The best part about street art is the fact that it’s always changing; what might be there one week can’t be anywhere to be seen the next. I love the irony when ‘street art’ gets covered by graffiti, it always makes me chuckle. There are so many diverse designs, ranging from intricate black-and-white miniatures to large primary-coloured block colours. More than once I found myself retracing my steps and discovering new designs that I had literally just walked past, without even noticing!
The street art in London had been something I had wanted to check out since moving here, so with a free weekend ahead, it seemed like the perfect opportunity. After some research I found there were a few companies that offered ‘walking tours’, costing between £15-20 and ranging from two and four hours. A great way to explore new places while subconsciously doing some exercise too!
Maybe I could turn this into an even cheaper form of exercise and become the tour guide myself?! So that’s exactly what I did. A google search came up with a route that would take me around some of the best places to check out the street art, while at the same time exploring a new part of the city.
Armed with a fully charged iPhone (potential for a rookie mistake) I caught the tube to Liverpool Station where we started the ‘tour’. I had managed to convince three other friends wanting to fill in their afternoon with a new adventure, but also on a limited budget, to join me. The four of us spent the next three hours wandering around the streets of Shoreditch and Brick Lane, mostly following my map but occasionally detouring when we came across quirky streets and other places of interest (who could say no to delicious street food and the odd design shop?!).
While joining a group would have provided us with more in-depth information about each piece, I loved spending the afternoon wandering the streets and offering my own views and thoughts on the designs. Two of my friends had recently done a ‘Jack the Ripper’ tour based around the same area, so it was a great way to learn about a completely different type of history at the same time.
We only managed to complete about half of the route I had mapped out, and am still yet to see a ‘Banksy’, so this adventure has a 'to be continued..' sign still attached to it. It was a great way to explore a new place, see some awesome street art and enjoy a beer at the end of the day, guilt-free! I challenge you to do the same, it doesn’t have to cost the earth to do something new.