London, like many tourist magnet places is awash with tours from cycling, coach to walking, so what makes this tour ‘Alternative?’
This is our original tour which was established to showcase East London’s incredible creativity whilst giving insights into important historical and cultural events that have made the area what it is today.
Even though this is much more than just a London street art tour, you are guaranteed to see a huge range of amazing uncommissioned artworks and we are the only London tour company to employ well known street artists and those involved in the creative community as guides.
Excerpt from ‘Alternative London Tours’
Almost squashing up to the wealth and splender of Canary Wharf, the East End of London is an absolute contrast just from simple obsversation in style, construction and history, with the fact that it is one of the most poorest areas in the country. However, that does not mean that the community has a lesser voice or passion than anyone or anywhere else. If you recall one of my earlier posts, Jack the Ripper was known to this area for his murders of prostitutes back in the 1800’s.
I love all forms of art, including the very art that we see everyday in front of our faces, the beauty of nature, laughter, music and many things that usually don’t spring to mind when we think about art. Rather, we think about the big names, influences and periods across time, that we would all like to see just to say that we have. My knowledge of art is limited to what I learned and studied at school yet I have always been drawn to graffiti/street art regardless of its context as it often represents the feelings and attitudes that shouldn’t be ignored but often are in the press, local or national.
The tours are guided by many artists local to the area and my tour guide was Josh – local to the area and a street artist to boot. On the tour, he showed us one of his pieces and even bumped into some of his friends.
Throughout the tour, Josh’s passion and knowledge of the local area shone through from his own influences to others, including the messages hidden behind some of the works. One of the best bits is though, he didn’t fully lead the tour but rather giving support, tips and skills to look out for things for ourselves so by the end of the tour we were equipped, chomping at the bit to find street ourselves from the largest pieces, to the small and the ones very cleaverly disguised that would go unnoticable through day-to-day life… almost apart of the scenary even.
Don’t forget the camera!
This Alternative London Walking Tour runs from Monday to Saturday with tours lasting for 2 hours and they are available in English, French, Spanish and Italian – As the company develops, I hope they expand the languages to include German and Russian with many companies across London and the world do cater to these visitors.
Now, unlike virtually all tours that are out there, this tour works on a pay-what-you-like basis, so whatever your budget this tour is open to all. In hindsight, I wish I had given more than I did, the tour was beyond my expectations and wowed me to that point that I would like to do another one. I didn’t give more because that last bit of money had to get me back to my accomodation and I knew I had to top-up my Oyster card with it, which would see me through to the next day and eventually my travel home.
Every visit to London, you could do this tour – Art is an non-stop, forever changing force in a landscape that is constantly evolving on all levels within ourselves and beyond. No tour of this area will ever be the same because the art will have changed and using the observation skills you will have developed over the initial tour, maybe you will spot things that are not so obvious to others?
Do the tour, you won’t regret it!