Shoreditch: Offbeat London

One of the city’s most vibrant destinations, Shoreditch is home to an eclectic array of attractions

by Frank Cassidy
Words Frank Cassidy

Even those who have never been to London know all about the big attractions such as the Houses of Parliament, Big Ben, Buckingham Palace overlooking the Mall, Tower Bridge and the London Eye. But for those looking for a more unique, local experience, there are many one-of-a-kind, unexpected places that give this city its edge.

On a recent visit, I enjoyed time exploring Shoreditch, once a working-class area of East London that has now become one of the city’s most vibrant destinations and one of the most popular and fashionable parts of London. Among the tons of exciting things to do in this eclectic part of the city, here are a few not to be missed. 

Graffiti by Banksy showing the HMV dog
An adaptation of Nipper, the iconic HMV dog, created by Bansky in collaboration with Stylo. Photo: Edel Cassidy
Graffiti by Banksy showing a policeman with a poodle
A policeman on patrol with a fluffy poodle, created by Bansky. Photo: Edel Cassidy

Street Art

The streets of Shoreditch are an ever-changing urban canvas and the entire area is filled with a diverse range of artwork, from giant murals that cover the facades of whole buildings to vibrant graffiti and political commentary. Around every corner, under every arch and bridge, the walls and buildings – even the wheelie bins – are canvases for renowned local and international artists such as Banksy, Zabou, Mr Cenz, Stik, Dscreet, Ben Eine and Jimmy C. 

Banksy’s ‘Designated Graffiti Area’ is located in the courtyard of the Viaduct, a well-known venue on Rivington Street, built inside an old railway tunnel. Here you will find two works by the elusive artist. One depicts a policeman on patrol in a designated graffiti area holding a fluffy poodle on a leash. The second, created in collaboration with an artist named Stylo, is an adaptation of Nipper, the iconic HMV dog, here seen silencing His Master’s Voice by aiming a rocket launcher into the gramophone instead of looking into it.

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