The Alternative London Tour

  • Things to do
  • Walks and tours
14 Love It
1/3
2/3
© Owen Richards
3/3
Old Spitalfields Market, Spitalfields Until Wednesday December 23 2015 Free
Special offers

Accepts Time Out Card

25 % off Street Art Tour and Workshop

Bookings can be made online here.

Don’t have a Time Out Card? Get yours here.

East London's 'alternative' side is revealed on this leftfield tour. Expect to be introduced to the history and culture of the Brick Lane 'Banglatown' and Shoreditch areas as well as current issues and street art. Booking essential via www.alternativeldn.co.uk

Venue name: Old Spitalfields Market
Contact:
Address: Brushfield St
London
E1 6AA
Transport: Tube:Liverpool St or Shoreditch High St Overground
Price: optional tips
Event phone: 07899 686 235
Event website: http://www.alternativeldn.co.uk

Average User Rating

4.9 / 5

Rating Breakdown

  • 5 star:106
  • 4 star:4
  • 3 star:0
  • 2 star:1
  • 1 star:0
LiveReviews|110
2 people listening
Abigail D

 Brilliant tour, Doug was very passionate and took his time to speak to everyone amongst the group and engage in their thoughts and opinions openly. Would 100% recommend to anyone, regardless of background or interests. Will be attending this tour again hopefully next time I am in London - really had my eyes opened to the world of street art, East London and the changing future of subculture. 

Bianca D

Our tour guide, Lily, is a french artist living in London. She was great! I've got the learn about the artists, their techniques and the history of the area as well. All the tour guides are artists themselves, which makes it all much more interesting. Highly recommended!

Ashley C

Super informative and fun tour. Our guide Doug knew so much about the history of the area and about the current affairs of the neighborhood he clearly cares so much for. To see the art and hear the stories that come with them was a treat. It had me really thinking about the connectivity that art can foster between people and cultures across the globe. Thanks, Doug!

Shanti  B

"title"


Such an interesting tour. Doug was amazing, really funny, sincere and passionate. An eye opener on east London from an art and social perspective.

Andre D

Really Great and wonderful experience ;) Had the tour with Ben Slow who is very knowledgeable and made the tour extremely interesting. I got to know the behind the scenes of this culture and he showed us some great jaw dropping art work. Thanks Ben and thumbs UP ;)

Axel H

Went on tour with Doug Tuesday, Nov 4. Superb. Knowledgeable, humorous and with a bit of "bite" towards those who do not appreciate and love the East End as he does. Highly recommendable

Beth E

Awesome tour - great guide (Doug) and sick street art. Recommended to anyone who wants to see some eye-opening art in one of the coolest parts of London :)

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

Juliana G

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!!

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

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

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