London is home to some of the world’s biggest and best art galleries that make for great date spots. But if you and your date / partner love art and have been in the city for a while, there’s a good chance you’ve exhausted all the obvious options by now.
If that’s you, perhaps it’s time to try something a little different? Luckily, London’s art scene is bursting with the unexpected and there are things to do at every price point.
Read on for ten unique things for artistic couples to do in London 🙂
1. Take a street art tour
Museums and galleries often house the artists who’ve enjoyed popular success (either whilst they were still living, or after). But what about all those painters who prefer bricks to canvas?
There are so many examples of amazing street art in London, and plenty of pieces have fascinating backstories. That’s where London’s street art tours come in!
The two most famous places to see street art in London are surely Camden and Shoreditch, but there are other options as well. Waterloo’s Leake Street tunnel is a very well-known photo opportunity, Croydon has dozens of murals and so does Peckham.
Book onto one of these and burn some calories whilst gaining some creative inspiration.
Street art tours in London
Strawberry Tours run a London graffiti tour every single day (twice a day at the weekends). You’ll spend two hours exploring London’s East End, including Brick Lane, Fashion Street and Spitalfields, and learning about artworks by famous graffiti artists like Space Invader, Dscreet, Jimmy C – and of course Banksy.
📍 Shoreditch and East End
🕑 2 hours, every day at 2 pm, and also at 10:30 on Fri-Sun
💰 FREE (donations welcome)
Alternative London doesn’t just do walking tours – they also do bike tours! The difference this makes is that you’ll be able to cover a much larger distance, seeing far more of London in the few hours you have.
Ride along scenic canals and side streets to see those hidden artistic gems that are out of the range of most walking tours.
(But if you don’t have a bike, they also do a regular walking tour 🙂 )
📍 East End
🕑 3.5 – 4 hours (with break)
Camden Street Art Tours
Camden Street Art Tours have organised more than 1,000 murals in London since 2012, so they can definitely be considered an authority on street art. Spend two hours discovering amazing artworks in Camden and learning about the techniques and backstory of each piece. You’ll see over 100 pieces!
🕑 2 hours
2. … Or a scavenger hunt
Prefer to discover London’s street art alone? If being part of a tour isn’t your thing, an art scavenger hunt might be for you.
HiddenCity is a London-based company that offers real-life adventure games which are similar in concept to escape rooms – only outside! They have plenty of exciting scavenger hunts, including their Shoreditch Street Art Trail. You’ll start in a certain spot in the city and get riddles sent straight to your phone to discover different artworks, each one leading to the next piece.
Those with a competitive streak can try to beat others’ best times on the leader board – but you can also just take things at a slow pace and enjoy yourselves.
3. Relax in an Art Cafe
There’s nothing like a coffee date for some downtime after you’ve been walking around London.
If you want to unwind surrounded by artwork from local artists, why not drop into one of London’s many art cafes? You can also find plenty of pop-up events and workshops on occasion.
Art cafes in London
- ArtFix – Greenwich
- Arts Bar And Cafe – Whitechapel
- Canvas – Spitalfields
4. Paint or draw together
What could be better than a relaxing day where you and your date chill out in cafés, take walks in the park (or the city) and sketch together? Luckily, London is full of opportunities for all of these things!
Really, anything is good fuel for creativity, but if you’re stuck for inspiration, just pick a landmark and bring your sketchpad – there’s no need to overthink it. If you want to avoid the crowds, why not wake up early and venture out as the city wakes up? You’ll capture the morning light and have time to savour the (relative) quiet.
Drawing each other is also a romantic thing to do. Compare your techniques and learn from each other, or if you don’t want things to be too serious, choose a familiar art style and try to draw each other in that style. If you’re stuck, some great ideas could include The Simpsons characters, Quentin Blake (i.e. the illustrator who famously worked with Roald Dahl) or even caricatures.
5. Take a life drawing class
Life drawing is a relaxing thing to do, perhaps on a rainy weekend afternoon (and there are plenty of those in London).
Many universities offer courses to non-students, but these can be pretty expensive. However, there are loads of affordable options for upwards of £10 with smaller art schools and groups.
You’ll usually need to bring your own supplies and generally the classes aren’t tutored, but for the difference in price with the more bespoke classes (which can set you back hundreds of pounds), a cheaper class is great value and can be just as enjoyable.
Try one of these below, all for £15 or less!
Life Drawing Classes In London
Dulwich Art Group And School
🕑 3 hours
London Drawing Drop-In Classes
📍 Various locations
🕑 2 hours
Covent Garden Life Drawing
📍 Covent Garden
💰 £12 / £10 pre-booked
🕑 2 hours
6. (Window) shop for new supplies
I’ve already written about how sharing a bookstore date is an amazing way to get to know your date. This can also be true of art stores!
For an art-lover, being surrounded by art supplies can give you that same ‘kid in a candy store’ thrill that can spark conversation about your favourite painting / drawing / sculpting / crafting techniques, best tools and supplies you’ve tried, and so on.
Pick your favourite store, or one you’ve never been in before, and while away the time comparing oil pastels, testing brushes, gazing longingly at the things you probably can’t afford, or perhaps even buying a few small items within your budget.
Some Art Shops To Try In London
- Great Art – Brick Lane
- Jackson’s Art Supplies – Stoke Newington
- Cass Art – Various Locations
7. Take a graffiti workshop
A graffiti workshop can be a really fun way to express yourself, learn a fun skill and do something a little different!
Throw on some old clothes and try one of these.
Graffiti Workshops In London
Camden Street Art Tours
The same people who run their expert guides to Camden’s wall murals and street art also provide a workshop where you can let your creativity run wild in London’s iconic Leake Street Graffiti Tunnel.
🕑 2 hours
As well as their regular street art tours, Alternative London also runs a combination street art tour and workshop that lasts an amazing four hours (that’s a very reasonable £10 per hour, with all supplies included).
For a little extra, you can buy canvas bags and tshirts to spray paint as well – why not make a souvenir for each other to remember your date?
📍 Starts at Old Street Station and finishes near Hoxton
🕑 4 hours
Looking for more unique things to do in London?