Family Life

Leake Street Graffiti Tunnel {the best place to see street art in London}

Leake Street Graffiti Tunnel {the best place to see street art in London}

When we were in London to visit the SEA LIFE London Aquarium I noticed that we would be really close to Leake Street Graffiti Tunnel. I love street art and thought it was the perfect opportunity to go hunting for some of London’s famous street art. Leake St Tunnel is pretty well known and I couldn’t wait to go and visit with the kids.

How do I find Leake Street?

The first question you might ask is how do I find the Leake Street Tunnel? If you search on google maps you’ll find the Leake Street Tunnel is a 300m tunnel beneath Waterloo Station. We approached from the Thames, walking down Chicheley Street and crossing over York Road. You’ll find Leake Street between a parade of shops and an office block.

how do i find the Leake Street Tunnel

Walk down the street, mind the cars as there’s an entrance to a car park, and carry on walking until you see the tunnel.

entrance to Leake Street Tunnel

The Leake Street Tunnel and kids

Now my children enjoy street art as much as I do. We found an amazing street, actually called Graffiti Street when we visited Ghent earlier this month, so I knew they would enjoy Leake Street.

So is the Leake Street Tunnel suitable to take children? Absolutely! It’s flat with good access. On our visit it was really busy with tourists and locals walking through. It’s well lit, a little smelly, but a great place for kids. I wouldn’t visit on my own at night but it’s perfectly safe during the day.

The Leake Street Tunnel and kids

How did Leake Street become a place for street art?

Leake Street (sometimes known as the Banksy Tunnel) is a place where graffiti is tolerated (regardless of the fact that it is against the law).

The walls are decorated with graffiti, initially created during the Cans Festival organised by Banksy in 2008. We love Banksy and have spotted several of his works around London. Anyone can add their own street art so don’t be surprised to see artists painting over an existing patch of wall and adding their own mark.

How did Leake Street become a place for street art?

What kind of street art can you see?

Some people’s street art is another person’s graffiti. So what would you call the Leake Street Tunnel? Some people believe that graffiti is word-based whereas street art is image-based.

What kind of street art can you see?

Both are illegal if you don’t have permission of the land owner but at the Leake Street Tunnel it is tolerated and so has become a haven for street artists.

street art at Leake Street Tunnel

We found a real mix of street art with words, images, mosaics, posters, as well as a cute little Lego minifigure and even a plastic banana incorporated into the art. Everything goes and it’s colourful and fun.

street art at Leake Street Tunnel

Leake Street Tunnel is free, open 24 hours a day and worth a visit if you love street art. Just don’t expect to see the same piece of work on your next visit!

9 Comments

  • Reply
    Jaime Oliver
    August 29, 2019 at 10:02 pm

    I have been here and totally loved it! its so beautiful to see it in real life

  • Reply
    michelle twin mum
    August 29, 2019 at 10:13 pm

    How very cool, I’ve never heard if this place before and for 20 odd years Waterloo was my London station! I can’t wait to take the kids. Mich x

  • Reply
    winsze
    August 30, 2019 at 12:38 am

    I love leake street, I tend to take whomever visits me to tunnels and they also fall in love with it too! Myself and my housemate try and go as often as possible to see whether the street art has changed.

  • Reply
    Valerie
    August 30, 2019 at 5:14 am

    I’ve heard of Banksy but have never seen anything of his in person. Leake Street sounds like a fascinating place to see when visiting London.

  • Reply
    MELANIE EDJOURIAN
    August 30, 2019 at 10:25 am

    I’ve never heard of this place before. It sounds like there is some great graffiti so it’s worth a visit especially if you live in London. I would only visit in the day personally 🙂

  • Reply
    Lyanna Soria
    August 30, 2019 at 7:16 pm

    Sounds like a great place to visit. Full of amazing art from different people, how cool is that.

  • Reply
    Anosa
    August 31, 2019 at 6:07 pm

    I have not been to leake street before but this looks like such a great place.

  • Reply
    Claire Roach
    August 31, 2019 at 7:02 pm

    This is actually pretty cool, my teenagers would love to visit this place. Thanks for sharing

  • Reply
    Kara
    August 31, 2019 at 7:11 pm

    Looks like there is some brilliant art here, I would love to see it

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