PLEASE ONLY TRAVEL WHEN IT IS SAFE AND RESPONSIBLE TO DO SO. Articles have not been updated to reflect any travel restrictions which may be in place, so please check with the destination for up-to-date information. Thank you!

Brick Lane Street Art Tour in Shoreditch London

Keep An Eye out for Cool Street Art all around Brick Lane - A Drone inside a bird cage with birds flying outside the cage

Street art is alive and well in London’s Brick Lane.  Although there is certainly some street art which I might just call graffiti, most of it is definitely art.  Everywhere you look you can find posters, sculptures and murals – some of which are more subtle than others.  Although the street art in Brick Lane (and everywhere) is constantly changing, I want to give you a taster of what to expect on a Brick Lane street art tour!

This site contains affiliate links. I may receive a commission for purchases made through these links. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. As an Airbnb Associate I earn from qualifying bookings. [Learn more]

Where is Brick Lane & Why is it a Street Art Hub?

Brick Lane is the heart of alternative London, it’s a part of Shoreditch in East London which was traditionally an extremely poor area, filled with slums stretching from Whitechapel where the infamous Jack the Ripper committed horrific murders. 

YOU MAY ALSO LIKE: How to Fall in Love with London in 2 Days

Later it became a home for thousands of immigrants who have flocked here over the years.  Thanks to this immigration, Brick Lane has become a unique part of London, a blend of cultures and nationalities all coming together. 

Street art became a way for the people here to express themselves, and although graffiti is still illegal in the UK, street artists in and around Brick Lane seem to be getting away with it quite happily!

Exploring the colourful Brick Lane Street Art in London
Exploring the colourful Brick Lane Street Art in London

Brick Lane Street Art Tours

I took a free Brick Lane street art tour with wombat’s Hostel London, which gave me a good taster of the street art in Brick Lane, then I explored further to find more pieces on my own. 

I think if I went again I would pay for a street art tour with a specialist guide, as although our wombat’s guide was friendly and showed us a few great pieces, we spent quite a lot of time talking about what each individual piece meant instead of walking around and seeing more art.  

These are some of the highly rated Brick Lane street art tours on GetYourGuide:

 


Alternatively, if you prefer to explore on your own then just walk around Brick Lane and Shoreditch to see some awesome examples of street art in London.  

Where to Find the Best Street Art in London around Brick Lane

Brick Lane Street Art

A walk down Brick Lane will show you various artworks as you stroll along.  I started at the junction with the A11 next to the Whitechapel Art Gallery and walked up under the train bridge and to the Beigel Shop and outdoor market.  I would recommend going on a Sunday as there are outdoor markets and street food stalls all over the place. 

Brick Lane is also a great place to pick up some retro clothes – I got a gorgeous flamingo skirt from one of the stalls which I was very happy with!

Weird and Wonderful Street Art in East London
Weird and Wonderful Street Art in East London

Fashion Street

On the wall behind the Vietnamese restaurant at 50 Fashion Street is (hopefully still!) a touching piece by Jimmy C, who uses a style of aerosol pointillism, spraying dots of paint to create his work.  I have seen his work on the other side of the Thames too, in a Shakespeare Mural on Clink Street.

YOU MAY ALSO LIKE: How Long to Spend in London?

Further down we spotted some beautiful murals of women including one by Dreph whose work I love as it is so colourful and powerful.

Alleyway off Brick Lane

I can’t think of another way to describe this, but when you see if you’ll know what I mean!  It’s basically an alleyway which opens up into a car park, between Fashion Street and Fournier Street on the left-hand side if you’re walking up Brick Lane.  Here the walls are covered in street art posters, paintings and prints.  Walk down and see what fun (and political) pieces you can spot! 

The Truman Brewery

This old brewery has been transformed into a venue for pop up markets, street food stalls and bars.  All around the walls you’ll find colourful art including the famous Banksy Pink Car which is now enclosed in Perspex to ‘preserve’ it – perhaps the most anti-street art thing you can do!  Somehow, I managed to not take a photo of this as I was drawn to the colourful opposite wall, so it’s another reason to visit with a guide who will point out the most ‘important’ pieces of art! 

The Old Truman Brewery with Colourful Street Art on Brick Lane
The Old Truman Brewery with Colourful Street Art on Brick Lane

Hanbury Street

This street has some of my favourite street art in Brick Lane.  Take a walk down here to see a huge crane by Roa, which now seems to be a permanent fixture here.  The other artworks here seem to change regularly but see if the breakdancing Queen’s Guard with his big black bearskin hat is still there! 

Don’t stop here though, walk down to the end of the road to see which epic scene is on the large wall on the left.  I’ve seen some gorgeous street art murals here and when I went last time it was a safari scene.  I also spotted murals with an environmental message, to use less plastic which we should all try to do every day!

A Huge Mural on Hanbury Street in Shoreditch
A Huge Mural on Hanbury Street in Shoreditch

Bacon Street

Take a stroll up here to see what street art murals decorate the walls; and keep an eye out for small stencils too, not just large murals.

Murals on Bacon Street off Brick Lane
Murals on Bacon Street off Brick Lane

The Train Tracks

Not on the actual train tracks of course, but the walls protecting the train lines have provided the ideal canvas for street artists to create beautiful pieces of art which they can take time to work on.  If you walk down here, don’t miss the Nomadic Community Garden.

Nomadic Community Gardens

UPDATE: Unfortunately Nomadic Community Gardens closed at the end of 2019.  You can check out their Facebook page to see if they have found a new site to open another Nomadic Garden.

The Nomadic Community Gardens deserve a special mention when talking about Brick Lane Street art.  Although the gardens aren’t actually on Brick Lane, you’ll find them alongside the train tracks, in what used to be a derelict space. 

The founders of the gardens wanted to turn the unused area into a garden for the community, a place where local people can come and plant flowers and vegetables, have a coffee and work on creative projects in the open air.  And they’ve done just that! 

The Entrance to Nomadic Community Gardens - Brick Lane Street Art Tour in Shoreditch
The Entrance to Nomadic Community Gardens – Brick Lane Street Art Tour in Shoreditch

There is plenty of street art here, although technically not on the street, the art that has been created here and the community spirit is just as important.  On a sunny day, it’s a lovely area to come and hang out, but unfortunately, I arrived just as it was starting to rain, so I didn’t stay very long.  I will be back. 

Explore the Brick Lane Street Art at Your own Pace

As well as all of these streets and artworks I’ve mentioned, there were plenty more pieces of street art in Brick Lane and the surrounding streets.  I basically went down every street and kept my eyes open for hidden gems and tiny details. 

From colourful broccoli to statements on politics and society as a whole, I love spotting street art wherever I go.  So take a street art tour to learn about the artists or just wander around to see some cool graffiti murals and more.

A Beautiful Street Art Mural on Brick Lane
A Beautiful Street Art Mural on Brick Lane

Where to Stay in London

There are so many different options for where to stay in London it can be overwhelming to choose!  I love the area around Tower Bridge as it is walking distance to a lot of the attractions such as the Tower of London and Tower Bridge, while not being crazy expensive. 

It is also well connected by the Tube to the rest of London, being close to the underground stations Tower Bridge for the Circle and District Lines, and Aldgate East for the Hammersmith Line.

Hostels in London

As #wombatsTraveller ambassador I stayed at the awesome wombat’s Hostel in London.  I love this place, it has become my second home and I stay there every time I’m in London, whether I’m working with wombat’s or not!  You can check out my full review of wombat’s LONDON or go to their website directly to book. 

The hostel was spotlessly clean, the staff were friendly, and the location was unbeatable.  Wombat’s London is about 10 minutes’ walk from Tower Bridge, the Tower of London and Tower Hill underground station, and is walking distance from Shoreditch, Borough Market and plenty more places to see in London. 

Dorm rooms are great for backpackers or visitors on a budget, or you can treat yourself to a private room for all the perks of being in a hostel, with the privacy of your own room. 

You can also read other reviews and book Wombat’s London on Hostelworld, or check out other hostels in London here.

BOOK YOUR HOSTEL NOW

Hotels in London

There are thousands of hotels in London to choose from, and you can find something for every budget, although getting the balance between good quality and good value isn’t easy!  Staying outside of the city centre is cheaper, so if you are staying in London for several days you could save money that way, but if you are short on time then somewhere close to central London is a must.

CitizenM Tower of London is right next to Tower Bridge underground station, and the rooms have great views of the Thames and Tower of London.  Guests loved the comfy bed, friendly staff and the views!

Hotel Indigo Tower Hill also gets great reviews for the friendly staff, comfy beds and quiet rooms.

Search for more hotels in London here:


   
        Booking.com

Airbnb in London

Airbnb could be a great option for you in London; there are options for every budget if you just want a private room, or you can find some lovely apartments to rent too. 

For private rooms, Something like this private room is really good value or this luxury ensuite room is also close to Tower Hill.  Both get great reviews.

If you prefer to have your own place you could try this lovely cozy flat in St Katherine’s Docks, or this well-presented flat which is also great value.  Alternatively, you can check out all the options for Airbnb in London.

If you have never used Airbnb before, use this link to sign up & get up to $52 credit to use on your first trip!  Read more about the Airbnb first time discount code and my full Airbnb guide or click below for your Airbnb coupon.

GET $52 AIRBNB CREDIT

 

What’s your favourite piece of Brick Lane Street Art?  Would you take a street art tour in Shoreditch and Brick Lane or do you prefer to wander around and explore for yourself?  I’d love to hear what you think, please leave your comments below.  

Yellow and Green Fish by the entrance to Nomadic Community Garden
Yellow and Green Fish by the entrance to Nomadic Community Garden

If you’re looking for travel insurance for your trip to England, get a quote now from World Nomads.

You may also like these London posts:

Or click here to read all of my United Kingdom blog posts.

Like this post?  Pin it to read later:

The Ultimate Guide to East London Street Art in Brick Lane The Ultimate Guide to Street Art in Brick Lane London

Just to let you know, this post may contain paid or affiliate links, which help to maintain Tales of a Backpacker and give me the chance to keep travelling, and to keep creating awesome content for you!

Tales of a Backpacker is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.  I only recommend goods and services I believe are useful and reliable.

Last updated: July 22, 2020

One thought on “Brick Lane Street Art Tour in Shoreditch London

  1. Jess says:

    Ever since I visited Winwood Walls in Miami I have been obsessed with street art. This looks like such a fun tour!

    xoxo
    Jess

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *