The graffiti tunnel in London is a true masterpiece and one of the most popular tourist destinations in the city. Every day, hundreds of people visit Leake Street and its tunnel to see the artwork up close and take pictures.
As you walk through the graffiti tunnel in London, you can’t help but feel amazed at the talent of the artists. The walls are covered in beautiful and intricate designs, each one more amazing than the last. It’s hard to believe that these pieces were created by ordinary people, just using spray paint and a few simple tools.
It’s an incredible sight to behold, and it’s definitely worth a visit if you’re ever in London. But have you ever wondered what its history is? What types of graffiti are allowed? And can anyone go and express their opinion with graffiti? Let’s go through all the details in this guide.
What is the Graffiti Tunnel?
The Graffiti Tunnel in London, also called the Banksy Tunnel, is a 300-metre pedestrian tunnel under Waterloo station that is covered in legal street art and graffiti. The tunnel’s unique environment has attracted some of the city’s most famous street artists, who have used it as a canvas for their art.
The Graffiti Tunnel has become a popular destination for both locals and tourists, and it is one of the most photographed places in London.
Where is the Graffiti Tunnel?
The Graffiti tunnel is located right in central London in Leake Steet, underneath Waterloo station and in front of Big Ben and the London Eye. Thanks to its convenient location, you can visit the tunnel in the morning after breakfast, during the day after lunch or shopping, or in the evening before dinner.
How to Get to Leake Steet’s Graffiti Tunnel?
To get to the Graffiti Tunnel in London, you will need to head to Waterloo Station, which can be reached from everywhere in the city and beyond. From Mayfair, you can take the bus route 139 or the Jubilee tube route to Waterloo Station. From Camden Town, you should take the Northern tube route to Waterloo, which is only 9-stop long and will last about 10 minutes.
And lastly, from the Tower of London, you can either walk around 40 minutes or take the Jubilee or District Line tube route to get to Waterloo.
Once at Waterloo Station, get outside and head over to Leake Street – the tunnel is located right next to Draughts Bar.
How Long is Leake Street Tunnel?
Leake Street is a graffiti mecca located in London, and it is 300-metre long. While the graffiti Tunnel may be best known for its street art, it is also home to several businesses around, including cafes, bars, and music venues.
History of the Graffiti Tunnel in London
The Graffiti Tunnel was born in May 2008 during the Cans Festival that was organised by Banksy, an England-based artist. From that day, it became famous worldwide, and nowadays, the tunnel is open to the public, and anyone can go and draw or admire the artwork.
Before 2008, the tunnel was known as a shortcut for vehicles when the Eurostar was still based in Waterloo (it is now based in St Pancras International Station). Also, in the ’60s, wine merchants used the tunnel to sell their bottles.
Can Anyone Paint Graffiti in Leake Street’s Tunnel?
Yes, anyone can draw graffiti and street art in the tunnel, despite being illegal outside. So, if you’re in London and looking for a place to express your inner graffiti artist, Leake Street tunnel is the perfect spot.
What Graffiti are Authorised in Leake Street?
While graffiti are completely tolerated in the tunnel, some kinds are prohibited, and those are advertisements, sexist paintings, and racist drawings.
The graffiti range from political statements to playful cartoons, making for an eclectic mix that always has something new to offer. While some more risque pieces have been known to pop up from time to time, they are sometimes removed by the authorities.
In general, Leake Street is a place where people can come to appreciate the talent of local street artists and express themselves through art, and these rules are essential for the tunnel to last for numerous years.
Rules When Drawing Graffiti in the Banksy Tunnel
Leake Street tunnel is a public space open to all forms of artistic expression, but there are a few ground rules to follow in order to maintain the sanctity of the space.
First and foremost, all noise is to be kept to a minimum after 10 pm out of respect for local residents. Secondly, only paintings on authorised walls will be allowed – any paintings on the grey walls will be removed. Thirdly, don’t have like a gangster (Their words, not ours) – be respectful and considerate of others in the space.
Finally, take empty cans and litter back home with you when you leave – do your part to keep the tunnel clean! By following these simple guidelines, everyone can enjoy the Leake Street tunnel as a creative outlet and safe space for expression.
While many people are familiar with London’s more famous attractions, the city also has a hidden side that can be easily missed if you don’t know where to look. One of the best examples of this is Leake Street’s graffiti tunnel, and we hope this guide was helpful to you.
We went through all the information you had to know, from its location to its interesting history to its size and everything in between.
Is there any valuable information that we may have missed? Let us know in the comment section below, and tell us about your experience at the Graffiti Tunnel London.