From murals of the legend that is David Bowie to cranes that are three stories high, London is chock-a-block full of some pretty fine street art. From Camden to Brick Lane and East Dulwich to Hackney Wick – here’s our rundown of the best places in town to view London street art:
Table Of Contents
East London Street Art
1. Brick Lane and Spitalfields
Kicking off this list of the best London street art and London graffiti is Brick Lane – I mean, where else?! This particular street is famous for its art, and you’ll find the most examples of it in the area between Buxton Street and Bethnal Green Road, near to where the railway bridge crosses over.
There’s everything here from murals of colourful flowers to giant elephants, and nearby Hanbury Street plays host to perhaps the area’s most famous artwork – a massive, three-story high crane by the Belgian artist ROA. The best way to see it is just to amble down Brick Lane and the surrounding streets and have a gander at it yourself, but if you’d like more insight into the pieces, you can opt to join a walking tour too. Grab your tickets here.
Just a stone’s throw away from Brick Lane lies Shoreditch – home of some more of the city’s most famous street art. There’s plenty to see in this fashionable part of town which stretches from the City to Old Street – and we’re not just talking about bars and restaurants either. Known for its gritty past back in the Victorian era, it’s been a haven for artists and creatives for many years now – hence the presence of so much street art.
A wander through this part of town will give you the chance to see much of the work of some of the best London street artists. Our advice would be to take a stroll down Rivington Street, where you’ll be able to view pieces from SAM3, Bastardilla and Thierry Noir – and even Banksy himself.
3. Cambridge Heath
Smack-bang in the middle of Bethnal Green and Hackney, Cambridge Heath is another fantastic spot to find some London graffiti – particularly down the famous Hackney Road, Bethnal Green and Clare Street, which is tucked away just behind the overground station.
Home to artworks from prestigious artists such as Alice Pasquini, Mr Cenz, Idiom, Andy Council and Irony – whose giant cat arguably takes centre stage – it’s definitely a region of East London well worth exploring.
4. Hackney Wick
Another of the best spots in town to view street art, Hackney Wick is well worth a visit whatever the weather. Just across the way from the Olympic Park and bordered by the Lea Navigation and Hertford Union Canals, it’s a great spot which has plenty of craft breweries, bars, nightclubs and artist studios dotted about.
Add in some pretty fantastic street art – on Bream Street, Fish Island and Smeed Road in particular – and you’ve got yourself one hell of a good day out. You also really shouldn’t miss out on grabbing a pint or two at the Lord Napier And Star. Covered in colourful graffiti and boasting live music, some great Thai food and an 80-seater rooftop – it’s a fantastic spot to visit when you’re in the area.
North London Street Art
As one of London’s most famous – and arguably most popular areas – in which to visit, it’s no surprise that Camden is packed full of some pretty fantastic London graffiti. Though it has been massively redeveloped over recent years, there’s still plenty to see – particularly on the Ferdinand Estate, Harmood Street, Hartland Road Hawley Road – which features a mural of legendary singer-songwriter and Camden native Amy Winehouse.
One thing you can’t miss when you’re in this neck of the woods is the railway bridge which has ‘Camden Lock’ imprinted on its side. Painted by John Bulley in 1989, it’s the longest standing piece of street art still standing in Camden, and is a prime photo-opp if we say so ourselves. In fact – we may even see you doing it, as this author’s window overlooks it! Make sure you also check out the borough’s pubs and bars too.
Though there are plenty of reasons to ‘Stay Another Day’ in East 17 – from London’s largest nature reserve to Europe’s longest outdoor market – perhaps the biggest reason of all to visit may just be in its plethora of intricate street art.
Murals from famous London street artists ROA, ATM and Phlegm line the walls of St James station just down the road, and their artworks include a giant badger playing with a bird, and a variety of birds with connections to the Walthamstow Wetlands and the Hackney Marshes. There are also some great breweries just down the road – perfect for a post-art viewing pint!
South London Street Art
South of the river now, and onto the vibrant area of Brixton. Famous for its gigs, nights out, excellent foodie spots and iconic Ritzy cinema – it’s got a lot going for it as an area – and has some bangin’ street art too.
As well as the ‘Stockwell Hall of Fame’ – which is a spot where anyone can get grafitting if they’d like – there’s the famous David Bowie mural, the Louis Masai Bee on Saltoun Road and a number of other great pieces on Ferndale Road near the Duke of Edinburgh pub.
Heading even further south now and onto Penge, which is situated close to Crystal Palace Park and is in the London borough of Bromley. Over recent years, it’s become a street art hub, and was also the one-time home of ‘Thomas Crapper’, who was believed to have invented the first flush toilet!
There are plenty of exquisite artworks which can be found here, including a Tower of London Raven from artist Aspire in an alley off Penge High Street, and a vivid octopus by acclaimed artist Aero on Southey Street.
Our penultimate addition to this roundup of the best London street art is the pretty neighbourhood of Dulwich – which is probably one of the most ‘villagey’ spots in town. It may come as some surprise that there’s some street art in this neck of the woods – but a wander through the Dulwich Outdoor Gallery will put aside any doubts you may have.
Started in 2012 in a collaboration between beloved London street artist Stik and the late Ingrid Bezley, it was a project designed to ‘to recreate old masters on the streets of the area’. Now, it’s packed full of pieces from renowned artists such as Thierry Noir, Faith47, Nunca and Conor Harrington.
Central London Street Art
Rounding off this list of where to see the best London street art is Leake Street in Waterloo. Right in the heart of town and home to The VAULTS – a theatre space famed for its immersive experiences – Leake Street has its own graffiti tunnel which is, as you’d expect, absolutely covered in graffiti.
It’s a spot where anyone can graffiti if they so wish, so if you’re looking to learn the ropes, then this is the place to come! The legend that is Banksy also inaugurated the space with his (or hers) CANS Festival back in 2008, so why not try and follow in the iconic artist’s footsteps?
So there you have it – a selection of 10 of the best places to see some London street art. So why not see if you can go and tick it all off? Phones at the ready of course…