London is a city that celebrates creativity, its identity woven by centuries worth of artistic achievement. When one thinks of the artistic endeavors of England they may conjure up portraits of Elizabethan Kings and Queens adorned in finery. Or perhaps they picture the muted English sunsets as imagined by the likes of landscape painter Turner. Or maybe they picture the controversial work of Banksy, a street artist who took the entire world by storm with his social and political commentaries spray painted directly onto the walls of the city that he questioned. Street art and graffiti art is certainly one of the most important aspects of London’s artistic identity.
If you’re looking for an authentic artistic experience of London, observing London’s street art scene is one of the best way to do so.
Street Art in London
New York was the birthplace of street art in the 1980s with an aim to visually encapsulate the urban pulse of rap/electronic music and the political struggles in the US. The ‘Big Apple’ may have been the first to use their anonymous city streets as a canvas, but London was quick to follow and soon became a forefront for the graffiti revolution.
Around every corner in London you will find scrawled names, social commentaries, political revolt, idolizing portraits of David Bowie and advertisements for so-and-so’s album on every telephone box, street sign and bus shelter. The streets of London are an exhibit of all Britain’s desires, dreams and outcries.
Let’s just say if you’re a fan of street art, London is the place to be. During your next visit to London make sure to check out all the artistic wonder of London’s cityscape as you journey through the city, questing for a unique travelers experience like no other.
Don’t know where to start?
Never fear, we’re here to start you on your street art expedition of Britain’s largest city with our guide to graffiti hotspots.
Welcome to Shoreditch
If you’ve come to London to absorb as much authentic London street art as possible, go to Shoreditch. Shoreditch is a cool and trendy district of North London and is home to one of Britain’s most influential street art epicenters. Get ready to be blown away by the expressive, explosive and provocative colours of Shoreditch’s streets. One street in particular is the royal mile when it comes to graffiti. Brick Lane. You may have heard of it, if not, then you’re in for a treat. This is the birthplace of British street art, or so the legend goes, why not check out Brick Lane for yourself and see for yourself? Artists from all over the world come to Brick Lane to make their artistic mark. You will see familiar works from the likes of Banksy, Ben Eine and D*Face when journeying through Brick Lane.
Shoreditch is also home to several highly acclaimed art galleries and establishments that are perfect for exploring during your next London adventure. Here are a few to keep your eyes open for…
Leonard Street Gallery
Within the walls of a sleek renovated warehouse on Leonard Street in Shoreditch is the Leonard Street Gallery. This gallery is dedicated to helping start-up and early stage businesses perpetrate their creative visions to the world. This is a great place for product launches, workshops, private functions and photography exhibitions. A must-visit artistic hang-out located in the heart of Shoreditch.
A diverse Shoreditch based art gallery dedicated to fostering the relationship between artist, artwork and viewer. This non-profit art space is home to thought-provoking installations, photography, art and performance art exhibitions. A perfect place to make you feeling inspired.
Red Gallery is not only a contemporary arts collective, but it is also a space for music showcases and film screenings. This creative hub buzzes with ground-breaking, boundary-questioning, world-shaking artistic endeavors which aims to diversify the mainstream.
Howard Griffin Art Gallery
Howard Griffin Art Gallery is a Shoreditch based contemporary art space that specialises in installation based exhibitions. Immerse yourself into a new conceptual world each time you step into the artistic wonder of the Howard Griffin Art Gallery. This diverse space will never fail to inspire and excite with the wealth of artistic achievements and conceptual thought that resides within the walls of this sleek space.
Other Street Art Destinations to Visit in London:
There are several other places in London brimming with street art culture that will put colour into your life. Here’s a list of other graffiti hotspots to visit during your unique London stay.
Leake Street Tunnel:
Underneath Waterloo Station is a secret tunnel… venture through this tunnel and you will discover a hidden wall-to-wall, floor-to-ceiling graffiti exhibition inside. Leake Street Tunnel is an atmospheric world of colours and designs that will enthrall with its ingenuity and imagination. It’s as incredible as it sounds, and it’s perfect for holiday snaps!
Banksy is arguably the most famous graffiti artist to come out of the UK. His masterpieces are all over London and often pop up in unexpected places, so keep your eyes peeled for any familiar Banksy rats hidden in unassuming alleyways or on building corners. But don’t worry, his most famous work is up-front, confrontational and hard to miss.
The streets of Camden Town are painted with Amy Winehouse portraits, stenciled visions of a dystopian tomorrow, punk obscenities – and far, far more. Take part in a graffiti tour of Camden Town, one of London’s graffiti paradises. Witness first hand some of the most magnificent examples of London street art on this 2-3 hour walk through North London organised by ‘The Real Art of Street Art’ group…and it’s all for free!
Perfect hotel for Your Cultural London Stay:
Are you looking for a hotel close to the heart of London’s urban art scene, whilst still providing exceptional services and unrivaled peace and serenity in the hub-bub of London’s bust cityscape? It’s hard to find a hotel that has it all, but we’ve got the perfect place for you: welcome to The Montcalm London Royal House, your answer to the perfect London hotel.
The Montcalm London Royal House offers guests with sleek exteriors, nearby spa facilities and pure effortless luxury. Relax and rejuvenate in our plush rooms before exploring the sights and sounds of London’s famous attractions that are all just a stone’s throw away from your room. What more could you ask for?
The Montcalm London Royal House is a hotel with personality, authenticity and soul. During your next visit to London, why not take advantage of the London hotels Special Offers the Montcalm has available.
The Montcalm London Royal House Offers:
Curious to know what our exclusive offers are? We don’t blame you! Our exciting offers treat guests to bonus points and discounted room rates. We're constantly striving to bring our members more. Our Sunday Offer means that you could DOUBLE your points by staying at The Montcalm London Royal House on a Sunday! And that’s only the start, check out The Montcalm London Royal House for more information on our hotel offers, deals, incredible packages and hotel booking engine. We look forward to seeing you at The Montcalm London Royal House for your London visit.