Camden is a world of its own… and with that comes some of the best street art in the city. Here’s a step by step guide to seeing some of the best street art in Camden (hint, there’s a free Camden street art map too).
Camden is one of London’s most vibrant areas – so it’s no surprise that it’s also one of its coolest street art hubs. Keep your eyes open and you will discover a wealth of colourful murals dotting the area’s public spaces.
Now we all know those people who think that street art is just glorified vandalism. Yawn.
IMHO street art is invaluable for discussing issues and raising questions about the society that we live in.
Not to mention that it looks pretty fucking awesome too.
We’ve been to Shoreditch and fangirled over the street art there (you should really read about that), Walthamstow, Leake Street (London’s Graffiti Tunnel) and now it’s time for… Camden.
PS: Take a peek at Camden’s highlights in this video!
Cool Places to Find Street Art in Camden
We’ll ignore the fact that walking along Camden High Street on a Sunday is like hell and skip to the part where we found our first piece of the day. And what a piece.
Dale Grimshaw is an artist that has really captured our hearts. He often focuses on strong tribal subjects and has a few pieces fighting for the freedom of West Papua.
Though we’ve seen quite a few pieces within his West Papua series, we think that this one is our favourite for the sheer power of the image. Belligerent but stately, there’s no ignoring Grimshaw’s message here.
One of the things that we love about street art is (by and large) the artists are so accessible and the fact that they are working in the public sphere means lots of opportunities to see them in action. We once caught Mr Cenz at work in Shoreditch.
Hawley Mews and Hawley Street
From there, it’s a mere hop, skip and a jump down to Hawley Mews where you’ll find a number of pieces crammed into a relatively small alley.
We spotted pieces by Void 16, Himbad, Marina Zumi and Tony Boy. Sure the pieces change, but Hawley Mews is a real hotspot for street art, so you are always guaranteed to find something impressive there.
At the end of Hawley Mews, near the corner of Hawley Street and Camden High Street, you can find this piece by French artist Zabou.
Cross the road to spy another of Tony Boy’s works, this arresting man in luminous blues and pinks.
A comment on the empty-mindedness of seemingly upstanding members of society? Spray paint as a means of inspiration? Whatever your interpretation, the work is sure to stop you in your tracks.
If there were a number of interpretations for Tony Boy’s work, there are almost endless ones for this piece by DRT. We love the abstract shapes and bold lines of DRT’s work. It’s the portal to a world of colours and dimensions that is vaguely mesmerising.
The Back of Electric Ballroom
You’ll be glad to know that the next step involves you taking a (not-so) sneaky shortcut down towards Camden Town. It allows you to skip the tourist bloodbath that is the stretch of the High Street and the Stables and to glimpse a few more large-scale murals along the way (win-win!).
This psychedelic piece went up a while back and was created by Italian artist Awer. Awer’s pieces set out to distract people from the boredom of everyday life – we’d say this one’s a success.
Just across the road you’ll find another enclave (the back entrance of Electric Ballroom) with a few choice murals.
This one of Prince has got to be my favourite, if only for the fact that it captures his ethereal aura pretty perfectly. The larger-than-life artist played a surprise gig at Electric Ballroom a few years, so the piece was put up as an homage.
Prince is in good company. The back of Electric Ballroom is another one of those surprise hubs filled with large-scale murals.
Though nothing can quite compare to Prince (well, for me anyway, it’s still raw), works by Ant Carver and Molecula Howl adorn some of the other wall spaces in the yard. We can all see why Camden is one of the best Instagram spots in London right?
Stucley Place and Buck Street
Stuckley Place and Buck Street are two slightly less-known spots to catch some street art. You’ll be able to find them when you’re looking around behind Electric Ballroom. It’s the side street that cuts between Camden High Street and Kentish Town Road, and the street that comes off that towards Hawley Crescent.
There are regularly cool pieces up here so we say it’s worth a look. Don’t be surprised if a piece you like is missing on a repeat visit, the murals on this intersection seem to change rapidly.
Jewish Museum’s Amy Winehouse Street Art Trail
Need another reason to make sure you are heading to Camden fairly pronto? The Jewish Museum’s temporary Amy Winehouse Street Art Trail is only running until 4th June. We spotted a few of the pieces featured on the trail, starting with Pegasus’s small-scale piece on the front of The Earl of Camden pub.
You’ll rarely find a piece of street art without some kind of message, no matter how coded. It’s not too difficult to work out what Lora Zombie’s Heavy Heart is trying to say. Was the accompanying message created by the artist? Looks like it to us.
And then, we were almost at the end. But not before we took a stroll down the teeny-weeny Miller Street.
Ah Chunk – this larger-than-life piece by JXC was enough to stop us in our tracks. Does anyone else still hold a soft spot for The Goonies?
JXC has captured the truffle shuffle perfectly – but with the intentionally disconcerting addition of a gang-style tattoo to Chunk’s stomach. He looks pretty happy about it though.
The alley is filled with art. We’re not even sure they could actually fit another one in alongside the current collection…
Still, it’s well worth peeking round the back of the alley.
It wouldn’t be a street art tour of Camden without finishing with a bit of Amy. And this one from Philth is a fairly wonderful one to finish with.
Another great spot to catch some of Camden’s street art is on Harmood Street. The area around here boasts some pretty nice pieces that always seem to be changing. You’ll find them on the walls, the gates to people’s backyards and even the side of a pub.
Like we said, the works don’t seem to stick around for too long on Harmood street, but you’ll still find some notable names’ work here. A Dotmasters mural was up last time we went to see what was there.
It’s worth mentioning that Harmood Street is less than 500m from Chalk Farm tube station, making this a great starting or finishing point on your street-art tour of Camden.
Camden Street Art: Practical Tips
- Remember that street art is constantly changing. It’s pretty common for even the great pieces to be painted over again and again. If you like a piece, snap a picture because it may not be there the next time you come back.
- Street art can be found all around in Camden. We’ve written about the best spots for it here, but don’t be shy about nipping down some side street to find more – you might stumble upon something pretty special.
- We’d advise wearing comfy shoes if you’re going to wander around looking at these pieces. It’ll take quite a bit of walking.
- Street art hunting is hungry business. If you get peckish there’s plenty of great places to eat in the area. Check out our Camden restaurant guide for a top pic, or head to Camden Market where you can find street food in abundance.
Camden Street Art Map
Looking for more London travel inspiration? Check out these offbeat tours in London