The Secretive Eel Pie Island Is Opening To Visitors This Summer

Will Noble
By Will Noble Last edited 12 months ago
The Secretive Eel Pie Island Is Opening To Visitors This Summer
A green footbridge looping over the river to a tree-shrouded island on the other side
The tantalising footbridge leading to Eel Pie Island. Image: M@/Londonist.

Twickenham's Eel Pie Island is a private enclave enveloped in musical legend, artistic curios galore — and a good deal of secrecy.

Though you can cross the footbridge onto the piscatorially-monikered island anytime you like, you'll only get a tantalising whiff of the creative minds buzzing inside (think shrubbery-ensconced huts festooned with headless mannequins, skeletons in cages, and other forms of screwball sculpture).

A blue hut with a massive ice cream stuck on the roof
Image: Londonist

But for two weekends this summer, you'll get access into the Eel Pie Island's inner sanctum, thanks to Summer Open Studios.

A map of the studios on the island
A map of the studios.

Taking place on 25-26 June, and again on 2-3 July, Summer Open Studios beckons you into the creative hubs of the artists who live and work on the island. While enjoying a rare opportunity to hobnob with the locals, you can peruse handmade ceramics, oil paintings, jewellery, ceramic sculptures, cartoons and the like. And of course, if any particular treasure ruffles your truffles, you can take it back to the mainland with you.

A mannequin with a bucket for a heads
Nothing to see here. Image: Londonist

While you're in Twickenham, we recommend a trip to Eel Pie Island Museum — a tiny temple which details the island's rock n' roll roots — as well as famous residents, including the late Trevor Baylis, inventor of the wind-up radio. (The museum's on the Twickenham mainland, and you can visit any time of year, Thursday-Sunday.)

A skeleton in a cage
And why not. Image: Londonist

Eel Pie Island Artists Summer Open Studios, Twickenham, free entry, 25-26 June and 2-3 July, 11am-6pm on both Saturdays and Sundays. Not all studios are open both weekends, so if there's someone you particularly want to visit, check ahead.

Last Updated 29 June 2022

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