Grandparents' guide to the Tate Modern
21st August 2023
The Tate Modern is one of the world’s most famous and iconic art galleries, and it has over a hundred years of art, from modernism in the early 1900s to exciting works created today. This includes paintings, sculptures, and more made by artists all over the world, such as Pablo Picasso, Emily Kame Kngwarreye, and Jenny Holzer.
It is a great place to visit for grandparents and their grandchildren, and in this article, you will find helpful information that ranges from Tate Modern opening times to the different attractions you can enjoy there. Visitors with limited mobility who use aids like a stairlift can learn about Tate Modern’s accessibility and how easy it is to get around.
Use the contents below to jump to the section of the guide that you want to read.
- How to get to Tate Modern
- Opening times
- What is there to see and do
- Food and drink
- Hotels nearby
- What to bring
How to get to Tate Modern
Where is Tate Modern?
Tate Modern is located in Bankside, London, and the full address is Tate Modern, Bankside, London SE1 9TG.
Travelling by tube to Tate Modern
Southwark on the Jubilee Line is the closest as it is around 600 metres from the gallery, but Blackfriars on the District and Circle Line (around 800 metres away) and St Paul's on the Central Line (around 1,100 metres away) are also tube stations which are nearby.
Travelling by bus to Tate Modern
The bus is a great option for many visitors, and routes that have stops close to the gallery include 40, 63 and 100 stops on Blackfriars Bridge Road, route 381 stops on Southwark Street, and route 344 stops on Southwark Bridge Road.
The Transport for London website is a great way to plan a journey via the tube or bus.
Travelling by car to the Tate Modern
Limited parking spaces are available to visitors with limited mobility accessed via Park Street, but these will need to be booked in advance. There are no other parking facilities at Tate Modern or in the surrounding streets, so public transport is the easiest way to get to the gallery.
To find out more information about travelling to Tate Modern, click here.
Tate Modern opening times
The Tate Modern is open seven days a week, from 10 am to 6 pm.
Last admission for the Tate Modern: 5.30 pm; galleries start closing at 5.50 pm.
Where to get Tate Modern tickets
Booking Tate Modern tickets is easy. It is free entry into the gallery, so you can turn up without booking in advance.
There is a charge for some exhibitions. Visitors aged 16–25 can join Tate Collective to access £5 exhibition tickets, and £5 family child tickets are available for children aged 12–18 years. Visitors with a disability pay a concessionary rate, and entrance for companions is free, whilst members and supporters can visit paid-for exhibitions free.
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How accessible is Tate Modern
If you are looking for information about disabled access at Tate Modern, this section will answer any questions you have. Visitors with limited mobility are well catered for as the gallery boasts a range of facilities to help people.
There are 12 accessible parking spaces available to visitors with mobility problems, and these can be accessed via Park Street. You will, however, need to book these spaces at least 24 hours before your visit.
There are accessible entrances via the Turbine Hall or the Blavatnik Building, and there are lifts that can be used throughout the gallery. Mobility scooters and wheelchairs can also be hired, which will be collected from the South Entrance of the gallery. Reservation is free for wheelchairs and mobility scooters, but you should look to hire them at least 24 hours before your visit.
Fully accessible toilets are located on every floor on the concourses, and a Changing Places toilet is available on Level 0 of the Natalie Bell Building.
Guide and assistance animals are welcome in the gallery; a quiet room is available in the Natalie Bell Building on Level 4 and there are other facilities such as hearing loops and large print captions.
Tate Modern accessibility
- Accessible parking
- Accessible entrances
- Accessible toilets
- Changing Places toilet
- Wheelchairs and mobility scooters available to hire
- Guide dogs are welcome
- Hearing loops
- Large print captions
Further accessibility information about Tate Modern can be found on their website.
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What is there to see and do at Tate Modern?
Tate Modern is one of the UK’s most popular attractions, with displays perfect for people of all ages. This section looks at the best things you can do during a visit to the gallery.
Alyson is the blogger behind the World Travel Family blog, and she recommends people book an audio guide to explore the different galleries at Tate Modern: “The audio guide split the museum into galleries and gave us time to move around, taking escalators and lifts. The kids remained engaged all afternoon and had a lot of fun.
“At times, there were pauses where we talked and shared ideas and impressions, at others, they were free to explore at their own speed.”
This ongoing display on level four of the Natalie Bell Building looks at the different ways artists, over the past 100 years, have responded to the impact of mass media and the evolving role of technology.
There are lots of exhibits which are on display that range from posters and paintings to digital technology. Some of the highlights in this display are:
- Roy Lichtenstein’s Whaam! – this is based on an image the artist found in the 1962 DC comic, All American Men of War. Lichtenstein often used art from comics and adverts in his paintings.
- Cildo Meireles’ Babel – this large-scale sculptural installation takes the form of a circular tower made from hundreds of second-hand analogue radios stacked in layers. The radios are tuned to a multitude of different stations and are adjusted to the minimum volume at which they are audible.
- Guerrilla Girls, The Advantages Of Being A Woman Artist - this exhibit is one of only 30 posters published in a portfolio entitled Guerrilla Girls Talk Back, created by the group of anonymous American female artists who call themselves the Guerrilla Girls.
Materials and Objects
This popular exhibit looks at how artists from across the globe use diverse materials in their work.
Over the past 100 years, some artists have challenged the idea that certain materials are not suitable for art, and this has seen some artists use industrial materials in their works. Other artists have opted to put throwaway products of consumer society to new uses.
There are 11 rooms showing off a range of exhibits as part of this display.
Performer and Participant
In this display, you can discover how artists working between the 1960s and the 1990s opened up new spaces for participation. Artworks shown in this display are a mix of intimate individual acts, choreographed actions in which participants are directed by an artist and political activism.
There are more than 90 artworks in this display, and some of the highlights for the Performer and Participant display are:
- Ana Lupas The Solemn Process
- Edward Krasinski Untitled 2001
- Edward Krasinski Intervention 15 1975
Artist Rooms: Art and Text
The works on display in this exhibition explore the use of written language in art from the last 50 years in Europe and the USA. There are works on display from artists associated with movements like cubism, Pop Art, conceptual art and concrete poetry.
Check out the Tate Modern exhibitions
These exhibitions are free to Tate Modern members, but non-members must book to visit these displays.
Most of these Tate Modern exhibitions are only on display for a certain period of time, and advance booking is recommended. Exhibitions that have visited the gallery in the past have showcased the work of well-known artists.
One such exhibition that has previously been on display is the work of Prague-born Slovak artist Maria Bartuszová. This brought together works rarely exhibited before in the UK of her various plaster sculptures inspired by the natural world.
Candace, the writer behind Candace Abroad, a London and travel blog, says the exhibitions are worth a visit: “One of four galleries in the Tate, Tate Modern is a hub of international modern and contemporary art. With new exhibitions and commissions always on offer, coming to the Tate Modern never gets old.”
To learn about the latest Tate Modern exhibitions and other events, visit their What’s On page.
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Food and drink at Tate Modern
Discover the eateries below if you are looking for food and drink at the gallery.
The Terrace Café is on Level One in the Blavatnik Building, and it boasts an all-day deli-style menu that serves coffee by Tate, craft beer, wine, and soft drinks.
The onsite chefs at the café use the season's best ingredients, and you can enjoy a variety of salads, sandwiches, hot food, and quiches.
Situated in the Natalie Bell Building on level three, the Espresso Bar offers a selection of hot and cold drinks, such as Tate Coffee and Jing tea and sandwiches, salads and snacks.
Kitchen and Bar
The Tate Kitchen and Bar is on level 6 of the Natalie Bell Building, and here you will find a delicious, seasonal menu which has been inspired by the exhibitions. For example, the menu has previously been inspired by the food in Sweden and the Netherlands, where artists Hilma af Klint and Piet Mondrian were born, as their work was on display. Even the drinks are inspired by the exhibitions.
If you are looking for restaurants near Tate Modern, look no further as this riverside deli café and bar serves a flavourful menu of seasonal, local produce, and it is where many events are held over a week.
During the day, it is a bustling café, but in the evening, it transforms into a vibrant bar. The Corner has a menu that uses British food picked at its peak, and it serves Coffee by Tate – specialist coffees made in their roastery at Tate Britain. In the evening, visitors can choose from 14 craft beers and a large selection of wine from the gallery’s award-winning cellars.
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Hotels near Tate Modern
If you are heading to London with your grandchildren for a few days and looking for hotels near Tate Modern, you will have many options. This section looks at some of the best hotels nearby Tate Modern.
Premier Inn Tate Modern London Southwark Hotel
The Premier Inn Tate Modern London Southwark Hotel is just a short walk from the gallery as well as other attractions like St Paul's Cathedral and Shakespeare's Globe Theatre. It is also close to the Southwark Underground Station and the London Waterloo train station, making it easy to get to if you travel via train or the underground.
The hotel is accessible to visitors who use a wheelchair or have limited mobility, but there is no on-site parking, so you must use public transport to get to the hotel.
Grange Clarendon Hotel
Just over a mile from the Tate Modern and an affordable hotel in the centre of London, the Grange Clarendon Hotel is a popular choice for people spending a few days in London.
The hotel is also a short five-minute walk from Russell Square Underground Station and only a short distance from The British Museum, Oxford Street and Covent Garden.
ibis Styles London Southwark
ibis Styles London Southwark is a design economy hotel with over 150 bedrooms, including eight modern suites for larger groups. Located in central London, it is a great place to stay if you want to do some sightseeing as it is close to the Tate Modern, London Bridge, and St. Paul’s Cathedral. The hotel is also wheelchair accessible.
Hilton London Bankside
Hilton London Bankside is within five minutes of Shakespeare's Globe, the Millenium Bridge, and the Tate Modern art gallery, so it is a perfect place to stay for a trip to London. The hotel is accessible to visitors with limited mobility, and with the underground station at Southwark, you can easily travel to other parts of the capital.
What to bring to Tate Modern
Want to spend the day at Tate Modern, but you aren’t sure what you should bring with you? Read on to find out what items you should consider packing for a trip to the art gallery.
- A backpack – bags larger than 55cm x 40cm x 20cm are not permitted in the building
- A camera
- Comfortable shoes to wear
- A packed lunch or some snacks
- A reusable water bottle, as there are lots of water fountains in Tate Modern
- Warm or light clothing depending on the time of year you are visiting
Visiting Tate Modern as a grandparent
This grandparents’ guide to Tate Modern will hopefully help you plan a trip to this massively popular attraction with your grandchildren.
This article was brought to you by Handicare, working with Age Co, who provide a range of home mobility products such as stairlifts, homelifts and bathing solutions. For more information about how they can help make your home more accessible please get in touch.
For more attraction recommendations or in-depth guides to everyday activities, visit our news page.
This news article is from Handicare UK. Articles that appear on this website are for information purposes only.