Dulwich Picture Gallery, the first purpose built gallery designed by Joan Soane and opened to the public in 1817.
If you like your art traditional, then this is the place to visit. Just to the side of lovely village of Dulwich (just 10 minutes from London Bridge/Victoria) by train).
It is said to be the worlds most important collection of old master paintings 1600s- 1700s. This is where you will see the romantic portraits by Gainsborough, and where you can see such lovely little Dutch landscapes – and that is only for starters.
For me it is the human scale of the whole building and grounds. You can find your way around, without being overwhelmed by the vastness. There are regular special exhibitions, but i usually just catch up on my favourite pictures, and choose one or two different ones to take a long look at.
Nothing is more pleasant that to sit outside in the grounds, just resting or thinking or enjoying the day. The cafe is open to the grounds, and a very high quality of refreshments and meals are available.
Take a stroll around the village while you are there – and don't miss the expanses of Dulwich Park right across the road. Well worth a look is the almshouse connected to the Gallery, but seen best from the street. If you take a walk in the other direction you can see Dulwich College, with its outstanding large Victorian building set in beautiful grounds.
The Gallery is just off the South Circular, so easy to locate.
Just one more reasons to cross the Thames and visit South-East London. Open Tuesday-Sundays.