Leake Street Arches

London, England

Hidden beneath Waterloo station, Leake Street Arches is a disused Eurostar tunnel that's been transformed into a street art haven.

- © Chris.Basilio

The Resurrection Of Leake Street Arches

In 2008, street art icon Banksy decided to host an ambitious and punnily named new event, The Cans Festival. His mission: to 'transform a dark, forgotten filth pit into an oasis of beautiful art'.

This 'filth pit' was Leake Street Arches, an old Eurostar road put out of use when, in 2007, St Pancras International replaced Waterloo as the company's London station.

- © Chris.Basilio

The festival took place over one May bank holiday weekend and saw artists gather from around the globe to create a host of murals and art installations.

- © Chris.Basilio
- © Chris.Basilio

New Life

Since then the street has become a de facto safe haven for street artists. Everyone and anyone is free show off their skills, and many, many have, transforming the tunnel into a visual wonder and the longest graffiti gallery in the capital.

- © Chris.Basilio

Drinking, Dining And Entertainment At Leake Street Arches

Beyond street art, Leake Street Arches also boasts a hosts of other attractions. There is a Pan-Asian and a Polish restaurants, Banh Bao Brothers and Mamuska, respectively; a club, Aures, that has one of the best soundsystems in Europe; a boardgame cafe, Draughts; and coming soon a hybrid brewery, bar, restaurant and live event space.

Nearby, also beneath Waterloo, is Vaults Theatre, a great theatre championing immersive and alternative art.

There's plenty to do at Leake Street Arches and nowhere more visually enticing to do it in.

- © Chris.Basilio

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What you need to know

Leake Street Arches
Leake Street, London, UK
Tips before you visit