Perhaps the place most synonymous with murals, street art and graffiti in London is Shoreditch. Wall art, paste ups, stickers, sculpture. You name it and Shoreditch is the place to find it.
Of course we’ve written about Shoreditch many times before. For Inspiring City it is the spiritual home of this blog. First moving to the area in 2012, the walls of Shoreditch and indeed the area around Brick Lane were ever changing. The area has developed since then as high rises have gone up along with the rents. There is still plenty to see though and despite it’s changing face, the street art remains the best in London.
Shoreditch Street Art Map
The street upon which sits the entrance to the Shoreditch Overground Station. Braithwaite Street is often the first view of Shoreditch for any new visitor to it. As such it’s bustling with activity. Turn left out of the station and you enter Shoreditch proper with it’s shops and art. If you turn right then you’ll be confronted with a dingy looking arch. You need to pass in order to walk to Spitalfields. Along the whole stretch you’ll be able to find art. Walking up and down you’ll come across the whole range. It’s a good first introduction to the street art of Shoreditch.
The king amongst lanes. Brick Lane is the epicentre of the scene in London. Stretching from Whitechapel in the south it runs up to Shoreditch in the north where it connects with Bethnal Green Road. Filled with every form of street art imaginable it is from Brick Lane that everything else follows. Here you can find the famous Truman Brewery as well as numerous offshoot lanes. In fact this street is so significant it deserves an article all of it’s own. So, to learn more about where to find street art on Brick Lane, click here.
Chance Street and Whitby Street
Some of the biggest street art murals in Shoreditch can be found on Chance Street. For years it’s been a great spot to see work and it’s artists have often been some of the biggest names around. A couple of large scale pieces from Reka and MadC can be seen with another from Shepard Fairey recently adding to the area. The street also blends in to Whitby Street which is why I’ve joined the two together. Here you can see a number of works by the popular Australian artist Jimmy C who seems to favour this particular spot.
A small unassuming street, Dereham Street nonetheless has boasted some impressive street art murals over the years. Most of this is around the railway arch through which the street passes. You can access Dereham from both Curtain Road and Shoreditch High Street but keep your eyes open for the entrance.
This street has become the defacto outdoor gallery of local artist Ben Eine. His typefaces have been covering the walls of Ebor Street for years. Indeed he has been creating murals, street art and graffiti in Shoreditch for years. Certainly he seems to have established it as his spot. You can listen to a podcast we recorded with Ben here.
Great Eastern Street
Intersecting the area the busy Great Eastern Street runs through Shoreditch towards Old Street. Development work to the buildings along the street has been the main cause of street art here. The hoardings which tend to go up in order to protect the public from the redevelopments have a habit of becoming canvasses in their own right. As such they have proved to be ever changing, if temporary, canvasses over the years. Great Eastern Street also boasts one of the areas finest urban art galleries. The Jealous Gallery has a number of excellent artists on its books and is certainly a great place to pop in.
Leonard Street and Blackall Street
Running from Great Eastern Street through to City Road. Leonard Street is the home of the Pure Evil Gallery and formerly a key place to see Shoreditch street art. As it stands now, Leonard Street has been extensively redeveloped and a shadow of the edgy street it once was. Blackall Street however retains a lot of smaller little gems. Much reduced nowadays because of the huge development that’s been happening there. It is still, nonetheless, a good place to visit.
New Inn Yard
The area here was once better known as being the home of the famous ‘Theatre’. The first purpose built playhouse that gave its name to all others. Shakespeare himself treaded the boards and would have known it well. Now the area is dominated by London’s largest mural. A collaboration between many artists, it’s connecting theme is… ‘connectivity‘.
Nearby the Village Underground wall on Holywell Lane can be easily walked to. There have also been a number of hoardings here which artists have been painting in lieu of further development.
Cutting through Shoreditch, Redchurch Street runs parallel to the main Bethnal Green Road to the south. A smaller street it is nonetheless, where a number of the other streets and lanes emerge. Pieces can be seen all along the street hidden between the bars, galleries and fashionable shops.
The home of the famous Cargo bar. This was at one stage a place at the very heart of the street art scene in the area. Banksy himself hosted pop up shows here and many artists will have passed through. Inside the courtyard to the bar can be seen two originals from Banksy as well as pieces from C215 and and DS Art amonst others.
Further down the street there is a work from Stik and you may also see art from Thierry Noir. The street leads from Curtain Road to the junction of Great Eastern Street and Old Street. At the Old Street end it finishes where the famous Foundry once stood. Now undergoing extensive redevelopment, this was once the beating heart of the art scene in the area hosting over 2000 pop up shows in the years it was open. Now the Foundry is destined to become a trendy art hotel.
Running from Brick Lane towards the station in Shoreditch. The walls of Sclater Street are lined with art. This despite the fact that of all the places this has been one of the most built up in recent years. Towards the Brick Lane end survive some rare examples of old weavers houses though the walls are now peppered with smaller artworks. A bit further on and Sclater Street backs onto the former Bishopsgate Good Yard. The wall of which is also full of artworks and worth spending some time exploring.
Village Underground, Holywell Lane
The largest wall in the Shoreditch area which is continually in use. There are other claimants to that honour but the wall at the Village Underground is constant in the amount of murals painted onto it. Overlooked now by the trendy Citizen M hotel you can often watch the painting from it’s balcony and lounge area. As walls go though, this is the big one. It’s a sought after spot and attracts artists from all over.
Shoreditch was visited on 18 and 19 January 2020. For more on the area take a look at this free self guided tour. You can also find street art across the UK. Have a look at these articles on Brighton, Bristol, Manchester, Sheffield and Aberdeen.
For other posts relating to Shoreditch street art have a look here:
Great to see that the redevelopment hasn’t ruined the street art scene. I have a lot of photos from the area, particularly around 2012-3. There’s still a lot of development in the pipeline so I’ll plan to get out and take more photos of what’s there now.
A particularly good era that Michael would love to see those. There is definitely a lot of development that’s been going on though and it’s undoubtedly changed the character of a lot of the old spots
Amazing place, you can’t miss it if you are in London!
It really is a great place to be 😀
Fantastic inspiring info and the photographs speak themselves I’m a big lover of street art outsider art and this is MASSIVE thank you so much.