Guide to creative activities in London

Guide to creative activities in London

It doesn't matter whether you're a beginner or a pro, creative activities like life drawing and pottery are fun ways to express yourself and pick up new skills. London is certainly an artistic city and all over the capital you'll find places where you can try creative activities, whether you're interested in pottery classes, life drawing at the pub, or paint and sip parties. Discover the wide range of arty things to do with this guide to creative activities in London.

In this guide
  1. The best creative activities in London
    1. Candid Arts Trust – Leading centre for life drawing
    2. London Art Classes – Get creative in Deptford
    3. Crown Works Pottery – Try out pottery
    4. Sunny Art Centre – Art exhibitions and education
    5. The Owl & Hitchhiker – Quirky and creative pub
    6. Print Club – Hub for screenprinting
    7. Art Social Club – Relaxed and sociable
    8. Skandihus – Cosy space for pottery
    9. The Beehive – Drop-in life drawing
    10. Hausprint – Community print studio
    11. Clay Time – Friendly pottery studio
    12. The Post Bar – Relaxed life drawing sessions
    13. Islington Arts Factory – Bustling arts centre in Holloway
    14. East London Printmakers – Artist-run print studio
    15. Turning Earth – Ceramics for all
    16. The Exhibit – Life drawing at a party venue
    17. London Paint Party – Raucous painting parties
    18. Prince of Peckham – Pub with loads of events and activities
    19. The National Gallery – See art and make your own
    20. The London Art Bar – Fun with painting
    21. Hackney City Farm – Get creative on the farm
    22. Toulouse Lautrec – Quirky life drawing
    23. Lavender Print School – West London art sessions
    24. Graffik Gallery – Street art specialists
    25. London Jewellery Workshop – Make jewellery in Shoreditch
    26. Stepney City Farm – Tranquil creative activities
    27. Social Pottery – Pottery made fun
    28. Blackhorse Workshop – Work with wood or metal
    29. Vaulty Towers – Theatrical life drawing venue
    30. Art Academy London – Diverse art courses
    31. Hope & Anchor – Lively pub with life drawing classes
    32. London Sculpture Workshop – Explore woodwork and metalwork
    33. The Royal Drawing School – Educational art courses
    34. The Prince N16 – Rustic pub in Stoke Newington
    35. Alternative London – Discover street art in East London
    36. MasterPeace – Art and mindfulness
    37. The Ringsmiths – Guidance from award-winning jewellers
    38. Pophams Home – Creative sessions in Hackney
    39. Treowe – Creativity in Blackheath
    40. Poplar Union – A choice of creative workshops

The best creative activities in London

Candid Arts Trust

Leading centre for life drawing

In a convenient location around the corner from Angel station, Candid Arts is an arts centre and charity that offers daytime and evening life drawing sessions. All abilities are welcome and sessions are led by experienced professional artists. On-site there's also a cosy café, artists' studios, and a gallery space showing work by local artists.

London Art Classes

Get creative in Deptford

Located between Deptford and New Cross, London Art Classes let you explore art in a real artist's studio. There are informal sessions with professional guidance and you can try out painting or life drawing here. All classes are friendly and welcoming, suitable for all levels of experience. This place also does portfolio prep sessions for art students.

Crown Works Pottery

Try out pottery

You can explore a variety of pottery classes at Crown Works Pottery. This place is run by a professional ceramicist and you'll get expert guidance during every session. Options include using a pottery wheel, building pots by hand, and understanding more about glazing. Group sizes are small and intimate.

Sunny Art Centre

Art exhibitions and education

At Sunny Art Centre you can see art exhibitions, attend a lecture, or participate in classes to hone your creative skills. There are drop-in sessions and short courses in drawing and painting, plus activities for children and portfolio prep for students. The centre also has its own art prize open to artists all over the world.

The Owl & Hitchhiker – Creative activities
The Owl & Hitchhiker
The Owl & Hitchhiker – Creative activities
The Owl & Hitchhiker
The Owl & Hitchhiker – Creative activities
The Owl & Hitchhiker
The Owl & Hitchhiker – Creative activities
The Owl & Hitchhiker
The Owl & Hitchhiker – Creative activities
The Owl & Hitchhiker
The Owl & Hitchhiker – Creative activities
The Owl & Hitchhiker
The Owl & Hitchhiker – Creative activities
The Owl & Hitchhiker
The Owl & Hitchhiker – Creative activities
The Owl & Hitchhiker

The Owl & Hitchhiker

Quirky and creative pub

Buzzy Holloway pub The Owl & Hitchhiker is packed with quirky style and serves a wide range of food and drinks. A range of different events take here from the regular such as pub quizzes to fun creative activities. There are weekly life drawing sessions and regular pottery classes that are suitable for all levels of experience.

Print Club

Hub for screenprinting

Check out Print Club in Hackney if you're interested in screenprinting. You can become a member of this workshop and use the studio facilities for your own projects. If you're just starting out with printmaking, participate in a workshop to develop your knowledge and skills. There are sessions here for beginners as well as more advanced techniques.

Art Social Club

Relaxed and sociable

Express yourself creatively in a fun and informal environment with Art Social Club. Located near London Bridge station, all levels of experience are welcome and you're free to bring drinks or order a takeaway as you work. Have a go at painting using a pre-sketched canvas - parties and corporate groups are welcome here too.

Skandihus Walthamstow Skandihus Clapton
Skandihus Walthamstow
skandihus.co.uk
Skandihus Clapton
skandihus.co.uk
Skandihus Walthamstow Skandihus Clapton

Cosy space for pottery

Get to grips with clay at Skandihus, a modern pottery studio with a strong Scandinavian influence. These cosy spaces offer in-demand pottery classes for adults, including private sessions. Join a beginners' session or a taster class if it's all new to you, or try one of the drop-in sessions if you're more experienced.

  • 11 Hatherley Mews, Walthamstow/Waltham Forest Unit 4 Tilia Road
    Skandihus Walthamstow
    11 Hatherley Mews, Walthamstow/Waltham Forest
    Skandihus Clapton
    Unit 4 Tilia Road
  • Skandihus Walthamstow
    skandihus.co.uk
    Skandihus Clapton
    skandihus.co.uk
    Skandihus Walthamstow
    077-078 573 41
    Skandihus Clapton
    077-078 573 41
  • Skandihus Walthamstow Skandihus Clapton

The Beehive

Drop-in life drawing

Tottenham's The Beehive is a traditional pub at the heart of the community. As well as live sport, pub grub, and a big range of beer, the venue runs affordable weekly life drawing classes. There's no need to book ahead and materials are provided. Everyone is welcome to drop in and get drawing with a drink in hand.

Hausprint

Community print studio

Vibrant Hausprint printmaking studio has a strong sense of community. There's an exhibition space, printmaking facilities, and a regular programme of classes. Members can use the studio for their own creative projects but if you're new to printmaking you can join sessions focusing on a variety of techniques from etching to monotypes.

Clay Time – Creative activities
Clay Time
Clay Time – Creative activities
Clay Time
Clay Time – Creative activities
Clay Time
Clay Time – Creative activities
Clay Time
Clay Time – Creative activities
Clay Time
Clay Time – Creative activities
Clay Time
Clay Time – Creative activities
Clay Time
Clay Time – Creative activities
Clay Time

Clay Time

Friendly pottery studio

Adults and children can discover ceramics at Clay Time. This friendly local pottery studio runs a range of creative sessions with the support of experienced staff. You can make your own clay masterpiece or paint a pre-made piece with a your own unique design. Kids' parties and corporate groups are welcome here too.

The Post Bar

Relaxed life drawing sessions

Quirky venue The Post Bar in Tottenham is best-known for eclectic live music, Argentine grilling, and great nights out. There's also a weekly life drawing session here with guidance from a professional artist if needed. Enjoy music and drinks from the bar whilst you practice drawing a live model in a relaxed setting.

Islington Arts Factory

Bustling arts centre in Holloway

Based in a converted church, Islington Arts Factory is a buzzy community space. Here you'll find exhibition spaces, art, dance, and music studios, and a variety of activities including creative sessions. There are options for adults and children. You can try out pottery here or practice drawing at untutored life drawing sessions.

East London Printmakers

Artist-run print studio

Non-profit print studio East London Printmakers is close to Mile End Park. This fully-equipped workshop has weekly open-access sessions for printmakers to work on their own projects. Courses for all levels of experience are also available, focusing on a variety of printmaking methods. There's also a residency programme here.

Turning Earth Hoxton – Creative activities
Turning Earth Hoxton
Turning Earth Hoxton – Creative activities
Turning Earth Hoxton
Turning Earth Hoxton – Creative activities
Turning Earth Hoxton
Turning Earth Hoxton – Creative activities
Turning Earth Hoxton
Turning Earth Hoxton – Creative activities
Turning Earth Hoxton
Turning Earth Hoxton – Creative activities
Turning Earth Hoxton
Turning Earth Hoxton – Creative activities
Turning Earth Hoxton
Turning Earth Hoxton – Creative activities
Turning Earth Hoxton
Turning Earth Leyton Turning Earth Highgate Turning Earth Tottenham Turning Earth Hoxton
Turning Earth Leyton
turningearth.org/e10
Turning Earth Highgate
turningearth.org/n6
Turning Earth Tottenham
turningearth.org/n22
Turning Earth Hoxton
turningearth.org/e2
Turning Earth Leyton Turning Earth Highgate Turning Earth Tottenham Turning Earth Hoxton

Ceramics for all

Regardless of your level of experience, you can explore ceramics with Turning Earth. With a number of locations in London, this place operates open-access facilities for ceramicists, plus events like maker's markets and courses where you can develop your skills in hand-building or wheel throwing, including introductory sessions for total beginners.

  • 11 Argall Ave, Walthamstow/Waltham Forest Woodside Works, Summersby Road, Haringey/Highgate Unit C, 38 Crawley Rd, Haringey 361-362 Whiston Rd, Shoreditch
    Turning Earth Leyton
    11 Argall Ave, Walthamstow/Waltham Forest
    Turning Earth Highgate
    Woodside Works, Summersby Road, Haringey/Highgate
    Turning Earth Tottenham
    Unit C, 38 Crawley Rd, Haringey
    Turning Earth Hoxton
    361-362 Whiston Rd, Shoreditch
  • Turning Earth Leyton
    turningearth.org/e10
    Turning Earth Highgate
    turningearth.org/n6
    Turning Earth Tottenham
    turningearth.org/n22
    Turning Earth Hoxton
    turningearth.org/e2
    Turning Earth Leyton
    020-332 519 12
    Turning Earth Highgate
    020-362 161 23
    Turning Earth Tottenham
    020-391 760 74
    Turning Earth Hoxton
    020-772 948 19
  • Turning Earth Leyton Turning Earth Highgate Turning Earth Tottenham Turning Earth Hoxton

The Exhibit

Life drawing at a party venue

Multi-purpose party spot The Exhibit is a Balham destination for food, drinks, and fun. It's vibrant, colourful, and contemporary. The venue hosts a broad range of events including regular life drawing sessions with an informal atmosphere, music, and drinks. There's also a unique brunch combining a life drawing class with a meal afterwards.

London Paint Party

Raucous painting parties

Paint with some extra fun thrown in at London Paint Party. This lively East London venue does paint and sip sessions that are great for hen nights, birthdays, or just a night out with a difference. You'll paint a pre-sketched canvas whilst enjoying drinks and music. Everything is provided and you can take your creation home with you.

Prince of Peckham

Pub with loads of events and activities

Buzzy pub Prince of Peckham is a hive of activity. The bar area is modern and colourful. Lots of diverse events take place from parties and garage sessions to wine tasting events. There are also life drawing classes here and chilled out sip and paint sessions where you can flex your artistic muscles in a relaxed setting.

The National Gallery

See art and make your own

The National Gallery in Trafalgar Square isn't just a place to look at inspiring art – you can make your own as well. You can admire art throughout the ages here and take part in a range of creative sessions with different themes to help you explore your own creativity. There are also informative talks with drawing sessions available.

The London Art Bar

Fun with painting

Art is sociable at The London Art Bar. This place serves coffee by day and wine and cocktails later on. Events include exhibitions, live music, and a variety of guided painting sessions. Try out different techniques at these themed sessions whilst you enjoy a glass of prosecco. Corporate events are welcome too.

Hackney City Farm – Creative activities
Hackney City Farm
Hackney City Farm – Creative activities
Hackney City Farm
Hackney City Farm – Creative activities
Hackney City Farm
Hackney City Farm – Creative activities
Hackney City Farm
Hackney City Farm – Creative activities
Hackney City Farm
Hackney City Farm – Creative activities
Hackney City Farm
Hackney City Farm – Creative activities
Hackney City Farm
Hackney City Farm – Creative activities
Hackney City Farm

Hackney City Farm

Get creative on the farm

Hackney City Farm is a working farm in East London that's free to visit. You can see the animals and explore the farmyard, or take part in classes and activities here. The site hosts a variety of creative activities including pottery classes, woodworking sessions, and painting classes. There are sessions for children and adults.

Toulouse Lautrec

Quirky life drawing

Although it's well-known for music, that's not the only kind of artistry you'll find at Toulouse Lautrec. This stylish French restaurant has its own piano bar and jazz club but it also hosts a variety of themed life drawing sessions, including neon life drawing. These sessions are fun, quirky, and informal ways to get creative.

Lavender Print School

West London art sessions

All ages and levels of ability can explore printmaking and watercolour painting at Lavender Print School. This creative space is modern and offers a range of different workshops. There are some sessions where you're welcome to bring your own alcoholic drinks. You'll gain confidence and skills whilst having fun creatively here.

Graffik Gallery

Street art specialists

West London's Graffik Gallery specialises in urban and street art. As well as exhibiting work by huge street art names, the gallery runs street art workshops so you can learn more. Join a group session for all ages and abilities, a private workshop, or a family experience that gets everyone involved. Corporate events are welcome too.

London Jewellery Workshop – Creative activities
London Jewellery Workshop
London Jewellery Workshop – Creative activities
London Jewellery Workshop
London Jewellery Workshop – Creative activities
London Jewellery Workshop
London Jewellery Workshop – Creative activities
London Jewellery Workshop
London Jewellery Workshop – Creative activities
London Jewellery Workshop
London Jewellery Workshop – Creative activities
London Jewellery Workshop
London Jewellery Workshop – Creative activities
London Jewellery Workshop
London Jewellery Workshop – Creative activities
London Jewellery Workshop
London Jewellery Workshop – Creative activities
London Jewellery Workshop
London Jewellery Workshop – Creative activities
London Jewellery Workshop

London Jewellery Workshop

Make jewellery in Shoreditch

Craft your own unique jewellery with London Jewellery Workshop. Based in Shoreditch, at this cosy and well-equipped space you can take a variety of classes, including making your own wedding rings. Private tuition is available and group class sizes are small so you can the right amount of support. You can also buy workshop gift vouchers.

Stepney City Farm

Tranquil creative activities

Visit Stepney City Farm to see the animals, drop into the café or famers market, or join in an event. There are sessions for yoga and beekeeping as well as a range of creative activities. Try out pottery, woodwork, or painting classes in this peaceful and inspiring farmyard setting. 

Social Pottery

Pottery made fun

At Social Pottery the emphasis is on having fun whilst you discover more about ceramics. This lively pottery studio in Kentish Town offers classes and ongoing courses where you can learn to make your own pottery or paint a pre-made piece. There are sessions for different ages and groups, including boozy options where you can bring drinks.

Blackhorse Workshop

Work with wood or metal

At Blackhorse Workshop you can try creative activities suited to all levels of experience. This public access wood and metal workshop has bookable workbenches for focusing on your own projects or you can learn new skills on a creative course. Try jewellery-making, woodturning, or making items like a plywood planter. There are also courses for kids with additional needs.

Vaulty Towers

Theatrical life drawing venue

Theatrical drinking spot Vaulty Towers is full of quirks and is a fun place to try out life drawing. Every weekend there are daytime life drawing sessions for all levels of experience, with materials provided. You can also enjoy delicious food and drinks here – think cocktails and vegan street food.

Art Academy London

Diverse art courses

If you're serious about developing your artistic skills, check out a course from Art Academy London. This modern and innovative place offers academic courses, including undergraduate degrees, but there are also a huge range of short courses to choose from. There are sessions for all levels of experience covering areas like digital art, abstract painting, and illustration.

Hope & Anchor

Lively pub with life drawing classes

In Brixton you can try life drawing at lively pub Hope & Anchor. It's a colourful spot with a beer garden that attracts a youthful crowd. Life drawing for all levels takes place every week and you can bring materials or have them provided. Enjoy some drinks whilst you draw and feel free to stay and socialise afterwards.

London Sculpture Workshop

Explore woodwork and metalwork

London Sculpture Workshop at Thames-Side Studios is a well-equipped facility for woodwork and metalwork. Open-access space is available for creatives plus there are a range of courses suited for beginners through to sessions for professional artists. The options include sculpting with sheet metal and mould-making.

The Royal Drawing School

Educational art courses

The Royal Drawing School was founded by King Charles. It offers foundational and postgraduate courses in drawing but there are a wide variety of public courses that anyone can join. You can try courses like life painting, illustration, and experimental drawing. There are also plenty of options for young people who love art.

The Prince N16

Rustic pub in Stoke Newington

Stoke Newington pub The Prince has a cosy rustic feel thanks to its traditional interior. There's a huge choice of local craft beers and real ales, plus food is served and you can take part in events. The pub runs popular monthly life drawing classes where you can practice your skills drawing an experienced model.

Alternative London

Discover street art in East London

Alternative London runs walking and bike tours of East London's world-famous street art. Tours are led by artists and street art experts. You can also join a street art workshop where you'll go on a tour, learn about stencilling techniques, create your own unique design, and then add your art to Alternative London's walls.

MasterPeace

Art and mindfulness

Artist-run studio MasterPeace lets you focus on making art mindfully. This supportive studio offers classes and events both for adults and children, with some adult sessions including a drink thrown in. You can try out different artistic activities including candle-making, painting, and making your own inks here.

The Ringsmiths

Guidance from award-winning jewellers

Learn to make jewellery with guidance from experts at The Ringsmiths. This centrally-located venue offers fun and accessible sessions in an intimate and well-equipped workshop. Try making a bangle, ring, or necklace, or you can make more than one piece of jewellery. Sessions for making your own wedding rings are also available.

Pophams Home

Creative sessions in Hackney

From the team behind the bakeries, Pophams Home is a homewares store selling artisan ceramics, linens, and home accessories. The store also runs a number of intimate creative workshops, including some sessions aimed at children. Activities you can try out here include block printing, watercolours, and making your own ceramics. Sessions are led by professional makers.

Treowe

Creativity in Blackheath

Blackheath-based interiors shop and showroom Treowe is a great place to shop for unique homewares but you can also visit to join a variety of creative workshops. If you want to spruce up your home and learn some new skills, this is a great place. Workshops range from upholstering furniture to hand embroidery

Poplar Union

A choice of creative workshops

Lively arts centre Poplar Union hosts a variety of creative workshops, as well as having live performances, karaoke, and entertainment. There are lots of options for expressing yourself creatively, whether you're keen to try making lino prints, creative journalling, or making your own natural skincare products.

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Editors

At Thatsup, we have extensive experience of guiding our readers to a city’s hidden gems. Since 2008, our editors have been writing insightful guides covering restaurants, bars, cafes, hotels, and hairdressers, among other things. Our guides consist of carefully selected tips based on our local knowledge and are regularly updated with the help of our focus group, where we collectively discuss selections and content. We are constantly working to inspire and provide you with the best possible experience, no matter where you are or what you are looking for.