Places to Explore
One of the most culturally exciting pockets of London, there are theatres, galleries, a cinema and museums at every turn in Deptford. It was once home to a thriving dockyard, which was opened by Henry VIII. Reminders of its strong maritime heritage can be seen in the area – the anchor that sits proudly at the top of the busy high street can’t be missed.
There’s cutting-edge culture to be enjoyed here, with ground-breaking theatre at The Albany, world-class dance at the contemporary Laban building, while nearby Greenwich is home to the fantastic Royal Museums.
There’s a community of artists and makers too, particularly around the Creekside area of the neighbourhood where you’ll find award-winning social enterprise, Cockpit Arts. Specialising in helping craftspeople grow their businesses, it provides support for creatives at all stages of their career. If you want help turning your hobby into a business and want to make Deptford your place of work as well as your home, you can apply for a place at any time.
Deptford Cinema, Deptford
Lewisham was one of only two boroughs with no dedicated cinemas until locals took it upon themselves to open this not-for-profit community project. Offering a more intimate experience to the heavyweights, this 44-seater cinema has a varied programme with cult classics, documentaries and captivating foreign films. If you’re a film buff they’re always looking for more wiling helpers – it’s a great way for any film-fanatic to get to meet like-minded people.
39 Deptford Broadway SE8 4PQ
The Albany Theatre, Deptford
This historic venue is a much-loved cultural stalwart in the heart of Deptford. Dating back to 1899, it was destroyed by a fire in the 1970s and was rebuilt in 1982 to be given a new lease of life as the thriving performing arts centre it is today. You are spoilt for choice for things to see, with more than 24 theatre companies in residence alongside music, comedy, spoken word and dance. The Albany also offers spaces which are available to hire for business or social use – perfect for a special party!
Douglas Way SE8 4AG
Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance, Deptford
Spend an evening here and you might just see one of the next big names in musical theatre and dance talent – alumni include Cressida Bonas and Anjali Jay. This contemporary dance theatre was designed by the Swiss architects behind Tate Modern – Herzog & de Meuron – who won the International Design Competition to build the new Laban building in 1997. Situated on a two-acre site beside Deptford Creek, the powerful building is a sight to behold and it’s definitely worth a visit. At the dance faculty you can see students perform alongside industry professionals in award-winning operas, concerts and festivals.
30 Creekside SE8 3DZ
Deptford Lounge, Deptford
This popular community hub is run by the Albany Theatre on behalf of Lewisham Council, and serves as a cultural resource for the area with a well-stocked public library, computers, study areas, café, room hire, events and a roof-top ball court for when you need to let off some steam. Stock up on some reading matter or escape the office for the day and work from the creative space here – it’s yours to use.
9 Giffin St SE8 4RJ
The National Maritime Museum
For a fascinating insight into the area’s maritime past, head to nearby Greenwich. It’s just a 12-minute cycle ride from The Timberyard along dedicated routes, and is bursting with fascinating artefacts, exhibitions and memorabilia. While you’re in the royal borough, you can also take in the rest of the Royal Museums Greenwich including Queen’s House, Cutty Sark and the Royal Observatory. It’s a great day out and just a short hop from home.
Romney Road, Greenwich SE10 9NF
SE8 Gallery, Deptford
There aren’t many addresses where you can leave your front door and just minutes later be immersed in some fantastic works of art. This independent gallery displays thought-provoking exhibitions from established and emerging artists from the UK and abroad. Previous works at the intimate studio space have included sound pieces, installation art and performance and video art. It’s only open at the weekends from 2pm-6pm so plan your visit carefully, or contact the gallery for an alternative time to visit.