When the sun is out and the streets are full of Londoners basking in the light of the summer, become a tourist in your own city and discover the wonderful world of London street art.
From commissioned murals to underground graffitti, London is rich with street art. It’s just one of the aspects that makes the city so colourful and known as one full of stories to discover, which is why there are so many tours available where guests can be taken on lesser-known walking routes throughout the city to uncover some of the most extraordinary art works. Here, we highlight the best tours to book and the best places to see street art directly, in case a guided tour isn’t your bag. Get the camera ready, walking shoes on and explore one of London’s greatest cultural assets – the art.
London Street Art: The C&TH Guide
The Best Street Art Tours
Shoreditch Street Art Tours
The amount of street art in Shoreditch is unbelievable. Walk round most corners and you’ll spot a giant painting covering a dreary wall. This tour leads you around the best of Shoreditch’s street art so instead of aimlessly walking around and possibly missing the best bits, you are led by a knowledgeable guide on the best route who is able to explain some of the stories behind the artworks. Shoreditchstreetarttours.co.uk
The Free Street Art & Graffiti Tour London
Particularly popular with tourists, this free walking tour also explores the street art of Shoreditch. This tour focusses on some of the more famous pieces such as the work of Banksy, Mr Cenz and Citizen Keane. Strawberrytours.com
See It Yourself: Where to Spot Street Art in London
Known as a real up and coming area for art, Vauxhall in South London is an alternative place other than the East End to explore. Walk through the Leake Street Tunnel for an all-encompassing experience of street art. There’s also a bar there, 26 Leake Street, so you can grab a pint or a cocktail when you feel sufficiently inspired by the unique surroundings. Leake Street, SE1 7NN
London’s South Bank has been a hub for music, art and skateboarding for decades. The famous Southbank Undercroft which is constantly full of skateboarders is adorned with bright graffitti and images which reflect beautifully in the puddles when it rains. A culturally interesting spot, the skatepark was made particularly famous in the 2005 documentary Rollin’ Through the Decades which looks at the difficult relationship between users of the park and London developers. Watch it before you go, then visit the skate park to see how it thrives. 337-338 Belvedere Road, SE1 8XT
On the Hungerford Bridge, you can see the work of British artist Stik who creates intricate images of people. Hungerford Bridge, Lambeth
Culture comes to a head at the Southbank Centre and even the walls exude creativity. Before stepping inside, walk the circumference of the building to see commissioned artworks that are spread across the walls, staircases and walkways. Belvedere Road, SE1 8XX
You’ll find the colourful cartoon-like work of French artist Thierry Noir on Hackney Wick’s Wallis Street. One of the best examples of his work can be seen on the side of a warehouse on Wallis Street. Once you see it, you’ll understand why he was the first artist to have painted the Berlin Wall. Wallis Road, Hackney Wick E9 5LN
If heading to Camden to see a gig at the Roundhouse or grab lunch at the food market, you can’t go far without spotting some street art. We suggest you start from Mornington Crescent and make your way along Camden Road, into the Stables and all around. You’ll find a particularly impressive selection on Hawley Mews, too. Mornington Crescent station, NW1 2JA
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