London is one of the World’s best places to see street art. Artists come from far and wide in order to paint its walls. Visitors come from miles to see the street art in London. The East End of London in particular has a renowned reputation. There are however 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. These things are of course subjective but one things for sure, they are all worth a visit.
Where to see Street Art in London
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 include the Duke of Edinburgh pub, the Brixton Jamm and 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.
9. Hackney Road, Bethnal Green
Follow the road from Shoreditch in the east to Cambridge Heath Road in the West. Along it 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. 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 developed a thriving seen over the past few years. The art is dotted around the area so any visit will involve walking a bit. There is however 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.
7. 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, the Wick has a trendy vibe. Its proximity to the Olympic Park also brings with it tourists and access. Have a look around some at some of the best areas on 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 are also popular. 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 dropped a few places in our list over recent years. The scene here has certainly been affected by development and a reduction in the amount of available spots to paint. In 2014 when this post was first published, the Camden area thrived. Particularly around the canal and the railway arches. There the street art sheds of Camden attracted artists from all over the world but they’ve all since gone.
Since then the area has evolved and the spots are more dotted around. Spread out at points between Chalk Farm and Mornington Crescent tube stations. Street art can be still be seen at a number of locations. For some of the best posts on the street art of the Camden area have a look at this post on the Ferdinand Estate street art and this quick street art tour of Camden.
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 a number of substantial works contributed from established artists. The project sadly finished in 2017 following the sad passing of Ingrid. But the legacy of the artworks lives on as a part of a the open air gallery
It’s not the most obvious place but Penge broke into this list in 2019. The town in South London has a huge density of street art. Curated by our friends at London Calling Blog. They’ve been working to build up the scene over the past few years. Street Art has started to expand the area and now murals can be found in every part of Penge. It’s quite an impressive achievement with works from some of the best London based talent. To have a look at some of the art of Penge. Have a look at these posts from 2018, 2019 and 2020.
3. 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. You might also see 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.
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. Click the link to learn more about street art in Shoreditch.
1. Brick Lane
The epicentre of street art in the UK! Brick Lane is where it is at when it comes to London Street Art. 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 Truman Brewery, Pedley Street, Cheshire Street, Scalter Street and the Nomadic Community Gardens there are so many great spots to visit.
Street Art in other Locations
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 and Croydon both of which are really starting to grow their scenes.
For other more established areas to see street art in London, where work may happen on a less frequent basis. Have a look at the areas around the South Bank, 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.
London is such a fantastic place to see street art but it’s not the only place. The UK has a vibrant scene. Click on the links to have a look at street art in cities such as Brighton, Bristol, Cheltenham, Leicester, Manchester, Blackburn and Aberdeen.
Brick Lane and Shoreditch are definitely the best places to see quality street art in London. However places like Camden, Penge and Dulwich are also great places to visit.
Brick Lane and Shoreditch have a long history or creativity and have attracted street artists for years. As such these areas have become synonymous with great street art.
The best graffiti can be found in the Leake Street Tunnel which runs underneath Waterloo Station. You can also find excellent graffiti in the Southbank Skate Park, Stockwell Hall of Fame and at the Trellick Tower.