London's best tattoo studios

We select the sharpest needles in town for your inking endeavours

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London is home to some of the world's best tattoo studios and parlours – with top artists such as Nikole Lowe, Mo Coppoletta, and Duncan X. Whether you're looking for a discreet design or a larger commitment, take your pick of the top places in London to get inked.

1

Into You

Style
Across the board

Who goes there
Lucky Diamond Rich (world's most tattooed man), Alexander McQueen, Britney Spears

Open since 1993, Into You is one of the most sought after studios in London and some of the capital's best tattoo artists have worked under its steer. Today, go for owner Alex Binnie's bold tribal designs, Mr X’s saturated black graphics and first-rate shading, or for Tomas Tomas, who often uses a traditional hand-poking technique, and whose incredibly intricate, modern tribal diagrams are particularly impressive. They're about as far from Celtic crosses as you can get!

Artists: Alex Binnie, Mr X, Tomas Tomas, Tass, Higgins, Lucy and Calypso

  1. 144 St John Street, EC1V 4UA
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2

The Family Business

Style
Mainly Western or Oriental iconography, or a mix of both

Who goes there
'People come here because we're the famous ones!'

Everything about The Family Business is sharp, from its boutiquey location in Exmouth Market to its suited and booted staff and vintage swing soundtrack. Its blood red interior, adorned with Roman Catholic imagery, is inspired by owner Mo Coppoletta's Italian heritage, and contrasts with the bold Japanese screens separating the work area from the waiting room (and giving privacy to customers).

Artists: Mo Coppoletta, Kanae, Diego Azaldegui, Dom Holmes, Mie Sato, Diego Brandi, plus regular international guests

  1. 58 Exmouth Market, EC1R 4QE
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3

Frith Street Tattoo

Style
Across the board

Who goes there
'No comment'

Frith Street has been custom designing quality work since 2003, building one of the best reputations in London's tattoo scene. Alongside an incredible stable of artists, which now includes former Gallows singer Frank Carter, their guest spots are the best in the city. Some of the best tattooists in the world (Civ, Chad Koeplinger, Steve Boltz, and many more) regularly drop by the shop - the only problem is deciding who to choose.

Artists: Valerie Vargas, Stuart Robson, Stefano C, Frank Carter, plus regular guests

  1. 18 Frith Street, W1D 4RQ
More info
4

Good Times

Style
Eclectic mix of tribal styles with a feminine edge

Who goes there
Saira and Nikole have tattooed Kate Moss and Boy George

Serene tattooing sounds like an oxymoron, but not where Nikole Lowe’s new Zen-like sanctuary above Curtain Road is concerned. Spacious, light and sophisticated, it’s the opposite to stereotypical cramped and garish tattoo shops. The walls boast cross-continental curiosities with a bohemian and exotic twist and there’s a multi-ethnic shrine in one corner, representing the studio’s unique design flair. Lowe, who featured in TV series ‘London Ink’, has assembled some of the best female tattooists in London, including hipster (and Kate Moss) favourite Saira Hunjan. You’ll have to be patient, however: both Lowe and Hunjan’s waiting lists are substantial.

Artists: Nikole Lowe, Saira Hunjan, Jamie Ruth, Danny Boy and Kate Mackay-Gill

  1. 147 Curtain Road, EC2A 3QE
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5

Diamond Jacks

Style
Rock ’n’ roll-fuelled Americana, traditional, portrait and Japanese

Who goes there
Sex Pistols, Pete Doherty, Gail Porter

Soho's longest running tattoo parlour is also its most rockin' and unpretentious. Nestled in a suitably sleazy alley, every inch of its walls are covered in music memorabilia and rows of vibrant tattoo flashes. Dee Dee Ramone and the Stray Cats used to come here in the ’80s and current owner Darryl Gates continues its sleazy punk legacy, keeping the shop's original fittings and neon sign. Gates has designed tattoos for Vogue photoshoots and films like 'This Is England', but they're also known for their body modification services (genital beading, anyone?) from Iestyn Flye.

Artists: Darryl Gates, Gino Angelove, Luci Lou and Mil Martinez, plus guests

  1. 5 Walkers Court, W1F 0BT
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6

New Wave Tattoo

Style
Across the board

Who goes there
Liam Gallagher, the Osbornes, Patsy Kensit, Dave Grohl, Dermot O’Leary and Mel B

Lal Hardy's Muswell Hill studio is London's most famous, offering a wide range of styles, from mechanical (Collins) to Japanese (Orist) to feminine designs (Zed), which is probably why they've attracted such celebrity customers. It's not as chic as some of the other parlours, but at 20 years old, it's still one of the most dependable.

Artists: Lal Hardy, Sylvia Zed, Adam Collins, Wayne Grace, Matt Black and Luca Ortis

  1. 157 Sydney Road, N10 2NL
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7

Flamin' Eight

Style
New school traditional and Japanese, with a focus on large-scale and custom pieces

Who goes there
'We keep quiet about our better known clients.'

Naresh Bhana's once purple corner shop has matured over the years, and grown into a sleek, beautifully decorated studio – a surprising gem tucked away from Camden's main strip. The dedicated team are friendly and talented, and happy to guide you through the vast choice of art on offer. What looks like the world's smallest tattoo museum sits unassumingly in reception, while a huge collection of oddities and curios also surround the tattoo area, watching peacefully over all who pass through. Minimum price: £50

Artists: Naresh and guests

  1. 2 Castle Road, NW1 8PP
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8

Jolie Rouge

Style
Bright and crisp, new school and contemporary

Who goes there
'No comment'

Caledonian Road parlour Jolie Rouge is among the more underground in London, but it's held in high regard by the city's tattoo creatives. Their studio has a fresh and streetwise approach, all opulent wallpaper and gothic candelabras inside, and Matt-Difa is particularly revered for his graffiti-inspired work. What's more, they're willing to try what others turn down and pride themselves on not having the rockstar attitude of some of the other shops.

Artists: Matt Difa, Charissa Gregson, Teide, Lord, Montana-Blue, Raquel C.T., Javi Bermudez

  1. 364 Calendonian Road, N1 1DU
More info
9

George Bone Tattoos

Style
Traditional, tribal and Japanese

Who goes there
Denise Van Outen, Ringo Starr’s daughter

You may mistake George Bone’s solo studio for the set of a Meat Loaf video, with its plentiful skeletons, pentagrams and gothic drapery, but he's been operating his successful tattoo business out of west London since 1973. Extra kudos for the 'monastically-themed' toilet, which comes 'complete with chanting monks'. Bone’s is definitely one for the seasoned rocker.

Artists: George Bone

  1. 58 Boston Road, W7 3TR
More info

Read more on tattoos...

London's best ink artists

We talk to the capital's most sought after ink artists in their parlours. From Nikole Lowe at Good Times, to Mo Coppoletta at Family Business, and Valerie Vargas at Frith Street Tattoo.


Users say

6 comments
Siobhan Williams
Siobhan Williams

Sorry i know this isnt a review but im desperate to find this information out. Are they're any Tattoo Studios in England that specialise in 3D Tattoos or are there any that would perform 3D Tattoos? Thank you for any infomation feed back and advice you may give me in advanced.

Ryan
Ryan

I'm looking to have my japenese sleeve finished in London, can anyone recommend a tattoist who would be willing to finishing it and is good with colour?? Thanks in advance.

David
David

I'm surprised that London Tattoo on Goswell Road didn't make it in this list. I've been there 4 times within a year of getting my first tattoo. I was standing outside the parlor one day for ages contemplating of going under the needle. If it wasn't for the friendly receptionist who came out of her way behind her counter and chatted to me, then I would still be inkless. I have been tattooed by almost each of their artist, and have always left with a tattoo that exceeds my imagination. Honest, friendly and definitely worth taking a trip down to. And it's only minutes away from Angel tube station!

robert
robert

Tattoos, for designer and illustrator Nigel Dennis, are a permanent record of temporary feelings and states of mind. After getting his first tattoo on an impulse, and partly inspired by the movie Memento, he hasn't looked back – and gets "the itch" every few months to get another. "It's really addictive," he insists, and has had six or seven different artists work on him to-date. "One of the pieces was inspired by John Dyer Baizley's work," he explains. "I love his band, and I love his art."

Christian
Christian

Just had a beautiful tattoo completed at a great little shop called Renaissance in Rickmansworth that was recommended to be by a friend and I'm delighted, It was a portrait of my late father done by Peter and all of my family who have seen it think its incredible. I would definitely advise anyone to take a look at their work!

Demi
Demi

I have my fair share of tattoos and my favourite experience has been a guy on Holloway Road called Painted Bare Tattoos. The designs that he came up with on the back of my ideas blew my tiny mind. He has a lovely atmosphere in his studio, a gentle manner, he really put me at ease and made the whole process incredibly enjoyable. My newest ink is definitely my favourite - until I'm back to him for more anyway!