The UK is one of the best places for art in the world, with street art in all cities, from London to Liverpool. The USA brought the world the likes of Andy Warhol, Keith Haring and Jean-Michel Basquiat, but the UK also has some prominent contributions to the street art world – for example, Banksy and Stony.
But where exactly can you find the best street art in the UK? And who are some of the best local street artists? That’s what we’ll be exploring in this blog post. Read on for some of the best places to find street art in the UK.
London is a cultural hotspot and is a top destination for viewing art in the UK – which, of course, includes street art. London is home to countless art galleries, museums, festivals and art fairs – and is the place to be if you’re an art lover or an artist.
Street artists will travel for miles to paint near London landmarks, and likewise, tourists will travel miles to view the artwork too. From Bethnal Green to Dulwich and Shoreditch, you can find stunning street art on pretty much every corner of London.
If you’re looking for some of the best graffiti art in London, head to Brick Lane. The Brick Lane area has been redeveloped recently and is considered a hipster hot spot in London.
There are plants of beautiful art pieces to view nearby – explore the Nomadic Community Gardens, Hanbury Street and The Truman Brewery.
Head over to Camden for the true street art experience. With delicious street food, lively street markets and an abundance of street art, you’re sure to have a great day out in Camden. Camden is known across the globe for its iconic street art scene.
However, the area has taken a hit recently due to redevelopment in the area – there are now fewer places for street artists to produce artwork. You could find street art around the canal and railway arches previously which attracted art lovers across the globe.
The Camden street art scene is still prominent but is slightly more scattered. Explore the Chalk Farm train stations as well as Miller Street, Hartland Road and Harmood Street – or take a walk down the Ferdinand Estate to view some extraordinary pieces.
Bristol is known for being a street art hotspot, with countless selfies being posted online with Bristol’s famous street art as a backdrop.
There are many notable names in the Bristol graffiti scene and street art scene. The scene dates back to the 1980s and saw a huge boost in the early 90s. Some of the city’s early artists include 3D, Robert Del Naja (from the band Massive Attack), and of course, iconic and world-famous street artist Banksy, who is one of the most famous contemporary artists in the world.
Banksy’s identity is a mystery, but one of the things we do know about him is that he began his career as a graffiti artist in Bristol, and helped to shape the underground urban art scene in Bristol.
Some of his most famous pieces include Valentine’s Day, Flower Thrower, Grim Reaper, and of course, the numerous print pieces he has created over the years. Naturally, Bristol is home to some of Banksy’s famous works.
Bristol hosted ‘Walls of Fire’ back in 1998 which was essentially a huge celebration of street art, which showcased the city’s passion for street art.
If you’re looking for street art in Bristol, head over to Stokes Croft. This area is full of street art from up-and-coming street artists, with new commissions constantly appearing in public spaces. Check out ‘Tsunami of Roses’ and ‘Community Wall’. Likewise, head over to Bedminster for some other famous pieces.
Belfast is a culturally rich city, and of course, home to some stunning street art. There is a wide variety of street art forms in the streets of Belfast, from graffiti to large-scale murals.
The city is home to many political murals as well as murals painted purely for aesthetic purposes, whether it be through paint rollers or spray paint.
Some of the city’s struggles have been well-documented in the form of thought-provoking artwork across the walls of the city, whether it be on the sides of housing or businesses or on the streets. This dates as far back as 1908, and has often been associated with the Troubles from the 1960s to the 1980s.
Belfast has become a place for street artists to thrive, creating satirical, powerful and thought-provoking artwork. These are often politically charged, opening conversations for locals and tourists alike.
Manchester hosted the Cities of Hope Festival back in 2016, which kickstarted the street art scene in the city, bringing some of the best murals and street artists in the world to Manchester. The festival encouraged some of the top street artists to improve the streets of Manchester with beautiful murals that highlight social issues.
If you’re looking for some of the best street/ graffiti art in Manchester, head to the thriving Northern Quarter. You can find artwork from the likes of Faunagraphic, Nomad Clan and Mateus Bailon. Some other prominent Manchester-based street artists include Axel Void and Akse.
Stevenson Square is also a great place to find urban art, whether it be on the sides of disused toilet blocks or on the walls of buildings. The High Street is also home to new street art – new artwork is being found across the city all the time.
Liverpool is one of the top street art cities in the UK, known for its culture, history, football clubs, and of course, its connection to The Beatles. It is a cultural hotspot in the UK and was recognised as such in 2008 when it was crowned the European Capital of Culture.
Street art has been prominent on the streets of Liverpool since the 1970s – murals appeared dedicated to iconic musicians such as Pink Floyd and Bob Dylan. Today, there are still murals and street art scattered around the city, from dancing figures to iconic musicians, highlighting Liverpool’s love of urban art.
Liverpool was also home to the Contrast Murals Festival, which united over 50 urban artists and celebrated street artists across the city. The festival took place before the second lockdown in China Town.
One of Liverpool’s most prominent street artists is British street artist Paul Curtis. He is known for creating ‘For All Liverpool’s Liver Birds” – which consists of Liver Bird wings. This was his very first piece of street art and garnered much attention across the city (and of course, many selfies!). He was named Merseyside’s Artist of the Year in 2020.
Liverpool’s Baltic Triangle is home to some of the most popular street art in Liverpool – if you’re looking for street art in Liverpool, head down to Jamaica Street or Jordan Street. Like many street art hotspots, the Baltic Triangle was once a derelict neighbourhood – but is now full of life.