Saturday 26 February 2022

Let's draw Waterloo Station - Saturday 12 March 2022

Our first meeting point of the day: The Waterloo Clock,
'one of the most famous meeting places in London'
From 15 Things to Do at Waterloo Station in London for the History Buff 

[By Nigel Gibson and Helen Hayhoe]

In March we draw Waterloo Station

Waterloo Station is a major rail and Underground station in London with services all across the South West of England, including Bournemouth, Exeter, Portsmouth, Salisbury, Southampton and Winchester. There are multiple platforms, including what was once the Eurostar terminal. 

The station has some interesting sculptures and commemorative plaques as well as views across the river, and is good for people watching. 

The day is free of charge, no need to book, just turn up with your artist’s materials.

Waterloo Station 14 January 2016

by Paulina Little

By special permission

Waterloo Station has kindly given permission for our large group to sketch at the station for this event. They have asked that each of us sign in at station reception when we arrive. It's no. 7 on this map of Waterloo Station, near Costa Coffee (no.5) and the information desk (no. 9). You may need to show valid photo ID.

Detail of the Waterloo Station map
We are asked to sign in at station reception when we arrive.

We have been asked to estimate numbers and to provide names of possible attendees. If you plan to join in, please send us your name at urbansketcherslondon{at} and we will include you on our list. 

NB: Please allow extra time to sign in before our 11am start.

Tag your sketches on Twitter

Waterloo Station encourage us to post some of our sketches on their Twitter feed -- just use their Twitter tag @LondonWaterloo.

Key times and meeting points

Meeting points and local landmarks are shown on our location map at the end of this blog post. 

11 AM

Meet underneath the Waterloo Clock in the main concourse – not the clock by the main entrance! It is sheltered from the weather and close to many amenities such as Costa for coffees / drinks and Marks & Spencer’s Food Hall for snacks and sandwiches.

1 PM

Meet again at the upper concourse (Balcony Level) at the end closest to the main entrance at Victory Arch. There are some benches there, and the area can be directly accessed via escalators. This location can be found at location B1 on the station map.

3.30 PM

Meet again (at the same place as for 1 PM) to view drawings and to take some group photographs. 


For those who would like to linger after our final meeting of the day, join us at the bar in the Royal Festival Hall in the Southbank Centre across the street from Waterloo Station (see our location map).

Royal Festival Hall

Options for drawing

  • The Victory Arch was designed by J R Scott, the chief architect. Made of Portland stone and bronze, it depicts War and Peace, with Britannia holding the torch of liberty above. Leading from Station Approach onto the concourse, the Victory Arch forms the main entrance to Waterloo. Look up and see the colours of the glass roof. There's more at 15 things to do at Waterloo Station in London for the History Buff.

London and South Western Railway Waterloo Station

Sketch of Main Entrance [Victory Arch] 1921-22 by architect J R Scott

    History of Waterloo Station

    Replacing the first terminus of the London & Southampton Railway at Nine Elms, Waterloo Station was opened in 1848 by the London & South Western Railway as part of extending the line two miles to be nearer the city. This original station, known as ‘central station’, had six platforms.

    From its very earliest days the station was popular with race goers travelling to Epsom -- the original station opening in 1848 was brought forward a week to enable passengers to travel to the Derby by rail for the first time. In modern times Ascot Week sees thousands of passengers dressed up for a day at the races. 

    On a more sombre note, nearby there was the London Necropolis Railway station, which took coffins to Brookwood Cemetery. It was damaged by bombing during WWII and never rebuilt.

    For more information about the history of Waterloo Station there is an historical timelineon the Network Rail website and a recent book Waterloo Station: A History of London's Busiest Terminus by Robert Lordan (2021).

    Waterloo Station in popular culture

    Many films and TV series have used Waterloo Station as a backdrop, including The Constant Gardener (2005), The Bourne Ultimatum (2007), Arabesque (1966), Howl (2015) and The 7.39 (2014).

    There’s a book of poetry, A Ghost in Waterloo Station by Bert Almon (2007), and of course the classic song 'Waterloo Sunset' by The Kinks, with the lyrics: 'As long as I gaze on
 Waterloo sunset 
I am in paradise'.

    There is a map of the whole of Waterloo Station.

    Looking up at Waterloo: The glass station roof alight in winter sun
    Sketch by Helen Hayhoe

    Safety and security guidelines

    The beauty of our sketchcrawls is their informality, but we would like to comply with the following sensible rules, so thank you for doing so.

    The relevant guidelines at Waterloo Station are mostly common sense:

    • remain in public areas
    • don’t choose a position where you’re going to be in anybody’s way (e.g. close to entrances and escalators)
    • stay behind the yellow line if you’re going onto the platforms
    • don’t overhang the balcony balustrade, and
    • don’t leave any items unattended. 

    Please check the guidelines recommended by Network Rail which apply of course to artists and sketchers as well as the general public.

    Practical information

    Waterloo Station is a major transport hub serviced by trains, buses and the Underground including Jubilee, Northern, District and Circle Lines. You can also travel by bike.

    Photo by Nigel Gibson

    Driving is not recommended unless you are confident on London roads and have a parking location planned.  

    Toilets at the station are free and generally well maintained. 

    COVID-19 visit information

    Since COVID-19 and its variants remain even though restrictions have been lifted, it's sensible to take all necessary precautions to keep ourselves and fellow sketchers safe throughout the event. The risk of infection for outdoor events is low, but basic guidance still applies:

    • please do not attend if you feel unwell
    • respect those who choose to wear a mask
    • give people space, and
    • practice good hand hygiene.

    There is also the option of self-testing before the event. 

    See you at Waterloo Station! 

    The day is run by Nigel Gibson and Helen Hayhoe.

    Location map

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    Draw London with us in April, May and June!

    We'll be sketching in Camden, St James's Park and Twickenham in the coming months. Find out more at Let's draw London in 2022.

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    Follow Urban Sketchers London on Instagram and use the hashtag #urbansketcherslondon to have your drawings featured


    Tuesday 22 February 2022

    To Remind: Let's draw Sloane Square Saturday 26 February 2022

    View from the café at Peter Jones
    Sketch by Lis Watkins

    = In case you missed the original blog post  =

    This month we meet in Sloane Square, in one of the richest parts of London.

    There are many opportunities for drawing, with elegant period properties, the Royal Court Theatre, a food market, the Saatchi Gallery and the stunning Holy Trinity Church.

    There is no cost, just wrap up warm and bring your drawing equipment.

    We meet at 11am at the Venus fountain in Sloane Square.

    For  details, have a look at the blog post for this event.

    The day is led by John Swanson and Jimmy Lu.

    See you at Sloane Square!

    Find Urban Sketchers London on social media

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    Celebrating a decade of Urban Sketchers London
    2012 - 2022 

    From the archives: We drew at the Wellcome Collection in 2018
    Photo by Cathryn Worrell

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