Street art is generally inspired by graffiti – but there are several differences between street art and graffiti. The key aspect that sets street art apart from graffiti is that street art is often considered a mural to be enjoyed by the public, whereas graffiti often refers to words or images.
There’s no denying that London is a cultural hotspot, and is one of the best places in the world for art. With countless London art galleries, museums, art fairs and festivals, London is the place to be for art lovers and artists alike.
London is also one of the best places in the UK, if not the world, to view street art. In fact, street artists will travel miles to paint popular destinations in London, and visitors will travel far and wide to view it.
But where are the best places to find London street art? That’s what we’ll be exploring in this blog post. Read on to learn more about the London street art scene and where the best places are in London to find street art.
Brick Lane is arguably the best spot in London to find quality street art. The Brick Lane area has experienced significant development over the years, known in 2023 as a hipster hot spot. Naturally, Brick Lane has plenty of sights to see – including stunning street art pieces.
If you find yourself walking around Brick Lane, check out Hanbury Street, the Nomadic Community Gardens, or The Truman Brewery.
You can find street art here from many street artists; including both prominent names and up-and-coming artists. Street artist Stik, known for his stick figures, began his career in London, working in Hackney, Shoreditch. His murals can now be found around the world, from Europe to Asia and America.
One of Stik’s most famous works is ‘A Couple Holds Hands In The Street’ – a prominent piece that can be found next to Brick Lane Mosque. This piece was quickly embraced by the local Muslim Community and was voted as a UK top 20 artwork in a poll by the Guardian.
This piece was created following an attempted Islamic Extremist attack on a cartoonist that depicted Muhammed as a dog in his work. The mural shows a Muslim lady holding hands with a male, depicted in Stik’s unique style.
On Greasby Street, you can find ‘Screamers’ – another notable piece of artwork by Stik. This street art depicts two hunched figures shouting at each other in the street, with angry features. The mural can be found on a wall with barbed wire, spilling over onto the door. This is something Stik does regularly – adding a three-dimensional touch to his street art.
Venture outside Brick Lane to explore more of what Shoreditch has to offer. More and more places in London are undergoing gentrification – and after much development, Shoreditch has acquired a reputation as being a ‘hipster hotspot’.
Shoreditch is also one of the best places in London to find famous street art, with people travelling from far and wide to view Shoreditch street art.
If you find yourself in or around Shoreditch, check out Leanord Street, Redchurch Street, or Rivington Street – here, you can find street art from new, emerging street artists and well-known names in the art world.
For example, you can find works from the likes of famous street artist Banksy in this area. ‘Snorting Copper’ is a famous piece that features a policeman on his hands and knees snorting what seems to be a line of cocaine. The piece first appeared back in 2005 on the wall of an abandoned toilet block but was painted over just a year later.
When the area was redeveloped, the developers brought the street art back to life – it is now exhibited behind glass in near enough the same location as before. Check out this blog to learn more about Banksy’s most famous art.
Camden Town is known for its lively street markets, pop-up shops and delicious street food – and of course, is a great place to see some of the best street art in the UK. With Camden’s arty and creative vibe, street art fits the borough perfectly.
That being said, the street art scene in Camden has taken a hit in recent times due to the development of the area, meaning there are fewer available places (aka canvases) for street artists to paint.
Previously, you could find stunning street art around the railway arches and canal, with Camden’s street art sheds attracting artists and visitors from not only London but around the world.
Street art in Camden still exists but is more scattered. Check out the street art near the Mornington Crescent and Chalk Farm strain stations, or Harmood Street, Hartland Road, and Miller Street. The Ferdinand Estate is also a great place to find street art in Camden.
Despite being a large area, it’s not too difficult to stumble across street art in this area. Bethnal Green Road and Hackney Road are great places to see street art in London, as well as Clare Street and Cambridge Heath Road. On Clare Street, you can find the Winking Cat painted on a railway arch, created by Irony.
Why not check out the canals? The canals of London are often full of street art, and Bethnal Green’s canals are no exception. On Pollard Street, you can find a hidden Banksy piece – the outline of a yellow flower spreading to the top of the building.
The Dulwich Outdoor Gallery is full of iconic street art pieces. Created by Ingrid Beazley, inspired by the Dulwich Picture Gallery, and with the help of Street Art London and Stik, the gallery grew, becoming home to substantial pieces from established artists.
Despite the project coming to a conclusion back in 2017 upon Ingrid’s passing, the legacy continues in the form of an open-air gallery. You can join an art tour, with art tours occurring regularly. Here, you can view art from a range of artists, from Stik to Pure Evil.