London's Best Street Art
Here at Totally Tailored, we’re passionate about matching our guests with the best guides for them. And since street art in London is becoming world-famous, we asked Rahmi from the amazing specialist company streetviewlondon to give us his recommendations.
So, here’s his list of the best locations in London for graffitti and street art – take it away Rahmi…
London is known for many things – but lately it’s earned the title of ‘European Capital of Street Art’. In the last decade, graffitti and street art have evolved from being seen as vandalism to some of the most inspiring artworks in the world. You can find these pieces in every one of London’s 32 boroughs, but here’s my list of the top locations to find exceptional street art.
Street art fever began in Brick Lane and its surroundings. This neighbourhood (known as Shoreditch) is a melting pot of diverse cultures, which makes for colourful art, food, and fashion.
As the popularity of street art rises, many of the local businesses commission artists to create energetic and ever-changing street art pieces. Over the years this led to the creation of hundreds of murals in this part of East London. You can also find plenty of unauthorised (aka illegal!) art pieces all around the neighbourhood. Some of the artists who began their careers in this areas are world-famous now, such as Shepard Fairey and Banksy.
A famous wall shows two pieces next to each other with completely different styles: a Queen’s Guard doing a handstand while still wearing a bearskin helmet, next to a massive crane bird painted by aerosol.
Brick Lane is located in East London and is home to some of the most fabulous artistic cafes, establishments and art galleries. Visitors love touring the neighbourhood on Sundays when the Brick Lane market opens, and lights up the area, which is great for gifts and souvenirs. You can sample world cuisines from salt beef bagels to Bangladeshi curry. Or you can pick up a hipster coffee and some cake to go as you enjoy the outdoor art.
The variety of the scene in Shoreditch means you can see awesome art from Ben Eine to Sweet Toof, ROA to Stik. Some of its hottest street art hubs are Redchurch Street, Curtain Road, Rivington Street and Leonard Street.
Tour Guide Tip: Visit Brick Lane’s Upmarket when stalls fill the Old Truman Brewery each Sunday, selling unique clothing and crafts, plus heaps of tasty food from all corners of the world between 10 am and 6 pm.
91 Brick Ln, Spitalfields, London E1 6QL
Leake Street Tunnel
The Leake Street Tunnel, underneath the famous Waterloo Station, is also known as the ‘graffiti tunnel’. It’s 300 metres long and entirely covered with some of the best graffiti and street art in London. Banksy made this location famous almost eight years ago when he held the Festival of Cans in 2008. Today, it’s a favourite place for artists, which makes it a perfect place to see a variety of styles in one place, from graffiti and stencil art to paste-ups.
This is a legal location for artists to spray and paint on the walls, which means you’ll find artists young and old here, perfecting their art. And some choose this location for their very first attempt at a street art piece. Since there are no rules, the artworks here may not last long, so it’s a perfect place for a visitor to enjoy several new pieces every day, and watch someone spraying right in front of you.
Tour Guide Tip: After exploring this disused road tunnel full of inspiring art, you might get thirsty! Best time to hit the graffiti-themed speakeasy bar that plays host to a Banksy original artwork known as Giant Rat.
26 Leake St, Lambeth, London SE1 7NN
Camden has always been a haven for graffiti artists, but recently property development has reduced the space available to artists. However, that’s made the competition fiercer and the art even more exciting.
There are so many great places in Camden where you can view great art, and you’ll make your own discoveries. Art pieces are also spread on various locations between Mornington Crescent and Chalk Farm Tube Stations.
For example, Hawley Street and Hawley Mews have a cluster of great pieces, including large murals and smaller works. And on Stucley Place, as you walk from Camden Road to Camden Market, you will find a lovely piece created by Gnasher Murals that has been left untouched for years.
And my personal favourite is on Hartland Road, a piece by Dan Kitchener of a rainy Tokyo night, a remarkable piece that requires you to keep looking, and keep discovering more.
Tour Guide Tip: You’ll get a great view of Dan Kitchener’s Tokyo mural at Cube Cafe.
29 Chalk Farm Rd, Chalk Farm, London NW1 8AJ
If you’d like an expert guide to showcase the best of London’s street art, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll design a tour tailored just to you.