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Photographers' Gallery

Art, Galleries Soho Free
4 out of 5 stars
4 out of 5 stars
(17user reviews)
TPG 1 (exterior).jpg
Kate Elliott

Time Out says

4 out of 5 stars

The Photographers' Gallery's six-storey premises on Ramillies Street has reopened after a full facelift. Original plans for the new site were for a striking, angular structure with giant floor-to-ceiling lightwells grasping for the sky. After a fiscal wake-up call (the budget was cut nearly in half to £9 million), the Irish architects O'Donnell+Tuomey returned with a handsome refit and recladding of an old brick building, plus what amounts to an extravagant loft conversion, adding two whole storeys and just one thin sliver of those firmament-reaching windows. What hasn't been lost is any of the interior space. The upper floors boast two airy new galleries, while a bookshop, print sales room and café have been dug from the ground floor and basement levels. In fact, the climb-down from landmark building to tasteful conversion is no great loss, given the building's move to an unprepossessing corner plot in a back alley south of Oxford Street. The Photographers' Gallery has kept faith in its location, however tricky and inhospitable their new plot on the vaguely insalubrious Ramilies Street might seem. Indeed, the new site maintains the gallery's roots in Soho (just) and will hopefully come to be as embedded here as it was in its former location on Great Newport Street, which, despite its inelegant, warren-like unsuitability for showing great photography, will also live long in the memory.



Address: 16-18
Ramillies St
Transport: Tube: Oxford Circus
Price: £2.50–£4
Opening hours: 10am–6pm daily
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  • Until Sunday June 7 2020

Users say (17)

4 out of 5 stars

Average User Rating

3.9 / 5

Rating Breakdown

  • 5 star:3
  • 4 star:10
  • 3 star:1
  • 2 star:2
  • 1 star:0
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1 of 1 found helpful
Staff Writer

I love how this place can draw you into lives of people long gone, or issues of far-away countries. It's not only about art - it's about the message the photographers want or need to convey.

This is definitely one of the best galleries in London in terms of exhibitions. Last time I went, I started on the first floor with an immersive experience of Chinese photography, climbed up through an interactive photography room all the way up to the light rooms featuring exhibition of the best contemporary photographers.

I didn't like the building itself though. It's quite dark, the floors/exhibition rooms are quite small and crowded. The cafe on the ground floor doesn't look inviting so we never really want to hang around. It's a shame, this gallery would deserve a much better venue.


The Photographers' Gallery is just off Oxford Street and perfect if you want to slip away for a while and escape the shopping crowds. I’d recommend visiting before 12pm when you get to see the exhibitions for free!

There are several events going on throughout the evenings, there is a nice little shop and cafe. They have a camera obscura too. Love the Alex Prager exhibition that is going on there at the moment.

I have been meaning to visit the photographers gallery for quite a while but being hidden away on the back streets, it's not somewhere I have come across on my journeys. Although it seems considerably sizable from the outside being spread over 5 floors, it actually feels a lot smaller inside.

I saw two exhibitions that were both equally interesting but I was disappointed in the way they were similarly displayed in small frames. I guess the artists are the ones that make the work so it is displayed accordingly but I do like to see variety and didn't find the work on show very show stopping.

The setting is spacious and wasn't too busy so had a relaxed atmosphere and I will be looking out for other exhibitions being displayed here in the future.


I came by during conspiracy week to check out what they had on display. It's nice that it's free between 10 and 12, but it was a really small exhibition! I thought there would have been more to it than just UFO photography (although that was fascinating enough as it is, as I have quite an interest in the extraterrestrial), but calling it conspiracy week is a bit much! Still, it was a lovely little exhibition, and I'd love to come back again when they have more stuff up. The gift shop is great too, and this is definitely one place you can consider popping down to to shop for a new coffee table book that will make guests go either 'wow! such great taste!' or throw their hands up, horrified at some of the more 'out there' type photo books. Will be back to check them out again!

Staff Writertastemaker

Always worth a visit. Interesting exhibitions all year round and great evening events programme too. Book shop is worth a visit alone!


The gallery itself has very open spaces, lining the images along the walls and using the central space to display books or other prints in glass casing. Every show I have seen here has left me impressed. It's probably my favourite gallery to go to on my own. Most of the works shown target emotional topics that you need to take in and understand independently before discussing. Their exhibitions are very affordable and I love love love the room where they ask you to draw the photograph presented. I really enjoy having the option to interact with the work. 


A fantastic and well thought out photography gallery with easy to take in, bitesized exhibitions. My favourite exhibition was photographs projected onto the wall using antique projectors, so the projectors was part of the exhibit too! A genius idea and very engaging. Don't miss  the shop on the basement floor where they have a selection of great books and all sorts of photography memorabilia.


Just by Oxford Circus, this gallery is a surprisingly calm place, where (usually) interesting and well-executed exhibitions are shown. 

Three rather small floors make up for good-sized exhibitions – not too tiny, not tiring big. With a cheap entrance fee (free if you go before noon!), it is definitely worth a stop by. And don’t miss the print sales gallery on the bottom floor, there are sometimes pictures on sale that add up to another (very good) exhibition...
Just a warning: Don’t count on resting from eventual shopping bags in the gallery visit; there is no cloakroom.

moderatorStaff Writer

Having the option of just being able to drop in here at lunctime never gets old


A great secret spot to know about, perched just behind the UK's busiest street. I’m fairly new to photography as a medium, but I feel that The Photographer’s Gallery is accessible to both professionals and casual observers alike. Entry was just £2, and I happily spent several hours exploring the different collections, which are refreshed regularly, so you get a different experience every time. On my visit, I was particularly drawn to the fascinating Shirley Baker exhibition of the shifting scene of Northern England  in the 1960s and 1970s – which was nicely complemented by the more contemporary exhibition on music culture – I really feel there is something for everyone. I’d also recommend the bookshop tucked downstairs; perfect for coffee table gifts, with a range matching the exhibitions, and for general interest. Don’t forget to stop by the café, a peaceful place with great tea(!) - to reflect on the day’s exploits. 

Attended the Time Out Card curated tour of the Shirley Baker exhibition. Loved the evening from start to finish. Thanks to the staff who were so knowledgeable and welcoming. The exhibition captured the street scenes in Manchester during the slum clearances of the 60's and 70's. The curator really brought the photographs to life for us, but even touring alone you would enjoy both place and exhibition. We were fortunate enough to stay for an evening lecture. I left feeling I had discovered a great new gallery and a wonderful photographer. 


Great institution championing photography in the UK and beyond, showcasing a wide rage of work, both historic and contemporary, by the world's leading artists, as well as recent graduates. Located in the heart of London, the 6th floor gallery with diverse exhibition and events programme, range of educational activities, large bookshop and a nice cafe always has something for everyone!

It's also easily the only reason to come to Oxford Street at all!

Sounds interesting to me! I might have to stop over some time...

I echo Harriets comments entirely - old cafe and friendliness sadly missed.

I can't believe the Photographers Gallery didn't realise what an asset they had in the cafe at the old site. Whenever I was in the Leicester square/Oxford street area I couldn't resist popping in for a slice of cake or a delicious sandwich and I would always spend a good proportion of time wandering through the gallery afterwards. I have since visited the new site and was dismayed that the man who had ran the cafe for so long seems to have been let go...

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