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 its 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 South Bank has long been a hub for graffiti and it’s skatepark in particular has taken on an iconic status over recent years as plans to re-develop it at the expense of the skaters have met with fierce opposition. In itself the skate park is probably the most famous of London’s legal graffiti spots and the work will change here all the time. However it’s not just that which you need to look out for in the South Bank. Other works too from the likes of Stik, ROA and Phlegm can be found in the immediate area and the South Bank will often play host to creative festivals and have new pieces 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.
Thanks to the efforts of the likes of Wood Street Walls trying to get Walthamstow on the map, it has over the past three years developed a scene with an impressive array of street art. The art is dotted around the area so any visit will involve walking a bit but there is enough impressive work to make this more than worthwhile. The area around Wood Street in particular has much to see as does the area around Hoe Street. We’ve featured the growing Walthamstow seen now a couple of times here in 2016 and more recently here in 2017.
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 has changed so much but the street art has remained thanks to concerted efforts from agencies such as ‘The Real Art of Street Art’. When this post first came out in 2014 the Camden area thrived around the canal and the railway arches which overlooked it. There the street art sheds of Camden attracted artists from all over the world. Now the area has moved and the spots are now more dotted around the area which for the purposes of this post would be found between the tube stations of Chalk Farm and Mornington Crescent. There, dotted at points throughout and with the busy hub of Camden in the middle there are many differents places to see street art.
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 old Seven Stars Car Park, Hanbury Street, The Old Truman Brewery, Pedley Street, Cheshire Street, Scalter Street and the Nomadic Community Gardens there are so many great spots to visit.
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 south London areas of Brockley, Croydon and Penge all of which are really starting to grow their scenes.
For other more established areas where work may happen on a less frequent basis but where good stuff is still there have a look at the areas around Chrisp Street, Petticoat Lane Market and Whitecross Street there was a time when these areas were more thriving than they are now but they all still has some good stuff to see.
Thanks for reading and if you’ve any ideas about what we can cover or if you want to get in contact with us, just fill out the form below. This post was updated on 28 August 2017 to include Walthamstow in the Top 10 with Whitecross Street being bumped down.