The Top 10 Best Places to see Street Art in London
London is one of the World’s best places to see street art and artists come from far and wide in order to paint it’s walls. The East End of London in particular has a renowned reputation but there are other fantastic spots with some great art scenes in their own right. Now, to make life a little easier, we’ve decided to put together this guide to the top 10 best places to see street art in the city. It might not meet with everyone’s agreement as of course the list is subjective but one things for sure, they are all worth a visit.
10. The South Bank
The area around the Skate Park has long been a hub for graffiti writers but over the past few years the South Bank Centre itself has begun to offer up curated walls to talented artists. Now, just around the corner from the skate park works from ROA, Phelgm, Stik, Dan Kitchener and the Lost Souls Crew can all be seen with further curated works more than likely to keep appearing.
Brixton is growing and has seen a number of street festivals starting to take place with live street art at it’s core. Wander round the streets close to the station and you’ll see works from Louis Masai, Jimmy C and Sweet Toof amongst others. Other spots nearby include the Duke of Edinburgh pub on Ferndale Road, the Brixton Jamm and the legal graffiti spot known as the Stockwell Hall of Fame. It’s a growing area and it’s only going to get better. For a whistle stop tour of street art in Brixton, click on the link.
8. Hackney Road, Bethnal Green
Follow the road from Shoreditch in the east to Cambridge Heath Road in the West and you’ll come across a whole road dotted with street art. Art Under the Hood curate a couple of spots near to the Shoreditch end which provides a decent outlet for artists whilst further on, hoardings and walls are sporadically covered with works from many others with some real gems to be seen. For a few more pictures of street art on Hackney Road click on the link.
7. Whitecross Street
Close to the city, this historical drovers track has transformed into one of it’s hippest areas with a regular street food market happening during the week and the annual Whitecross Street Party placing it firmly at the centre of the art scene for at least one weekend a year. Walk down the street and you’ll see art dotted all around with a huge Conor Harrington mural perhaps being the most obvious. To the north of the road on Old Street more works can be seen either side of it’s junction whilst one of the few remaining decent Banksy’s can be seen to the south on Chiswell Street.
6. Leake Street, Waterloo
The designated graffiti tunnel in the Old Vic tunnels underneath Waterloo station is a legal graffiti spot made famous as the location of Banksy’s CANS festivals as well as being the scene of the record breaking Femme Fierce All Female street art takeover. Pop along at most times of the day and you’re bound to spot young writers learning their trade or more established artists just wanting a quick place to paint. The art here doesn’t last long, it turns over all the time and the only rules are that their are no rules, it’s not a place to get precious about your latest artwork. It is however a place to spot something new, every single day.
For some more recent pictures of the artwork of the Leake Street tunnel taken in January 2016 click here.
5. Hackney Wick
As the city moves further east and starts encroaching on the street art hubs of Shoreditch and Brick Lane, so too does the street art scene. More and more artists are now heading up to the Wick, attracted by it’s already bustling artistic population, it’s trendy vibe and it’s added proximity to the Olympic Park which brings with it tourists and access. For the best areas have a look around Bream Street and Old Ford Lock on Fish Island, the lock by the Hertford Union Canal, the area around the Crate Brewery and the Hackney Wick train station. For a tour of some of the best places to see street art in Hackney Wick click on the link.
For a more recent journey through the graffiti and street art of Hackney Wick have a look at this post from February 2016
Camden, particularly in the area around Camden Lock has been transformed over the past year into an artistic gallery in it’s own right as the sheds of the market and the arches of the railway line steadily receive a makeover. The brainchild of ‘The Real Art of Street Art’ many an artist has painted here and just before the market opens or after it closes, the full effect can be seen. Explore further afield in Camden and you’ll see even more art, it’s just a case of looking but the bulk is around the lock and there is some good stuff to see. To see more street art in camden click on the link.
One of the most original street art based projects in the World and the subject of the highly acclaimed ‘Street Art, Fine Art‘ book. The Dulwich Outdoor Gallery takes it’s inspiration from works hanging in the much older Dulwich Picture Gallery and has attracted artists from all over the World. From an idea by Ingrid Beazley and with help from Stik and Street Art London, the gallery has grown and grown with substantial works by new artists added all the time.
A vibrant place to be at the best of times, Shoreditch is a great place to spot street art with hubs centred around the Redchurch Street, Leonard Street/Old Street and Rivington Street/Curtain Road areas it attracts the best artists and boasts a vibrant local street art scene. Potter around at most times of day particularly in the summer and you are bound to see something going on. For a free Street Art tour of Shoreditch just click on the link.
1. Brick Lane
The epicentre of street art in the UK, Brick Lane is where, it could be argued, the whole scene in this country at least started. From Whitechapel in the south to Bethnal Green and Shoreditch in the north, the lane has played host to many communities over the years and the artistic one is just the latest. With hubs around the Seven Sisters Car Park, Hanbury Street, The Old Truman Brewery, Pedley Street, Cheshire Street and Scalter Street are all great spots to visit. What’s more I’ve even written A Street Art tour of Brick Lane for you to download or even check out this photographic tour of Brick Lane.
For a map of all the locations, have a look here and for some other honorary mentions you might want to have a look around the areas of Trinity Buoy Wharf and Chrisp Street both of which are really growing their street art scenes. Look out also for the area around Petticoat Lane Market, there was a time when it was more thriving than it is now but still has some good stuff to see. They don’t make our top 10 yet, but they are close so keep an eye out for them.
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