London is one of the world’s best places to see street art. Street Artists come from far and wide in order to paint its walls and visitors travel miles to see it. 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 10 of the 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
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.
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 or have a look at this map.
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.
It’s the most obvious place but Penge is a super place to find street art. 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.
In Camden the street art scene has been affected by development and a reduction in the amount of available spots to paint. Prior to this the Camden area thrived. Particularly around the canal and the railway arches. The famous 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 Street art of the Ferdinand Estate and this guide to street art in Camden.
One of the most original street art based projects in London 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.
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.
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. There is also the area around St James Street to explore with some murals from big name artists.
Bethnal Green covers a wide area but has plenty of places to see within it. The main roads of Bethnal Green Road and Hackney Road in particular will reveal much by just walking along them. Other spots to see street art and graffiti include around Cambridge Heath Road, Clare Street and along the canals. The towpaths in particular can reveal a number of hidden gems.
Brixton and Stockwell
Brixton is a vibrant place. Known for it’s music, it’s food and it’s art. The streets around the stations in particular can be explored and often they will reveal hidden gems. The areas around Pop Brixton, the Duke of Edinburgh Pub and the Stockwell Hall of Fame are also good places to explore in the area. For a whistle stop tour of street art in Brixton click on the link.
Other Places to see Street Art Across London
For a map of all the locations, have a look here. Also for some other honorary mentions you might want to have a look around the south London areas of Brockley and Croydon. Both of these 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.
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.
Time needed: 2 days.
A list of the best places to see street art in London
- Brick Lane
The epic-centre of the street art scene in London. Brick Lane has it all and is a great place to see all the latest street art and graffiti.
The wider Shoreditch area generally runs from the area of Brick Lane up towards Old Street. There are many places to see street art along the way.
- Leake Street Graffiti Tunnel
The legal graffiti tunnel at Leake Street has been a popular spot since Banksy’s CANS festival in 2008. You can see the newest street art and graffiti there. The tunnel is just behind Waterloo station.
Penge has become a fantastic place to see street art. With lots of new walls being opened up it has over 200 different pieces to be seen in the local area.
A hugely popular place to visit, Camden has always been at the top of the urban art scene. However development has caused a lot of former street art and graffiti spots to disappear. Still though there is plenty to see.
Some brilliant curated murals can be found in Dulwich. Most form part of the Dulwich Outdoor Gallery an initiative to bring street art inspired by the Dulwich Picture Gallery to the local area.
- Hackney Wick
The ever developing conurbation of Hackney Wick is still a super place to wander around. You will see a mixture of street art and graffiti around every corner amidst the old warehouses.
Over the years Walthamstow has steadily been adding to it’s street art mural collection. The area around Wood Street in particular is good to visit.
- Bethnal Green
Bethnal Green has always been at the heart of the street art scene. The area along Hackney Road and Bethnal Green Road in particular are great spots to visit.
- Brixton and Stockwell
Brixton is a vibrant part of the city and a wander through it’s street will reveal lots of hidden pieces. Also a little further away in Stockwell is the famous Stockwell Hall of Fame.
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 London, Brighton, Bristol, Cheltenham, Leicester, Manchester, Blackburn and Aberdeen.