Art in London isn’t limited to the traditional and contemporary works you might find throughout the city’s museums. Instead, it is everywhere – spray-painted on brick walls, plastered on lamp posts, and lingering down alleyways.
From the famous Banksy to London’s undiscovered artists, there is plenty to enjoy when it comes to urban art in the capital city. With so much street art and so many murals to discover, we’ve put together a list of the coolest murals to see during your visit to London.
Check it out!
- Shoreditch Art and Murals
Shoreditch is a hip East London borough known for fashion and culture.
Of course, it’s also a well-reputed area for street art and history. If you’re keen to learn more, join the Shoreditch Street Art Tour where you’ll get a crash course on the history of street artists in London.
In terms of must-see murals and installations, Shoreditch is home to tonnes, including the colossal bird on Hanbury Street, the Fashion Street murals, ‘Crunchy the Credit Crunch Monster’ on Grey Eagle Street, and famous works by Banksy on Rivington Street and down Brick Lane.
Shoreditch used to be a working-class area, but by mid-90s it had become a fashion hub associated with the creative industries. Now, it’s considered gentrified with offices moving into once-derelict buildings. With all of this being said, Shoreditch has certainly cemented itself as the place for street art in London.
- Croydon Art and Murals
Head on over to Croydon for a true taste of London’s fabulous art scene.
There, you will find RISEGallery, a business that encourages artists to showcase their work. The gallery has hosted work by Andy Warhol, Banksy, and Damien Hirst. Once you’re there, check out the Museum of Croydon to learn more about the history behind the art-infused area.
Outside of museums, you’ll find plenty of street art at the Queen’s Gardens. This is an area where emerging artists can be found relentlessly promoting their work.
Looking for hotspots in the Croydon area for street art? We recommend Katherine Street, Park Street, Croydon High Street, and St. George’s Walk. Surrey Street Market is another accessible location for those interested in street art London.
- Brixton Art and Murals
The UK happens to be the birthplace of many musical masterminds and even without hearing their music, they remain front-of-mind to locals thanks to murals. David Bowie is one example as a Brixton native who has ‘lived’ on a much-visited wall opposite Brixton tube station since 2013. Of course, that’s far from the only mural in Brixton, with the Brixton Skate Park drawing crowds of people interested in street art.
Many Brixton murals were funded by the council in 1981, with a purpose to portray nature, politics, community, and ideas. One of the most famous murals surviving from this time is by Stephen Pusey on Stockwell Park Walk. Dating back to 1982, this mural shows a mixed group of people in harmony, symbolising the diversity of Brixton.
Another artist worth checking out is Nathan Bowen, a pioneering street artist whose works can be found throughout the South London area. He uses acrylic paint and pencils when creating his murals, often targeting surfaces deemed “ruined” to work with.
- Brick Lane Art and Murals
This is the birthplace of street art and murals. It’s a cultural centre offering locals and tourists alike international food market, bars, and British urban culture.
It’s also the home of Banksy’s French Maid, created back in 2008. Of course, this is just one of the more famous options. With the help of Global Street Art, an arts organisation based in London, a whopping 850 legal murals have been commissioned.
Each year, artists from all over the world are invited to join street art events, raising awareness for the arts community.
- Camden Art and Murals
After a comfortable night’s sleep at the Montcalm at the Brewery, head on over to Camden to check out this trendy borough’s murals.
It’s no secret that Camden has a vibrant and popular art scene. Luckily, it’s possible to take Camden Art Tours where you’ll be able to learn and see over 100 pieces of artwork. Bambi – sometimes called the female Banksy – can be found in this area. Perhaps most notably, she’s created murals of Amy Winehouse who used to consider Camden Town her playground.
The identiy Central St. Martins alumn is still unknown, although her educational background has almost been verified.
- Southbank Art and Murals
The Southbank is near the River Thames and functions as an entertainment district. It is the host of the Royal Festival Hall, Queen Elizabeth Hall, and the Hayward Gallery.
In the ’70s the area was used by the skateboarding community and has remained that way ever since. It’s been architecturally revived since then, but the history can still be seen in the murals.
In support of the arts, Southbank has donated the walls of the skate park to street artists and the Southbank Centre now collaborates with Global Street Art to promote and encourage painters of all ages from around the world. Today, you can see dozens of murals on the walls of the skate park, though there are fewer than in year’s past.
- Soho Art and Murals
If you’re staying at 5-star hotels in London West End, you’ll be perfectly positioned to check out the street art in Soho.
What started off as a fashionable area for the aristocracy, it’s come a long way as one of the leading entertainment districts in the city.
In Soho, visitors can find the likes of Rick Buckley’s Seven Noses. Make a game of finding the noses which have been plastered in obscure places around the area. While searching, stop off in Covent Garden where you’ll find Tom Fishlocks ear sculptures, another obscure hidden gem.
- Heneage Street Art and Murals
For more street art London, head to Heneage Street, a London area of Shoreditch. There you will find Lewis Campbell’s take on “Hear No Evil, Speak No Evil and See No Evil.” It’s a cool mural you might have seen before, but not in real life. Campbell is a Royal College graduate based in East London.
If you’re keen to see this murals and more, check out all of our Montcalm Hotels in London. With locations in Shoreditch, the West End and several boroughs in between, you’ll find one of our luxury rooms is the perfect base to explore everything the city as to offer, including its famous murals.