Street art painting
London,  Monday walks,  Photographing Public Art,  Street art

A London walk with a blogging friend

I have often amused myself with thinking how different a place London is to different people

James Boswell

Yes, London can be different things to different people, and different parts of London can be very different to each other. Contrast Mayfair with Camden Market, or Soho with the South Bank.

As a Londoner I have lots of favourite areas of course, and love to visit all of them. But I always enjoy a walk in London’s Spitalfields and Brick Lane areas, and even better when I can introduce a friend to this lively area. So when Margaret (of From Pyrenees to Pennines) told me she was going to be in London and suggested meeting up somewhere where we could check out some street art, this was the obvious choice. I have been there many times before but the art is always changing, and there’s always something fresh to see.

Just as Margaret plans to do, I believe, I’m sharing this with Jo as a Monday Walk. It will be fascinating to see our two different perspectives on this shared London outing! And being Brick Lane, of course there is a great selection of street art for Natalie too.

Meet by the goat

I suggested to Margaret that we ‘meet by the goat’ in Spitalfields Market. This is a sculpture of a life-sized goat standing on top of a tall stack of crates. You might think it was intended to reference the goods once sold at the market, but no. According to its creator Kenny Hunter, the goat is:

‘a symbol for the various waves of migration that have found sanctuary in Spitalfields and helped to shape it. The goat, as an image of persecution and sacrifice, reflects how each successive group of immigrants have faced their own combination of conflict, oppression and poverty, all eventually finding a new home in London.’

(source Atlas Obscura)

Having met, naturally the first thing on the agenda was a good cup of coffee and an even better chat. Then, suitably fuelled, we started our explorations.

Sculpture of a goat
The Goat sculpture, Spitalfields

Morphs in the market

We began with a wander through Spitalfields Market itself. As well as looking at the goods on some of the stalls (crafts, vintage clothing …) we also spotted two Morph figures, part of a new art trail in London. I remember Morph as a character on children’s television in the 1970s, in art programmes presented by Tony Hart. He was created by Aardman who later developed Wallace and Gromit, Shaun the Sheep and others. There are 56 in total in the trail so I still have 54 to find!

Mmmmmmmmmorph! (on the left) was inspired by an ice cream sundae, while Stay Frosty aims to raise awareness of the issue of melting polar ice. The trail is supporting Whizz Kidz, a charity that supports young wheelchair users.

Fournier Street

From the market we walked east on Fournier Street, with its beautiful 18th century houses built for wealthy French Huguenots. These houses were designed with light airy lofts for silk-weaving, and elegant reception rooms in which to show off the finished products. I love the small details on these houses.

In one of the houses we discovered the Town House Gallery, new to me despite many previous visits to the area. We enjoyed browsing the art and taking photos in the pretty courtyard. The gallery also has a coffee shop but as we’d only just had a cup we didn’t investigate that. However I’ll definitely be back to do so another day!

Brick Lane street art

But my main reason for suggesting this area for a walk was to check out the street art in Brick Lane and nearby streets. We found so much that our cameras went into over-drive! Here are some of my own favourites:

Under the railway bridge near Allen Gardens we found more great pieces, and a couple of artists in action. They were in the process of covering up an old mural in order to paint their own and we promised to check back later to see the new work emerging. However when we did so I was a bit underwhelmed by the piece.

Before and after lunch

We also came across a film crew, although we couldn’t work out if they were professional or amateur. Certainly their equipment looked like the former.

Young people on colourful clothing passing street art
Young people on colourful clothing passing street art
The actors

Of course I also had to indulge in a bit of street photography.

At the top of Brick Lane we turned into Redchurch Street in search of lunch and found it in a café, Franze & Evans. After lunch we retraced our steps, stopping off as I mentioned to see the street artists at work near the railway bridges. And spotting quite a few pieces we’d missed on our way up!

Quite a coincidence!

I’ll end with the surprise of the day, a rather amazing coincidence. On a wall in Brick Lane we spotted a display of small street photos, mostly of posed subjects. I realised after studying a few that they must have been taken in Paris. A couple in one of them struck me as familiar so I took a photo of it. When I got home I checked it against one of my own shots from our visit to Paris last September. I expected to find that the couples in the two photos looked similar but were different. Imagine my astonishment when I discovered that my photo was indeed of the same striking couple as the one on display!

My September 2022 shot in Paris on the left and the photo displayed on Brick Lane on the right (with apologies for the rather distracting reflections)

I visit Brick Lane often; these photos were all taken in June 2023 with the exception of the one in Paris, taken September 2022  


  • wetanddustyroads

    Oh, how fun it is to introduce a fellow blogger to your beloved surroundings. I remember Morph too – only, it was on our television in the early 80’s. Such lovely street art – I love the cat (again, maybe it’s the splash of colour in the B&W that caught my attention).

    • Sarah Wilkie

      Yes, it was a fun day out – and when you take someone to an area you already know, you see it afresh through their eyes and discover new things! Glad you enjoyed seeing Morph and the street art 🙂

  • leightontravels

    Ah Sarah, thanks for taking me ‘home’ for fifteen minutes or so. I once met someone by the goat, years ago, when it was first unveiled I think. 2010/2011? Wonderful captures of the area’s art, with excellent people shots to boot. They didn’t waste any time getting that Tina Turner tribute up, which I find touching. A few of these murals are familiar. Our last night in London (June 2021) was spent in and around Brick Lane taking in the art. Naturally we topped it off with a curry at… let me check my notes… City Spice. The food was marvellous. And expensive. Brilliant coincidence with the old couple…

    • Sarah Wilkie

      Glad to have been able to ‘take you home’ Leighton 🙂 That goat is a popular meeting place – I was there early and saw so many meeting/greeting encounters in the space of ten minutes! Tina Turner was one of several tributes on that bridge, I think they must add to it whenever an icon dies 🤗 Brick Lane curries aren’t what they used to be, we don’t tend to eat there any more – they’re either poor quality, expensive or both! At least you got one of the good ones even if you did pay for it!

  • Teresa

    I love this Sarah. There is about 1 or 2 that is the same as when we went there in 2018. But the rest are new in my eyes. I am excited for Landon come October/November. Hope you will be free one day for some coffee.

    • Sarah Wilkie

      Oh exciting Teresa – do keep me posted about your plans. We’re going to be away at the end of October through to mid November but hopefully we can work something out 🤞

  • Ali

    I really enjoyed this post. I’ve only spent a very small time in London. It is cool to see thing I’ve yet to discover. I especially loved the end where you discovered the couple you had previously photographed.

  • margaret21

    Ah, a fabulous scrapbook of a great day together, Sarah. Now then. A lot of my readers enjoy your blog, so as you got in first, I’ll make it my business to choose – on the whole – different images. There is a certain amount of choice available!

    • Sarah Wilkie

      Glad you enjoyed both the day out and this post 🙂 I’ll look forward to seeing which images you choose – as you say, neither of us was exactly short of them!


    You’re so right about London’s different areas, so many have their own individual character very different from others. I can picture you wandering amongst all that street art carrying a fixed smile all day! Slightly freaky coincidence though just to add to the fun.

    • Sarah Wilkie

      I always enjoy exploring that area, and there’s always something different to see, but that coincidence over the photos was the icing on the cake!

  • Suzanne

    I have my hand up for a tour with you, Sarah. You certainly captured that part of London so well. London never fails to entertain. Plus, it is fun to catch up with other bloggers.

  • SoyBend

    Cool street art, Sarah! I liked one of the first ones with pink colors and magic in her hair. That is amazing you saw that same couple. What are the chances of that happening!

    • Sarah Wilkie

      Thank you Siobhan 🙂 I guess that couple are real ‘posers’ so maybe that increases the chances a little, but still amazing to spot them in that gallery!

  • Mike and Kellye Hefner

    What a fun way to spend the day, Sarah! I enjoyed seeing the street art so much, but the surprise was…well, a surprise. I can only imagine your surprise. The photo that left me wanting more was the one of the Town House Gallery’s courtyard. The entire gallery is fantastic, and I loved the post.

  • Natalie

    Sarah, Thank you for your PPAC contribution. The Morphs are adorable and I’d look for the rest of them, too. Fantastic street art in Brick Lane area.I love the variety and colours. The heron, the cat, the woman in the top left of the gallery are awesome.

  • Sue

    Oh, fab, I used to visit that area quite a bit a few years ago and I really must try to get back. That Fournier street gallery looks interesting And love your Street Art images…that pair in Paris!

  • Johanna Bradley

    I loved this, Sarah, though reading it at the beach on my phone is less than ideal. I’ll have a better look later on my laptop. I was almost skipping along the beach at the mention of Tony Hart and Morph. One of my heroes. Or even 2! I don’t know this ever changing area of London. Maybe one day we can do the tour. Many thanks, meanwhile 🤗💙

    • Sarah Wilkie

      I’d be very happy to repeat this walk with you Jo 😀 Yes, seeing those Morphs really took me back. I plan to go searching for more of them so expect to see them in a future Monday Walk!

  • Alison

    Love a trip down Brick Lane Sarah, and as you say the murals are always changing. They are even different from when we last went in April. Fournier street is one of my favourites and I did post some of those doors with the unique knockers.

    • Sarah Wilkie

      Thanks Alison 🙂 I compared my photos with those from a couple of recent visits and realised only a handful of the art pieces were the same – as you say, they’re constantly changing!

  • Yvonne Dumsday

    If you had been able to include the sounds, the smells (and the taste of coffee) then I could have imagined I had been there with you too. Thankyou for my guided tour of a part of London with which I am not familiar.

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