The Alternative London Tour

Walking tours

Guided tours

Old Spitalfields Market

Until Sat Dec 20

  • Free
  • © Owen Richards

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  • Categories :

    Alternative nightlife. Walks and tours. Guided tours. Things to do. Walking tours

  • Occasions :

    Quirky. Lively atmosphere. Trendy. Local flavour

  • Type of event :

    Tours. Walks

The Alternative London Tour 2014

  • Date Time Price information
  • Fri Sep 19
    12:00
    optional tips
  • 25 % off Street Art Tour and Workshop

    Bookings can be made online here.

Learn more about the Time Out Card

Users say

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<strong>Rating: </strong><span class='lf-avgRating'>0</span>/5

Average User Rating

4.9 / 5

Rating Breakdown

  • 5 star:99
  • 4 star:4
  • 3 star:0
  • 2 star:1
  • 1 star:0
LiveReviews|103
8 people listening
Chloe M

Second time on this alternate london tour ; its simply amazing how the streets of East London can be transformed into such a vibrant and electric place by the swashes of intense colour in the graffiti artists' work.

Andrew N

This tour was amazing! I would recommend to anyone and everyone! I never would of been able to see Shoreditch in such artistic detail without the genius insight of our tour guide. They tie the vibrant and diverse street art culture with the rich history of the area and explore the cultural significance of each piece. They also show you parts of the area & art you would of never seen on your own accord, training your eye for future endeavours around London. A brilliant tour for a good cause with funds going back into the local art scene. I would do this tour again in different parts of london & other cities!!! So so so so great :D


Amazing! A rich, beautiful side of London in a very informative and entertaining tour! Doug was a great guide, did an amazing job. Highly recomended!!


Awesome tour. doug was great-would 200% recommend it!

Stef Z

A unique way to spend a few hours in London. Afterwards you'll be seeing beauty on the streets that you never really noticed before. Gained some insight to the historical background of East London, enough to keep it interesting without turning into a full blown history lesson! Our guide Doug was inspiring, passionate and knowledgable. Overall a really great and eye opening experience. 

Avitalgc

An excellent tour with the street artist Ben Slow, a passionate and knowledgeable guide. He took the group through quite a few artistic works around Liverpool Street, showed us how the City is pushing its boundaries into the beautiful old area and made it all very enjoyable. 

An(n)a P

I've been on 11:00 Saturday tour recently and really enjoyed myself! It was a good time as it wasn't too busy yet in the area. The guide, Ben Slow, was great, passionate about what he does. I even enjoyed the 2 minutes of "educational moaning" about gentrification, especially when some guy in his pajamas looked out from the balcony of one of those "generic monsters" as the guide was pointing at it and shouted "I completely agree, but..."

I thought the tour was informative enough to awake one's curiosity and make one find out more about the street artists we've seen. I had another walk round after the tour and kind of got stuck in the area for the most of the day.

In a nutshell - highly recommended!

Ana F

Some friends and I tried out the tour today, it was amazing! Very interesting afternoon, got to see some amazing street art! Also reflection on the contrast between the City and East London was promoted, as well as we were provided with a comprehensive piece of history about that area. Will certainly recommend it to other friends!

Steph

Definitely the best tour I've been on. Not just in London either. Doug was a great guide. Highly recommended!

Kevin

The best tour in all of London the energy was infectious and it was fun and informative you have to experience it to believe it

Wish List Tourist

East London is the ‘global epicentre of street art’ according to Alternative London‘s walk guide Josh Jeavons. The pay-what-you-want concept tour invites you to judge. Standing on the edge of the City of London this opener registered in my overstatement warning centre. But the reason I was there was because of a Brazilian who calls himself Cranio – although I hadn’t made the connection at this point. I passed the artist’s signature blue character on my way home from lunch in Hackney Wick one Sunday. He was hunched, wearing a Brazilian football shirt, sweating and balancing a football called Senna on his boot. It pulled me in – I liked it, but I couldn’t work it out. The geek in me wanted to know more, so I joined Josh’s throng. A two-hour journey started off through Old Spitalfields Market, towards Brick Lane and the mess of posters and graffiti which I’ve seen without acknowledging countless times before started to separate, like the magic eye posters of my student days. Josh started small, pointing out teeny tiny installations by Welshman Jonesy (not quite global) and a permission painting by Londoner Shok-1. His heart shaped X-ray illustration takes more time than I had to absorb, but I was captured for a moment, studying it against the faint backdrop of the Jamme Masjid mosque call to prayer. As we wound our way through the streets of Shoreditch the artwork got better, opening up a rebel faction that comes to this small part of the capital from places like Florence, Cape Town, Argentina, Puerto Rico, Los Angeles, South Carolina, New York, Portugal, Paris and São Paulo. We were even treated to an offering from our London-born guide himself. It wasn’t until I spotted another depiction of Cranio’s blue man – this time walking a cockerel, which is being ridden by a monkey – and got the chance to ask our expert about him, that I became a fan. I also realised how lucky I was to see his footballer in Hackney; when I went back for another look it was gone, making way for someone else’s spray can. I enjoy his raw political satire, even though I don’t fully get it. But that’s what art is for, isn’t it… triggering a reaction? And that’s what east London’s street art does on more levels than your average gallery. This mix of artists, both legal and illegal is outstanding. And free. The Tate Modern just got owned.

Anjanaa

A great option for those looking for something other than the usual tourist-y stuff in London.

Octav

Great fun! Does what it says on the tin and shows you the best street art pieces out in London

Gemma

Alternative London provided a fantastic walking tour with bite-sized history nuggets and fresh insight into the evolution of street art. Much of the credit goes to the tour guide, Ben Slow, whose own interest in art fuelled each wall mural we saw with a wealth of intriguing information. Incredibly, there is apparently a cult of famous artists who travel from city to city to paint on these walls, even if it’s over someone else’s art work. If you love street art or simply want to enjoy quirky sights in London (look out for mushrooms on top of buildings) then this is the tour for you! Get a good glimps of it all before it gets tagged and painted over! For a more in-depth review, have a look at my blog: http://wp.me/p1LEwx-3p

Sophie

Good for tourists and those who've never been to East London before. I personally didn't learn much - was hoping for more history, politics and local knowledge but it was mainly focussed on artistic technique. Tour guide was also rather arrogant and condescending and complained about Subway sandwich bars coming to East London but was quite happy to sip from his Costa coffee cup! It was a nice way to learn some more about street art though, and at least you can pay for how good you feel the tour was, so we did.

Louice

Doug did an amazing job on the tour, left us all with eyes more opened on street art and the development of artistic districts of london. I will recommend this to everyone who goes to london!

Kim

I would recommend this tour!!! the tour guide was really funny and knowledgable about street art.

Farida Rahman

Just been on this tour today and afterwards at home wanted to find out more about all the street artists we were introduced to. Our guide Josh was great. He was funny, interactive and very genuinely knowledgeable about the area and art. It was about 1 and a half hrs, but time went by quickly and the walking pace was just right. There was a big crowd, so book online to guarantee a place.

Kaden

Without a doubt the best tour I've been on here in London. Guide was funny, interactive, and brilliant in terms of transitions and opinions. I'm here in the UK as a college student from a school in the US and I've been on a lot of boring tours through different places. This was anything but dull.

Bruno

Amazing! Different styles and influences. The guide Josh is very dynamic and well-informed about history and artistic details. I would also highlight the work of Brazilian graffiti artist Cranio!

Chloe

Simply amazing ! Had a great time exploring the magical street art of Shoreditch !!

carlos

SUCH AN AMAZING TOUR!! STRONGLY SUGGEST TO EVERYONE AND SPECIALLY JOSH, THE GUIDE, WHO KNOWS PERFECTLY HOW TO SHOW THE BEST PLACES AND STORIES OF BRICK LANE AND SHOREDITCH! VERY GLAD!

Jo

I 100% recommend this tour! Our guide Doug was really dynamic and clearly passionate about street art, and made the tour fun as well as really interesting. It sounds like the tour will change quite a lot because street art is so temporary, so I think I'll be going back in a few months!

Savahna

Even in the rain the tour was great. Well educated, entertaining and attractive tour guide, Doug, showed us great pieces of art.

Sabrina

Did the tour last week, definitely recommendable! Lots of street art plus a local guide knowing those guys who created those fantastic pieces personally and though could give us lots of interesting background info. I can't say nothing but: Doug, well done :)

DJ BraleY

This tour was interesting and informative, totally worth every minute. Doug was great.

Catherine

I went on the Street Art tour on Tuesday evening, thought it was absolutely amazing. Much more interesting than going to a gallery as it was so interactive and inspiring. As an Art teacher this was really eye opening, and has inspired me to get the students I work with more involved with the beauty of street art. Highly recommend this tour to anyone. I know I will be going on another Alternative London tour when I have the time!

Nick

Really well worth doing with an excellent, engaged and interesting tour guide - picking out sights that we'd walked past thousands of times without spotting - made for a really good day out.

Laurie South

The tour was fantastic. The art in East London is amazing, and the guide did an excellent job talking about it. This is probably the best thing I have seen in London!

Lisa Marie Costello

I did the 'Alternative London Walking Tour' and it was exactly what i wanted! A great little window into the street art world. Our tour guide Doug was very knowledgeable and friendly, a perfect mix of factual information and opinions on what we were viewing. The fact that he seemed to genuinely enjoy what he was doing, the enthusiasm and knowledge he showed for the art and artists made it impossible not to engage and enjoy it. I love the fact that you could go on this tour on a monthly basis and not get bored due to the ever changing nature of what the tour's about. I would highly recommend it to anyone as you get to see a little of London off the beaten track. I love the fact that it's a pay what you think tour too, so as not to exclude anyone from the opportunity to see some truly great stuff. I can not recommend this company enough!

Niki

I took my friend from the States on this alternative tour of East London, she thoroughly enjoyed it and having lived here all my life I found out some really cool and interesting facts also. Doug was our tour guide and did a great job and knew his stuff.. Defo recommend this to locals and tourists.

Jennie

A great way to spend an afternoon. Highly recommended. Wrap up warm though!

Emily

Knowledgeable guides, interesting spots, GREAT sights to see en route - a perfect way to get a snapshot of another side of London. Thanks, Ben! Emily

Shell

I wouldn't walk around the East end of London in the freezing cold for nothing; until today. This tour is brilliant, funny, insightful and entertaining. Our guide Ben through frequent mini rants explained the difficult but necessary relationship between the city and the street. Go!

Pav

Myself and a friend tailed on to Doug's group a few days ago and it was well worth the waking around. As a visitor to this marvelous city I feel I've learnt much more not only about street art, but an underlying battle that is forever going on between cultural London (East) and capital London (Central). Doug was a star. Not only was he giving great insights to the murals around east London but he was also able to share true stories and historical relevance about the spots too. The tour ended in the darkness of a Saturday evening which added I feel to the tour. A must do whilst in London. And for Doug as a guide, A+

T Evans

What a fabulous afternoon-a fascinating tour of a part of London that I knew little about. One word-BRILLIANT

George

I really enjoyed this walking tour. There was a good mix of content, both on street art and the history of east London. The guide, Doug, is clearly passionate about the area and culture. I'll definitely be recommending it to anyone, whether they're new to London or not.

Anna

My boyfriend and I went on this tour yesterday, led by Doug, and it was brill. We just fancied doing something a bit different and this was interesting, informative, and eye-opening. I'm definitely telling all my friends to go on it and will be paying more attention to what's around me when I'm wandering about London in the future. Would highly recommend.

Judith Hume

My husband, brother and I went on this tour in Sept and thought it was great! We would thoroughly recommend it as it is something really quite different. Josh took us round the Spittalfield area including Brick Lane and showed us all the different types of street art. He was a great guide and very enthusiastic. Lasted about 2 hours and we enjoyed the area so must we stayed on for hours exploring Spittalfield market, the vintage shops in the area, one or two of the pubs and had a meal at one of the many restaurants on Brick Lane. Thank you for a great tour!

April

Ok, so I found out about the tour via TimeOut. You know anything that comes from that publication is probably legit. The tour was run very smoothly. Our tour guide, Doug, was freakin amazing, not to menton sexy as hell. He was extremely knowledgeable about not only the street art itself, but the community and the background of it, as well as a little bit about the history of London. He has met several of the artists and knows many of the stories behind their works. The tour was long enough to feel like you could take something from it, but short enough that you didn't get bored. He really shows you the little quirks and ins and outs of the area, that even someone who has lived in London their entire life would never see. If you do happen to get bored with the tour (which you won't) you can always just pay attention to his beautiful face. I really think this is a must do or anybody who is in London. It opens your eyes to a whole other world that you normally wouldn't know existed, but can also cater to those who were already fans of street art.

Tukan de Tuken

Incredible, Fun, Historical, Benical and even more. It's easy to understand why Alternative London tour won the certificate of excellence. Ben is full of energy and gives it, together with his knowledge to all who want to listen. We Loved it and we'll do it for sure again. THANK YOU

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