I have a short break between finishing my TESOL course and actually starting to teach, so I thought I would compile a post about my London adventures, well one aspect of them. Strangely enough, London was never on my list of top destinations. However, that all changed when my boyfriend moved to London to kick-start his career. I suddenly found myself working a ton of waitressing shifts to get there by Christmas 2016 and I did.
Despite the freezing temperatures (that is for South African’s), I was completely taken aback at how much I enjoyed this city. One of my all-time favourite things to do in London is to go looking for street art so I thought I would put together my own personal guide on the topic. I definitely haven’t captured all of London’s street art but can’t wait to explore the lesser known street art destinations in this beautiful city.
Who would have guessed? Everyone. Brick Lane is basically one big piece of street art in itself. I know this is a fairly obvious destination, but I just couldn’t leave it out. This is where I have found the most magical and breathtaking pieces of street art, from entire buildings, to whole walls to door frames.
The trick to finding these pieces of artwork is to meander down all the side roads, where you are bound to find at least one piece of beautiful artwork. With the many side roads come the many steps that I racked up on my Fitbit. However, there are plenty of cute cafe’s with some of the most delicious treats. I can’t say I’ve tried them all but I had the best hot chocolate ever at Dark Sugars (Do yourself a favour and get one).
Just down a pathway off Brick Lane, you’ll find the Nomadic Community Gardens where waste has been transformed into art by the surrounding community. When I was there, it was Winter and very quiet. From what I have read, it has really take off and more adjustments and transformations have taken place. I’ll definitely give the Nomadic Community Gardens another visit on my next trip to London.
So this is also a popular road, especially among tourists and for good reason. Besides the numerous shops and market stalls selling everything under the sun, there is some interesting street art too.
Street art, and art in general, comes in many shapes, forms and size. A different type of art that I have witnessed twice in London has been art by the homeless, which can be found in front of The National Gallery in Trafalgar Square. The artworks range from flags around the world whereby people can place small change on their native flag, to beautiful portraits of people to expressive forms of writing about the state of the world. Such initiative and innovation is something that is close to my heart as I have worked closely with homeless people in South Africa. Being homeless isn’t always a choice and these peoples circumstances are hard enough without the general public looking down on them. Fill your day with a random act of kindness and support this initiative if you can.
Another good street art destination in London is Brixton. I was only able to spend a short amount of time in the area so I can’t say I have the inside scoop. However, my next trip definitely include a whole day there – I can’t wait!
If you are looking for a more comprehensive guide to London’s street art, I found a really informative blog called Inspiring City, which is definitely worth a look.