Not sure about you but we’re pretty excited about the weather we’ve been having recently, and it can be kind of hard to resist the urge to spend every spare moment reclining in the park with a tepid Red Stripe. But catching some of the recent rays doesn’t have to mean missing out on culture in our fair city. Check out these London art walks.
The South London Art Map (SLAM to its friends) runs Friday art tours and studio visits around Peckham, Deptford, Bermondsey and Bankside. These vary every time, for example “Spotlight on Peckham” – a night of open studios in a courtyard behind Peckham Rye station, including ceramics, paintings, drawings, and even metal-work at Blenheim Forge.
Check them out for an introduction to South London’s wealth of artists and craftsmen. Plus – every SLAM Friday is free. Bonus.
Shoreditch Walk – Street Art London
The Shoredtich tour is the classic and original street art tour that the Street Art London team offers. Some might say Shoreditch’s cool, artistic days were left behind with the 1990s, but it is still one of the best places in the world to see street art and a place where all the top international street artists regularly come to paint.
Street Art London runs two hour tours on Tuesday and Thursday and longer more comprehensive tours at the weekends, meeting at Exit 2 of Old Street underground station. Tours cost between £12 and £15, check out the website for more details and to book.
Hackney Wick Walk – Street Art London
As many east London-dwellers will testify, Hackney Wick is the top emerging area for street art in London and home to a thriving artistic community. Here the likes of Ben Eine, Paul Insect, Broken Fingaz Crew, Faith 47, Sweet Toof and Paul Insect can all be seen on the derelict industrial buildings of the area and along the towpaths of the Lea Navigation waterway, all in the shadow of the Olympic Stadium.
The tour runs on Saturdays at 11am for about two hours, meeting at Hackney Wick overground station. The walk costs £12, check out the website for more details and to book.
Dulwich Walk – Street Art London
Street Art London and Ingrid Beazley organised a street art festival in Dulwich in May 2013 which featured some of the world’s greatest street artists including Phlegm, ROA, Conor Harrington, MadC, REKA, RUN, Pablo Delgado and Thierry Noir and more. The combined works represent some of the best murals in London and are well worth seeing.
From time to time Street Art London runs special tours of these murals on Saturday afternoons with a visit to nearby Dulwich Picture Gallery afterwards. Check out the website for dates or to get in touch with the team.
South Bank – BBC Audio Guide Walk
Avoid the cringe factor of being in a tourist group and let your headphones be your guide. Download this tour from the BBC and spend the afternoon discovering a wealth of treasures, including melting clocks, spindly-legged elephants and Britain’s biggest outdoor painting.
Ok, the walk isn’t all outdoors, but Auntie Beeb has a special place in our hearts, so it’s forgiven.