London Visit: Leake Street Arches and Graffiti Tunnel. If you’re travelling via Waterloo Station or exploring the South Bank, swing by the Leake Street Arches and Graffiti Tunnel. You’ll be greeted with a riot of freshly created colourful street art and graffiti. You will probably witness these vibrant visuals being created before your very eyes. The air is full of fumes so you might want to pull your t-shirt over your nose! Once you’ve discovered this unique place, you’ll visit time and time again.
Signage to Leake Street Arches
Leake Street Arches
The Leake Street Arches is a collection of railway arches which house eateries and entertainment venues. These are located inside or near the Graffiti Tunnel which is also referred to as the Banksy Tunnel. The businesses occupying the arches currently include:
Banh Boa Brothers Restaurant Interiors
Banh Boa Brothers: Vietnamese restaurant serving up lunch and dinner. Enjoy Sticky Wings, Pork and Prawn Spring Rolls, Pork Ribs, Vegetarian Bao, Noodle dishes and Curries. I’ve eaten there and loved the interiors which are quite spectacular and atmospheric.
Banh Boa Brothers Lunch
Draughts London: If you’re bored of drinking and talking with your friends, it’s time to play a board game. The Games Library is extensive covering everything from A Game of Thrones to Dungeon Quest. Food is in partnership with Jones & Sons so you can tuck into Buttermilk Chicken with Ranch Sauce or Pulled Pork Quesadilla.
Mamuśka!: This Polish Kitchen and Bar serves hearty Stews, Soups, Potato Pancakes and Pierogis which you can wash down with Polish Beer, Vodka and other alcoholic beverages. The interior is industrial in style combining bare bricks, concrete and iron.
The Vaults: London’s immersive theatre and alternative arts venue. Check the show listings which is diverse and at times brilliantly bizarre.
The Bar @26 Leake Street: Craft Beer bar with 18 beer taps and a cocktail offering. You can listen to live music while you’re there. They are currently converting 4 arches to house a brewery, bar, restaurant and live event space.
Aures London: An event space for hire which is famous for delivering a sensory and immersive experience.
Leake Street Graffiti Tunnel
The tunnel itself is awesome if you love street art and graffiti. Back in 2008, Banksy organised the Cans Festival which showcased 30 artists who got to spray their art on the walls. It has continued to attract artists who can legally spray at this location without fear of being arrested for vandalism. If you walk through the dark, damp tunnel you will probably see artists at work. Make sure you look up at the ceiling which is covered colourful images.
Artist at Work
The graffiti rules are no sexism, racism or adverts. You must take empty cans and litter away. It also says – “You don’t have to be a gangster to paint here, so please don’t behave like one!”
House of Vans
House of Vans: Located very close by to Leake Street Tunnel is the House of Vans. This collection of railway arches includes an art gallery, cinema screening room, music venue, concrete skateboarding area plus a bar and café facilities. The address is Arches 228-232, Station Approach Road, London SE1 8SW.
Leake Street Arches and Graffiti Tunnel Information
Graffiti Tunnel Lower Marsh Entrance
To find out more go to the Leake Street Arches Website. The address is Leake Street, Lambeth, London SE1 8SW. You can access the Arches and Tunnel from York Road, Waterloo Station Approach Road or Lower Marsh.
Lower Marsh has a food market and plenty of eateries which are worth exploring. The nearest stations are Waterloo or Lambeth North. Enjoy your visit.
Author: Homegirl London. Photographs: Homegirl London.