – 5:30pm, this usually private island is yours to explore.
Trust us; there’s nothing quite like a visit to this magical artists community just across the Thames.
This is especially true when the studio doors are open to you, there’s a chance to chat with the creative people who make this place so fascinating and when Christmas shopping can mean supporting London’s local artists (not to mention be a lot more interesting than a wander down the high street).
Look for the green footbridge that stretches over the Thames toward a flowing willow tree. Follow the path on the other side. You’ll walk past the white gate of the Love Shack, the bright green Lion Boathouse with its red HMV sign (a nod to the island’s impressive musical history worth researching before you visit) and around a bend eventually leading you to a pair of metal doors. Pass through. You’ll find yourself in a working boatyard and eventually in one of the quirkiest and colourful places in all of London.
The first studio you come across on the left is Ann’s. You can’t miss it. After you admire the constantly changing exterior decorated with the latest inspiration she finds on her daily adventures, pop in and say hello. As with her neighbouring artist’s, Ann’s work is for sale. Take time to browse. She’ll have some of her newest mosaic furniture on display alongside other artwork like her paintings and sculptures.
And then, head further into the depths of the island. There is plenty to explore, both inside the artist’s studios and outside. You’ll find your head turning with every step to take in the playfully dressed mannequins, the dangling skeletons and the panels of rusty peeling paint from the shipyard.
And most likely, you’ll head home feeling inspired yourself, in awe of this mysterious island that feels miles away from the bustle of the city despite being right beside it and with a perfect gift or two that you’ll be excited to wrap and share over the holidays a few weeks later.