Shoreditch Street Art: Walking Tours & Graffiti Gems in London
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For any kind of globetrotter, London has a kind of magic that deems it a ‘bucket-list worthy’ destination.
Whether you’re travelling to the buzzing city for a foodies adventure in Covent Garden or if you’re looking to get lost in history, London has it all.
As London is a city steeped in history and culture, it comes as no surprise that it reveals all kinds of weird and wonderful art.
And there’s truly no better place to marvel at the city’s art than on the colourful streets of Shoreditch.
You already know I love Shoreditch as I am there almost daily and have written extensively on some of the top things to do in East London.
That I thought it only right that I create a post on Shoreditch street art and some of the epic murals you will see in the area.
I’ve also taken my fair share of guided Shoreditch street art walking tours and recommend a few below.
If you want to learn more about the street art you see in Shoreditch, then I highly recommend taking a tour.
You’ll learn the difference between street art and graffiti, what’s a tag and more. I have a far greater respect for all the art I see in Shoreditch because I have learnt so much about them on these guided tours.
If you’ve never visited Shoreditch before, it’s an area in East London. It brings creative and colourful street art to life throughout the year – often, you’ll find that the marvellous creations tend to change when no one is looking.
While the art is always dynamic and growing, the streets remain the same. This guide is here to help you navigate your way around the playful streets to explore the collection of wacky street art in Shoreditch.
Street Art Tour Shoreditch: Book Yourself a Guided Tour and See it All
Anyone who’s been to London knows that it’s a city that’s going to take a lot of time to experience fully.
Upon each new adventure to London, you’ll notice that there’s always somewhere new to explore. Not only that, but it’s a city that’s always on the move. Blink too slowly and you might miss it all!
So, you can only imagine how much you might be missing out on when you explore London by yourself.
Although travelling solo and doing things on your own is wonderful, street art in Shoreditch has a story that deserves to be told.
The twisty, turvy, narrow and quaint art streets in Shoreditch can easily be missed. Having a local by your side is a great way of optimising your time and seeing it all, especially if you’re tight on time.
As well as showing you around Shoreditch, guides know all the secrets of the city. Hear about all kinds of facts that can’t be found from a simple Google search. Your guide is also a pro in local artworks.
They’ve been walking these streets a lot longer than you have, so why not take a history tour through the streets with them?
Top Shoreditch Tours to Discover London Street Art
Get ready to embark on an alternative tour through the vibrant streets of Shoreditch. The trendy areas show off all kinds of unique murals and graffiti in Shoreditch, you’ll notice that each street has its own little quirks and colourful designs.
East End: Street Art Walking Tour London (Group)
In this tour, meet your guide just outside of the City of London and make your way around Shoreditch on foot to visit the most iconic art streets.
As well as discovering murals and tags, you’ll have a chance to hear about the urban art and graffiti culture from your knowledgeable guide. Depending on your area of choice, explore alternative sites and artists.
Shoreditch Street Art Tours
I have taken this tour by Dave and highly recommend it. He has been running the tour since 2008.
The tour guides you through Shoreditch, where you’ll see work from the likes of Banksy to Stick. You’ll also learn about the different forms of street art, from brass sculptures to foam mushrooms to stencils.
Private Shoreditch Walking Tour with a Local
This tour is fantastic if you’re looking to explore the area on your own agenda. See artwork you want to see with a local guide showing you the way and sharing the history during your private tour.
2-Hour Discovery Game Through Hackney & Shoreditch
For those of you looking to embark on an adventurous activity, get to know the wondrous streets of Shoreditch by joining a discovery game.
Use your smartphone as a guide to explore the streets while solving a collection of riddles. You’ll also be discovering secret gems along the way.
Shoreditch Graffiti Tour: Streets Worth Wandering
Street art has the ability to brighten up a lonely looking alleyway, add a smile to a travellers face or provide some design to an abandoned building.
These streets have become man-made canvases for artists to add a bit of magic to a somewhat drab-looking city.
You’ll find the charming little Whitby Street just off of Chance street; you can’t miss it. Whitby Streets shows off superb murals, most notable of which is a bright and colourful pieces created by the iconic artist Jimmy C. Jimmy is an Auzzie who is most known for creating art by joining a collection of dots to depict urban native paintings.
Look out for the iconic piece called ‘Lounge Lover’, which depicts a girls face with eyes full of wonder.
Don’t forget to take note of Jimmy’s unique drip technique that is used to create depth and perspective for the audience, because you’ll see another of his pieces on Fashion Street.
Great Eastern Street
The Great Eastern Street is one that’s always mixing things up. The site allows commercial murals and hand-painted adverts.
And it’s not just fantastic because the adverts are pieces of quirky art, they’re actually all in support of charities.
While the adverts are always interchanging, there are two art pieces which remain the same.
You’re sure to spot the two graffiti-covered tube trains that are settled on top of a building. The building itself is captioned ‘Let’s Adore And Endure Each Other.’
As well as bizarre trains, the street that runs through Shoreditch towards Old Street also boasts a contemporary art gallery, Jealous Gallery.
Visiting Princelet Street offers a tale of wonder. Thousands of travellers make their way to this vibrant street to see Stik’s work.
As street art goes, Stik is one of the most renowned graffiti artists. The artist, who was once homeless, started using the streets as a creative outlet and created quaint little stick-like figures.
Soon, people started paying attention and he was invited to display his art in numerous galleries.
Stik is also one of the only artists in Shoreditch that nurture their artwork and perform regular check-ups.
So, perusing along Princelet Streets promises fresh and vibrant pieces to feast your eyes on.
One of his most famous pieces is the couple holding hands, which you can’t miss.
Unlike some of the more colourful streets, Heneage Street has a way of capturing old-school London style in its wall art.
With more traditional styles of art, the street signifies how different art can be around an area like Shoreditch.
Artwork from Lewis Cambell, a well-known local artist can be found here. The work is titled ‘Hear No Evil, Speak No Evil, See No Evil’ with monkeys as the star of the show.
I wonder what Lewis is trying to tell us? Take some time looking at the art and maybe you’ll conjure up your own meaning.
Street artist Phlegm’s work is also found along Heneage Street. His work shows off in a fantastical mural that is both eerie and beautiful!
Fashion Street, just off of Brick Lane, is the place to be if you’re looking to find colourful and vibrant murals that show off skill and technique.
The often-bright colours feature in amazing imagery, some of which you might even recognise.
You’ll come across an iconic Batman mural and Arnold Schwarzenegger in bright purple.
Head to the corner of Joe’s Kid Café and you’ll find a mural that embraces the drip paint technique of a father and child to create perspective artwork.
Corner of Old Street and Rivington Street
Start your walk from Doughnut Time, at the corner of the Old Street tube station. Rivington Street is one of the larger artsy streets in Shoreditch, so set yourself up for the adventure and grab yourself a mandatory doughnut.
Don’t forget to take some Instagram-worthy photos outside of the painted store and under their slogan ‘it’s always a good time’ – which couldn’t be any more relatable.
The corner of Old Street is also home to the largest mural in Shoreditch and you can only imagine the efforts that the artist went through to display this piece of magic.
The stunning Geisha by Core246 & Kaes hugs the corner of the street and is a warm welcome for your walking tour through Rivington Street.
A 5-minute walk from the Old Street tube stop will lead you to Rivington Street, which rewards you with plenty of opportunities to see awesome Shoreditch graffiti.
Most notable are the colourful faces of curious animation characters.
Cargo on Rivington Street
Cargo is a trendy concert place that has called an abandoned railway yard home. Cargo has its own unique garden, and while it’s a hip place to hang out, it’s the Shoreditch art that makes it so spectacular.
If you’ve ever wanted to see a real-life Banksy, you couldn’t get closer – there’s an iconic masterpiece sitting right in the garden.
And if you thought seeing a Banksy was enough, you’ll be pleasantly surprised to know that there’s a piece by Thierry Noir – none other than the first person to paint on the Berlin Wall.
Hanbury Street has been deemed one of the most prominent streets for street art in London. With hundreds of passerby wandering along the street each day, it’s the perfect place for spreading a message.
The latest piece to grace the street is by Ant Carver, who has managed to create strikingly realistic artwork. Here you’ll marvel at a woman resting her hand on a golden skull.
If you read further into the art, you’ll find the meaning to be reflecting on loss and accepting the feelings of grief. Although it’s morbid, it’s also real – after all, art is supposed to make us feel things.
Seven Stars Yard
This little car park just off of Brick Lane is one of the best places for spotting street art. Although it’s tiny, it packs a punch when it comes to the East London street scene.
The courtyard was originally built way back in 1711, so you can only imagine the things these walls have seen.
Nowadays, the Shoreditch art walls are pieces that capture the feel of Shoreditch and the rush of life. There was even a time when the wall went through a Stars Wars theme.
Cremer Street shows off a style of East London graffiti that embraces the edgy grunge atmosphere that surrounds abandoned buildings and ghost signs.
Instead of letting these man-made structures go to waste, artists have transformed them into canvases with fresh and vibrant work that is forever changing.
You’ll spot clad buildings painted with colours, old vans and ancient doors revealing the history of Cremer Street.
Toynbee Street is a street that often gets forgotten. But with the street being opposite Fashion Street, it can easily be explored.
There are a number of derelict buildings which have become the perfect playground for street artists.
Situated along Toynbee Street is the Wilburton Textiles Ltd, and you’ll find that it’s not so much graffiti that is the star of the show here. Rather, posters and collages are the popular mediums.
Shoreditch High Street
Shoreditch High Street is the main street in East London, and it’s most likely where travellers will be spending the majority of their time.
Whether that be visiting vibey bars, shopping or feasting at the various brunch spots.
But while you’re strolling along the streets, you’ll stumble across all kinds of bizarre and peculiar murals.
Be sure to keep this street in mind. It’s your go-to street when it comes to touring around Shoreditch and often leads to many of these streets mentioned in this guide.
Brick Lane is possibly the most iconic area when it comes to street art. Stretching through the heart and soul of Shoreditch, it’s got a million and one pieces to show-off.
International street artists adore Brick Lane, meaning you’ll find a diverse range of pieces from different backgrounds.
Much of the artwork is changing as quickly as each week – each time you visit you’ll be in for some new surprises.
While mural art is a common feature of Shoreditch, so is shutter art. Bell Lane displays a wide collection of graffiti art that can be spotted on the shutters of abandoned buildings and empty storage units.
You’ll even find the work of Hueman, a California-based graffiti artist and painter, created on one of these shutters.
Wilkes Street is just a minute walk from the Shoreditch Old Spitalfields Market. The once rundown street has been gentrified and transformed into a pretty street with unique coloured doors, with murals and graffiti still giving it that artsy Shoreditch touch.
You’ll find the work of Paul Don Smith, who is currently one of the most popular street artists in London. His stencil work and multi-layered portrait is seen tucked away on a wall in Wilkes Street.
London’s Fournier Street is where Shoreditch’s history meets contemporary art. One popular artist favours this spot, and he’s known as the guy that decorates his illustrations with jewels, sequins and pearls – which has given him the nickname, ‘Street Jeweller’.
This is an absolutely wonderful street for art viewing. Spot things like Disney characters, David Bowie, the Queen and neon birds.
El’s Yard is a gem in itself. As well as wall art, the yard shows off absurd structures done by some of the greatest artists in London.
Remnants of Banksy’s 2005 creation still remain the main attraction – the pink car has a stencil of a grim reaper and can’t be missed.
Works of Vhils and Shepard Fairey are also found in this unconventional yard.
One of the best places to see paste-up (a form of street art) walls is in Buxton. The walls here feature collages that have been pasted from various eras and it’s worth examining each one of them, with some being particularly wacky.
As well as well-dressed walls, the street is dotted with sculptures that come and go. The most recent being a life-sized pink mannequin.
The Passage in Parallel to Buxton Street
When you’re wandering around the streets of Shoreditch, you’ve got to keep your eyes on the prize. If you spend too long looking at your phone, you might miss one of the pleasant alleyways.
Turn the corner at Brick Lane, and you’ll find some marvellous pieces of graffiti. A large mural may take you by surprise – currently, it’s a Tokyo inspired robotic geisha.
The cobblestone street of Grimsby might not look like much to you, but it’s a place where aspiring artists and graffiti illustrators go to show off their work.
There are even some big-name artists showcasing their work on this L-shaped street.
If you’ve read up on Stik, you’ll be able to spot the acclaimed artists work in a second.
Cheshire Street was once the soul of the Brick Lane Market. Now, it’s trying to reinvent itself, which makes it all the more special to visit. Margaux Carpe’s bold and vibrant colourful illustration adds a touch of happiness to the street.
You’ll also spy portraits done by Fin Dac’ (who adds a splash of colour around the eyes) as well as various styles of calligraphy and absurd portraits.
Sclater Street offers a plethora of different art mediums, unique designs, colourful creations and quirky tags. To reach the street, head to the parking of Overground from Brick Lane.
You’ll be welcomed with a wall filled with tiny objects that add sparkle to the designs, such as pearls, beads, Christmas ornaments and dolls.
While you’re on Sclater Street, take note of the street signs. You’ll often find sculptures, such as an enchanting fairy, perched on the top.
To brighten up the dull feeling that’s swept across the city because of lockdown, artist Nerone decided to add a splash of colour.
Upon entering the street, you’ll be greeted by two impossible to miss pieces.
The first being the colourful flowers that aim to bring a smile to bypassers faces. You’ll also notice the huge hedgehog painted by Belgian street artist ROA.
Although Ebor Street is a public street, it’s kind of been claimed by one of London’s most iconic street artists.
For the past 10 years, Ben Eine has been using the 10-meter stretch of wall to spread a message. Some of his past work includes words such as ‘extortionist’ and ‘protagonist’.
However, his current work is spreading a little more joy. ‘Love Love Love’ has been created using bright lumo pink colours and the artist’s own typeface.
Village Underground (Holywell Lane)
Village Underground is a non-profit organisation that aims to create a creative space for artists to express themselves.
The space on Holywell Lane utilises recycled train carriages and shipping containers, which boast vibrant and colourful graffiti-inspired murals.
Each month new artists get the chance to show the world their creative abilities.
King John Court and New Inn Yard
By visiting King John Court, you’ll also be blessed with seeing one of the largest murals in London. The ‘The Connectivity Matters Mural’ is a huge collaboration between 16 artists.
As you wander around the court, you’ll find numerous expressive designs placed against a black background.
All the designs differ, and you can expect to find space-inspired work, traditional influences and photo-realism.
Allen Gardens has been claimed by graffiti artists and the likes. With many running walls surrounding the railway line, it’s easy to see why artists flock to the garden to scope out space for their latest creations.
As a popular spot for graffiti artists, you might get lucky and have the chance to watch these guys in action.
To get to the park, simply walk down Buxton Street and look out for the open area just off of Whitechapel.
INSA – The Cycle of Futility
While this mural looks pretty damn epic as it is, the magic reveals itself once you view the piece through your phone.
Simply download the free app and point your iPhone at the wall and watch the piece come to life.
Shoreditch Walking Tour: Let the Adventure Begin!
While many of these fantastical destinations and streets can be explored solo, there’s a chance that you’ll be missing out on the best that the street art in London has to offer.
There’s no better way to get to know the city than by opting for a Shoreditch street art walking tour.
Pop on your walking shoes, because you can spend hours hearing about the unique approaches each of these artists took when creating these masterpieces.
Not only that, but a tour offers you the chance to venture to streets that should attract your attention the most.