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A Cultural Guide to Bermondsey 2018

Independent cinemas, microbreweries, cotemporary art and street food – come with us on a cultural tour of Bermondsey.

Located just South of the Thames, bordered by London Bridge to the West and Rotherhithe to the East, Bermondsey is an area that sometimes gets overlooked. But with some lovely theatres, art galleries and museums – not to mention more cafes, restaurants and pubs than you can shake a stick at – Bermondsey is completely packed with culture.

Museums and Galleries

Perhaps the best known of Bermondsey’s galleries is the stark 1970s building on Bermondsey Street that houses one site of the White Cube Gallery. White Cube Bermondsey runs an ongoing programme of contemporary art exhibitions as well as regular events including evening lectures and screenings of artists’ films. Just down the road is the Fashion and Textile Museum, founded by iconic British designer Zandra Rhodes. The museum does not house a permanent display, instead it shows an ever-changing roster of temporary exhibits all celebrating contemporary fashion, textiles and jewellery. Beautifully situated in the centre of Southwark Park is CGP London, another art gallery hosting free exhibitions by emerging artists. Finally – and very unusually - the Drawing Room gallery is dedicated entirely to drawing as an art form, showing a range of fascinating works from the traditional to the experimental.

Image credit: The Fashion and Textile Museum
Theatre and Performance

In between Bermondsey and London Bridge, you’ll find a collection of theatres huddled together near the river. The Unicorn Theatre is one of London’s highest-regarded children’s theatres, Bridge Theatre is London’s newest theatre and The Scoop is an open-air performance space often used for free shows in the summer. Between the three, you’ll be spoilt for choice when it comes to catching a play! But if you prefer the screen to the stage, just head down the road to Kino Bermondsey, a very small independent cinema with a bar and a cosy, welcoming atmosphere.

Food and Drink

Bermondsey Street is the obvious first stop for food and drink in the area, although it can get very busy. Here you’ll find a succession of good quality, independent eateries including converted warehouse Tanner & Co, classy cocktail bar 214 Bermondsey and aggressively cool café Jonestown. At the weekend, nearby Maltby Street Market transforms the area under the railway arches with a host of stands serving delicious street food. For a sit down meal or a relaxed pint, The Angel is a gastropub with great views over the river. Craft beer lovers may already know Bermondsey as the home of many London microbreweries – so much so that you can now take guided tours of the ‘Bermondsey Beer Mile’. The Kernel is Bermondsey’s original brewery, selling a selection of IPAs at its shop on Saturday mornings. Brewery Anspach & Hobday open their taproom a few days a week, with the option to bring your own food to enjoy as you sample their beer!

Image credit: Tanner & Co via Twitter
Other Events and Activities

The famous Bermondsey Square Antique Market takes place every Friday, offering a great opportunity to pick up all sorts of treasures. If you want to hunt through the vintage goodies, furniture and knick-knacks, you’re advised to get an early start – the market opens at 6am and the best bargains always go quickly! For a completely different type of fun, head to the Arch Climbing’s centre Building One on Drummond Road, where you can try out bouldering – indoor rock climbing without ropes – an increasingly popular activity amongst London’s young hipsters. Finally, Southwark Park hosts a number of events throughout the year, including an extremely popular free fireworks night that is not to be missed in November.

Image credit: Bermondsey Square Antique Market