Our journey around London looking for free attractions to visit lead us into the world of art. The Tate Modern is a popular exhibition centre for modern art situated within walking distance of Southwark which houses such attractions as Borough Market and The Shard building. We followed a trail through the backstreets of South London taking us to the back of Borough Market across Bankside along the Thames which proved to be a treasure trove of hidden gems in the capital.
We passed Sir Francis Drake’s famous ship ‘Golden Hind’ which achieved fame by circumnavigating the globe during the 1500’s, a magnificent site set against the backdrop of the river. Further on there’s Shakespeare’s Globe, a remade elizabethan theatre which is home to live performances and works of the famous poet William Shakespeare. Just past the theatre sits a rather drab building which looks like an old factory – this happened to be the Tate modern.
The inside of the Tate is far superior to it’s glum exterior. A clean, fresh building with escalators between multiple levels showcasing art and sculptures from various artists and periods. We began at the mid level showcasing an assortment of canvas work and random exhibits. Certain canvasses were appealing along with photographs of historic events but some of the exhibits were just bizarre – such as a plinth with a single rod sticking out of it.
Up the level’s you will find more familiar artists such as Andy Warhol and as the levels increase so does the colour of most of the artwork. There’s an interesting selection of audio art on the same floor with one exhibit a stack of radios stuck together all playing different stations.
On most of the levels there are exhibitions that you can pay to see by more well known artists which proved popular on our visit. Many school trips were also present and popular due to the attraction being free and an ideal educational experience. The Tate is a large gallery with plenty of space to move around and take the time to walk between the exhibits.
Overall we spent around an hour walking around the gallery before calling it a day. The Tate for a free exhibition is a decent way to spent time in the capital taking in a bit of history and culture but for us the majority of the artwork wasn’t to our taste but in between all of it there were some highlights. After exiting the gallery we took a walk across the superb Millennium Bridge from which you can enjoy a full view of Tower Bridge and St Paul’s Cathedral.
Opening times: Sunday – Thursday 1000-1800
Friday – Saturday 1000-2200
Nearest Underground: Blackfriars