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“Art of having a good time” 5 of 5 bubbles
Review of Alternative London

Alternative London
Ranked #1 of 166 Food & Drink in London
Certificate of Excellence
More attraction details
Attraction details
Recommended length of visit: 1-2 hours
Owner description: Discover the London you won't find in the guide books with London's original off-the-beaten-track tour provider! Come with us to explore the culture, community and street art of London's vibrant East End. We offer unique and original walking tours, bike tours and food & drink tours and as London's original street art tour provider we also offer street art workshops led by our team of street artists. Tour prices start at pay-what-you-want so there's something for everyone at a price to suit all budgets. Let our expert guides show you the real London, from a local's perspective!
Useful Information: Activities for older children
Ljubljana, Slovenia
Level Contributor
5 reviews
3 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“Art of having a good time”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed November 4, 2012

Out group for walking tour was rather large, but our guide managed to keep us together. He had a lot of in-depth knowledge about history of area and street art. He opened our eyes about all the tiny pieces of art one can find on the streets.
I'm extremely satisfied, it was time spent really rather well.

Visited November 2012
Helpful?
Thank Bor K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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London, United Kingdom
2 reviews
“Street Art tour around Brick Lane”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed November 4, 2012

A really fascinating, engaging and fun tour by our guide, Doug. We're Londoners but had no idea of the street art scene in East London so he really opened our eyes to what's on our doorstep. One of our group was in the middle of GCSE Art doing a project on street art and to see the real live examples of what he'd been learning about in class was a huge bonus. Really loved it and would recommend it to anyone. You don't have to be an art lover. Brick Lane is just a brilliant place to explore.

Visited November 2012
Helpful?
Thank ClaraL908
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
1 review
“This tour alone made my trip to London!!!”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed November 3, 2012

Our tour guide's commitment to his craft and passion for his city was inspiring! The artwork we saw was unbelievable and his explanation made it all the more interesting. He just knew so much of the history of the city, as well as info about the artists. My group had 6 people ranging in age from 25-45 and we are all still bubbling about it! I would recommend this tour to anyone!!

Helpful?
Thank Alioness3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Kettering, United Kingdom
1 review
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“East London street art tour”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed November 1, 2012

Enjoyable, interesting tour; knowledgeable, informative, friendly guide in Doug who paced the tour well and projected his voice to include a large group. Encouraged us to observe the rich street culture and the history and contrast of the area. Great for anyone interested in street art or art in general.

Visited October 2012
Helpful?
1 Thank WilDP61
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Belfast, United Kingdom
1 review
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“Well presented tour of safe and establishment acceptable art”
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed November 1, 2012

Took the Alternative London tour recently, and felt that it was well presented by our tour guide Josh. He was passionate and really knew the material he was talking about.

However, I was dissapointed with the nature of the street art that he presented. This is not a tour of "edgy" street art, and dont expect any social commentary of society. To my mind, it often came across as "artists" who were interested merely in promoting thier name and not any insight into life in 2012 London, or the East End.

Josh offered examples of artists such Conor Harrington, whose work was very nice but also sells in gallerys for £1000s. Also Ben Eine who career took off when PM David Cameron gave Obama a print of his work on the US president's visit to Britain. One Ben Eine piece was the word ANTI painted in 12ft high letters down a wall. What wasn't clear was what he is anti towards. We were are are also told that often street artists will paint a piece to promote gallery opnening of thier shows. a large bow and arrow commissioned by London Mayor Boris Johnston remained untouched, an indication of how the artists crave acceptabliity in the mainstream.

whilst the art was pretty and accomplished and clearly there are artistically talented people working in this area, it seemed to be mere prelude to thier hitting the gallerys and the big bucks the mainstream will pay for "edgy" street art. pretty but with nothing to say. You could equally go to a mainstream gallery, tate britian etc and see pretty pictures too, and at least you would be warm.

Josh showed us the orginal markers for where the city of London ended and the east end began. perhaps the most interesting thing i seen was the one street where the crumbling 19th east end houses faced directly across the street to the massive financial skyscrappers of Bishopsgate. Josh pointed out how how the City and thier developments were encroaching into the east end and that character of the place was in danger of being lost. yet street art was noticeably absent from the walls of these fine institutions.

the differences between the wealth and power of the City of London and the working class nature of the east end could not have been more clear, yet the street artist seemingly have no comment to make about this.

on the whole the tour came across as a presentation of work by artists concerned only with promoting thier name to the point where they can sell for £1000s, or get recogntion from the great and good.

pretty but not alternative. Try Berlin street art instead.

Visited October 2012
Helpful?
1 Thank emmett m
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
AlternativeLondon, Owner at Alternative London, responded to this review, January 30, 2013
Dear Sir / Madam,

Thanks for taking the time to join one of our tours. We are really glad that you enjoyed the tour and found Josh to be a great guide.

However we are disappointed that you have chosen our reviews page on Trip Advisor to talk at length about your opinions of the London street art scene. This is something which we have no control over and negative reviews - whether founded or not - can be extremely damaging to our small independent business.

All of the artwork is put into context during the tour and whether positive or not, we aim to give a balanced and truthful view. Josh is a street artist himself and he always invites people to ask questions on his tours. He would also have been more than happy to sit down after your tour and talk at length about East London and its street art and answer any queeries you have.

It has therefore left us feeling let down that you chose not to ask any questions during your two hours with Josh, but to write a Trip Advisor review about things outside of the remit of our tour afterwards.

We would greatly appreciate it if you could remove this review of London's street art from our Trip Advisor page as we feel it would be much better suited to one of the many street art forums where opinions like this can be discussed.

Many thanks,
Gary Means.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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