Posted on May 1st, 2023
Posted on October 24th, 2016
Southwark is one of the capital’s most historic boroughs with plenty of quirky and unusual attractions on the doorstep. This post will introduce you to some perhaps lesser known yet none-the-less fascinating attractions – all well worth a visit whether you’re a local or visiting from afar.
1 Menier Chocolate Factory
Chocoholics prepare to be disappointed because this Factory doesn’t produce chocolate, It’s actually a theatre, considered by the Daily Telegraph to be ‘one of London’s great theatre hopes’. The building did actually start life in 1870 as a chocolate factory, but today comprises a 150 seat theatre, restaurant, bar and rehearsal room. Its historical interior is a unique and atmospheric environment in which to enjoy high quality theatrical productions.
2 Shortwave Cinema (Where “Arments – The First 100 Years” film previewed!)
The Shortwave Cinema is a 52 seat independent cinema and café bar based in Bermondsey, where you can catch art house films along with recent releases. There are also regular festivals and previews including the London Short Film Festival and London Independent Film Festival along with live bands, art exhibitions, and much more.
3 Fashion Textile Museum
Decades ago, zany fashion designer Zandra Rhodes opened her very own museum dedicated to fashion design in Bermondsey Street. It’s striking exterior – a vibrant clash of yellow and pink – gives you a clue as to what’s waiting within. Now run by Newham College who also operate an academy here, the museum hosts a series of changing fashion exhibitions and a small permanent display.
4 Old Operating Theatre Museum
Featuring a host of exhibits illustrating the history of medicine this is one of the city’s most unusual museums. Visitors can view the oldest operating theatre in Europe – built in 1822 and housed in a roof space in the south wing of St Thomas’ hospital. It’s a ‘highlight of any trip to London’ says Tripadvisor, plus there’s also the option to catch exhibitions and talks here.
5 Winchester Palace
Winchester Palace was built in the 12th century as the London townhouse of the Bishops of Winchester and at the time it was one of the most important buildings in medieval London. Much of the building was destroyed by fire in 1814, and nowadays there’s just the ruins to view, as well as a recently planted medieval-style garden situated in the remains of the Great Hall.
6 Dulwich Picture Gallery
The Dulwich Picture Gallery is the world’s first purpose-built public art gallery, founded in 1811 with a collection of old masters bequeathed by Sir Francis Bourgeois RA whose final wishes were that they be ‘inspected by the public’. Today visitors can view leading exhibitions alongside an impressive permanent collection. There’s also a regularly changing programme of events and practical art and community engagement projects. The gallery prides itself on being able to provide an opportunity to enjoy art in an intimate, welcoming setting.
7 Dulwich Park
If you’re longing for fresh air and green expanses, then a trip to Dulwich Park will fit the bill. Taking in 29 hectares and packed with historic features, facilities and superb picnic spots, the recently refurbished park is a Green Flag Award winner. There’s a children’s playground, café, boating lake and bikes for hire, as well as a program of activities all designed to ensure a fun day out for all the family.
We hope you enjoyed this, our third post, on Southwark attractions and get the time to visit some of them. If you’re out and about in the area why not take a break from sightseeing and experience some authentic London fare, Arment’s-style. Arment’s Pie and Mash shop has been making delicious traditional dishes to the same recipe for over 100 years. Pop into our friendly shop on Westmoreland Road, and remember if your coming by car, you can take advantage of the Arments Just Park discount code – or you can even order postal pies to be delivered direct to your door.
Posted on May 1st, 2023
Posted on March 5th, 2023