A Street Art Tour of Shoreditch in London
Street Art Tours are all rage at the moment in the East End of London with visitors to the area keen to know where to spot the latest street art. Following the breakout success of the likes of Banksy, Stik, ROA and Ben Eine street art is no longer an exclusively urban art.
Shoreditch of course is uber hip and anyone serious about finding art need go no further from this funky part of East London, just on the outskirts of the city. This is the epicentre of the street art scene in the city.
Tour Start – Shoreditch High Street Station (London Overground)
Tour End – Old Street tube station (Northern Line)
Tour length – Around 2 hours
1. Shoreditch Station
On exiting Shoreditch High Street station you’ll come straight out onto Braithwaite Street. Directly opposite the station is a fence with some love hearts on it which young couples have placed there over the past year or so. Braithwaite Street itself is quite interesting, if you turn right and head through the railway tunnel you’ll come to a few walls which are quite colourful and have a good view of the towering buildings of the city just behind. This particular street is also very often used for photoshoots so don’t be suprised if you come across a size zero fashionista.
2. Sclater Street
Turn back around towards the station and you’ll come out at Bethnal Green Road, turn right at the road and take the first turning on the right which is Sclater Street. In between there is often a market of sorts and all kinds of art can be spotted on the walls around here, particularly paste ups. Head down Sclater Street to the car park and you won’t be able to miss the huge gable end which will no doubt have an impressive mural on it. All this street can be busy with market traders so sometimes the art will be covered but during the week and in the evenings it’s usually okay.
3. Brick Lane
At the end of Sclater Street you’ll come out onto the famous Brick Lane which is a hive of activity all the time. The part you’ll come out on is full of trendy bars and coffee shops so if you did want to get a slice of cake and a drink then this is the place to do it. There is all sorts of street art here. A word of warning though, much of the art is on shutters which are open during the day so if you want to get the best views then return in the evening. It would be tempting to have a wander up and down the whole length of this very vibrant street but I do have another tour for that if it was something you wanted to do. For this tour though turn left and walk up to the junction with Bethnal Green Road. Cross over the road and you’ll come to the beginning of Redchurch Street.
4. Redchurch Street
This little road heads off towards the left and is packed full of art, that and the streets coming off it. It’s not a long road but it sure is a busy one with lots of bars and galleries and there is all sorts to see. As you walk down you’ll pass Turville Street on the right where there is always a decent mural before coming to Club Row, which likewise, always has something there. Turn left down Club Row and right along Whitby Street opposite the Aubin Cinema. Currently this street has a number of Jimmy C murals and they are well worth seeing. Walk along Whitby Street and then when you get to Chance Street turn right.
Chance Street currently has some magnificent work from ROA, Reka, Artista and Irony. Walk up Chance Street until you return to Redchurch Street and continue your journey left along it. Carry on until the end passing Ebor Street along the way (which has fantastic work on it from Ben Eine and Shepard Fairey) until you get to the Shoreditch High Street.
5. Holywell Lane
Once at the Shoreditch High Street turn left and then cross at the crossing and head across the road to a little road called Holywell Lane. This is the location of the famous Village Underground which is regularly painted over by artists working with Street Art London. Artists who have painted this wall include Pablo Delgado, Stik, The Rolling People, Kid Acne and RUN. Other things to note on this small but significant lane is the car park to the right which is jam packed full of street art.
Once you’ve taken everything carry on until Great Eastern Street and look left. There the panels on either side of the road are constantly being painted and often have something new. This is possibly the most often painted series of spots in the East End. Numerous artists have painted here and sometimes the work lasts no more than a few days. Once you’ve had a good look carry on across Great Eastern Street until you reach Curtain Road.
6. Curtain Road
A quick detour to the left on this road will take you to the Horse and Groom pub which always has a mural on the side of it. Presenty, that mural is an entwined couple from the incredibly talented Otto Schade. Just before the pub to the left is Hewett Street on which you can find some long standing works from American artist El Mac and unique Belgian artist Vhils. This is a detour you do not want to miss.
Now walk back along the way you’ve come and head up Curtain Road. You’ll pass Christina Street on the left so have a quick look up there because it’s worth it with many artists contributing including the likes of ROA and Broken Fingaz. Keep going though until you reach Rivington Street. This will take you through the heart of Shoreditch so there will be plenty of places to get a drink and something to eat if you fancy it.
7. Rivington Street
Once here turn right and walk to the end. You will pass through one of the most densely populated areas of street art in the area. Stik, Cranio, Eine are all here amongst others. The jewel in the crown of this street though is Cargo, the trendy evening bar which is also open in the day for coffee. It has two Banksy’s, a big C215, and a large and impressive piece from Ozmo. Go in, you will not be disappointed.
Once you get to the end, turn round and walk back the way you came. Cross Curtain Road and carry along Rivington Street until you reach the Red Gallery. This space is often closed but the hoardings surrounding it are full of art. If the gates are open then it is likely an event is going on and you should explore around, this place is jammed full of street art.
When you come to the end of Rivington Street you’ll notice works from Phlegm, ROA and Jimmy C. Carry on towards Old Street and walk left along it. This will take you to Old Street Station which is the end of our walk.
If your interested in a guided version of this or any other tours on Inspiring City feel free to contact me on the form below.
For more Street Art Tours in London, have a look at the following Inspiring links: